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How to Choose a Target Industry for the Fastlane

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alexanderkjones

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This post is dedicated to @TomTrepreneur who sent me a PM today with a legitimate concern that he simply did not know where to start when choosing a market and he felt like he was just spinning his tires. We can go searching and searching for an opportunity but in the beginning we don't really know the mechanics of it and we end up reading a ton of books and taking classes that put us into information overload!

So, here we go, get ready. I'm going to make this dead simple for you and answer some key questions from @TomTrepreneur. If this post is at all helpful to you please divert all rep points to him because he had the guts to ask for help. Let's begin!

The main question here is, if it's not about what you're passionate about and what you think you might be good at or what excites and interests you in general what is it really about? To be honest at this stage it's as though I've forgotten what I enjoy other than trying to figure out how to get into business.

As a social entrepreneur myself this was something I struggled years with so let's first look at the psychology of entrepreneurship and then move on to the brass tacks mechanics because if you don't deal with this you'll never move forward.

Golden Rule: All Entrepreneurship is about Service, Get Passionate About Solving People's Problems

From the time we begin reading the entrepreneurial literate and self help mantras we're told to go find our passion, frolic in the wilderness and come out enlightened with this piece of self discovery that will fulfill our lives and make us whole. We forget we're often told this by people who've already found the thing they are passionate about and quite often they are forgetting how much it took them to get there. Passion is discovered it is not found. There is nothing you can do to force it, but you do have to invite it in by getting out of the slow lane and trying lot's of different things that you think will fulfill you. It's a lot like dating :)

But what should we do while we're looking for our passion? Should we not be entrepreneurs and wait? Absolutely not, you want to run your various self development initiatives in parallel to move into the fast lane as quickly as possible. Don't waste time. More importantly don't let you search for passion blind your sense for opportunity.

Entrepreneurship is about serving people, creating value, and changing people's lives irregardless of wether you care about the product. You just have to care about the people and then almost any opportunity becomes a joyful and lucrative experience. Entrepreneurs are listeners, your communication skills and empathy will take you farther than anything else as an entrepreneur because you'll start to see everyone's problems instead of worrying about your own. You've got to be good with numbers, but start by listening.

Golden Rule #2: You Financial Goals Can and Most Often Will Be Different From Your Personal Goals

I remember when I first started out on my entrepreneurial journey and I was so stuck in this mindset that I had to do something that changed the world, that made a difference on a global level, that if it wasn't big and changing humanity it wasn't worth my time. Those are still my personal goals and standards for myself and the life I strive to live today. BUT, I missed a lot of opportunities to help in important ways that would have generated capital for me and given me more power faster to reach my visions.

It took me some time to realize that my personal goals of changing the world DID NOT HAVE TO BE COMBINED with my financial goals of complete independence. "Find you passion and make it your work" is stupid and it took me a long time to figure that out. Decouple your personal and professional outcomes. Make sure they compliment each other but do not base your success on forcing the two together.

Take Away: Clear Your Expectations and Be Open to Opportunity in Life and in Money
 

alexanderkjones

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And Now, moving past the post limit of 15000 characters......

The Mechanics
When I first learned of the importance of getting into the correct industry/sector I set out to learn how and I honestly expected magic, like as if information about the perfect industry would end up flashing right in front of me with a sign saying "Enter Here, Opportunity Available for Just You"


GOLDEN RULE #3: Abundance Is Everywhere

Ok this is the last mindset piece but you have to get this right. Look, you are an entrepreneur even if you've never made a sale. I don't care what other people say about wantreprenuers, that's ego getting in the way and thinking you're better because you're farther along the path.

YOU ARE AN ENTREPRENEUR, it's not something you can turn off it's in you. You are this person so take breath, there's no getting anywhere, you're already here. Now, the same goes for opportunity. You are surrounded by opportunity, you don't have to earn it or go dig a mine in a mountain to find it. It's around you right now and you simply need to change the way you interact with the world to see it.


Step 1: Choosing a Market

When choosing a market it does not matter what industry it's in, the only thing that matters is the scale at which they operate. When choosing your market focus on businesses to start that are mid level. 90% of businesses in the United States are classified as "small businesses". You're looking for businesses that make less than $1M to start. This can be anything! From Insurance Agents specializing in tornado insurance to pool guys it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they A) Generate Revenue and B) Sell Products in the $1,000 Price Bracket.

Step 2: Understand Your Market

You are not going to come up with something brilliant, this is a myth and puts a lot of unneeded stress on entrepreneurs. It's ludicrous and drives me nuts. Henry Ford didn't come up with the Model T. Henry Ford saw a need for Faster Transportation and he was able to articulate the solution to that need better than anyone else. The demand came from his clients. They wanted faster horses, he knew better. That's what you need to do.

You need to understand the processes of the people in your market to understand where you can add value. The only way you can make money is if you're making money for someone else so get really clear on that. You need to understand the market from the people who are inside. You want to know every detail of the processes that take time and money away from your potential clients that you can help recapture. You need to understand what their problems are. They will give you the ideas! Your job as an entrepreneur is to realize the solution because they can't. I know this sounds strange but they will never see the solution because they are so in it all the time. An outsider needs to step in and see what's blatantly obvious. That's your job.

OK Action Items, how do we do this.

1) Once You've chosen your market go talk to 10 people who work in that industry. Tell them your a budding entrepreneur and you're looking to help people. You'd love a few minutes of their time to understand what their challenges are to see if you can help. These will most likely be 1 or 2 degree connections. You'll have to dig through your friends and family and ask who knows someone in this market and get an intro. You can absolutely be bold and walk in an establishment or cold call but I would defer to step two.

2) Get around more people in your target market. You want to go for markets that are organized meaning they have events, conferences, meetings. Go to them! Find where these people congregate! Where are the watering holes? Start talking with people, ask them what their challenges are in their business, what's stopping them from reaching that next big goal. They'll tell you something and it will probably be wrong, but that's ok because your just trying to understand the market. Now go to step 3

3) Dig deeper. This is classic Dane Maxwell, who's taken his stuff from MBA's and all other sorts of literature. This is not new or revolutionary. Sit down with someone in the market and have them walk you through their day. Get to the root of the problem. Ask the 5 Why's and see what they aren't seeing.

Here's an example. I was working with a friend doing idea extraction for a niche insurance market. He thought the problem was sales people just not being good enough and the agency owners wanted him to build a better training tool. So I asked him:

Q1) Why do they need this tool?
A1) Because they need to stronger sales people.

Q2) Why do they need stronger sales people?
A2) Because they aren't bringing in enough sales?

Q3) Why do they need to bring in more sales?
A3) Because the agencies need more money?

Q4) Why do the agency's need more money?
A4) Because the average salesperson doesn't make a sale during their first year in training so they get a salary of $80K without bringing in any money.


DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE PROBLEM HERE!?

How do you expect to have good sales people if they have no skin in the game? What other industry does this, I've never heard of it before it's crazy! And my buddy says, "Wholly shit you're right! I just never realized it before...."

That was just 4 Why's but you get the idea. Find the cause that they don't see. No amount of training software is going to fix this problem it's fundamental to the hiring process and he would have likely done poorly if he pursued this. Instead he's found a more valuable problem in the same market and I'm confident will be making six figure by the end of the year and seven figures in three.

Get to the core problem, you've got to understand their processes, keep asking questions and keep listening. I do this exercise with anyone I meet. Sitting at a bar, meeting someone at the gym, I constantly am asking "What are your dreams" , "What are your biggest challenges", "What's the next step you want to take in your business", "What's holding you back", "Why...Why....Why"

Trick: If you don't know what market to serve go to business networking events and start talking with people to understand different types of businesses. Go on forums, in person is better. But


Step 3: Valuating Your Market

Yes, I know valuating is not a word but I like it. You need to evaluate the value of your market. Now, to do this you need to understand the problem and come up with some basic numbers:

1) How many hours or resources are being lost due to this problem?

2) How much are those hours/resources worth in your chosen market?

3) How much are you saving the client monthly?

4) How big is your market i.e. how many businesses like this are there in the U.S, how bout in your state?

5) How many businesses would you need to land to make a radical change in your life

For most beginners the answer to the last question is 10 business making you $2,000/month. If you're making an additional $500/week that's a significant chunk of change starting out and a great baseline to shoot for. I would say if you're not able to find a $200/month problem for a client move on and look for a more expensive problem. You'll most likely find several problems in any industry, make sure you go for the ones that will bring you cash-flow and momentum.

You'll only be able to charge 10% of the value for the problem you're solving so keep that in mind. That's how I value all of my clients propositions. They say, "Alex I've got this great idea" and the first thing I say is "How much is it worth?". There are so many expensive problems in the world and again as an early stage entrepreneur you should be focusing on low hanging fruit. No R&D, nothing too innovative, focus on building relationships and listening. Innovation is a tool for leveraging you skills of communication, you have to get the fundamentals down before you start investing in developing new ideas. My big thing is mitigating risk. That's not the only way to do things but for most beginners it's the way I would guide people because I've lost too much money being innovative and I haven't found anyone who's succeeded by losing money!

So here's what you're looking for, you ideal market. You're looking for a niche business usually within a broader industry, with about 30K-50K businesses nationwide who have a $2,000/month problem. Maybe they spend 100 hours a week doing some mundane paperwork task or maybe they have a communications problem that's causing them to lose their sales productivity by 200 hours a month. Whatever it is, let them tell you the value of the assets and you do the math, on paper how much is this problem really worth? Know that you'll be able to charge 10% of that problem as a service fee and it will be a no brainer. Again, this is designed for early entrepreneurs. My goal here is to get you traction as quickly as possible.


Step 4: Evaluate Your Options and Commit

Commitment is freedom from your own insanity. This was a fun quote I came up with in my post 6 ways to stop being a wantreprenuer here on the forum. It's a critical point, you must choose something and go for it. Whatever you choose I promise you it will lead you down a rabbit whole you never imagined, but it's ok it's supposed to. The point is to start moving don't pay too much attention to where you're going as long you're moving in the right general direction i.e. anywhere from where you are now!

So this part is simple, over the course of you research you will most likely found a few opportunities. I tell people in most situations I can get a million dollar idea out of just about anyone in under an hour. But that doesn't mean I'm going to have a million dollar execution. Look through your list of expensive problems and choose the one that looks the easiest. Wether you're going for a digital service or a tangible product here are some basic guidelines:

1) The product or service should have no more than 2 unique features for your minimum viable product. Everything else should be off the shelf or readily available.

2) The most successful products bring existing technologies to new or underserved markets.

3) You should be able to launch the product in 3 months for software and 6 months for physical products.

Now just pick whichever idea you can create a solution for within these guidelines! That's it. Then keep talking with people, start refining the idea and get buy in from your potential clients. Pre-sell the hell out of that thing and don't stop once you've hit your goal keep selling and pay someone else to develop the thing. Like I said your key value as an entrepreneur is talking with people and connecting them with solutions. If you'd rather be programming go partner with someone who wants to sell because honestly that's the only thing that matters.

Final Notes: Don't go it alone

I cannot tell you how valuable it is to have someone on your team as you go through this journey. They don't have to be an equity partner, you just need peers and mentors to guide you along the path and give you feedback. I can't tell you how many times I've been looking strait at a wall of challenges and had someone who knew nothing about my business say "Why don't you try..." and suddenly there's a secret door I've never seen that I can just skirt right through to my objective. This is so crucial. Start a mastermind group, find mentors, interview people, read about successful people, surround yourself with great material and models that remind you how possible this all is. It's all for the taking, you are living in a time where anything is possible.

I hope this answers @TomTrepreneur's final question

Since I at least have these ideas in mind, and since I have no particular specialized discipline, would you suggest I drop all my efforts of searching for the best industry and just focus on the industries I've mentioned.

YES! If you've found an industry you can get passionate about start digging in and find the expensive problems. I won't spoil it but @TomTrepreneur has some great industries he'd like to get into and that he can get passionate about he's just caught up in all this paralysis that he's not sure if he should make the jump.

Make The Jump

I know of course you can't answer my life questions.

Oh Really?

No Tom's right I can't tell you what to do with your life but I can help you cut through the bullshit and get started with your new life instead of sitting mired on the other side of the fence wishing you were over here playing with the big kids. We all win we all lose, none of us are special, the only thing that sets us apart is that we're willing to take action and get started. I really hope this has been beneficial and motivates you to dive deep and get passionate about solving problems in industries you enjoy and are lucrative. It's not rocket science and abundance is everywhere. The most important thing you need to focus on now is getting started!
 
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TomTrepreneur

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This is unbelievable. And yes you have answered my life questions. I had it totally wrong, it's really about getting outside and talking to real people.
I love the part about going to business networking events, I was thinking of attending them, but was unsure of what it was going to do for me exactly. I'm going to take a step back from trying to find industry information on the internet and just get out into the real world. One of the reasons I love this part so much is that I always see people on forums or in books saying "Take Action", but my thoughts then would usually be, "take action doing what??" But this certainly is the best kind of action a person in my situation can take.

My problem was that I felt as though moving with the digital age I.E. reading about industries online was the way to find out about their structures today, as opposed to speaking with real people. But thankfully I understand now that any of those characteristics regarding what makes up an industry are just things that I need to remember, and then use my common sense when talking to people at these events, if I listen it obviously won't be hard to figure out how they are structured. That's killing more than 2 birds with one stone. I'll be learning about problems, about the industries, making contacts in general, whereas online I would probably spend decades learning about industries that barely even operate in my own city, I'm in Cork, Ireland, by the way.

You've paved out a beautiful roadmap for me right here. All I knew was that I needed to get away from the computer for a while because I was going nowhere. I can't express how thankful I am for this, and I will defintely be re-reading this thread a few times along with your other threads. I'll let you know how I get on anyway, but whatever the result I know I'll enjoy the process, it sure will feel a lot better than being stuck in home reading. I'm currently in college getting ready for exams, but there's a long summer ahead and I'll be attending as many events as I can find throughout.

Thanks again.
 

smarty

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I'm currently in college getting ready for exams, but there's a long summer ahead and I'll be attending as many events as I can find throughout.

Be sure to remember this moment, this vision you have right now and WHY it has meaning for you, because I promise you when the summer comes you will most probably have different emotions, different priorities and your old habits will try to keep you on the old routine. You must constantly remind yourself what are you working towards, why are you doing it and why it has emotional meaning to you, until it becomes a habit.

Cheers :)
 

SemiSentient

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Bravo! This is probably the best step-by-step getting started guide I have ever read.

You only got one thing wrong though. You asked that everyone send their rep to Tom. That's fine he will get some.

BUT, you my friend will also get my rep and you will like it!:)
 

alexanderkjones

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These are the things that need to be taught to the youth of America, and really, the world. How's THAT for a problem to solve?? :)

@IAmTheJeff this is the dream! It can be done by one person we all need to be sharing this!

You only got one thing wrong though. You asked that everyone send their rep to Tom. That's fine he will get some.
BUT, you my friend will also get my rep and you will like it!:)

@SemiSentient Thank you very much, I really appreciate your note and rep!
 

TomTrepreneur

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Cheers Smarty, I will definitely be making a lot of notes related to this. I have loads of notes in general related to what I was trying to find out all along and random ideas etc... But never could I actually form a true goal, I had an idea of what I was aiming for, but I couldn't really call them goals. I used to listen to Brian Tracy an awful lot and he always talks about goals and anything I would ever write down defo couldn't be called goals which simply reflected how aimless I was... But this is very clear. I'm going to make sure I follow all of the steps above in the best way I can and will definitely be thinking of it every day until I get it done, if I don't try this Ill never try anything. Any reading I should be doing in the next few weeks other than studying for exams should be on finding out about networking events, no books or anything, just real world stuff. You're very right, I know for sure that if I read the books in between, I'll get hooked again, that's the worst thing about habit. But I'm sure I know what I needed to know now. This is a perfect first step, I can come back to books later. That's one of the most important skills I think I'm going to have to master when I do get going, that is How Do You Put The Book Away... I sometimes wonder how people who are running businesses for real actually manage to read lots of books at the same time. But I guess when you're in momentum you just learn to read for a very specific answer and then get on with it. When you're unsure of exactly what you need to get started I suppose you kind feel the need to swallow everything and anything in a book.
But yeah anyway, I'll defo be making a new habit now. This is what I needed all along, a mindset change from reading to doing.
 

S. Brown

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@alexanderjoneskjones I have found a need in the medical/hospital industry but I read that one should choose a mid level business to start. Does that mean that I shouldn't pursue that opportunity?

I have spoke to a couple people in the industry (doctors, nurses, etc) about the need and I'm going to speak to more. But the medical industry is above the 1 million dollar revenue so I'm just wondering if I should continue or change pursuits. I am real hungry to change my life to FASTLANE while being a value to people while using my electronics/technology skill set and education. I get criticized and told that I should just continue looking/getting engineering jobs but that's not what I want to do. I have a entrepreneurial mindset that wants to CREATE value instead of work jobs and consume all my life.

I am a 24 budding entrepreneur and this pursuit would be my first business venture. I just been thinking even though I am a person that keeps going until I finish and produce a result.
 

alexanderkjones

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I have spoke to a couple people in the industry (doctors, nurses, etc) about the need and I'm going to speak to more. But the medical industry is above the 1 million dollar revenue so I'm just wondering if I should continue or change pursuits.

@S. Brown Great question. Do not go after this product if it is designed for hospitals. You're looking for markets that you can easily reach the decision makers i.e. schedule an informal meeting with. These are businesses with less than 50 employees. I'd also be weary of getting into medical devices, it's a lot of regulation and capital that will just slow you down.

I'm a hardware designer myself so shoot me a PM with some of your other ideas and aspirations and I'll give you some pointers or maybe make it a new thread to bring in some of the other techies in the forum. You never know, you might find a cofounder here.
 

dabelge

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@alexanderjoneskjones I have found a need in the medical/hospital industry but I read that one should choose a mid level business to start. Does that mean that I shouldn't pursue that opportunity?

I have spoke to a couple people in the industry (doctors, nurses, etc) about the need and I'm going to speak to more. But the medical industry is above the 1 million dollar revenue so I'm just wondering if I should continue or change pursuits. I am real hungry to change my life to FASTLANE while being a value to people while using my electronics/technology skill set and education. I get criticized and told that I should just continue looking/getting engineering jobs but that's not what I want to do. I have a entrepreneurial mindset that wants to CREATE value instead of work jobs and consume all my life.

I am a 24 budding entrepreneur and this pursuit would be my first business venture. I just been thinking even though I am a person that keeps going until I finish and produce a result.

Can you apply your product to nursing homes, home health care providers, dentist offices? Plenty of these types of businesses would be accessible to you.
 

superb

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...So here's what you're looking for, you ideal market. You're looking for a niche business usually within a broader industry, with about 30K-50K businesses nationwide who have a $2,000/month problem.

@alexanderkjones I want make sure I understand correctly: Do you mean 30k-50k niche business within a broader industry?
 

John Page

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What a beautiful thread! This was the first time I actually read the FAQ of the forum, just to know what Rep Transferring is. And I transferred rep for the first time too. Thanks for your time and your help.
 

Edgar King

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And Now, moving past the post limit of 15000 characters......

The Mechanics



GOLDEN RULE #3: Abundance Is Everywhere

Ok this is the last mindset piece but you have to get this right. Look, you are an entrepreneur even if you've never made a sale. I don't care what other people say about wantreprenuers, that's ego getting in the way and thinking you're better because you're farther along the path.

YOU ARE AN ENTREPRENEUR, it's not something you can turn off it's in you. You are this person so take breath, there's no getting anywhere, you're already here. Now, the same goes for opportunity. You are surrounded by opportunity, you don't have to earn it or go dig a mine in a mountain to find it. It's around you right now and you simply need to change the way you interact with the world to see it.


Step 1: Choosing a Market

When choosing a market it does not matter what industry it's in, the only thing that matters is the scale at which they operate. When choosing your market focus on businesses to start that are mid level. 90% of businesses in the United States are classified as "small businesses". You're looking for businesses that make less than $1M to start. This can be anything! From Insurance Agents specializing in tornado insurance to pool guys it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they A) Generate Revenue and B) Sell Products in the $1,000 Price Bracket.

Step 2: Understand Your Market

You are not going to come up with something brilliant, this is a myth and puts a lot of unneeded stress on entrepreneurs. It's ludicrous and drives me nuts. Henry Ford didn't come up with the Model T. Henry Ford saw a need for Faster Transportation and he was able to articulate the solution to that need better than anyone else. The demand came from his clients. They wanted faster horses, he knew better. That's what you need to do.

You need to understand the processes of the people in your market to understand where you can add value. The only way you can make money is if you're making money for someone else so get really clear on that. You need to understand the market from the people who are inside. You want to know every detail of the processes that take time and money away from your potential clients that you can help recapture. You need to understand what their problems are. They will give you the ideas! Your job as an entrepreneur is to realize the solution because they can't. I know this sounds strange but they will never see the solution because they are so in it all the time. An outsider needs to step in and see what's blatantly obvious. That's your job.

OK Action Items, how do we do this.

1) Once You've chosen your market go talk to 10 people who work in that industry. Tell them your a budding entrepreneur and you're looking to help people. You'd love a few minutes of their time to understand what their challenges are to see if you can help. These will most likely be 1 or 2 degree connections. You'll have to dig through your friends and family and ask who knows someone in this market and get an intro. You can absolutely be bold and walk in an establishment or cold call but I would defer to step two.

2) Get around more people in your target market. You want to go for markets that are organized meaning they have events, conferences, meetings. Go to them! Find where these people congregate! Where are the watering holes? Start talking with people, ask them what their challenges are in their business, what's stopping them from reaching that next big goal. They'll tell you something and it will probably be wrong, but that's ok because your just trying to understand the market. Now go to step 3

3) Dig deeper. This is classic Dane Maxwell, who's taken his stuff from MBA's and all other sorts of literature. This is not new or revolutionary. Sit down with someone in the market and have them walk you through their day. Get to the root of the problem. Ask the 5 Why's and see what they aren't seeing.

Here's an example. I was working with a friend doing idea extraction for a niche insurance market. He thought the problem was sales people just not being good enough and the agency owners wanted him to build a better training tool. So I asked him:

Q1) Why do they need this tool?
A1) Because they need to stronger sales people.

Q2) Why do they need stronger sales people?
A2) Because they aren't bringing in enough sales?

Q3) Why do they need to bring in more sales?
A3) Because the agencies need more money?

Q4) Why do the agency's need more money?
A4) Because the average salesperson doesn't make a sale during their first year in training so they get a salary of $80K without bringing in any money.


DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE PROBLEM HERE!?

How do you expect to have good sales people if they have no skin in the game? What other industry does this, I've never heard of it before it's crazy! And my buddy says, "Wholly shit you're right! I just never realized it before...."

That was just 4 Why's but you get the idea. Find the cause that they don't see. No amount of training software is going to fix this problem it's fundamental to the hiring process and he would have likely done poorly if he pursued this. Instead he's found a more valuable problem in the same market and I'm confident will be making six figure by the end of the year and seven figures in three.

Get to the core problem, you've got to understand their processes, keep asking questions and keep listening. I do this exercise with anyone I meet. Sitting at a bar, meeting someone at the gym, I constantly am asking "What are your dreams" , "What are your biggest challenges", "What's the next step you want to take in your business", "What's holding you back", "Why...Why....Why"

Trick: If you don't know what market to serve go to business networking events and start talking with people to understand different types of businesses. Go on forums, in person is better. But


Step 3: Valuating Your Market
Yes, I know valuating is not a word but I like it. You need to evaluate the value of your market. Now, to do this you need to understand the problem and come up with some basic numbers:

1) How many hours or resources are being lost due to this problem?

2) How much are those hours/resources worth in your chosen market?

3) How much are you saving the client monthly?

4) How big is your market i.e. how many businesses like this are there in the U.S, how bout in your state?

5) How many businesses would you need to land to make a radical change in your life

For most beginners the answer to the last question is 10 business making you $2,000/month. If you're making an additional $500/week that's a significant chunk of change starting out and a great baseline to shoot for. I would say if you're not able to find a $200/month problem for a client move on and look for a more expensive problem. You'll most likely find several problems in any industry, make sure you go for the ones that will bring you cash-flow and momentum.

You'll only be able to charge 10% of the value for the problem you're solving so keep that in mind. That's how I value all of my clients propositions. They say, "Alex I've got this great idea" and the first thing I say is "How much is it worth?". There are so many expensive problems in the world and again as an early stage entrepreneur you should be focusing on low hanging fruit. No R&D, nothing too innovative, focus on building relationships and listening. Innovation is a tool for leveraging you skills of communication, you have to get the fundamentals down before you start investing in developing new ideas. My big thing is mitigating risk. That's not the only way to do things but for most beginners it's the way I would guide people because I've lost too much money being innovative and I haven't found anyone who's succeeded by losing money!

So here's what you're looking for, you ideal market. You're looking for a niche business usually within a broader industry, with about 30K-50K businesses nationwide who have a $2,000/month problem. Maybe they spend 100 hours a week doing some mundane paperwork task or maybe they have a communications problem that's causing them to lose their sales productivity by 200 hours a month. Whatever it is, let them tell you the value of the assets and you do the math, on paper how much is this problem really worth? Know that you'll be able to charge 10% of that problem as a service fee and it will be a no brainer. Again, this is designed for early entrepreneurs. My goal here is to get you traction as quickly as possible.


Step 4: Evaluate Your Options and Commit

Commitment is freedom from your own insanity. This was a fun quote I came up with in my post 6 ways to stop being a wantreprenuer here on the forum. It's a critical point, you must choose something and go for it. Whatever you choose I promise you it will lead you down a rabbit whole you never imagined, but it's ok it's supposed to. The point is to start moving don't pay too much attention to where you're going as long you're moving in the right general direction i.e. anywhere from where you are now!

So this part is simple, over the course of you research you will most likely found a few opportunities. I tell people in most situations I can get a million dollar idea out of just about anyone in under an hour. But that doesn't mean I'm going to have a million dollar execution. Look through your list of expensive problems and choose the one that looks the easiest. Wether you're going for a digital service or a tangible product here are some basic guidelines:

1) The product or service should have no more than 2 unique features for your minimum viable product. Everything else should be off the shelf or readily available.

2) The most successful products bring existing technologies to new or underserved markets.

3) You should be able to launch the product in 3 months for software and 6 months for physical products.

Now just pick whichever idea you can create a solution for within these guidelines! That's it. Then keep talking with people, start refining the idea and get buy in from your potential clients. Pre-sell the hell out of that thing and don't stop once you've hit your goal keep selling and pay someone else to develop the thing. Like I said your key value as an entrepreneur is talking with people and connecting them with solutions. If you'd rather be programming go partner with someone who wants to sell because honestly that's the only thing that matters.

Final Notes: Don't go it alone

I cannot tell you how valuable it is to have someone on your team as you go through this journey. They don't have to be an equity partner, you just need peers and mentors to guide you along the path and give you feedback. I can't tell you how many times I've been looking strait at a wall of challenges and had someone who knew nothing about my business say "Why don't you try..." and suddenly there's a secret door I've never seen that I can just skirt right through to my objective. This is so crucial. Start a mastermind group, find mentors, interview people, read about successful people, surround yourself with great material and models that remind you how possible this all is. It's all for the taking, you are living in a time where anything is possible.

I hope this answers @TomTrepreneur's final question



YES! If you've found an industry you can get passionate about start digging in and find the expensive problems. I won't spoil it but @TomTrepreneur has some great industries he'd like to get into and that he can get passionate about he's just caught up in all this paralysis that he's not sure if he should make the jump.

Make The Jump


Oh Really?

No Tom's right I can't tell you what to do with your life but I can help you cut through the bullshit and get started with your new life instead of sitting mired on the other side of the fence wishing you were over here playing with the big kids. We all win we all lose, none of us are special, the only thing that sets us apart is that we're willing to take action and get started. I really hope this has been beneficial and motivates you to dive deep and get passionate about solving problems in industries you enjoy and are lucrative. It's not rocket science and abundance is everywhere. The most important thing you need to focus on now is getting started!
Brilliant article! Should these be one man bands or actual businesses?
 

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