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EXECUTION My first fastlane business

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by missNB, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    i just joined the forum, wrote an introduction and was encouraged by @Akeem to create a separate thread for my business idea.

    I would love all your input and sage advise as I embark on what I hope to be my first ever fastlane business adventure.

    This will be my update and execution thread, and right this moment, I'm at the idea research/development stage.

    A short back story
    I finished TMFL and was halfway into unscripted when my sister finally called me back. I had been trying to reach her for a while, knowing that she just lost her job when the company she worked for went bankrupt, and I wanted to make sure she was ok.

    Fast forward to the job convo, I asked her some questions about where she wanted to go next, and we spoke briefly about her desiring to start a business, but not being sure on what kind. I recommended TMFL and we ended the talk.

    Me, being an idea generator on speed, I texted her a few hours later that I had a business she could do with me if interested.
    I haven't actually told her about the business yet, as when she asked me about it, I told her to read TMFL and I would tell her about it when she's back from her trip. She comes home today!

    Now, I know to be careful with partnerships and I've never had any interest in mixing family and business before, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it for this particular idea.

    Truth be told, I have had two additional ideas since reading the book, so a total of three potential business ideas as of right now.

    My first idea was a import/e-commerce in a very narrow, but huge niche. I still like a lot of things about this idea, but it has no proprietary elements, even though there is virtually no/poorly executed competition. I would like some proprietary element if I move forward with this business,in addition to having to test the market for productocracy AND it's not keeping me up at night with enthusiasm. It's simply just a particular product solving a huge need.

    My second idea is a product manufacturing business that stems from my own and others dissatisfaction with current solutions. It is a huge market, but also a lot of very big players and the business require a lot of start-up capital. The biggest obstacle with this idea for the moment is even if I get funding and raise capital, it violates the non-compete in my job, and I still have things to learn and do there.

    So the third idea is the one I came up with wanting to help my sister out. It's basically an e-commerce that fulfills a particular service need. My sister is a great fit to this one, and I'm so into it, I can't even sleep. There are a lot of possibilities to create added value in this one, and therefore I'm less worried about not having proprietary elements.

    What's next...

    Obviously I'm telling my sister about the idea and checking if she's into it and what a partnership might look like. I know she, like me, is not a big fan of working with family, so she might very well turn it down.

    After I get her feedback, I need to decide which idea to execute.

    For the moment the last one is the one I get most excited about now, but I'm still keeping the first one as an option as well. The import/e-commerce one fits my expertise the best and I'm probably more comfortable with that niche, while the e-commerce/service one fits my sister better based on interests and market knowledge, but both have potential.

    So, until next time, I don't actually have a fastlane business yet, but rather ideas that could be turned into one (with some hard work and a bit of luck).

    Stoked to see where this takes me, and thanks for creating a forum for us madpreneurs.
     
    Arun Siva and MansaMusa like this.
  2. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Confession...
    I might be a little koko!
    I don't know about the rest of you, but when I get hung up on something, I need to get going...like right away! I realize my impatience and enthusiasm might be a bit much for others to handle, and that most people like to think and process stuff for days, or maybe even weeks, but that drives me crazy!

    So I learned a long time ago... never wait for anyone, start creating!:hilarious:
    I seriously think waiting for others is the best way to kill my mojo, my creativity and my progress, so koko or not, I'm not doing that anymore.

    Another thing I have learned the hard way, is to not share with everyone under the sun. I used to be the type to enthusiastically share my ideas and plans with everyone, if they asked me "how is it going?", but that's a recipe for disaster.
    I'm not so worried anyone will steal my concepts (cause really, most people aren't going to take action even if they wanted to, right?), but it's the dark clouds they freely share containing the it's-not-gonna-work and it's-very-risky and what-if you-don't-make-it, spoken or unspoken, that tilts my focus.
    So I'm happy to be able to share my enthusiasm in here, with people who obviously have a more possibility-type mentality.

    Okay, enough rant, here's what happened since yesterday.

    I didn't feel like waiting for my sis to get back to me on my idea, and decided to go ahead and just start. As of right now, I might be doing the whole thing solo, or she will join later, we shall see.
    Anyway, I decided to get going with exploring the e-commerce/service idea, and made a to do list...

    To do's:
    1. Research and define customer group/ideal customer
    2. Recruit focus group
    3. Research logistics
    4. Research payment solutions and customer preferences
    5. Clarify functionality needs for website and different supliers
    Progress:
    1. Customer research. I dove into some statistics on e-commerce revenues and sales in my market, and defined some parameters for my ideal customers. I will be targeting men, aged 30-60, in relationship or married, with college education.
    2. Focus group. Based on my customer research, I managed to define a focus group for product selection. I'm not going to post too many specifics about that, but they will help me make sure the product parts of my business is up to par. I will likely recruit through friends, or use social media. I don't need a huge focus group, so 10-20 persons should be sufficient to start.
    3. Website functions. Defined the most important website features I need for my business, and started looking into what solutions are available. I am currently just checking out shopify and magento. I don't want to get too hung up on every possible feature I might want in the future, but rather cover what I know I will need, and what I know I might need in the future and leave it at that. Getting everything up and running to get that first sale, has priority over detail and perfection right now. I also tend to get too detail oriented if I start to look into every possible cool-to-have function and getting everything to run smooth together, so I'm skipping that right now. I have previously only used wordpress, but want to check out if one of the other options has a ready-to-go solution without having to work with too many plugins and stuff.
    For the moment I need:
    1. webshop obviously
    2. simple check-out, preferably one-click option
    3. Options for the most popular paymentintegrations
    4. Simple CRM for managing reminders and suggestions
    5. E-mail options from store
    6. Blog
    7. Social media integration
    8. Logistics integrations and easy management
    9. Flexible customer data collection and registation
    10. language options if I want to extend my market in the future without too much hazzle.
    Anything I forgot?
    If anyone have great suggestions, please share!

    I'll be having a chat with my sister and get some clarity if this is a partnership biz or not, in the next few days and keep working my to do list. :p
     
    Arun Siva likes this.
  3. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Status update:
    I'm on vacation from my day job, and have been full-on overthinking and fussing about my business idea.
    I have, however, been able to clarify and finish some steps...

    -My sister won't be joining my venture, so I'm in it alone now. Had a tiny "oh, sh*t, this is overwhelming"-moment, but it too has passed. :blush:

    - Have applied for my business set-up thingy and registration (sorry, have no idea what it's called in english :rofl:)

    -domain and web hosting is fixed. Just waiting for the nameservers to kick in, so I can start setting up my site.

    -logo created, nothing fancy, but simple goes beautifully with my concept :innocent: :halo:

    -started locating suppliers locally. I am still not sure how to get my shop up and running while keeping inventory costs at a minimum, but right now I'm thinking to start with local suppliers/designers and see if I can get a decent arrangement on buying small quantities in the beginning and get away with 1-2 extra days on shipping to my costumers. That would be great for a couple of reasons; 1. I would know that there is buying interest for the items, and 2. I get paid for the first item and can use my margin towards buying additional items to keep investment low.

    - I am studying the magento platform. I have zero experience from anything other than wordpress, but hope I will be able to set up a basic magento solution to get started and be able to customize it more later as I learn or have cash to pay a developer.

    - found what looks like a good value for money payment solution that handles credit cards, mobile payments and invoicing at a low transaction cost. It is not as well known as ie. Klarna, which is the biggest provider here, but time will show if that gives me an issue with conversions.

    My biggest challenge right now is actually wrapping my head around the supplier thing, and finding the right products to start with. I'm thinking to keep no of items to a minimum in the beginning, but realize I need to have some options for my costumers to gain trust and to be taken seriously. Best scenario would be to find local suppliers with several products I would like to list, and list them without having them in stock, but time will tell if that will work.

    Anyway, I'm getting started...
     
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  4. constantinLG
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    constantinLG New Contributor

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    I would pay attention to this decision which you might find it costly at this moment of your new venture.
    If you already have some experience with Wordpress, I would chose it for now until I reach $10K in sales consistently (just an example).

    Too many risk variables at this stage..
    Magento is heavy on server resources and customizations are not that easy and cheap, comparing with a WP setup
     
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  5. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks for this feedback!
    It is definitely something I will look into more closely. I am aware that magento can be heavy, but i thought switching from wordpress to magento later would be a potential nightmare. I will rethink. :blush:
     
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  6. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I'm loving this thread so far and am excited to watch your progress.

    Is the product something that the end user might search for on Google? If so, it might be illuminating to test demand with a short-term AdWords campaign. This way, you can gain real-time market data to learn what the market wants, which might help with your product selection.
     
    missNB likes this.
  7. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks for reading my newbie thread and for your input!
    Great advice!
    When you suggest an Adwords campaign at this stage, what do mean exactly? I know I'm annoyingly green on this, but I thought I would need to set up my store to have somewhere to send the clicks first?
    Or do you mean using my considered products as keywords, and see which ones gets clicks?

    If that's what you mean, I'm not sure how I can do that with my niche, as customers will search for generic phrases like "decorating ideas" (just an example, decorating is not my business), not "green wall paper". I won't actually see their preferences until they click on "decorating ideas", and then chose "green wallpaper" or "wooden floors" once inside. I don't know if that makes sense.
     
  8. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I'd recommend researching keywords that indicate intent to purchase whatever product you plan to sell. So using the decorating niche as an example, the search term "interior decorator oslo" would be much better than "interior decorator" since the term implies an intent (the person searching is clearly looking for an interior decorator in Oslo). For a product, a search term with implied intent would look like "buy brandname decorative pillows" rather than "decorative pillows." Of course, using negative keywords (such as "reviews") would be prudent, as the search term "decorative pillows reviews" would mean the person searching was likely still in the "info-gathering" stage, rather than ready to buy a specific product.

    Regarding where to send them when they click the ad, I believe you could just send them to anyone selling that particular product (maybe even a product on Amazon). Remember, at this point, you're trying to figure out if there's enough demand for the product before building a store around it (the "if you build it, they will come" isn't sage advice, IMO). If there is enough demand, then you can build a site based on exactly what the market tells you it wants and find ways to skew value a bit (free shipping, better customer service, hassle-free returns, etc.)

    You wouldn't need to see their preference after they land on your page. You could set up a landing page for "green wallpaper" and another for "wooden floors" and have their respective ads pointed to them.

    I'd highly recommend reading AdWords posts by @Andy Black ( Andy's AdWords Posts ) There's a ton of value in his threads.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  9. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Brilliant! Sending them somewhere else had't even crossed my mind as a possibility!
    Super grateful for you taking the time to explain this!! That makes total sense :praise:

    I will definitely dive into that asap! Thanks again!!
     
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  10. MansaMusa
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    WOOOOOW!!! Reading through this thread is great, if i had my last dollar i would def bet it on you, you will definitely figure it out and win i assure you.. Ok i don't believe in star signs at all but me and you seem to have similar mindset, the way we think, judging from reading this thread, I'm guessing your'e a Cancer.

    Here is my advice, for now stop executing, i'm afraid that you might exhaust your funds on things that aren't needed, my advice is this: stop for 4 days and join internet marketing forums, the best is "Blackhatworld" in my opinion but join like 4 good ones, spend 4 days reading all the threads that have to do with what your'e doing and make notes, once you have done that you will have a better and clearer game plan, this will also help you learn from other peoples mistakes and teach you what not to do.
     
    missNB likes this.
  11. Danny Sullivan
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    Danny Sullivan Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey @missNB

    i've just read your thread and wanted to ask if you alter the products in any way (to add value?) or is providing these products the added value (because they're not available in norway?).

    Or maybe i've missed something?
     
  12. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks again for this @constantinLG , I have decided to take your advise and go for woocommerce :thumbsup:
    Got access to my domain today, and have installed wordpress, bought my theme and now I have to create some content. So much easier than magento! :praise:

    This was great advice @rybanez! I have started reading all the millions of gems in @Andy Black's Adwords threads, and pheu(!) there's a lot of them!
    BUT, the content is great, so I started some keyword research allthough, for the moment, I have no idea what I'm doing.:rofl::hilarious: I'm just following his blueprint and I think it's working. I find some keywords I can use for buying impression data, anyways.

    I'm setting up my page and creating some kind of blog post, then plan on running a campaign to test traffic. Thanks for making me aware!

    :rofl: Thanks @MansaMusa, I will have to agree with you! Appreciate the encouragement!
    I'm not a cancer, I'm pisces, I believe :smile2:

    Thanks for your advise! However, I simply can't stop...ever! :rofl: I will check out the forum you mentioned though. Marketing is definitely an area where I need to up my savvy.
     
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  13. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Hi Danny, I don't alter the products (or intend to, as I'm not in business yet). My value skew is based on existing products targeting an untapped customer segment and delivering service based on this segment's specific needs.
    This segment typically have to go to b&m stores to get their service need fulfilled, and I want to deliver the same service online.

    Time will tell if this will work. :smile2:
     
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  14. Danny Sullivan
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    Danny Sullivan Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for clarifaction :) Good luck!
     
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  15. MansaMusa
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    Win!!!
     
  16. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Just a super quick update;
    *I just set up my first ever Adwords campaign to buy some data (ref. @Andy Black's system) Being a total newbie in this, I got what I needed to get started in this thread: The Adwords jumpstart . (thanks again Andy!!)
    Super excited to see how this works out with me and Adwords, I haven't quite fallen in love yet.

    *Created a super simple landing page, not really intended to do much for me yet, as I don't have any products for the moment. Included a sign-up form and a count down, and that's pretty much it.

    *Have fallen in love with MeisterTask to keep up with all my to do's for everything from this project, to my work and my dog training. Totally not necessary, but I find it adds some fun to be able to cross of stuff on my task list and keeps me a tiny bit organized (not my greatest asset).

    That's it for now.
    Tomorrow I'm back at my job after holiday, and will probably get stuff done faster. On another note, I'm renegotiating my work and salary in the upcoming weeks, so very curious to see where that goes. I'm asking to double my paycheck, so we shall see. :)
     
  17. missNB
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    missNB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Well, seems like my Adwords adventure has begun. In about an hour it looks like I exhausted my daily budget, and my ads won't show again until tomorrow.
    Google says my ads showed 537 times and got 13 clicks in this hour, and I spent about $6, so I'm good with that.

    There's a bunch of metrics not available yet, so I guess I will have to wait with the analyzing part.
     

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