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Open letter to a friend starting a business

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Andy Black

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I’ve just met a friend for coffee.

He trained as an electrician and ended up working as a paramedic for 10 years.

He’s decided to setup his own carpet cleaning and pressure washing business, sold his car and replaced it with a cheap runaround and a cheap van, sent himself on a few courses, and made a few sales already.

Here’s the message I’ve just sent him to summarise our chat:

....

I’m delighted for you. You’re buzzing with ideas and hustle.

Brain dump while I remember:

I can help with websites and campaigns and maybe even some of the ad spend to get you started.

Keep hustling for sales.

Keep letting people know what you’re doing.


Ask better questions
  • Your brain is a super computer that will work to solve the questions you give it.
  • The job of the business owner is to ask better questions.
  • Your initial questions:
    • How can I make £250 a week on 20 hours a week?
    • How can I make £500 a week on 20 hours a week?
    • Who already has my clients?

Use Trello boards
  • It's dead simple on your phone and fun to drag and drop things between lists.
  • Have a “Biz ideas on hold” board to uncluttered your brain.

Who sees the VALUE in your services, and not just the cost?
  • What “demonstrated cash flows” can you follow? (What are people *already* spending money on that indicates they’d want your services too?)
  • Who would see carpet cleaning or pressure cleaning as a necessity or an investment? Businesses, business owners, etc.

R+R=Profit (Repeat Business plus Referrals)
  • What else can you sell clients?
  • What can become monthly recurring revenue (MRR)?
  • House cleaning? Garage forecourt Cleaning? Carpet cleaning in hotels? Carpet cleaning in wedding venue locations?
  • Add extras to make your offer more attractive. Try not to get into price wars. Adding extras is also something people can gush about.
  • Give people coupons they can pass to family and friends.

Beware the people who say “Yes, but.”
  • Don’t just be wary of their advice... be wary of *them*. They often have a closed mind and see problems as hurdles rather than stepping stones.

  • “I thought of setting up a carpet cleaning business BUT our friend already runs a cleaning business.”

    vs

    “I thought of setting up a carpet cleaning business AND our friend already runs a cleaning business.”

    See the difference? One stops you dead. The other gets your brain firing about how to create win-wins.


Get to 1x, then 2x
  • Get to 1x (“one ex”) then 2x (“two ex”) of your essential expenses. When you’re at 2x you’ll feel like a king.
  • If you need £2k/mth to live on and had £2k/mth coming in then you’re scraping by. Your disposable income is £0. Get to £4k/mth coming in and your disposable is suddenly £2k/mth. Imagine what that will feel like.

Start how you mean to continue
  • Set that 20 hours a week max of working IN your business.
  • Don’t feel guilty going for a walk, meeting people for coffee or chilling. Thinking is your BEST work.

Focus on getting customers rather than getting investors
  • Need £1k to buy that piece of kit? Get paid in advance and then go buy it.
  • Get enough sales and investors will start coming to you anyway.

Business is about building *relationships*
  • Send leads you can’t service to others (locations you can’t cover, services you don’t provide). Build relationships and win-wins.

Figure out who has an abundance mindset and who has a scarcity mindset
  • Hang out and chat with people with abundance mindsets.
  • Be careful discussing things with people with scarcity mindsets. Maybe play your cards closer to your chest and hang out with them for friendship.

"The first purchase is a test."
  • What else can you sell folks?
  • If someone needs regular house cleaning can you provide it?
  • Would they need a regular gardener or handyman too?

"Grow what you know."
  • Add more legs to the same stool.
  • Go wider with carpet cleaning and serve more locations or business types.
  • Offer more services to the same clients.
 

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ZCP

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We should get the forum together and write a 'what to expect when you are expecting' type book for new businesses.
 

DennisDuty

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See the difference? One stops you dead. The other gets your brain firing about how to create win-wins.
Damn dude, $$$$$.
That's why I miss this place.

This line right here is something I constantly try to explain to people but you just KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK with the phrasing.
 

Vigilante

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Damn dude, $$$$$.
That's why I miss this place.

This line right here is something I constantly try to explain to people but you just KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK with the phrasing.
I was just wondering about you the other day
 

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