The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

EXECUTION Side Hustle as Customer Research

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

justacar

Bronze Contributor
Oct 27, 2018
26
104
30
Hi, I'm currently using my side hustle to research the needs of my customers and to figure out how to build a product from there. My question is: how do I test my product ideas without destroying my side hustle or being consumed by it?

Some background info:
- I'm 40, a software guy, worked as consultant & project manager for the past 10 years
- my side hustle is 1 day of consulting / week. the other 6 days, I'm working on my fastlane
- currently, I have 2 clients. they bring in enough to pay the bills. around 1.5-2.5K / month
- I have around 80K in savings, my wife is contributing with 2.5K / month
- so total house income 4-5K / month.
- we're doing "good" but actually, we're between the sidewalk and the slowlane

The problem space / needs:
- 90% of internal trainings and workshops in companies is total BS
- over 70% of companies hire external "coaches" to train their people
- HR need: a scalable mix of self-education and offline events
- employee need: a way to learn what they need while still doing their work

The current product in development:
- workshop & training material including a series of step-by-step guides to teach employees at a company to become coaches to teach their colleagues.
- think of it as the "game master's guide" and the "player handbook" in roleplaying games. but for business. so it's an information product with training content & an app / website as distribution medium.
- current dev costs: content 0€, software dev 0€, marketing 0€ (all me). design will be 1-2K / month (freelancers) once I validate the need & have an initial version that I can sell.
- current tests: I'm appearing as a speaker at 2 conferences & an hr recruiting company to run through the product for them & train them for free in return for their feedback

My problem:
- I'm consulting my 2 current clients on how to build a training space & processes in their corporate academies. I'd love to test the product with them, BUT:
-- worried that they'll see it as part of the consulting gig & try to own the product
-- worried that they'll see it as a way to push stuff on them & dissolve the consulting contract (so I'd lose my side hustle to keep the lights on)

Currently, my sense is to keep my mouth shut and just keep working with them for research purposes. I'd just launch & try getting customers elsewhere, to avoid mixing side hustle and product. What do you think? Also, is there a good thread on b2b lead generation here / a book you could recommend?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
J

justacar

Bronze Contributor
Oct 27, 2018
26
104
30
*** update ***
1) clients generated around 10K revenue. spending around 7K of it for the business. rest goes into tax.
2) both *might* generate another 30-50K next year that can go into growing the business
3) partnered up with another consultancy so they can sell 1-2 days of my time if and when I should need it in case any client backs out or the contract ends (plan b)
4) giving the product ideas i'm testing to current clients as a free add on to the consulting, solves ownership
5) sat down with clients & let them know what I'm doing, preventing any future misunderstandings

so far, so good. my initial sense was off (anxiety? not sure). i decided to just be open and direct about it. if they like it, great. if it's a problem, so be it.

as to b2b leads - i decided on going b2c first, to build an audience and a brand. i'll go b2b after that if it makes sense. had to change model & product to do that.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
Just Enrolled to "Start a Freelance Business: Take back your freedom Now" Thanks! @Lex...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Welcome to 2020, I wanted to add in a quick note about gratitude for the new year...


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

The 2020 Fastlane Summit

This event SOLD OUT in October. For authorized resale tickets, please check ticket resales or contact the forum directly.

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom