Despite having wonderful business ideas, most startups and solopreneurs end up winding their businesses early. No wonder, their ideas have the potential to grab the attention of the market, however, still fail to flourish. Why does it happen? Because they don’t have the right strategy to validate, launch and grow their business ideas. Therefore, Designhill conducted an online session with various successful entrepreneurs to understand what is the right way to validate and grow a business. If you are still figuring out the right strategy, this post is a must-read for you. Have a look!
A common mistake that most aspiring entrepreneurs make is that they launch their business in a hurry and without a plan. Consequently, their amazing ideas fail to reach their target audience, failing in a business. They need to test their business idea before launching it in the market for mass consumption. It is only after testing the idea amongst the experts and a set of consumers that they can remove the potholes. A successful business idea is the one that has the backing of research, testing, and preparation.
To educate the entrepreneur community about how to launch a business idea, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace discussed the matter with the industry experts. The marketplace conducted a webinar on the topic: How To Validate, Launch And Grow Your Business Idea. The guest speakers were Steve Hoffman, Raj Jha, Daniel Marcos, and Viktor Kyosev.
Key Attractions Of The Session:
- Learn how to evaluate & validate your ideas with your target audience.
- Developing business plans and strategies to forecast potential profits.
- Conducting market research to set yourself apart from your competitors & test whether or not consumers and/or businesses will buy your product or service.
- Finding the right team to help you achieve your goals
- Create a marketing plan and use it.
- Reaching new customers online & in your local community
Know Your Panelists:
Daniel Marcos is the co-founder and CEO of Growth Institute, the leading online executive education company for C-level executives at fast-growing firms. He is a member of YPO and EO and is a certified coach in the Scaling Up methodology. Growth Institute has been recognized three times among the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the USA, with over 40,000 members across 64 countries.
Raj Jha is the Founder, Investor & Advisor, Exit Scout. He has successfully founded and exited multiple companies. Also, he is a former Silicon Valley corporate attorney who represented Facebook, Yahoo!, Electronic Arts, and other household names.
Steve Hoffman is the Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading incubators and accelerators. He’s also an angel investor, serial entrepreneur. Steve is also the author of several award-winning books such as “Make Elephants Fly” and “Surviving a Startup.” He was the founder and Chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter, and served on the Board of Governors of the New Media Council.
Viktor is the Head of Marketing at a travel startup in Indonesia and now as a COO at Greenhouse.co in Singapore. At Greenhouse, he helps startups to expand to the world’s most exciting fast-growth markets. He also writes a bi-weekly newsletter on entrepreneurship.
In this post, we have shared the session’s video and transcript in the form of Q/As where you will be learning A to Z about how to validate the launch of your business idea.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is What You Need To Know When Validating The Launch Of Your Business Idea
Designhill: What is the correct means and way to validate your idea to start with?
Steve Hoffman: I have a rule of thumb. If you go out to 100 potential customers, they will either use your product or buy your product. you ask them, do you like my product? What do you think? you show them a prototype, a demo, the early version, even a PowerPoint. Their feedback is, oh, that is nice, will come back when it’s ready. If you hear that, from pretty much everybody, you are dead in the water, you might as well give up.
People want great products
That is because, honestly, nobody buys a nice product, we all want a great product. If you think about it, why would you use the second-best or the third best? Do you want the best? When you download an app, if you look at it, you go, oh, that is pretty nice. A week later that app is gone from your phone. you have got to have people when they see your product to validate it, say, oh my god, I need that, or I want to try that. Let me try that, how do I try that? Can you send me the link?
You have to get that reaction from a certain percentage of at least 20% of your potential customers. That customer base has to be large enough to grow the business you want. If you want a small business, the customer base can be pretty niche. But you need to grow a unicorn and need venture capital. For that customer base there must be a billion-plus dollar’s worth of customers annually.
How do you validate?
The best way to validate is to make as much progress as you can early on in your startup development. Then go to the customer. Do not just go to your customers once you want a continual dialogue with them. It is an iterative process where you go out at the very early stages. What do you think of this idea? Maybe you are pitching them verbally or showing them a PowerPoint. You gauge their reaction if there’s like they don’t need it.
When they understand what you have, then they don’t need it. You have to listen to them very closely. Then when you have a prototype, you go out again. When you have an alpha version, you go out again. Also, when you have a beta version, you never stop engaging with your customers. That is the best way to get the feedback, you need to move forward.
Designhill: Do you define and determine that 20% of your customer audience or the first 100 customers that you take this feedback from?
First, know the problem
Daniel Marcos: Peter Diamandis says you won’t have a billion-dollar company, find a billion-dollar problem. I like intrapreneurs, that they are not in love with a product. They are in love with a solution, which is what the impact their product does. First, understand the problem that you are figuring out. Then, go with a prototype or an idea or something. After that, get customers to give you money.
Another good mentor of mine said, I just take suggestions from people that write me a check. Take advice from people who say if you do that, here’s my check, or an advance. But get it right in a week, or whatever, and send it to me. Just take advice from people that write checks.
Just start inquiring
So, just for the idea, start knocking on some doors. Tell them about the idea and about the problem that they have. How do you expect to fix it or, or take care of the problem and get their thoughts? If you like it, can you write me a check? I will give you a 50% discount. Just write me a check? If they said yes, do it. If not, don’t do it.
Just take advice from people. Do not do regular checks and finance your company with your clients. I am a huge believer that the best way to do it is getting people money from your clients to fix their problems.
Designhill: How to go about the right pricing strategy when starting?
Raj Jha: You have to start with getting people who will write that check. that is part of your testing. I mean, I tend to back up and say, it’s not about the minimum viable product. It’s about the minimum viable community before there’s a product. Or, it is about minimum viable marketing.
What is the minimum? That is something necessary to get someone interested in the product. I think Daniel encapsulates this well that until someone writes a check, it doesn’t matter. That is because they are not willing to do that. I always say, sell it first. When you are doing that, it’s all about price testing. Now, you can gauge that from other things in the market. Or, you can either approach it from here are some other things in the market and similar tools. That is one way of doing it.
Look for the pain points
The other way of doing it is to look at the pain points and say, what kind of problem you are solving. What is the problem that you are solving? Is there some financial or a personal benefit that someone would get from it? It is a little easier for b2b as it depends on the product. You can quantify it more. But the more you can quantify either for an individual or a b2b the easier it’s going to be. That is because you are saying, if you use this, you’ll save this much. This is free money.
But I would go back to the minimum viable marketing try first or minimum viable community. And I think that is an under-appreciated thing that you create a community before you create a product. This is because who’s going to join a community unless they are passionate about this. The community will give you minimum viable product ideas. Then you will get real information, instead of just talking to someone who might give you five minutes of their time.
Designhill: What is the approach that people should go ahead with and could you suggest some tools which can help them?
Viktor Kyosev: To be frank, I am not a big fan of surveys, I think very few people are good at running surveys. Most people don’t know how to do that, so it can be misleading.
It is about Attitude vs Behavior
When testing new ideas, it is about attitude versus behavior. That is because when you ask people, would you use that? Most people would be like, sure, even if they don’t know you. If they do know you, everyone is trying to be nice. So, you should always consider attitude versus behavior. When asking questions around, would you use it, they say yes I will. But as you go to them and try to sell it, you try to get some behavior out of that.
Talk with people face-to-face
That is when you find out if people are going to use it. That is why I think surveys are incredibly difficult to design. I think nothing beats the experience of talking to people face to face and asking hard questions and adapting to the situation. That is why my advice would be not the service unless you are good at doing that you have a good experience.
I think it is much better to talk to people and to try to sell them and get some kind of engagement and commitment. It may be their time or money, preferably money. That is because that shows that they want to use whatever you are building.
Designhill: How can they sustain their business till they reach breakeven or make some profits?
Steve Hoffman: There are a lot of ways. It can be very difficult at the start. The entrepreneurs starting new should have at least enough money to feed themselves and pay the rent for six months to a year. Because it’s hard to get any meaningful revenue even that long. I meet entrepreneurs all the time. They have to take no salary for three years. That can be extremely hard.
Don’t quit the day job
But there are a lot of ways to do this. First of all, you don’t have to quit your day job. A lot of great startups out there began with people working full-time. But with an extra effort at nights and weekends, they have to grow their business. You can do this too and you could have a spouse that works for you. That works while you are working on the startup that supports you. So, that is another way.
Save your cash
A third way is to conserve your cash at the beginning. This is what I tell people at the very beginning of a startup.
Build your team
You go out to the world and build a product, talk to customers trying to raise capital, and do all those things. But the important thing is to look for the people who need to execute well on your business. Spend 80% of your time building your team. If you build a great team, that will help you survive. Because when you are in it together, you don’t quit. When you have the right people, you can implement the product in the right way to get money.
Avoid going after investors
The third thing I tell people is, it’s hard to raise venture capital at the beginning. Don’t even waste your time going after investors, you need to get traction. If you want money, you can take on paid work as a team. If you have a great technical co-founder, a great designer, you guys could design products for other people. you can continue building your product on the side.
Or, you can go to the customers that you think will need your product. These customers may be large companies or medium-sized companies. You could ask them to pay a portion in advance to help fund the initial product development. Because if they need it, they will write you a check.
Set a good commission
Another way is to set up a generous commission structure for your salespeople so that they earn well if they make sales. You do not have to pay the salary as they are making much more than that.
Vektor Kyosev: I think it is very difficult in the very beginning to get venture capital. It matters a lot where you are based. For example, I am based in southeast Asia, where healthy unit economics are very important. There are other parts of the world where most probably it is hard to get funds unless you are very well connected. This is for a very long time yourself.
Minimize your costs
There are a few ways to get venture capital. One is that you can minimize your costs. You need to remain profitable. To minimize as much as you can, do not hire too many people and don’t overspend. In that sense, it is much easier to close a few customers. You can in that sense become profitable very early.
Also, you are building your MVP and creating some kind of solution that on the outside looks great. But it involves a lot of manual work and a lot of duct-taping. Creating something that looks great on the outside, but behind, it’s powered by you and the rest of the founders. In that sense, it looks good enough to be solved.
Few people will understand that it’s not automated, and some people are doing it. That helps you to bring good customers earlier. We have done it a bunch of times. Every time we have some assumption, that is what we do. We build a very fancy page on top. And we do it manually until we get enough traction to build the product behind it. These are just my considerations.
Designhill: Do you think that the off-site startups have a certain advantage over the on-site startups?
Raj Jha: It depends on the type of situation. I was kind of early to that game since I took my company virtual about 10 years ago. There is an advantage to hiring quickly. You can get great talent, and you have got a global ability to do that. If you are in California, then the city is expensive, and it’s painful. The paperwork is painful. So, looking elsewhere for talent can help.
However, I think there is a lot of value to having at least the core team, especially the founding team. It would be able to meet in person. There is a certain level of causal interaction that matters for the founding team. I would say have a founding team, that it’s a true startup and you haven’t gotten liftoff and you don’t have, you haven’t identified the product-market fit completely, then being close, works well. At the later stages of growth, when the company is a little more on rails, then it is fine to be much more distributed.
Designhill: What are the indexes to know when to quit your day job and go completely into entrepreneurship?
Take note of the revenue
Daniel Marcos: The first one is the revenue. It is also going to tell you the traction that the product or the services are getting. If getting enough traction, and a stable trend, then you could quit the job. If you are having these ups and downs, and the revenue is not there, I will not think of quitting the job.
When the company needs you
I will tell you a growth story. I started the company with Vern Harnish, my mentor. Then we realized none of us had time to build it. It is okay, let’s go and hire someone from our income, pay that person to run it. That person runs the company until around seven or eight employees. I was working half time, let’s say from 6 pm to 12 o’clock. And I was working for the company, with no salary or anything.
But I was doing the day job, during my full-time job. I was working during the night working for my startup. When the startup had around seven or eight employees, I got a call from the CEO we hired. He called me and said, this is the right time for you to come. Now the company is doing a couple of million a year. He was very scaled-down, then I jumped on to scale it.
For the first couple of billion in revenue, I had my best friend running it. He did a great job running the company. That doesn’t mean that you have to start that yourself. In our case, it was different. We’re not going to do venture capital. Instead, we’re going to self-funded. Both of us founders had a big revenue coming in our income today. We use that.
The best entrepreneurs don’t quit their day job because they know it takes time. They keep their job, they do consult, do software development, whatever they need to do. In this way, they have the cash to develop the product or their service for the company.
Designhill: Are successful businesses having a couple of co-founders or just the solopreneurs?
Vektor Kyosev: We help startups expand across the Asia Pacific. In my experience, most of them are a group of people. It is very rare to see one solo founder, that doesn’t mean that this wouldn’t work. Or there are always exceptions. It depends on how confident that person is to run a business on his own.
I think it’s great when you have a few people because they can be complimentary. No one could be technical, one could be no more business-focused. In my experience, most people that we work with, are typically two to three founders. It’s very rare to see more than three and to see solo founders in Asia.
Designhill: Is it good to have a diverse background of co-founders and then start your business?
Raj Jha: I think it might be a slightly different path each way. More often I see the solopreneur having to do more services to get the company to the next stage. They just need to get some revenue in the door. It starts as a services organization that is building technology infrastructure. When there’s a group, it seems to me like then they can start to parse out pieces of products. Then they can join forces in that way. I think either can work.
I tend to deal more with single-founder companies. Mostly that is because I am dealing with slightly later-stage ones. I am talking of companies that can make super quick decisions. The bigger the founding team is, sometimes the slower the decision-making process becomes.
So, this is what I do at least in terms of helping with lead generation, etc. If there are too many folks at the table, we have too many diverse ideas about that. It is sometimes hard to hurt all the cats and say something hard. Sometimes it is hard to say that this is going to take from 1 million to 10 million in ARR. You are going to have to do a series of things that might seem unnatural to your startup genetics. I tend to deal more with the individual pattern. That does not mean and I do not want to say that indexing is more successful. I am just saying that happens to be the same concept that I am dealing with.
Depends on the business type
Steven Hoffman: It depends on what type of business you are building. Most venture capitalists here in Silicon Valley, where I am located, prefer fully formed teams. It takes a long time for a lot of these companies to get going. They have to build a product, and they don’t have the money. The only way to build a product without a lot of money before you get venture capital is this sweat equity for everybody on the team to put in money.
CEO’s ability to build team matters
A lot of us venture capitalists invest in a lot of these startups. Many of us look at the company very closely. We don’t just look at the CEO. We look at if the CEO was able to bring onto the team to work for equity and not to work for money, not a contractor. That shows commitment. What we want is if that CEO has built an all-star team.
This is like people who could be working at Google or Facebook or anywhere they want and getting incredible salaries. But they chose to work for the startup. That is a form of validation for the investor that lets us know. This CEO has shown leadership. They were able to convince very amazing people to give up great jobs and invest in their company. That means as an investor, I should invest in it.
I have a rule of thumb, and that is, you can’t build a billion-dollar company by yourself. You always need other people. Getting great people is the CEO’s number one job. Once you have a great team, you can try new ideas, overcome problems. Then, everything becomes so much easier.
Designhill: How do you attract great talent when starting?
Sell your vision
Daniel: I said that on the first stage, or at the beginning of a company, you don’t choose your employees, your employees choose you. The best way to attract them is to sell your vision, idea, and culture, the values, and your dream. The right people are going to be attracted to the organization. Of course, if they get attracted, you don’t offer the position, or they come in and it doesn’t work, they end up leaving.
But the best way to attract people it’s offering or selling your vision and talking about your vision. Here’s why I say they chose you. You don’t have good salaries, guarantees and all these things to give. They come because they want to work for you. They got engaged with a dream and they are betting on you and your dream. The best way to get high-caliber people is to sell them the vision and the dream.
Designhill: Do you think the business coaches can be helpful and people should opt for them?
Depends on your experience
Raj Jha: It depends on if you have done it before and what kind of business coaching is needed. Maybe you don’t need one from the get-go if you successfully execute your ideas. But if you are doing this for the first time, you can gather from the outside. You can read about or watch these panels or do anything like that. I think having someone who has the benefits of experience and the mental frameworks to say, okay, I’ve seen this before matters.
This is because it’s about pattern recognition. You have seen the situation before you are applying. So, if you’ve done it successfully in the past, then maybe you do not need the coach. But you probably discovered some people that might not be a formal business coach. Still, you’ve got similar colleagues who’ve done things similar to you that you can bounce off.
Still, I have a group of people who I consistently go to when I want to sanity check something. Even though I’ve started multiple ventures, I am still doing that at this point. I think that at least says, well, that I am not very good at this. Or, it says that it’s an important part of the process.
I would say having the right mentor for the right stage of the business because they are not always right. After all, some coaches are better attuned to what the startup world is going with. Then some are better for scaling. So, it depends on the point of development of the business. I have been in this game one way or another for a long time.
Designhill: When to approach venture capitalists for funding and what is the correct way to approach it and how should they be closing the deals?
Steven Hoffman: This is important. You can approach a venture capitalist at any time. Sometimes you can get funding just off a PowerPoint. I’ve done it. I know I raised millions of dollars off of PowerPoint, but I don’t encourage you to do it.
First, build your business
First of all, when you do it, your business is not fully vetted. You do not understand your business until you have gone out there and built something and got it in the hands of customers. Also today, most venture capitalists want to see some proof that your business works. The more you can show them, the more likely you are to close funding. Don’t hunt down VCs, chasing them when you don’t have enough to convince them.
Don’t push your idea on VCs
The second thing, part of your question is, how do you sell a VC. I have raised a lot of money for myself and for hundreds of entrepreneurs who go through our founder space programs. I tell them that when you go to a VC, don’t push your idea on them. That is not what they want. It is like when you walk into a store to buy a television. If the salesperson is just pushing the TV or you need this, this is great. This TV has this feature or that feature. You know you can get off but you don’t. they are pressuring you, what you want, is for them to listen to you and understand what you want.
Know what VCs are looking for
If you are going out there to get a VC, first of all, do your homework, don’t waste your time on VCs who don’t invest in your sector. VCs tend to have fetuses in their head, they are looking for certain types of businesses. If you can figure out what they are looking for, and walk in the door with that your chance of closing is much higher.
Have a dialogue
When you are in a meeting with a VC, the second thing is don’t do all the talking. A lot of entrepreneurs feel like it’s their job to explain everything. It’s not the amount you explain. It’s the dialogue. You have smart PCs, who want to just talk to you to go back and forth, understand who you are, and ask questions.
Let the VC do the talking
Your people are much more engaged when they are asking a question than when they are being told something. If they ask the question, that means they are taking ownership, they are taking an interest in your business. The more talking the VC does, and the less talking you do, ironically, that is the highest chance of closing a deal.
Give VCs a timeline
My third piece of advice is that closing is hard. You need to give VCs a timeline, you can’t let them go forever. Like if you don’t set some sort of deadline for them to make a decision. A lot of VCs will wait. They want to sit back and see how it develops. When you go into a VC, you have to let them know that your time is valuable and that you are talking to other VCs. If they don’t make an investment decision, let’s say in one or two weeks, then you are moving on. They have to intuitively get this because if they don’t, they won’t get the chance to invest.
People tend not to act. Good CEOs, do not let the VC set the deadlines, they are taking control. I tell entrepreneurs that during the closing, your best chance is on the first pitch. You explain everything on the second pitch, answering all their questions. You give them all the material they need. Then, when you pitch them the third time, that is the time to close, literally, on the third pitch. After the third pitch, usually, your chance of closing is at its peak.
After that, it starts to decline exponentially. The longer you wait, the more time you have elapsed. The VCs are on to the next shiny object. They are on to the next startup, and the chance of closing goes down. Make your move systematically and you will find it works much better.
Designhill: What sort of startups are going to boom after this COVID since we have seen a complete paradigm shift in terms of conducting businesses?
Vektor Kyosev: Well, that is a big question. I think we always need to consider the geographical location. The things that are right now exciting in Silicon Valley are quite different from the exciting things in Southeast Asia. What typically happens is that whatever happens in the West, the East follows and you kind of see it happening a couple of years later.
There was a boom of what we call super-ups, which was a model that got popular in China. Super Ups was this one startup that offers a lot of different solutions from ordering food, transportation to ordering someone to clean your house. So, pretty much everything you can live through this one application. That was the first big wave. There are a few big winners that came out of that.
I think the first wave was more towards B to C and now the b2b space is not that much an export in southeast Asia. At least now we start seeing more and more solutions that are coming. Most businesses have this feeling that they are very digitalized and they use these b2c solutions all the time, and they are on their phones a lot.
But, when you look into how they operate on a day-to-day basis when you look at how they conduct their operations. We work with more than 100 service providers across many markets in Asia. And, we know that they are very conventional in the way they do business. Many of them don’t even have a website in 2020. I think there is a massive opportunity in this part of the world for b2b solutions.
Designhill: How do you sell that idea and the dream and vision of talking about and onboard people?
Have a good list of talented people
Daniel Marcos: I always have a list of 25 people or influencers that I think could influence my company and my growth. I will give you a perfect example. One day I was delivering a lecture in Argentina, and I was on stage teaching. One of the guys who, by 25, was on stage was sitting down there watching. In my conversation, I talk about how to hire great people a lot of times, and by the way, the guy sitting here, I think is amazing, is the best marketer in America, if he will be my head of marketing, my company will be doing 10 times more revenue. I said that on stage to the guy.
But the guy at the end came to me and said, like, thank you very much. I am flattered. I am never gonna work for you. I am an entrepreneur. I do great. But I will be happy to help you however I want. Six months later, he called me and said, my employee is resigning, because she’s gonna do her agency. Do you want me to go to New Jersey? I was like, Yes. I was playing number one for this agency. I’ve been working with her for three years. It has been amazing.
If you tell them, hey, I think you are great. This is a part that you could significantly help me, they will recommend you guide your coach or whatever to help you. These successful person, want to share their success and help other people be successful. If you at least tell them, they will open a lot of doors. Usually, you have to do 25. If you just talk to one and they are having a bad day, or whatever, the chances of not happening are high. If you have 25 on your list, and people in different areas, you are most likely going to have five or 10 of them to help you scale your business. I just knocked on the door.
Designhill: How do people know you maintain that competitive advantage and try to outdo the competition?
Raj Jha: Do not worry about competition too much. I worry if I am solving a real problem? What’s my relationship with my customers? What’s my relationship with my team? If you have investors’ relationship with the investors, you are solving a problem. You have got retention of customers, and you are honing in on that. It is going to do you a lot better than worrying about the competition.
Yes, you need to be aware that you might learn from the things that they are doing. But I wouldn’t spend energy worrying about the competition. I mean, that is one of those things that stalls a lot of projects, which is, oh, somebody is already doing that. You do not necessarily know that they have got toothpicks and duct tape and dental floss. We live together in the back and it’s about to crumble and you just take it.
Space for everyone
There is space in the market for multiple companies doing almost the same thing. They might get different price points, different features, different teams, they get networks. Do not be afraid of competition. If anything, it will just make you better. I just reframed how you think about competition? Because I don’t think that at a startup stage is what is going to work.
Designhill: What do you have to say to people when it comes to these sorts of questions in their minds while starting up?
Vektor Kyosev: I think every startup is unique, and every model is different. It matters a lot. Also, what kind of skills you have in your team, right? Whenever I start a new business, I ensure that there is a very good book called traction. That essentially argues that a good way to figure out what works for you is to map all possible marketing channels.
Experiment with different models
Then, experiment with each of them with a relatively inexpensive budget. This will help you figure out which channels are going to click and work for you. Well, right, based on that you decide on which one you want to battle. I think that is a good way for you to figure out what is going to work.
This is because some channels do not require a lot of capital. They are like SEO, let’s say content, which you can do quite a bit on your own. I think what is important is figuring out what kind of channel will work for you. That should base on what’s your model and the skills of the people on the team. And that is given on what you have experimented with, and what you can learn.
I think that is so much more important than just throwing money. It is easy to burn money, but more money doesn’t necessarily bring more results. It is just about being analytical and figuring out what’s gonna work for you.
Don’t stick to an idea for long
Steve Hoffman: I work with a lot of startups. Most startups stick with the same idea for too long, which is a mistake. All of us think alike. We are passionate about the idea, we don’t want to give up, and don’t want to change, we just must persevere. Persevering is important. But it doesn’t mean not changing.
The good entrepreneurs that I see out there, change and experiment all the time. They will try one idea that doesn’t work, then try another idea, which seems like it’s working, but doesn’t work. Then they’ll try another idea. In doing that over and over again. That is how you build a successful business.
Designhill: Some people have great ideas, but they are somehow reluctant to bring that idea into reality. What is your last message to them?
Vektor Kyosev: The question here is how to encourage people to take it to market, whatever they can build. We know that if you have doubts about what you are starting. I think you shouldn’t be doing any of that. If you have any doubts, just give up, starting a business is hard. I think very few people have a very small journey, most of the damage is pretty difficult.
If you have any doubts, just give up, move on, go do something else. Otherwise, if you are excited about what you are doing, either the product or the problem that you are solving, just go for it. Stephen was saying, don’t stick with the idea that things are changing. My approach to the problem remains the same. The solution of how I am solving it changes over time as I am learning more and more.
Denial Marcos: I don’t think we have a startup problem, we have a scalar problem, we have millions of startups, very few skills. If I am going to do a company, it is because I deeply know that I am going to be able to scale it. If not, I just don’t even do it.
Then, I am solving a problem that people are willing to pay for. There are a lot of problems people are not willing to pay. It has to be such a deep problem people are willing to pay. I always said I love mountain biking, I could bike 10 hours a day. That is my hobby today. But I am not good at it. I am very slow. No one will pay me to ride a bicycle. We never do that. Find something you are good at, you are passionate about and you make money.
Steve Hoffman: Also, there is an area that you can go deep on, because the entrepreneurs don’t stop here. Most people stop at a surface level in a business. But the great entrepreneurs go further than other people. They start to figure out things that the rest of the market doesn’t see. If there is an area that every day, you sit down, and you are interested in learning every aspect of that business. That is a good focus for you to have as an entrepreneur.
Know your greatest input
Raj Jha: There is also a big piece of knowing who you are as an entrepreneur, and where you fit into the puzzle. You must know where your greatest input is going to be in this process. It might be that you are a technology person. But then you need to surround yourself with marketers and business people.
Or, maybe you don’t have the technical knowledge. You are more of the market. So, understanding the complementary people and resources you are going to need, I think is huge. That comes down to understanding yourself and what motivates you. You might be an introvert or an extrovert. Paying some attention to that is going to help you go faster.
So, pay attention to these tips from the experts when you plan to launch your business idea in your target market. You will go through the trial and error phase in order to finally come up with a winning formula to take your business idea to where it matters. You need to have the patience to see your marketing plan bearing fruits.
Also, do not ignore the importance of your visual identities such as your logo, website, brochure, business cards, etc. These are your tools to make an impact on your target clients and customers.
To create impactful logos, business cards, etc designs, you can launch a design contest on Designhill. In a short period, you will have many unique design ideas in response to your design contest from talented designers. You can have a winning design as your visual identity of a business in this way.
When plunging into the world of business with your unique idea, you need to carefully approach your potential investors. Make sure that to validate, launch and grow your business idea, you are well prepared to meet financial requirements. Then, approach the venture capitalists with a plan and establish a dialogue with them about your business.