One of the fastest ways to earn income right now is through digital products. An individual can take everything they’ve learned about a topic, create simple PDFs, record video content, upload it to a membership platform and livestream marketing to an audience looking to learn the content without having to leave home. It’s a million dollar market for digital courses right now.
Keenya, Strategic Brand Advisor of Keenya Kelly LLC
Be flexible! Find an area or industry that is underserved where you can add value…then go for it! Don’t take no for an answer. If you’re met with rejection, get up, brush yourself off, and try again. There is always more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.
Paul Dillon, CMC, Dillon Consulting Services LLC
Find an advisor or mentor. Believe it or not, finding an advisor is easier than you think! Most of us are honored when asked to serve as an advisor. They can save you thousands of dollars, especially if you’re on your first startup.
Do not try to perfect your product before selling it. You will spend countless months if not years trying to create the “perfect” product. Listen to your customer feedback and improve your product. There is no such thing as a “perfect” product.
Find a co-founder who believes in your idea and has a specific set of skills that you do not possess. Companies that have co-founders are more likely to succeed compared to “solopreneurs.”
Anayet Chowdhury, Co-Founder of ArgoPrep
Just start. Ideas are worth nothing, it is execution that matters. Where you start will likely never be where you end up, so build something small, with minimal functionality and just start testing your idea and talking to people. The faster you get your idea out in the hands of others, the earlier you will be able to get the feedback that will help you continue to build and scale.
Stop worrying about perfection. I have heard many times that if you are not embarrassed by your MVP, you didn’t release it soon enough. Regardless of how long you spend on your product you are going to have to change and innovate. If you get something into user hands, you can start building what they want based on feedback.
Get ready for the ride. Entrepreneurship and startups have their ups and downs, often on an hourly basis. Be prepared, but enjoy the journey.
http://startupstash.com/ is a great collection of everything that a startup needs to think about from marketing to customer discovery and everything in between.
Clerky (https://app.clerky.com/) helps you incorporate your business at a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer plus avoids the hassle of interviewing attorneys and trying to figure out who you need when you barely even have a business.
Niche communities like reddit or facebook groups are great for early feedback and customer discovery
Rachel Soper Sanders, CEO & Co-Founder of Patch
Outsource and automate what you can so that you can focus on what’s most important! I recommend solutions such as virtual assistants and PEOs.
Johnny Dewdrop, Inside Sales Scouts
First, ask yourself:
What problem/need/challenge does your idea solve?
What options are available now?
What is unique about your idea?
Who are your customers?
Who is your ideal buyer/user? (age, gender, education, interests, location, income, goals, values, needs, pain points)
This is not an exact science, but you want to get a general idea of your customer(s).
How will you create revenues?
How will you bring this to market? There are endless low/no cost ways to get a web presence (facebook, linkedin, youtube, wordpress, twitter) to begin building your brand presence.
Bottom line: You never lose. You either win (& learn) or lose & learn.
S. Brian Ouellette, Founder of Pro Athlete Direct
Put yourself out there and talk to as many people as you can about your idea. Don’t just rely on feedback from friends and family. Go beyond the industry you’re looking to launch your business in.
Talk to people who could be your potential customers. Talk to people in your industry. Talk to people with experience in different areas of business. Talk to people you don’t know.
It will help you refine your pitch to achieve product-market fit. After every conversation, you’ll have a little more clarity about what your business actually is and how you want to position it.
It will give you new ideas and perspectives on how to launch and grow your business. Diverse perspectives are crucial to building a sustainable business.
It will provide you with a pipeline of potential customers and partners. Even in the early stages when you’re not ready to sell, you can plant seeds that can be nurtured and developed into customer and partner relationships down the road.
It will give you confidence that you’re idea is sound and you’re ready to launch. Working in a vacuum as an entrepreneur is hard. How do you know if your idea is worth pursuing? Ask others!
How do you do this?
Start with your network. Get their feedback on your new idea because you value their opinions. Ask for introductions to others who might be able to provide feedback. Then branch out. Send Linkedin connection requests and messages to targeted individuals who you’d like an alternative perspective from. People are usually happy to help if they feel like their opinions are valued.
Networking events. Go to as many as you can and generate new connections. Run your pitch by people and gauge their reactions. Pay attention to how they respond and what questions they ask. Use these interactions to refine your plans and pitch.
Just do it! Creating conversations gets incredibly easy once you just start doing it.
Kristen Proctor, Founder & CEO of Rocket Strategy
Most of the best startups start extremely simple — with everything. Instead of waiting to launch your website, waiting to incorporate, or waiting to do just about anything else — just get going. Launch the simplest possible version of what you’re doing — the one that requires the least amount of legwork before it gets out in front of the public. Obviously, it’s important to ensure that you’re legally protected and that your product looks good, but don’t waste time in the “pre-launch” stage. The best thing you can do is launch and figure everything else out as you go.
Eric Johnson, Web Presence & Business Development Specialist for Feedback Wrench