What happens when you start doing business.
I have always been sure I will run my own company. I just had to work a few years to save some capital. Those years passed very quick until I decided to start from zero. I knew this will be a trap and no matter how you work the first few years you can’t save any capital that will do any difference. I had only 6 months to live from my family’s support.
The most important thing was that I had arrived at the right place and time. I had invented my know-how during all those years. What I needed is my organisational skills and ability to learn fast. I have been thinking about what I want to do and how to do it in my head for more than a decade. What I didn’t know is that it doesn’t work exactly how you imagine.
In my field, I was experienced. I just need to prepare my service as a package and my people will come, my clients I mean. If you ever thought to start a company that’s a normal way you might think. You know that finding the right people is a necessity and part of any business. Most of the times you start searching for your people together with your services.
First, find the people interested in what you have to give. Make them know you exist before starting to pour capital in the wind.
What you could start without money is building content and community. It is one of the most valuable assets you could have. It takes time. Money definitely can speed up the process but at the same time is something that could be achieved without them. My problem was not only I didn’t know that but also I didn’t think was the top priority.
My business was offering services that required my attendance and this was the priority for me. What I underestimated was that they need to find me or better said I needed to find them online. Logically a nicely put website would do the work.
Your website is the business card you have in your pocket that you can show only after you meet your client.
Do not rely on a single website to provide clients. You have to spread your arms in all directions to reach your target. The social networks are the obvious choice. The only problem is they are not your shop. The engagement in the beginning is so limited that a conversion doesn’t make a whole unit. Sometimes you wonder if you are offering the right thing. You start thinking about how to change your idea so it applies to more people. You know that you want to be different and unique even more, you rely on this to attract customers.
Sometimes before you can afford to do your thing you need to find the demand for it by offering a standard product.
Other companies do it and the people are familiar with what they buy. When your product is too unique you find yourself in no man’s land. What you offer is so brilliant that nobody thought to ask for. Especially when they haven’t heard anything about it from a credible source. You need to see signs that people you reach are interested and are willing to grant you their time and pay you on top of that.
You think you need to be prepared when your customers finally show interest? Partly true, if you can afford to wait for that moment. What you could do much earlier is test the commitment of your audience. Build your offering and put it behind a testing capsule. Make your people tell you what they need and how much they want to buy. Find the right way to tell them that your service is upcoming if you can’t provide what you offer.
Do not underestimate the need to reach more potential clients and don’t calculate eventual profit based on your expectations. A plan B could feel like you are not confident in your venture but when it comes to starting a business with no money the result my find you unprepared. It took me some time to realise that despite going all-in I am not going to start making money. I had to quickly find a job and put my dream on stand by.
Love is blind and when you are in love with your startup you might not see what is around you. Step back and examine your situation. Double secure your revenue streams and be flexible. Base your optimism on the signs of your customers. Make sure you can reach them via independent channels so if one stops sending people your way others will.
The good thing that happens when you start doing business is that you find new ways of making it more effective. Always the first step is the hardest.
This is what I wish I knew when I was starting my first company. Who knows maybe things could have worked out well.