Going from idea to action can take less than a month and cost nothing. A lot of people worry about the risk of starting a business and the potential for failure but the other reality is that it has never been less risky to start a business.
In this decade, you can start a fully operating business for not a cent, contributing to an entirely new dimension of what it means to create change and make a difference. The highly leveraged tools of the internet make it easier to enable people, to connect them, and to amplify their work. And they are almost all free.
However it is important to note that the spread of a movement can happen without technology. Nothing online is even close to a substitute for the hard work and passion of leading change, but these tools can make it easier, more powerful, more productive, and … almost risk free.
This module will cover the 3 basic essentials of building your business:
Building a product/service
Establishing a way to sell it and get paid
Gaining customers to buy your product/services.
We will show you how to determine what is the baseline product you can start with, so that it is less risk for you in case you need to make changes later on. We have all the tips and resources for building a website to sell your product/services, and also how to use marketing and social media to engage people with your business and turn them into customers.
It isn’t about having a great idea. It’s about taking initiative and making things happen.
your baseline product/service
Most big business in the world are using a new business process to help them create efficient business, it is called: LEAN. Its about cutting out all the uneccessary business 'fat' and utilising only what is essential. When it comes to start-up businesses the key concern of LEAN Startup is to avoid creating a product that people don’t need. Lean Startup involves testing your business model and assumptions by starting with the most basic product or service you viable can. Your minimum viable product. The primary goal is to learn. To find out, do people even want pizza anymore? If the answer is no, you get to save your money and find a better idea.
Lean Startup is ideal for entrepreneurs and startups that are still looking for a business model that drives genuine value. But it can also be used by large organisations, if they have the flexibility to respond quickly to new information and listen to customer needs.
In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk. in other words, a Minimum Viable Product is the smallest thing you can build that delivers customer value (and as a bonus captures some of that value back). There is huge value in discovering what your minimum viable product is and starting with it... you don’t want to waste your time and money building a product no one will want to use or pay for.
The idea is to rapidly build a minimum set of features that is enough to deploy the product and test key assumptions about customers’ interactions with the product, then you can build up to your full vision once you get feedback from your customers and know that your idea is definately worth your investment.
The video module will dive into more detail on what is LEAN start-up, and how to develop a true Minimum Viable Product (which is not simply a quick crappy version of your business).
Minimum Viable Product - Video Module
A way to sell it. A way to get paid.
You can have the greatest business or product in the Word, but if you don't have a place to sell it, where people can buy it and easliy give you their money, you will not succeed.
For small-business folks and others, a website is a great way to tell your story and sell your product/services. It can help showcase value, infuse personality, and even shed some light on your business and products in a different way from social media. It can also help you better manage your online reputation, and give you a boost should someone Google your business. Think of your website as something akin to the new digital business card, where people you've just met can find out about your business.
And the great thing with the tools of the internet in this era, is that you can design, build, launch, and run your own website completely on your own. For Free. Meaning there is no risk is putting your idea out there, seeing the response, and getting instant sales and feedback.
The video module contains detail on the following key steps to getting your business set-up ready for sales:
1. Get your domain name - you can get a hosted domain name for free, or your own own specific one for around $10 a year.
2. Choose a webhost - easy, cheap and means basically someone else has the computer grunt to keep your website running.
3. Design and build your webpage - A very basic website can be done for free, in a matter of hours (wordpress.org, and wix.com). This makes putting your business out there low cost and thus low risk.
4. Test your website
5. Sign up for Paypal/Payment systems - you can sign up for Paypal account for free and start getting payments from over 180 countries.
6. Spreading the word and getting your site noticed - marketing, social media etc
Setting up a Website - Video Module
Getting the Word Out
Like it or not, a good business does not just rely on good products or services. The success of your start up will be built on whether people know about you, like you and trust you enough to part with their dollars. The key to achieving this is how effectively you communicate your products or services to your customers. Successful startup marketing requires that you have both a great product and great marketing.
Marketing is fundamentally about communication. Engaging people with your purpose and your business, and connecting them with your product. That also means a key thing to remember when marketing and talking about your business is to talk about it's benefits. The benefits are the needs we identified earlier. Don’t talk about the feautres, talk about the benefits. A feature is descriptive, a benefit is emotional. Remember, people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. The better you connect and engage with people, the more successful your business will be.
Another key of marketing is to look at HOW you will spread your message through advertising etc. For start-ups these days, advertising is like sex: only losers pay for it. With the availability and prevelance of social media, you can spread a message and product through one effective video, a series of tweets or posts, for absolutely no cost at all.
There is a reason Beyonce launched her latest album on Instagram... it has the widest reach of any alternative marketing stream. And it didnt cost her a cent.
In this video module we’re going to look at seven essential aspects of laying the foundations for an effective marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Customer feedback loops
Fine-tuning your messaging