If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained, and otherwise dubiously brained individuals quitting their day jobs and hanging out their own shingles. Nobody would be left to round out the workforce and execute the business plan.
— Bill Rancic
The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
— Nolan Bushnell
So, how to protect your ideas in a world where ideas spread? Don’t. Instead, spread them.
So, how to protect your ideas in a world where ideas spread?
Instead, spread them.
You should always be asking yourself, what type of relationship do our customers what us to establish and maintain with them? Have you already established relationships but don’t know what to do to maintain them? Ask yourself what it costs to create and maintain those relationships. And, do the relationships fit in with the business or are they distracting you from the real customer?
Perfect? What’s that?
Nothing is ever going to be perfect. You have to get the stupid idea out of your head that your website or your pitch has to be perfect. Just get it out there and then you can make changes. Change it every day if you have to but don’t let perfect stop you from launching or starting.
Keep your business simple stupid
Chasing growth is a big distraction. Beware the desire to grow for growth’s sake. I’m sure for shareholders of publicly traded stock the idea of never-ending growth seems like a fine idea. But when businesses focus on growth they forget about other things. You can’t grow to an enormous size without losing some quality or the connection to your customers along the way. Being bigger doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be more profitable or less likely to fail. Being the owner of a $2M business with 50% margins is so much better than owning a $20M business with 5% margins. Less to manage but with the same result.
Keep costs down
Consider working from your house/apartment to start, especially if you have clients that will never visit you. Keep your expenses down! Working out of a basement for a year (or two) will pay off more than you know. We worked out of a friend’s basement for a year, then graduated to a crappy (but cheap) office. When we finally could afford it we moved to an A grade location. Even when we got there we negotiated for 3 months to get the price down by 50%.
People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.
— Anthony de Mello
Test, test and test. There is no replacement for a bug free experience.
Launch everyday. Don’t wait until it’s perfect to put it out in the open. Put whatever you can out there and get people using it as soon as possible.
Fixing $5 haircuts
Your website is your most important marketing and sales tool. Don’t settle for a $5 template and hosting service on this significant element. We get calls every week from people asking for help fixing a crappy website. You wouldn’t arrive at a big meeting in a $5 thread-bear suit from the charity store, would you?
Start, start, start!
If you are starting something new don’t plan a long building period. Create a prototype. Create a first revision. Create something for everyone to see and experience. Design something to start taking money within a few months then you have something to fuel marketing costs with. Having money gives you options and flexibility. That’s a good thing.