How to start a micro-business, with very little capital, or experience, and very little skill.
Lesson 1: find the convergence between something you like to do or are good at doing and what other people are also interested in.
Lesson 2: many of the businesses are started by people with related skills not necessarily the skill most used for the project
Lesson 3: Passion or skill + usefulness = success
- A product or service
- People willing to pay for it
- A way to get paid
You aren’t selling a product or service, rather freedom. You don’t ask a customer what they want for dinner and then tell them to make it in the kitchen at the back of the restaurant.
When considering business ideas ask these three questions:
- How would I get paid with this idea?
- How much would I get paid for this idea?
- Is there a way I could get paid more than once?
- Dig deeper to uncover hidden needs (i.e. wedding photos)
- Make your customer a hero (i.e. Excel biz)
- Sell what people buy
Value means helping people. The best businesses focus on helping people.
- Pick a specific niche
- No one values a $15/hour consultant, so bill at least $100/hour
The biggest principle that aspiring business owners don’t understand is that you usually don’t get paid for your hobby itself, you get paid for helping other people pursue the hobby or for something indirectly related to it
Who are your customers? Don’t think in terms of demographics, thinking terms of shared beliefs and values.
Strategy 1: Latch on to a Popular Hobby, Passion, or Craze
Strategy 2: Sell What People Buy (and Ask Them If You’re Not Sure)
Your idea “Don’t think innovation; think usefulness.” Remember the design students who designed maps and sold them online. It was about usefulness, not selling something people didn’t want.
A good offer has to be what people actually want and are willing to pay for.
Most of us like to buy, but we don’t usually like to be sold.
Compelling Offer Tool Kit:
FAQ, Guarantee, and Over-delivery
If you are launching a new product, look to the blueprints of Hollywood movies and Steve Jobs But you don’t want to hammer people too hard; it’s better to build relationships over time.
A charlatan is all talk, with nothing to back up their claims. A martyr is all action with plenty of good work to talk about but remains unable or unwilling to do the talking. A hustler represents the ideal combination: work and talk fused together. Style with substance = impact
Template to develop word of mouth:
I wanted to quickly let you know about a new project I’m working on.
It’s called [name of business or project], and the goal is to [main benefit]. We hope to [big goal, improvement, or idea].
Don’t worry, I haven’t added you to any lists and I won’t be spamming you, but if you like the idea and would like to help out, here’s what you can do:
[Action Point 1]
[Action Point 2]
Thanks again for your time.”
Do the 5-cent advice line where you offer advice or value while building relationships.
Instead of turning down work, think “hell yeah” if it sounds exciting. Don’t turn down work, just say yes to everything.
Use the one-page promotion plan (page 417)
Spend only on things that have a direct relationship to sales.
Principle 1: Base Prices on Benefits, Not Costs
Principle 2: Offer a (Limited) Range of Prices
Principle 3: Get Paid More Than Once
If you grow your traffic a little and also increase your conversion rate a little while also increasing the average sales price a little . . . your business grows a lot. Think up-sell, cross-sell, sell to existing customers, and asking for referrals.
Capitalize on product-to-service and service to product. I.e. Cooking shows from cookbooks
Note to Service Providers: Raise Prices Regularly. No one expects Milk to stay the same price, but also to keep up with inflation. Not to mention, you are getting better as time goes by, so your rates should reflect that.
The hub-and-spoke model is best when distributing content, allowing people to always come back to you.
Joint ventures: True partnership must create more than just a divided list of tasks.
If you choose to outsource or hire employees, two factors come into play: the business type and the personality of the business owner.