I lost $50k of my own money in my first business and nearly went bankrupt before recovering and reaching my first $1 million in revenue. Here’s what I learned:-Sam Tarell
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Start smaller. The reason I lost so much money is because I invested into development before customer discovery and acquisition. We built a web application where high school athletes could connect with college coaches. But I wanted way too many features without talking to our prospects about what they wanted.
If you’re investing into developing a product or service do NOT do so without talking to your users. Find the most affordable solution possible to meet their needs and launch your offer. The more time and money you put into development the harder it will be to recover from the hit that causes. Start smaller.
Obviously. But many entrepreneurs and founders enjoy creating something or finding an innovative solution. When you don’t have sales coming in you’re liking thinking “what can I do to solve this problem?” And if you’re like me then the answers you give yourself will probably be something like creating a new offer, changing your marketing process, or finding a way to outsource sales.
Your creative brain will do everything in its power to come up with solutions. This is what got you started but it’s also what will make you fail. Because you don’t need a new solution. You just have to be consistent on doing the boring sales focus work. If you focus on nothing but selling for 90 days there’s a 0% chance you won’t have sales.
But 4 days in when results don’t show up you’re going to go back into founder/creator mode. Try not to allow this to happen. Give your sales process 90 days of discipline before you critique and change it. Otherwise you cannot test anything and results cannot show up. You don’t even need a complicated process. You just need a process. Something boring that you do every day until you’re earning enough to hire a sales team. It’s not fun but it works. Do it.
- Listen More Than You Talk
The truth is no stranger cares about you or business. At least not in any significant way. And why should they? They have their own stuff to think about and they have no guarantee that investing time into listening to you will be worth their energy. They care about what’s in it for them.
You have to know the dream outcome of your target client. Talk to them about that outcome. Make it as tangible as possible. They should be able to visualize and feel what it’s like to reach that finish line. Your product or service is what will get them. But they don’t care about your product or service and all the details. They care about what the end result is.
- To Be Continued…
After exiting my first company and hiring a CEO I now help other founders and entrepreneurs earn their first $1 million in revenue and free their time to focus on what they truly care about.
If you’d like some detailed and nuanced advice on your business drop a comment and I’ll send you a free survey to help ground your business operations.
Which points in this resonated with you the most?