Hey there, Dean here. I run content and SEO at AppSumo. Here, I write and share about productivity, leadership, money, psychology, marketing, and more.
The $100 Startup is a must-read book for anymore who is interested in starting a micro-business. It lays out the possibility of starting and running a successful business with a ridiculously small team (1 to 5 members) with many real-life case studies.
It’s also packed with great insights on how you can start and run your own small business to live in your own term – from positioning yourself, finding your audience and prospects, creating your products or services, marketing, scaling and leveraging.
To start a business, you need three things: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid.
Convergence represents the overlapping space (intersection) between what you care about and what other people are willing to spend money on.
If you’re good at one thing, you’re most probably good at other things too.
To succeed, merge your passion and skill with something that is useful to other people.
When you focus on providing value above all else, your business will be successful. And value means “helping people”.
Give people what they really want, not just what you think they should have or want.
Market the core benefits that usually related to emotional needs than physical needs to people instead of a list of features.
Most people want more of some things (money, love, time) and less of other things (stress, pain, debt). Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve their life.
Many follow-your-passion businesses are built on something indirectly related, not the passion or hobby itself.
Not every passion or hobby is worth building into a business, and not everyone will want to have a business that is based on a passion or hobby.
There are many ways to build a business that is location independence, but the business of information publishing is especially profitable.
You don’t necessarily have to think of your audiences or customers in categories of age, race, and gender. Instead, you can think of them in terms of shared beliefs, interests, and values.
Use a survey to understand customers and prospects. The more specific, the better.
“Plan as you go” to respond to the changing needs of your customers but launch your business as soon as possible, with a bias toward action.
First sales usually provide far more motivation than the dollar value. So, fid a way to get your first sale in as soon as possible.
To avoid overcomplicated things, explain your business with a 140-characters mission statement.
As much as possible, connect your offer to the direct benefits customers will receive.
What people want and what they say they want are not always the same thing; your job is to figure out the difference.
When developing an offer, think carefully about the objections and then respond to them in advance.
The difference between a good offer and a great offer is urgency.
Offer reassurance and acknowledgement immediately after someone purchases something or hires you. Then find a small but meaningful way to go above and beyond their expectations.
A good launch is like a Hollywood movie.
A series of regular communications with prospects before launch will help you re-create the anticipation of an audience of any size to your upcoming product.
If you’re not sure where to spend your business development time, spend 50% on creating and 50% on connecting. The most powerful channel for getting the word out usually starts with people you already know.
If you build it, they will come… but you’ll probably need to let them know what you’ve built and how to get there.
There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby, but if you’re operating a business, the primary goal is to make money.
Whether it’s money, access to help, or anything else, you probably have more than you think. Be creative.
“Moving on up” by increasing income in an existing business is usually easier than initially starting the business.
By making careful choices, you can often grow the business without dramatically increasing the workload, allowing you to scale without hiring more people.
Horizontal expansion involves going border by serving more customers with different (usually related) interests.
Vertical expansion involves going deeper by serving the same customers with different levels of need.
By leveraging skills and contacts, you can be in more than one place at the same time with outsourcing, affiliate recruitment, and partnerships.
Work on your business by devoting time every day to important activities that improve the business, not just by responding to an urgent task that is happening.
Regularly monitor one to two key metrics that are the lifeblood of your business, then check up on others monthly or bimonthly.
A business that is scalable is both teachable and valuable. If you ever want to sell your business, you’ll need to build teams and reduce owner dependency.