Starting your own business is tough and so many people fail, why?
There are so many reasons.
The first one is obviously the why.
PART 1 – The Why
Most people start their own business because they want to:
-make a bunch of money
-work on a beach
-live on a yacht
If you do something because you genuinely enjoy it then you will be more successful. It will be less likely that you:
-get stuck in a corporate cubicle
-have a mid-life crisis
How to lead with your why
When I was training to sell solar panels at the world’s top solar installer (SolarCity) the why was emphasized very heavily. They even played us Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk about how companies fail and succeed because of their why.
Why are you more likely to buy an Apple computer versus a Dell computer? No offense to Dell but do you have an emotional response when you hear their brand? What about Apple? Here is what I feel when I think of the two:
Dell – I imagine a PC computer
Apple – I imagine innovation, new tech, the next generation of smart AI products that make the human race go extinct…
But seriously, if you lead with your why then you will be able to elicit an emotional response from your customer which will make your brand memorable in their mind. Also, most buying decisions are emotional so people are more likely to buy from you when you have that going.
Ok, so you got your why. What’s next?
Give it to me straight.
Your business has to actually solve a challenge or provide a real need for your customers.
How to Solve a Real Need
People will only buy your product, sign up for your service, pay for a consultation, or buy your book if they think it could answer important questions or provide needed solutions in their lives.
That’s so true that you can actually put quotes around it and re-tweet it.
Your business needs to solve a real problem in the world.
Let me give you some examples of apps and sites that I use today:
eClincher – helps me boost engagement with my customers through the social inbox tool
NinjaOutreach – helps me build a list of bloggers to reach out to
AppSumo – gets me great deals on products that can help my business grow
The light rail – gets me from point A to point B without having to buy a car. true story.
You get the point, things only exist in this world because they serve some kind of purpose. Your business will grow and be successful if it serves a very specific purpose.
Now that you have your why and the need that you’re meeting, it’s time to validate your idea.
How to validate your business idea
The thing that most people are afraid of is that once they built a business and put all this money into it, then no one will buy it. The solution is to first check if people are interested in your idea. And no, this doesn’t mean asking your parents and friends if it’s something they would like to buy. This means finding out what your target audience and going after those people.
In today’s world, there are countless ways to validate your idea before it ever hits the market. Check these out:
1. Create a simple ad – create an ad that targets the specific type of people that you think would be interested in the idea and see how many people click.
2. Landing page mockup – create a landing page with your product offering and see how many people are actually willing to buy it.
3. Facebook outreach – reach out to all of your friends on Facebook and ask them to purchase your product or service. Be honest and tell them that you are just starting out and trying something new. This is what Noah Kagan did in his Sumo Jerky experiment.
4. In person presentation – stand outside of a store or a busy intersection and get people to buy your product. You would be surprised how well this works.
5. Put up your product on Craigslist – put up an ad for your product on Craigslist and see if anyone is interested. Here is the story of how people at AppSumo did this.
Before you create your business you need to know your why. Why you are doing it and what would make your customers buy your product or service. Your business should solve a real need for a customer. And lastly, always validate your business idea in a simple and inexpensive way. Remember to always keep it simple. Don’t get lost in the complexity. Always write it out, talk it out with someone, and get into action as soon as you possible can. That’s how you get results, and win in the long term.