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Alfonsoo

Could you share some startup stories?

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I need some inspiration. Im mostly interested in the stage where you already have a reasonably developed idea and you're ready to start materializing it. You start gathering supplies, make a webpage, you start investing time & resources into the project. From when there was nothing up to when there was even just a somewhat functional business.

I'm confused as to how one brings their idea to the real world. Ive got a pretty solid idea but now I'm lost as to how to begin, going from 0 to 1.

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You might find the book The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau inspiring, it's got a few dozen startup stories in it.

For my own story, I found what helped was breaking it down into little chunks like you mentioned, listing them all on a Trello board or something similar, trying to assign some level of priority, and just working through them one by one.

Even something like "make a webpage" you can break down into.... buy a domain, sign up for hosting, connect domain to hosting, install Wordpress, create a home page, create an about page, etc etc etc.

It's much easier to do small tasks that take 30 minutes at most, instead of sitting down in front of one giant task like "start a business". To move a mountain, just start with one little rock at a time.

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@Alfonsoo

I've been involved in a couple start ups at this point. Honestly, it's a lot of trial and error and just "winging it". It's tempting to think you can just follow a formula from a book, but in practical it doesn't really work that way.

If you share more about your business I can give you more specific advice. But in general, put your product online and start advertising. You can use either social media or paid ads. Build a sales funnel. Track your financials with something like Quickbooks. You can find employees on Indeed or Craigslist if you need that. Get a payroll company. File for either an LLC or or some sort of other business entity and get an EIN to pay your taxes.

That's about as broad of advice that I can give. Ready, Fire, Aim is a decent book that might help you. You can also look into start up incubators if you think your business would be a good fit for that. If you need funding, there's websites where you do crowdfunding or get angel investors.


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@Yarco Very helpful. Definitely breaking it down that much makes it less intimidating. I'll read that book.

 

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@aurum

6 hours ago, aurum said:

 

If you share more about your business I can give you more specific advice.

I've got nothing too concrete really. Just the idea. My plan was to save up and invest a bit on some generic stuff (like bitcoin and stocks) to have sufficient capital in a couple years to support the birth of the business. On the meanwhile I'll develop as much as possible whatever part that doesn't require serious money, like the creative/art part of it. Im finishing my studies and my parents can still support me, thankfully. So I prefer to invest the time in making a really solid foundation for the business.

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3 hours ago, Alfonsoo said:

@aurum

I've got nothing too concrete really. Just the idea. My plan was to save up and invest a bit on some generic stuff (like bitcoin and stocks) to have sufficient capital in a couple years to support the birth of the business. On the meanwhile I'll develop as much as possible whatever part that doesn't require serious money, like the creative/art part of it. Im finishing my studies and my parents can still support me, thankfully. So I prefer to invest the time in making a really solid foundation for the business.

I can't believe work is still following me around even in forums... I worked with start-ups in the SaaS platform and generally speaking, most start-ups have amazing ideas and just lack the proper execution and resources larger corporations and companies have. Most startups are the brainchild of someone who saw a problem and is genuinely striving for a solution that could add value and benefit. Keep these in mind, if you only have profit and money on your mind. 

With that being said, I've thought of a startup idea recently that I have no plans of pursuing, maybe it can help you out. I've read two articles recently (I'll link them here and here for reference) that are directly anchored towards the idea I have in mind. Note that the market that I have in mind with this idea, are startups themselves. As I've said, the gap that I saw mainly has to do with the lack of systemized procedures in startups. 

These two articles mainly talk about systemized automation. The first article talks about sales automation specifically. The hardest part with start-ups is usually getting clients. When you're new to the playing field, a lot of people in the market would be skeptical to invest in you hence the reason why it takes more time among every other process. A lot of the bits and pieces of the sales process is done manually though, like email outreach, ad placements, lead generation, and etc–if you're able to scrap up a system that could create an organized flow for this while implementing the concepts of the second article, which talks about a relatively new concept called hyperautomation, you have a good product at hand that can secure you clients right away

Hyperautomation involves Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. It's a more sophisticated approach that can lead to better results further down the line. But that's about the gist of it, a startup company that provides an automation system for different business models targeted towards startups... feels like a tongue twister of some sort.
 

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8 hours ago, Alfonsoo said:

I've got nothing too concrete really. Just the idea. My plan was to save up and invest a bit on some generic stuff (like bitcoin and stocks) to have sufficient capital in a couple years to support the birth of the business. On the meanwhile I'll develop as much as possible whatever part that doesn't require serious money, like the creative/art part of it. Im finishing my studies and my parents can still support me, thankfully. So I prefer to invest the time in making a really solid foundation for the business.

In that case, I would say you're on a good path and to stay the course with what you are doing. Don't jump into a business too fast because it's shiny and seems like it could make you money fast. This time you have where your parents are supporting you is a gift that will not last forever.

I'd be spending the vast majority of my time on self-actualization / spiritual work, learning about the world and myself, and experimenting with different creative projects to see what lights me up.

And yes, I'd save as much money as I can. "Real life" living can often be way more expensive than we anticipate if you're used to having your bills paid. Starting a business is no joke and can sometimes take millions of dollars just to get off the ground. That's like one round of VC funding. So don't underestimate your startup costs. But also don't get so overwhelmed that it seems impossible and that you'll never be able to afford it, because it's not. You can find ways to do things cheaper.

Final thing would be to be careful with what you invest in. Investing should be something you do once you are already relatively financially stable. It is NOT a path to getting rich or funding your first business. Anything that gets you rich from investing is going to be highly risky. And anything that barely moves the needle is going to be safe.

If you want to fund your business, I would make sure your income can support it. Bootstrap whatever you can and / or find investors.


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@savingmylove These automatization solutions you speak of, could someone not as tech savvy (in terms of programing web pages) be able to implement them relatively easy? I may not count with people too specialized in programming.

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6 hours ago, aurum said:

Final thing would be to be careful with what you invest in. Investing should be something you do once you are already relatively financially stable. It is NOT a path to getting rich or funding your first business. Anything that gets you rich from investing is going to be highly risky. And anything that barely moves the needle is going to be safe.

I'm mainly investing in crypto (bitcoin to be specific) as it has proven to be a safe and steadily growing because what I'm able to save right now would never be enough. Just saving up is not enough right now because my income is not much. When my income increases sufficiently maybe straight up saving will be a better option. I don't like banks for storing money; where I live theres a ton of bank fraud and tax terrorism and bitcoin seems like a safer way to store whatever I can save up, with the added bonus of value increase. By the time I need to tap into my savings for the startup inflation may have played its role.

When I finish studying I plan to work for a couple years in the same industry as my startup to gain experience and to have a greater income so I can start lifting up the startup. Keep it as a side hustle until it is no longer beneficial for me to stay in a job.

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Well I could if hat 1st thing I tried didn't got destroyed by monopoly and importing .Hahaha @Hulia got it right.

There was a saying from 90's here (serbia) quite popular one ."Small lake full of crocodiles".

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@Zeroguy Well that's the thing. You gotta monopolize your own market, and for that you gotta make the business that nobody is making.

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On 22.7.2021. at 3:37 AM, Alfonsoo said:

@Zeroguy Well that's the thing. You gotta monopolize your own market, and for that you gotta make the business that nobody is making.

Well that's what I did that with 2nd thing. Start from small niche that atleast in that business nobody wanted to take was most dangerous and really nobody wanted to take it or risk with it . Later expansion from that. Still so much space. What spirituality who gives a damn about it. 

You start from small. 

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18 hours ago, Alfonsoo said:

@Zeroguy thanks

 

Blood ,sweat and tears. Nothing to say more.

These guys on seminars and their !@$% I mean just c'mon what da...

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@Alfonsoo you need to figure out a way to make sales and get paid. That's the essence of any start up that is to survive. The start-up graveyard is full of brilliant ideas that were poorly marketed and poorly monetised. It really comes down to "will people/businesses be willing to pay you for it?" and "How will people/businesses find you?"

You need to become a value providers and give so much value to the world/people that they won't be able to help but pay for your services. 

Do you know who is your ideal nische client? Forget mass market, you probably don't have a capital for that. Designate your ideal client, understand their problems and what they want without knowing they want it. Then find out where they are and then figure out a way to talk to them. 

Seth Godin's - Marketing has been a nice eye opener as well as Don Miller's Building the Story Brand. 

Of course you need to cross all the red-tape - accounting, setting up a business on gov website, have your own website, be GDPR compliant, have a business account setup etc. But those are just formalities. Marketing yourself and making sales is the only way to survive 


MY WEBSITE  I'm a certified nutritionist & health coach. I help men & women who struggle with chronic health problems, to remember what happy & healthy feels like. 

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On 21/07/2021 at 8:47 PM, Alfonsoo said:

@savingmylove These automatization solutions you speak of, could someone not as tech savvy (in terms of programing web pages) be able to implement them relatively easy? I may not count with people too specialized in programming.

It's less about programming but more about logic and integrations. The thing is though, you can't avoid a mobile app developer and a programmer if you plan on making a piece of software with the automation AI. You can try and mess around on your own first and see where that takes you.

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1 hour ago, savingmylove said:

It's less about programming but more about logic and integrations. The thing is though, you can't avoid a mobile app developer and a programmer if you plan on making a piece of software with the automation AI. You can try and mess around on your own first and see where that takes you.

I'm no expert but I agree with this idea. The concept of automation is a really big thing in the field of SaaS–which is growing quite rapidly. There's this one company that's small-ish in size called Juro that produced a piece of software that I now use–they've found a way to automate offers letters. Lmao, I kid you not, these things take me hours to draft out (I'm an HR department manager) and after I read this specific article on LinkedIn, my mind was blown. These are the kinds of automation ideas you need to look for–what are things right now that take a helluva long time to do and how can you use apps that are readily available to do them faster? 

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Pulling off a successful startup doesn't require Hollywood levels of skill or luck. Persistence is key. You don't even have to have an original idea to succeed. In fact, in many cases, all you really need to do is be better than the other guy. I can share my story of how I got my own business off the ground. My story starts back in the early 2000s when the online space wasn't as competitive as it is today. I was one of the early affiliates to join Amazon's program, back when the rates were really good. 

Was it difficult? Sure. It was hard then, and it's hard now. But hard isn't impossible. Once I've built several strong affiliate sites in niches I was passionate about, I had a falling out with Amazon. In essence, they cut down rates for certain products, thus basically killing one of my main income streams. I diversified into the iGaming industry. It turned out that you could make a killing back then if you made an affiliate website for various casinos. This one isn't mine, but it's a good example of how simple these sites look. http://casinoshortlist.org It took a while for me to reach the level I was looking for, but I've met my goals. 

Can you start a successful affiliate business today? You most definitely can. People are starting Amazon affiliates as I'm writing this comment. And guess what? Amazon is just one of the many lucrative affiliate programs out there. You don't need to be a genius programmer to make a successful startup. All you need is a plan. 

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