#004 - How to Launch Your Own Business? Having your own business is the dream, right? Launching a business is easier now than ever before, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. In this episode I share 3 tips on how to launch your business.
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Hey, Howard from Growth Velocity Academy.
And I want to share with you how to start a business, I want to teach you three things in this session, How to launch a business, if you're the type of person that has always kind of deep down that wanted to have your own business, saying "I don't want to be working for someone, I have some ideas, I just don't know how to do it", I want to share the three key things that I know you need to do. And I want to share with you at the end of the session, the one book, I think if you read it's going to dramatically increase the likelihood that you will succeed.
All right. Now I remember when I was growing up, I grew up on a farm in Ireland, and you know, my dad, milk cows. And, I was so far away from the online world and digital and technology and stuff. You know you look at someone like Steve Jobs who was building computers
in a garage. As a teenager, I was definitely not like that. Alright, and I really had to learn the hard way.
I've launched many businesses over the last few years. And what I'm going to share here is the exact method of how I can launch a business now today, fast and successfully. And I'm really confident doing it. Whereas back then the first time I launched the business didn't go so well. Right, my first business I'd say we probably made, I don't know maybe about 20 30k. With my second business, I probably made about 20 30k again, but I took those lessons and I built on them. And now I've since now I've been able to launch businesses and make way more, you know, it does do really well financially.
I want to share that with you. Okay.
So tip number one is, this is something that took me a while to learn. And I really if I could give this gift to you, it's gonna save you years of time. And tip number one is to scratch your own itch. All right, there's a saying, you know, if you have an itch and you need to scratch it, you know, that's the feeling. Not what a lot of people do. When I chat to entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business - I work with a lot of startup accelerators. And people have ideas for a business, like random ideas, maybe in an industry that they're not familiar with, or,
you know, that they just don't have any what's called domain expertise in
That's a big mistake I see people make and I really encourage you not to do that. Try and focus on something that you have a bit of a passion for in a subject that you have a passion for in a problem that you've seen in the world that you want to fix. That's what's called scratching your own itch.
I remember when I launched one of my businesses, I launched the holiday business many years ago to a market that I just knew nothing about. And it just made it way, way more difficult. If you have a bit of domain expertise even either it's something you're passionate about, or maybe something you've worked in that industry for a while, you're going to have a competitive advantage over other people. So if you can focus on that area, you'll be set up, it's a good thing to do right now if you're trying to come up with ideas in in that domain expertise.
You can do something I read a blog post from a guy called James Altucher, a great blogger and he has this idea about building the idea muscle. Alright, the idea muscle and coming up with ideas is just like any muscle you got to work it to build the muscle. So what he recommends is every day for 10 minutes every morning, just get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down 10 ideas, 10 ideas you're most excited about. Just do that every single day. And the reality is a lot of them
We'll be bad ideas, but in there, if you do that for 2, 3, 4 weeks, guess what? You're going to have some great ideas in there. There will be some ideas you just keep on coming back to and going. Yes, I'm excited about that. I remember I did that when I was leaving my advertising business at AdLudio. When I was stepping away from that before I launched Growth Velocity Academy. I was doing that, it was great. Okay, what ideas am I most excited about? And it's really, really useful. So tip one is to scratch your own itch.
Tip number two is don't launch a business, run an experiment. Okay?
Now, when a lot of people are thinking to launch a business, the catalog, like they build it to open their hand is like, Oh, this, I have to have this perfect idea. And, you know, you start telling everyone, you're gonna launch a business and that builds so much pressure. Now, again, I remember before I launched Grow Velocity Academy. I had just stepped away from my advertising, a successful advertising business, which is still is super successful today. And I was going to Mount Everest, I was going to do Everest base camp, and I met up with a coach of mine Philip, McCarran, an amazing guy. And I was chatting with him. And I was like, he was asking me, are you excited about going to Everest? I was like, Yeah, but, you know, I really want to have my next business idea ready before I get down off the mountain. And he laughed at me. And he said, What pressure? What if you didn't know what the idea was? I was like, you know, just enjoy it. Don't worry about it. And instead of putting all this pressure on this new idea, I decided to actually, not worry about it. And when I got down off the mountain, I decided to take a different approach. And rather than, the pressure, that I have to have this perfect business idea, I decided to run 90-day experiments. Okay, I want to get down off the mountain and say, Listen, you know what, I don't know exactly what I want to do yet. But I know I'm excited about this thing. This idea I'm excited about. So don't forget, you just wrote down you've been building your idea muscle yourself. So whichever idea you're most excited about, just pick one and go right? You know what, I'm going to run an experiment for the next 90 days. Now, here's the beautiful thing about experiments, guys. You win. Either way. If the experiment goes well, and let's say you do something to launch the business, and it goes, Well, great. You've now got some positive feedback. And who knows that might be your business idea. But guess what if it doesn't go well? Well, the great thing about an experiment is you learn either way. That's why I love it. It's such a nice idea. So even if the experiment doesn't go well, you go Okay! I ran that for 90 days, I've learned. I don't like that idea. You know, people don't like it, or I actually maybe people do like it. But you know what, that one's not for me. And then you can do another 90-day experiment. So just consider running a series of 90-day experiments every 90 days, rather than putting all this fake idea, you know, pressure on yourself for coming up with the world's perfect idea when in reality, if you think about all the successful businesses out there very rarely does the initial business idea turn out to be exactly what people are working on a year or two later, it's always the way so consider, think about what is your next 90-day experiment.
And then tip number three is to create an MVT now that stands for a Minimum Viable Test. Okay, now, what is a minimum viable test? Now some of you who are into the startup world might have heard of the term minimum viable product. Now, this is slightly different. This is like, I always when I'm thinking of starting something new, I will always challenge myself and go, Okay, how can I test if this is even a bit of a thing in the shortest amount of time. So think about even a weekend or a week with the minimum amount of budget, alright, just to get some initial feedback on the idea that you've come up with. Because once you get some initial feedback from real customers, that's when you can start figuring out, is this a real thing, rather than just coming up with a bit of a random idea that nobody wants. And then six months a year down the line, build a web website, get your logo ready, get your company set up, and then realizing a year later that nobody wants to buy it? That sucks. Trust me. I've done that in the past. I set up a holiday company and I spent loads of time.
You know, with the website and all this kind of stuff, and when I launched it, I didn't really get in many customers. So you can do it a different way and try and market to people straight away. And that's what a minimum viable testis.
Now, this is something that a lot of people do, like Innocent Smoothies, you may have heard of a very successful smoothie company. They had an idea for smoothies, and for a smoothie company, I guess, you know, now smoothies are everywhere. But back then they weren't. They were one of the first businesses that really made them famous. And they went to an event, a music festival, and they were making smoothies for people. And they famously had a sign above the smoothie table that said, should we quit our jobs to run to start a smoothie business? And there was a, when people drank the drink, there was a yes bucket and a no bucket. And people could vote with their drinks. And at the end of the day, they saw that the Yes, bucket was full and the no bucket was empty. And that's just one great example.
Okay, so what's another way you could run a minimum viable test, get it out there to people as soon as possible? A personal example. When I started the Growth Velocity Academy when we were launching it. Did people want digital marketing courses? We wanted to know if this is actually what they wanted. So we decided to run an event. And we run a two-hour event. We picked a city, we picked the city of Beirut. And we decided to run a one
The two-hour event, you know, not a huge cost, like $25, or something, I forget how much. But that's not the point. The point is not to get rich from the minimum viable test is just to get an insight into how many people want to, like, do people want to buy this thing. And we ran the event, and it was sold out a huge success. And that was that got us really motivated that you know what, there's a real demand for digital marketing courses in these different cities. Okay.
And I can go on and on and on with other different examples. But what I would recommend to you is, think about, I challenge you to consider how could you test your idea by putting it out to the market in the next week, for almost no budget, limit yourself on a budget to maybe $100, if you want to run some ads, or whatever, but almost force yourself to go: if I had to promote this, what could I do, you know, maybe build a landing page, maybe it promotes an event, maybe you do an event.
You know, in today's world, if everyone's virtual, you could run a virtual event and just, you know, either charge a low amount or even do it for free and see how many people sign up for it. It's just something that gives you some forward momentum and gets some real-life feedback from people in the market.
Okay, so guys, what I've just been sharing is three ways that you can start a business and how to start a business.
Tip number one is to scratch your own itch, don't come up with some random idea, you have no expertise in, come up with something you have a bit of either passion or domain expertise.
And tip number two, don't start a business run a 90-day experiment, far less pressure.
And tip number three is to create an MVT a minimum viable test something that you can test in the first week or two weeks to see, a little bit of feedback from the market.
Okay. And my bonus tip for you is guys, just start. Don't worry about it being too big, you know, don't worry about it not being a big thing. Some people get, all their ego takes over and they go oh no, it has to be a big business. And you know, have to have offices, I need to have business cards. Guys, don't worry about starting small. Just start, just start. Okay.
Now, at the start of the session, I also shared the one book I think everyone should read that will save them so much time, and probably make the difference between you succeeding and not. And it's a book called the Lean Startup, the Lean Startup by a guy called Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He talks through the lessons and it creates this way to test things in the market that reduces your chance of failure. It's kind of quite famous in Silicon Valley now. And I think it's essential reading anyone who's wanting to launch a business in today's world, it's going to dramatically improve the likelihood of you succeeding which I want you to do.
Okay, so guys, if you know someone
who's thinking of launching a business, please do share this message with them. And we can get this message out there and have as many entrepreneurs out there as we can. Okay, peace out and chat soon.
That's it, guys. That is the Growth Velocity Podcast. I'm Howard Kingston. Thank you for listening. Now, as always, if you found this valuable, please please subscribe to us and leave a rating and a review. The more that you do that, the more we will be able to impact more people, more people will hear about the show. And lastly, if you haven't already gotten a copy of our growth toolkit book, you can get that www.growthvelocity.academy/podcast completely free of charge is just waiting for you and I'll see you in the next episode.