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Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Venture |

5 Keys to Online Entrepreneurship own resources (without external investment)

5 Keys to Online Entrepreneurship own resources (without external investment)

(CC) plewicki

Over the past five years through the internet undertaking, we learned important lessons that we would have liked someone to teach us in advance in order to save time, money, effort, and especially big headaches accompanied by errors and frustrations. For these reasons, we share the lessons of this article.

Unfortunately, not all ventures have access to capital investment either Angel or Capital Investment Risk. In fact, over 90% of the undertaken only with equity.

I believe that we will significantly increase the ultimate success of our enterprise if we rely on the following pillars can be seen below:

1) The team is based

The foundation of an enterprise is not technology, not the idea, much less the financial resources with which we have available or not.

It all starts with the entrepreneurial team. To carry forward a new equity online, we must have a starting point with all the necessary knowledge .

This means that at least need a programmer and a designer. A common mistake is to think that a developer can hire locally or you can make ‘outsourcing to countries like India, China, etc..

And here’s the first lesson: Under any view key tasks such as programming and design can be beyond our dominance.

Our enterprise that works on the web is our most important resource and we can not leave it to a stranger who gives us an answer today and tomorrow perhaps no longer (eg got a more stable and / or better paid ).

Even, how we will manage to do things right if we ourselves do not understand about the topic as correct programming (PHP,. NET, Python or Ruby on Rails) and subsequent scalability?

Who will develop the online service must be an integral part of the entrepreneurial team with the same total commitment for each member. And besides, if we undertake without external investment, hire a good programmer is directly feasible.

2) Dedication is the differential

On the other hand, if we take we find what we like to do and take it to an extreme to say: “I do it because I like it and would continue to do even without receiving anything in return.”

While this statement is extreme, as we need to generate income to grow in the long run, the truth is that there is nothing closer to reality to when we started.

In the early months and years because they think the revenue-generating reach will not be anywhere near what could be working dependently of a large corporation (HP, IBM, Sony, Intel, etc.). However, this is where we share Steve Jobs wisely : “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Find and do what you love.

To successfully undertake without external resources we invest all our dedication, this means working in the venture ended after our workday, work weekends, work instead of going out for drinks with friends, work instead of seeing a match or series on TV, and so on. That dedication is an entrepreneur and that is the difference we have to offer.

A concrete example is the venture 37Signals , who started without external investment and competed on the road against Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle and many other companies. Today they are leaders in their market over the entire competition. Did your password? Dedication. No employees of large corporations just named will work more, better salary paid to them, these are passionate about what they do. And it should be our startup to succeed.

3) The customer has the answer

One key point I can not pass, and where we made big mistakes that cost us hard frustrations was the lack of understanding that we do not have all the answers, much less the final reason.

Many times we think that we the founders know that is our business, we understand perfectly what the customer needs and consequently, what we offer. However, it is essential to understand from day one that no one knows more about what the customer needs themselves.

Developing the ability to listen and understand the customer should be a cornerstone for growth in a context where we have only our own resources. We can not afford to invest time, effort and little money we have on extra features that they are ready then we realize that the client does not use and does not want.

First we develop our Minimum Viable Product, this means bring our idea to reality based product development. However, then we should focus and to focus on the customer and their needs, and go from iterating them to grow.

I consider an excellent choice to start is to read the book by Eric Ries on ‘The Lean Startup Methodology “, which teaches that the client knows your needs but does not have a solution for them, and that is where we must be able entrepreneurs to develop new technology is valuable solution.

4) Model defined from day

To significantly increase our chance of success must focus on defining from the beginning which will be our business model. This is nothing more nor less than to say: “How do we make money?”

As a first recommendation, please do not take advertising as a revenue model feasible. Major companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, among others, are only exceptions to the rule. Very few can afford to live on marketing. Even undertaken in a context where we have no external capital investment in our startup, this model is certainly viable.

Based on the development that has taken the Internet in recent years, I personally consider the most attractive business model and potentially by far is the subscription model.

The subscription model is the monthly payment by the user for our services. This payment is made every month by a small amount / minimum ($ 20, $ 40, etc.) that helps reduce friction to generate new customers (adoption of our product). Moreover, to generate visibility in the medium and long term, generating recurring revenue and really sustained over time.

Here are current and specific examples of companies using this business model “Subscription” which also began performing “bootstrapping” (from scratch with organic growth without investment):

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5) Investment income only through

Finally-and an important point we learned once wanted to start growing, is that any investment to generate new customers should be supported first by measuring and then by the results.

In short, we must first have the tools in place to measure our campaigns, here I recommend Google Analytics which is free or KISSmetrics is paid but has very good tracking options for each user separately.

On the other side, then we measure, we have the time and work to monitor performance and evaluate them. We can not afford to spend more than they generate in response. As obvious as this may seem, unfortunately a large number of ventures fail because of this.

When we’re in a startup, no investment of “branding” worthwhile, everything has to be by direct marketing, ie results instantly. To “branding” we have unlimited resources that only large companies such as Nike, Amazon, Apple and few others can give.

Finally, there is no exact way to generate new customers in the form online. Every startup should try and define your according to your own product. However, Google Adwords and Affiliate Networks in our vertical action (Food, Clothing, Technology, etc.) today have the best results.

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