If you could have one advantage in business, what would you choose? Would you say, capital? Would you say I want to have the best product or service? Would you say I want to have the best team? Would you say I want the perfect timing, or would you say that I want the latest technology? What would you choose?
If we were to choose, every single time, we would recommend a hungry market. A hungry market is the right choice, because your product and your service might change, but for the demand of what you sell, the hungry market will always buy from you.
Most entrepreneurs and business entrepreneurs get into trouble because of emotional attachments. They fall in love with building the best product/services, they fall in love with their customers and their clients. They are so fixated about the solution, or the product, or their service, or their own company, instead of focusing on the what the market demands?
Sometimes startups spend way too much time and money creating the perfect product, but nobody wants. What if you keep feeding a fish that is not hungry, and bloated? You need the right bait at the right time in order for a fish to grab that bite.
People vote with their wallets
So what's the right bait? What is one irresistible offer that you could give to the marketplace? Maybe it's not what you think that they want. But, do you even know what they actually want? Find out by doing a a survey to the marketplace and see what they really seek, assuming people vote with their wallets.
Imagine you have an idea and you go to talk to a group of strangers, or talk to your friends and you show them the idea and if they tell you, that's a very good idea, you should not really go for it. Take a step back! Are they willing to pay you today? If no, that means you have a shitty idea.
But, if they tell you, you know what, where can I buy some of this? That sounds great and they're willing to buy right there, because people vote with their wallets. That's a good backdraft, and that's really what you need to do!
So you have to re-think your offer, with little patience on how you can minimize entry risk? Remember the inverted curve? Early adopters? How can you get out there in the marketplace faster, fail fast sooner, and find out very quickly if your offer is something that actually the marketplace wants, or are you wasting your time? Focus on DEMAND!
Even seasoned entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, or Dragon's Den after spending years, and years and tons of money, found out at the end, nobody wants to buy their products. Most don't have a business, or simply looking to exit. Until, unless someone is willing to spend money to buy form you and do a transaction, you don't have real business. So don't focus on your products alone, focus on the demand. Always, sales comes first, your product/services comes second.
Staying in the Game
Forbes mentioned sometime back about small businesses that – Almost 90% of startups die every year. This is a hard and bleak truth, but one that you’d do well to meditate on. Nine out of ten startups will fail. If your startup lasts, you’re lucky. But the harsh reality is, the longer you stay in the game, the more likely you are gonna die. But, when someone says "NO", try to disprove their theory.
The shiny object syndrome
Sometimes its through such adversity is that the breakthrough happens. In business, few of the most dangerous words you can say in business is this, "My business is different". And, you can hear from a significant percent of entrepreneurs all the time that – they have a super unique business model, and it doesn't work!
Most entrepreneurs, have this tunnel vision of how they view their business. Look at your business from a different perspective! The way most entrepreneurs operate, looking other business, most in the same industry, operate the same way. Many look at what everybody else is doing and they copycat each other, and perhaps differ by a few degrees of divergence.
And they think, if that startup is doing it, it must have worked. This phenomenon is also referred as shiny object syndrome. Be wary of such idealists. If other people are doing it, they have no other options, or perhaps an empty upper crest. It's more about the blind leading other blind men.
Business is an intellectual sport. So if you think of in terms of how you think about your business, how you execute, that's what your products results. Intelligence is very valuable. And business is a wargame. How you do business is your war strategy! It obviously doesn't mean the guys who work the hardest will make the most amount of money. That's not always the case. But the ones with the intelligence, with the potential, and will to think outside of the box, such entrepreneurs win.
Salary, labor, realesate, tech, logistics, support and everything. - So the question is? How do you make profits or how do you go around that? Don't jump the gun on money. Risk, but risk with 1/3rd. The chances are you might open up something without running through the numbers. Be honest. The challenge is, once you run through the numbers, you're gotta to have sell a whole lot of products/services, to even just to break even. And, if it doesn't match the expectations, do something else. Its ok to FAIL-FAST.
It's extremely competitive market, and you have a huge population. Think about numbers, if something not goes well, how much money could you lose? It's a game that you bet. Just to be in the game. Forget marketing, forget salaries, running cost, anything like that. Assume, you are in red, before you even open door, in five years, you might recoup your money. And if everything goes well, maybe in six, seven, 10 years, you'll be making a little bit of profit.
If you think in terms from a entrepreneurial POV, from a numbers point of view, if you think in terms of an opportunity like this, chances of failing is high. It's better off just staying at home and doing nothing, have the money in bank, than starting something like that might lose money for you, for your family, for your investors.
"A battle is won before it's ever fought" - Art of War.
Leverage the background that you have. Think how you can do something that's maybe a lower cost, and at less risk. So everybody it's thinking, brainstorming, exercising your brain. Avoid bad assumptions. All the bigger problems you have in life started off as a good idea. One fine day, if someone comes up with an idea, and you decide to buy a home or start this crazy business!
That's a bad assumption, assuming, when you launch this, everybody will love it. When you talk to some of your friends and family and they say it's a good idea. Let's do that! And then when you launch it, within two months, you predict it will make a few grand. Turns out, whatever you might have assumed, that all your friends and family loved it, might be just disproved when you have the product, and you go to them asking their credit cards. "Would you like to buy some?" A big - No!
10th Man Rule
There was a team, not long ago, who launched a startup and thought they will make a hundred grand in a few months. It turns out they didn't even make a few hundred. The startup didn't even make ten grand. They lost money, first month. Lost money, second month. Should they still keep doing this? Lost money the third month. Could have done more research? It was simply bad math to their disadvantage. Assuming whatever you're doing, is gonna work is hundred percent wrong! In fact challenge yourself, ask yourself tough questions. Adopt the 10th Man Rule to Nurture Opposing Views. Ask just 3 questions,
- What could go wrong?
- What don't I know?
- What don't I see?
As you go through those questions, you look at your business and you ask yourself - What is the risk? What happens if everything goes right? Which chances are, not gonna happen. If you ask yourself these questions with each of your team memebers, you would be able to know what are risks involved. And if everything does go right, is that okay? Always be the 10th man. If what could go wrong, now think what's the down side? Can I live with the downside? Like any investments, think of what's the downside first. How much money can you lose? Are you okay losing that much money? Can you live with it? Keep yourselves busy.
Keep hustling folks.