Many entrepreneurs don’t know how to take an idea from inception to fruition. That’s the reason why more than 90 per cent of all businesses fails. Even if someone did learn how to grow their business – they stay stagnant because they don’t know how to scale it.
The line is increasingly blurry in the market on what works and what doesn’t. So today I’m going to let you in on someone who knows the ropes. Best-selling author Kat Loterzo has done this plenty of times before and this is her advice:
It Doesn’t Start with Research. It Starts with Action
Many people will tell you to start by doing the research. Find your persona, do all of the work you think you need to do beforehand. What Kat tells us is that you should instead jump straight into action. You can only tell if your product or idea is valuable if you jump into action. You will be able to tell what the response is from your clientele and then that’s how you collect research or data.
Now here’s where I messed up…
After you find out that your product is something and what the market wants, what is next? I thought the next step was to create the product.
I was wrong.
The Next Step Is to Sell
The next step is not creating, it’s selling. Online you can virtually create the service and within days deliver it. The worst case scenario is that you refund them the money. Either way, you still know your product is something people want.
There is no point in ordering $10k worth of Krispy Kreme donuts and trying to sell them. Instead, pitch the donuts, collect the money and then order and deliver. That way you don’t put yourself in debt by pre-ordering how much you can handle.
A real life scenario is when Kat said, “You can always have a pre-launch sale or have an early bird special for a product/service that won’t come out until 3 weeks from now.”
This allows you to test out your idea before you waste time creating something no one wants.
Market Your Product Strategically
After you’ve found your demographic and the people that want to buy there are another couple of ways to market your product strategically.
A big one for many online marketers including Kat is email marketing. To this day email marketing still provides one of the best return on investments. However, there needs to be a funnel in place to even acquire those leads and then close them.
The simple way to do that is to use Facebook ads to acquire the new leads, send them to a landing page where you acquire their email address, sent them an email drip campaign and go from there.
Other ways could include things like guest posting on major publications, SEO, social media marketing etc. The important thing is to do what works for you. Invest and test everything because once you find that one piece that works for your business – double down and scale it.
Build Your Team
Sooner or later you are going to need a team. You can either make 100% off of your own efforts or you can make 1 per cent of 100 people’s efforts. A team will help you scale and take on the minuscule tasks that you no longer need to do. You should invest in a team even if it means not paying to yourself for a while.
However, a common problem to that is people usually don’t know who exactly to hire.
I learned this especially during the interview, you hire wherever you see a need. Often times people hire based on resumes and not potential. When you are starting out – you need someone to be a jack of all trades until you can afford a full team that specializes in their own craft.
People Fail. Systems Don’t
This goes back to scaling and doubling down on what already works for your business.
An example is that hustle can only get you so far. Hustle alone won’t take you from 1 to 10 million a year. There needs to be a system in place that allows the business to work smarter and faster.
To go from seed to scale you must take action. Sell first and create later. After that, build your team and double down on what works.
Credit: ULYSES OSUNA, CONTRIBUTOR