15 Things To Know For Your First Startup

A great post from Neil Patel about things to know when starting.

  1. Swing for the fence (Aim High)
  2. Create a simple product (SMPL)
  3. Solve a problem
  4. Know your market’s price tolerance
  5. Advertising is a must
  6. Payments should be easy
  7. Be patient
  8. Premium prices have advantages
    • You appear like an authority
    • You will get fewer complaints
    • You deliver excellent customer service when focusing on a small number of clients
    • You’re reputation grows
  9. Free work can lead to lucrative work (Don’t lower your price)
  10. Never Stop Closing
  11. Eliminate everything else but the essentials (FOCUS)
  12. Always lock into your passion (It’s going to be a long, bumpy road, you might as well enjoy the trip
  13. Hire carefully (Hire Slowly, Fire Fast)
    • Test the waters yourself
    • Develop a process
    • Forget about pay
    • Consider more than talent
  14. Smart people learn from other people’s mistakes
    • Get a mentor
    • Read about business failures
  15. Cash is king
    • Use volunteers and interns
    • Work like a slave
    • Resist a fat salary
    • Don’t buy expensive office furniture
    • Keep the office space at a minimum

Source: http://bit.ly/Ocu6J6


Business Plan to PowerPoint

With many thanks to Aydin, Co-Founder and CEO of chide.it, here are the rules around the business plan

  • write your business plan and use it as a reference
  • keep the business plan internally
  • turn your business plan into a presentation instead
  • follow the 10/20/30 rule in your presentation (REMINDER: 10 slides, 20 minutes and 30 point font size)

Business Plan

In your business plan cover the following topics:

  1. Vision: your elevator pitch
  2. Problem: is this an Aspirin or Vitamin? why do customers care?
  3. Market: who are your customers?
  4. Solution: how are you solving the customer’s pain (high level)?
  5. Technology: what is your secret sauce? include development risks
  6. Business Model: pricing and gross margin
  7. Sales Cycle: value chain, product pull, distribution channels
  8. Competitors: key companies, strengths and Weaknesses
  9. Competitive Advantage: key differentiators (are you 10 times better?)
  10. Team: management and board of directors (who’s behind you?)
  11. Traction Record: key achievements and traction creation
  12. Financial Plan: 1st year monthly cash flow and five year projection
  13. Capital Structure: who owns what and price paid
  14. Offer: how much for what percentage (how profitable your venture is?)

This list is adapted from OCRI’s outline for an investor pitch.


What About Business Plan!

How to write a business plan, I asked Aydin, founder of chide.it and here is what he said:

1) it makes you write on paper what you are going to do to make lots of money.
2) it shows investors how you plan on making lots of money.
but, at the end of the day, look at your plan from a 3rd party perspective and ask yourself, would I loan this business 10k as an angel investor? If your answer is yes, then you’re in good shape”
simple and to the point!