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You'll just have to create an Excel Spreadsheet, with the retailers and contractors. Then you'd have to manually match them, and then you'd have to call them to find out how the gig went. Just run it as if YOU ARE THE PLATFORM. So basically, you'd have to do manually what the platform would do if it existed.
If your cost is very low, it can be a great idea. Look at Kogan.com that built a successful electronics retail company online, a highly competitive market, but the idea became extremely successful based on his core competitive advantage, i.e. low cost. Just depends on what sort of cost advantage you can provide!
Co-incidentally, I ran a content creation business virtually, and had the same problem. You need to identify clearly who your audience is depending on the type of content you produce. So if you make infographics, maybe a highly technical data driven client that is looking to present their content in a more interesting manner would be an ideal match. Then when you do find out who your ideal client is, if they're in the B2B space, I'd say email marketing works well. You'd have to reach them on email to figure out if they'd like your services. You might need to email about a 1000 people to even just get a couple of leads, like 2 or 3 that actually become paying customers. I'm happy to jump on a call and share more information if you'd like.
There is no age for starting entrepreneurship. You can start whenever you feel ready. In fact, your youth will give you more energy, and "ignorance" to get started since you may not know everything, but you'll still keep going. More importantly if you start young, you have an advantage compared to those who start late, because even if your venture failed (which it might), you still have more chances to give it a shot since you'd still be young! So my advice would be to just begin!
I'd recommend using the Lean Canvas by Eric Reis. It's a one page business plan you can use, and then you can keep adapting/iterating along the way to test your assumptions. No point wasting time on a 100 page business plan that fails the minute you touch the marketplace in the real world.
Look, I'll tell you straight up:
1. Why are you looking to get IP Protection on your coaching method?
2. Is it hard to copy your coaching method? If it's easy to copy, just don't bother wasting several thousand dollars on IP protection because people are going to copy anyway.
It all depends on how easy or hard it is to copy your coaching method.
I'll give you an unconventional answer. The best way to know which one is better, is to try both. Yep. No point starting niche and then going broad, or starting broad then going niche. Just invent an alter ego for both, until you realise which one is better. You will have to work twice as hard, but it will be worth it in the end.