Co-founder B1G1.com - 30+ years business experience IT focused - founder 9 companies in four different countries - Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
If you have to bootstrap a company (and I've created 9 companies this way) the thing that is important to understand is that YOU have to be willing do ALL the jobs in the company!
Emphasis on WILLING. You don't actually have to do every job, but you simply must be willing to do every job that needs to be done. Hence creating a business with partners splits the workload.
The benefit of this is that you know EVERY aspect of your company inside out. And you REALLY learn how to create a business from the base up - a very valuable skill to have for when later on you have access to startup capital.
So if you have not gone out and done sales or have a resistance to doing this - maybe it's time to put your boots on and burn some leather!
In a startup - when you talk with clients you LEARN about the VALUE of your product in ways you could not imagine. You often discover hidden value because you often have to think on your feet and SELL the VALUE to someone else.
This hidden value could take your company in a completely different direction or allow you to increase revenue exponentially.
If you had not done the sales yourself you probably would not have discovered this hidden value.
When I bootstrapped a new SEO company about 15 years ago, there were just two of us in the company - me and my tele-sales partner. She made the appointments and I did the face-to-face calls.
I did all the face-to-face sales for the first year giving us solid sales data, a sales track record, and a sales process.
This made it easier to attract a TOP-FLIGHT sales manager on 100% commission. Our finances were still too weak to pay them a fixed salary plus commission, but when they saw the sales systems and data, they agreed to do the job for a month's trial on 60% net commission.
The deal was expensive for us but because we had the data we knew we could make it work. And the most important part was that it meant I could shift my focus to higher-value work - business development.
That sales manager stayed with us and drove our sales 100-fold over the next three years.
It was one of the best early development decisions we made. Our company grew from 2 to 30 team members in that same time period all from cashflow!
I would 100% agree with Robin Vaughn's reply on this - go to the DATA.
But let me tell you what you can do if there is no data or you cannot access it.
Use your intuition (FEELINGS) like a computer!
Here's how you do it.
Ask yourself a question - see how it feels - give your feeling a number from 1 to 10 depending on how you feel. 1 = low feeling where 10 = high feeling or a more excited feeling.
The thing to note is that your questions should be specific and simple. And that you may have to do a couple of question rounds to get the best result.
Write your answers down. Go with the highest number. Easy!
Here is a process example with sample questions :
1) Should I launch in January?
2) Should I launch after January?
Let's say #1 gets a 6 on your feeling scale and #2 gets a 1. So now you know to launch in January but don't know when in January. So you can do a round 2.
1) Should I launch in the first week of January?
2) Should I launch in the second week of January?
3) Should I launch in the third week of January?
4) Should I launch in the last week of January?
As you can see your focus is specificity. The more specific you can be the better your results will be.
While this process may sound like hog-wash to some - this is a tried and tested process that I have used for over 30 years.
One of my best memories of using this process was when I needed to launch a new company that would have a global client base.
I was based in Australia at the time and the new company needed to be located in an international hub spot with easy global travel, reasonable labor costs, an easy business environment, access to capital, access to skilled English-speaking staff, and a high trust level in people's minds.
Australia was out because of the travel issues and the high staff costs.
I wrote down a list of cities that met the above criteria.
My best feelings were for Singapore. It felt BURNING HOT good!
So I went for Singapore and pitched it to my other business partners. At first, they said no, but later changed their mind. A month later we launched our company https://B1G1.com in Singapore. It still runs out of Singapore and now serves a growing global client base in over 20 countries.
Over the years I have developed a few more intuitive tools and have used them to make the best decisions or create the best results. For example, one tool I developed helped me create an average sales rate of 7/10 - 10 sales pitches - 7 sales. I can share these with you in a call https://clarity.fm/david.anttony
This is an interesting question.
I am going to answer this in an interesting way!
In business of course there are tasks that you don't like doing - that's life!
However, in business, you should ALWAYS be focused on delivering your HIGHEST value. At the same time, you should be looking for ways to get rid of low-value jobs and tasks - passing these on to other competent people.
I always tell my team members that their job is to get rid of their job and then I will give them a better job.
This may sound super weird, but when I say 'get rid of their job' I mean they should be focused on systemization - delegation - outsourcing - team up-skilling - simplification, and so on.
If you feel annoyed or irritated about a task that is very different than feeling reluctant to do a task.
Irritation is a clear sign you are doing things wrong!
So the next time you feel irritated at doing a task take note of what I have said and see how you can 'get rid of your job'.
If you spend time thinking about how you can make your job simpler - easier and more fun WHILE achieving top results you will amaze yourself. You are sure to come up with innovative ideas that will transform your job and your company step by step.
The biggest mistake most people make when starting ANY project - business or otherwise - is not having a CLEAR PLAN.
Excitement is usually the driving force behind a startup. This is important BUT it must be strongly tied to a CLEAR PLAN.
And this is the KEY to remember when it comes to a plan.
The #1 purpose of a plan is so that you (and all key people involved) have a CRISTAL CLEAR IMAGE in mind about what you are creating.
If you cannot 'see' something - then you will struggle to create it. And the clearer you can see something, the easier you will be able to create it.
The #2 purpose of a plan is to use it to share your ideas with others so that they can SEE what you are wanting to create.
Great question. Creating a proof of concept is usually the best step. To do this you often need very little.
I started an SEO company in Singapore 15 years ago from nothing. My first client purchased my services because I CREATED TRUST and I offered a clear VALUE package. I had no team - no office - and no commercial experience in SEO. I did however have confidence, business, and IT skills.
Always remember business is about exchanging VALUE for MONEY.
So make sure you have a CLEAR VALUE proposition and then go try sell it. See what happens. You will learn on your feet and get real market feedback.
And remember - money will only exchange hands if there is TRUST in place backed by VALUE.... the greater the trust and the greater the value, the faster the money will flow.
Instead of looking at 'failure' let's look instead to what creates a successful project.
You will find that the best creators are those who can FEEL the CERTAINTY of a successful project before they start.
They will then take the STEPS to create success.
Each step they take will be taken with as sense of CERTAINTY - and if they lose that sense of CERTAINTY at any point on the project timeline - they will pause or change direction.
A powerful creator also knows this : CERTAINTY comes from being able to CLEARLY see what they want to create.
And in business terms the #1 tool that creates a CLEAR IMAGE for everyone is the business plan.
Most people think the business plan is just about getting the details on paper. WRONG - a business plan is so that you can CLEARLY SEE in your minds eye what you are creating in ALL the DETAIL that is needed at each stage of the project.
When you can SEE something clearly you feel a sense of CERTAINTY.
This clarity is what creates confidence and keeps you focused on all the points of importance.
So if you find you are failing - congratulate yourself - it means you are out of focus in some aspect of your project. Bring yourself back into focus and try again. But next time make sure you FEEL the sense of success and make sure you can SEE it before you take action. And make sure you are focused on EVERY important step ...
Keep having fun.
Using your 'intuition' is often as you probably know called 'following your gut' - a pretty awful term - BUT there is some truth in that nonetheless.
The truth lies in the fact that our FEELINGS (not emotions) are an enhanced form of communication. And we mainly 'feel' our feelings in our stomach area - hence 'listen to your gut feelings'.
The trick in business is to use your feelings to get FAST answers about if you should do something or NOT do something - and then follow up with logic and facts - learning to MERGE these two will make you a powerful creator and decision maker.
The first step is to use these tips :
If something FEELS good - it's usually a YES -- and if it feels BAD it's usually a NO -- and if no feeling at all - then it does not matter OR the time is not right.
When you take the next ACTION steps they should ALWAYS be from something that feels GOOD. If you take action steps when you feel bad or indifferent the results will usually be the same - bad or indifferent.
After you get a CLEAR feeling - then take the next steps to act -- and always integrate your mental and feeling skills -- that way you stay GROUNDED in all your actions.
Good luck and keep having fun.