How long did you wait to start your business? A week… a month… a year? Almost everyone I know has one major regret when it comes to their business: that they didn’t start sooner.
Today I’m going to show you how I turned a basic idea for a service, into a business averaging $400 in monthly profit after the first month. Hopefully this story will be the “spark” that gets you to start taking action on your own ideas. Trust me… waiting will only cause you problems.
1) The Idea Phase
The date is October 2nd, 2013. I’m thinking about starting a new website, because I’ve found what I think is a profitable market that is currently untapped. Sweet—this means there isn’t too much competition, and it’ll be easy to become the authority of this little niche. Then I realize I’ve got a huge problem: I don’t know anything about this topic. No worries, I’ll just outsource the content creation, and spend all of my time on promotion of the site.
So I start looking for places to get quality writers for my new site—and I’m amazed. There’s only the super low-end market for writers (which usually involves non-native speakers working for less than a penny per word) and the high-end (which is professional writers who charge hundreds of dollars per article).
My problem is that I want quality work, but I can’t afford to pay for the best of the best writers if the site isn’t even profitable yet. Bam! The idea hit me: I can’t be the only person that wants “middle of the road” writers.
So my idea was born, and now I just needed a way to validate it (before spending lots of time and money on creating the business).
2) Validating The Business
Now I just had to prove that my idea was solid, so I set out to create my MVP. I accomplished this by putting together a really basic sales letter/graphic (that I could post on forums in the “buy sell trade” section). Then, I went right ahead and posted the thread (basically I got my own little area to advertise on the forum) and linked it to a Wufoo form that would collect the order information and payment through paypal.
You might be wondering: “Who the heck would buy from some random person on a forum?” That’s actually a good question: that’s where your reputation, your sales letter copywriting, and your overall business sense takes charge. Keep in mind, the forum I was posting on had a dedicated section for ads—think of it as an ebay for marketers—so this was completely normal.
3) Transitioning To A “Real” Business
That’s all it took: within the first month I pulled in over 300 dollars worth of profit, the second month came out to around 400, and it’s been growing ever since. My idea has been validated, and now I’m looking to turn this into a serious business and start marketing it to the world (instead of this little niche community).
Obviously I left out a few of the important details, like pricing, what I was exactly offering in my content packages, and how I outsourced the work, but that’s for another time.
For now, I want to instill the idea that taking action on your ideas is one of the most important factors in starting a profitable company. If I was scared of failure—and I hadn’t executed my idea (at least to the point of validation or lack thereof)—I would have missed out on this huge opportunity. A few hundred dollars in profit per month might seem small, but in the long run there is a huge amount of potential here to market the business (as 100% of my profit up to this point was coming from a single advertisement on a single forum).
Don’t wait to start your business. Take action on your ideas right now, and even if you fail to validate your idea, you will be one step closer to finding that winning idea.
This article was originally published by Under30CEO
Published: February 13, 2014