Entrepreneur and world traveler Chris Guillebeau figured out the secrets to a successful small business by tracking 1,500 micro-entrepreneurs. In The $100 Startup, he distills his findings into a guide to turn your passion into a business. Here are the 6 invaluable insights from The $100 Startup.
Passion alone does not equal a successful business.
Convergence is the intersection of your passion and a product that people will actually pay money for you to produce. In order to launch a successful business you need to find an audience for the service you are willing to provide. You have to dig deep to figure out what aspect of your service appeals to people. It could be less complex than you think.
Teach yourself how to pitch your business in 140 characters.
Being able to write a “we” statement the length of a tweet allows you to cut through the jargon that might distract consumers from your product’s value.
Do more than customers expect.
This doesn’t mean you should oversell your product. It’s never a good idea to promise more than you deliver. But something as simple as a handwritten thank you note alongside your handcrafted product can cement the relationship between you and your customers. Sometimes what people want is an experience, not just a service. A giveaway or contest might also inspire goodwill in your consumer base.
Connect your product to its benefits.
Marketing is key, even to a small business. But if your marketing doesn’t make a clear connection between your product and its benefits, it may not hook buyers. Emphasising your process could make users feel like they aren’t paying enough if you are particularly efficient.
Focus on the outcomes of your incomes.
People always want the premium option. You should always be looking to optimize your model for the most profit. For example, a subscription service guarantees a more consistent income than a onetime sale. Make sure you cost is consistent with the benefit of the product and not the cost of production.
The size of your business is up to you.
Unless you want to sell your company for enough money to retire on, you do not need to be able to scale your business. The larger you grow vertically by outsourcing tasks, the less control you will have over client relationships.