I truly love working with Startups. People who are passionate about starting a business and creating a life for themselves. The Lawyer who dreams of running a yoga studio. The policewoman who plans to open a Flower Shop.
Just this morning I was having a Laser Coaching Call with a prospective new client and we were discussing his “Why?”
He has a really great idea for a business and his “Why?” includes:
- Making a difference
- Feeling at the end of the day that he has contributed to making the world a better place
- Connecting ethical companies with customers who truly value ethical products
- Being in charge of his future “I’ve spent years making big bucks for others. I work hard and all my life others have reaped the benefit of that”
- Being able to use all of his skills, talents and abilities “It’s not really about the money. I just want to feel good about myself”
For almost the past 10 years working with Startups and I hear the same thing over and over:
- I want to make a difference
- I want to use my creative skills and abilities
- I want to have flexibility
- I want to have the freedom to work with who I want to
- I love what I do and want to do it for myself
- I want to create passive income (BTW: there Is no such thing as passive income)
When I work with clients we work to shift the focus away from “I want …” to “Why are you doing this?” And we work on 2 critical questions:
- “Why would anyone want to buy/ pay for what you are offering?” and
- “Who is going to buy/ pay for what you are offering?”
If there are no customers or clients, there is no business. If there are no clients/ customers then they have what is called “a hobby”
It is not a Business!
Today I read an article about the “20 reasons why startups fail”. We don’t need 20, we just need the first one!
The #1 reason Startups fail (according to this research) is “No Market Need”.
Put simply: No one wants to buy what they are selling. No one wants their “stuff”
There is a great story about a guy who spent significant resources developing a gadget to keep cucumbers from going soft after they are cut. Critical question: Does anyone want this? No. He has no business.Best not invest any more resources: time or money!
If you are thinking about starting a business the very first thing you need to establish is “Does anyone want this?”
You might be in love with your own idea. To have a viable business, you need customers and clients who are willing to pay money for what you are offering.
The notion of Minimum Viable Product is a central theme of the Lean Startup and our Getting Startups Started Program. This is the idea of creating the Minimum Viable Product MVP and “road testing” it before investing a large amount of resources.
Being a Startup is exciting. Getting started right is critical. It’s great to have a long list of “I wants …” Just make sure some one else wants what you are offering.