The $100 Startup

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startup By Chris Guillebeau (2012)
In this book, Chris shares a blueprint to freedom through his research and account of people who found a way to live their dreams and make a good living from something they cared deeply about.

He talks about micro-entrepreneurship.

Lesson 1 : Convergence

passion

Not everything you are passionate about or skilled in is interesting to the rest of the world, and not everything is marketable. But in the overlap between the two circles, where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive.

Lesson 2 : Skill Transformation

Many of the projects were started by people with related skills, not necessarily the skill most used in the project. To succeed in a business project, it helps to think carefully about all the skills that you have that could be helpful to others.

Lesson 3 : The Magic Formula

Passion or skill + usefulness = success

The basis of starting a business is simple, which can be broken down as follows :

1. Product or service : what you sell.

2. People willing to pay for it : your customers.

3. A way to get paid : how you’ll exchange a product or service for money

The initial work can be a challenge, but after the typical business gets going, you can usually take a number of steps to ramp up sales and income – if you want to. It helps to have a strategy of building interest and attracting attention, described here as hustling. Instead of just popping up one day with an offer, it helps to craft a launch event to get buyers excited ahead of time.

The lessons and case studies illustrate a business creation method that has worked many times over : Build something that people want and give it to them.

Key Points

1. Value means “helping people. When you focused on providing value above all else, their businesses were successful.

2. Give people what they really want.

3. The more you can market a core benefit, the easier it will be to profit from your idea. Core benefits usually relate to emotional needs more than physical needs.

4. Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve someone’s life .. and then prepare to get paid.

5. Use surveys to understand customers and prospects. The more specific, the better.

6. What people want and what they say they want are not always the same thing : your job is to figure out the difference.

7. Provide a nudge to customers by getting them to make a decision. The difference is urgency : Why should people act now?

8. Offer reassurance and acknowledgement immediately after someone buys something or hires you. Then find a small but meaningful way to go above and beyond their expectations.

9. “Moving on up” by increasing income in an existing business is usually easier than initially starting the business.

10. Easy growth options include adding a service to a product-based business (or vice versa), deploying a creative series of upsells, cross-sells, and making a few key tweaks.

11. Horizontal expansion involves going broader by serving more customers with different (usually related) interests, vertical expansion involves going deeper by serving the same customers with different levels of need.

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