Spoiler Alert: You don't have to start a business to find out if your product is basically a fit for your customer.
psssst. You probably don't even need a website.
In this Dream Biz Test Drive miniseries, we are sharing, over a few weeks, a sampler from the full DBTD course for Savvy women to test drive your dream business idea and answer the question:
“Should I start this business?”
So here we are with step 2. If you’ve spent some time with Step 1, you have a good idea of your values and motivation. So what now?
Surely now it is time to write a business plan? Design a logo? Launch a website?
The first step was about You. The second step is about Them. Your customers or clients. You can find out a lot about them before you start your business. Not all people do this. Why? Because it feels funny. Maybe even a bit scary. The video explains more about that.
Not to be too simplistic, but lets start with the very basics:
a business idea = product or service
that you assume would be valuable enough to someone else
that they can and will pay you for it. = Customer
Here is something that seems to be lost in the deluge of advice for people starting a business, among the flurry of business plan templates, bookkeeping software, web design options, branding advice and OMG Social Media hype, very few sources tell you:
You don't have to start a business to find out if your product is basically a fit for your customer.
psssst. You probably don't even need a website.
How do we do this? Are you ready? Its radical and scary.
You talk to a few of them.
This simple idea is called Customer Discovery, and there is a whole methodology around it that we introduce in the DreamBiz Test Drive full course. Some of the world's most innovative startups and businesses believe it is one of the highest value ways to spend your time in your business, especially in the early stages. Its awesome because its one of the most fun activities, you grow personally from the process, and BEST of all you get fantastic feedback on your idea.
And here is part 2 - they may even admit they have the problem that you see. They may even want to solve it. But they may not buy. Why? there is more about that in the video.
Also in the video we talk about the difference between being emotionally attached to your idea, versus being customer centric.
The point is, your idea is genius in some way, but to be a good business idea requires 3 things:
1. your customer has to agree they need it,
2. be ready emotionally and
3. have the ability to pay you a price that results in profit for your business.
You don't know if it is a good business idea until you talk to people in your "target market" to find out if your assumptions about what they need or want are correct.
We'll see you Friday on Facebook live, or next week here at the blog! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please be in touch!
Interested in hearing from YinCaravana as we build out quality, curated resources for women stepping outside of their comfort zone and up-leveling their lives? Join us here.
Tragic Irony. I was just editing a video today that explains how climate change is connected to my work on the planet, even though I don't work directly in environmental advocacy.
The video connects the dots of my belief that women are the key to saving what is left of the earth, no matter what work they are called to influence and magnify in society or business.
And then I see the news the the President of the United States has withdrawn from the Paris Accord. There will soon be even less earth left to fight for, especially if this president is allowed to serve out his term.
My story started two years ago, with an aha moment in Glacier Park, Montana. What are the chances that this video, which has been on my to do list for months, would come together today?
Spoiler alert - the truth that was revealed to me is that the reason the world is so effed up is due to an imbalance between male and female power for, oh, at least 2000 years. Granted, not an original insight, but one that stuck with me as territory to make my stand.
The election of the current president is an incredible example of how far the pendulum has swung, one that would be comic if he were not so dangerous. He is insane and the leaders doing his bidding are equally out of touch. Having lived for the last 6 months mostly outside of the United States, I have watched with growing disbelief the coup that has taken place.
This is not about dissing men. I love good men. Ironically, many of them have not prospered under this testosterone-fueled Ascent of Man, either. I wish more of them would organize and stand up to the misogynist bullies and good old boys among us. But, as they say in macho Texas, I don't have a dog in that fight.
I do have one in my own back yard, though.
Ladies, I know you are busy. Doing what? Is it the work you were born to do? Are you having the impact you know you can make on your family, community, society in general?
Discovering what that work is and pursuing it is how we increase our collective influence. That is how we restore the balance of power between women and men on the planet. And that is how we save the world.
The only way I can look future generations in the eye is to do my part while I am here. I don't know if it will be enough, or if it is too late. That is not for me to decide.
I am focusing on real life women who are stepping outside of their comfort zone and collaborating online in record numbers to redesign business and society in our own image. With luck and dedication, this rising tide will sweep over the tiny giants.
More women are starting businesses than ever before. The rate of new business creation is highest among African American women. Immigrant women follow second. Women of all backgrounds are turning their backs on a corporate system that was never designed to meet their needs.
We are turning to one another in increasing numbers, rapidly forming incredible online networks of support that operate independently of traditional channels.
This terrific news also threatens a very calcified, powerful status quo.
Could these statistics have anything to do with the current backlash from entrenched power structures in the United States against women, social programs, the earth itself? Perhaps I am being a typical woman, overly dramatic - I'm menopausal and certainly not to be trusted, for God's sake! Or, I'm simply a pesky oversensitive feminist looking for bias where there is none.
Did you see the new statue on Wall Street, the location that the whole world sees as synonymous with US financial might?
There she is, a statue of an unarmed little girl who looks like she just stepped out of 1955. She's about to get trampled to death by the great big macho bull. She's a cute little thing, her hands are defiantly placed on her skinny hips, her short dress wafts in the breeze.
If you were an alien from another planet, you know, one where women had equal power with men, what would be your take-away from this symbolism?
She was hailed as a bold gesture in support of women, even by some women's groups.
I've got an idea. How about a statue of a female matador with a bloody sword?
Or, unlike our current President and his minions, we could take the high road, which is rapidly looking like the only path out of self-destruction. We could replace the girl and the bull with a simple globe, a representation of our collective planet.
A place in space sometimes referred to as Mother Earth.
You have some amazing ideas, right? They are like fussy babies, waking you up at 2:00 a.m., clamoring for attention.
I can relate, having had both fussy babies in the past, and amazing ideas waking me up at 2:00 a.m. for years now.
So I went looking for a fun, streamlined way to test my ideas without breaking the bank. What I found was alot of information on How to start a business, but very little that helps you with the first step you really should be asking is Should I start this business.
This led me to create my own system, test it, and then create the DreamBiz Test Drive for Savvy Women. The video below introduces you to me and the course! We've also created a video miniseries for the full course, too.
You can learn more in our COURSES andSHOP areas on the website.
Feel free to share in the comments below - what have your experiences been in testing your ideas?
So what is the first step to take if you are thinking of a major life change, such as starting a business? That is our example for this week, although it could be any major project or decision - a Passion Project, a new Non-Profit, even a local community group.
For many women, midlife is a time to reflect and UPDATE our Why, because guess what? Our Why can change over the years as we expand our vision.
The video below gives you a brief introduction. The context is starting a business, but it could apply to other situations where you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, Upleveling your life and living a little bit Bigger than before. <3
The full DreamBiz Test Drive for Savvy Women course goes into this step in more detail, with exercises to help you identify your core values and tie all of together to your DreamBiz idea.
Another really great resource is Simon Sinek's classic TED Talk on Why your Why is important. https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA