Inside every employee is an idea for a business that they’re convinced could make a million dollars. For almost everyone, that idea remains pure, unblemished, and a wistful possibility that is never threatened with reality.
There are good reasons that most people’s business ideas never even approach fruition: the statistics of business success are grim. 90% of all businesses will never make even a million dollars of revenue over their lifetime. The average business lasts about 5 years. And most failed entrepreneurs tried once and left their dream behind after accruing debt and doubt.
So most everyone avoids trying.
But here’s the thing: there’s no reason to. It’s easy to test ideas so quickly today. You can build & launch a new webpage in a few hours. Sign up for an ad account with Facebook or Twitter and start testing your new business idea out with live traffic in minutes.
You don’t need a finished product. You don’t need a whole team behind you. You need an idea, a few hours of work, and a few hundred dollars of capital. If you start to see traction, build on it. Make it a side hustle. Grow it.
If it fails? That’s a great lesson. Build something new and try again.
Crowdtamers’ website & blog is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs go from being a wantrepreneur to someone who has built a thriving SaaS startup, and I’ve launched 13 different companies to $2MM+ in annual revenue, all based on 1 key idea: you can’t know anything about your business idea until you launch it.
Launching requires that you have an MVP, you might think. And to a certain extent, I agree, but I think an MVP is different than you may think.
To launch today, you need 3 things: an offer, a destination, and an ask. What does this mean?
What is your business selling? CrowdTamers specializes in helping SaaS companies sell subscriptions to their software, so you’d want to know what your software solution would solve if it existed.
I have recently been testing different ways to package up solving problems in the cold outreach space. Just like CrowdTamers uses performance marketing a bit differently than anyone out there, I think that there’s room to use cold email differently as well. There are many different things I’d like to try so I can see which works.
A good first test is to investigate the kind of client I can find. Do people want software they can subscribe to that solves a lot of the grunt work for cold outreach, or would they rather have someone do it all for them for a higher fee?
These are fundamentally the same product—either I can create cold outreach for someone, or I can give them access to the tools & automation I use and they can do it—but they’re very different ways to think about it.
So there’s the offer.
CrowdTamers is a digital marketing company and we focus on digital marketing techniques, so the destination we use is usually going to be a landing page or a website.
In this case, I built a landing page for the two different offers above: do you want a software product that solves problems, or do you want someone to offer a done-for-you service?
The two pages end up looking like this.
They’re about as simple as a landing page can be, both powered by Super.so. The offer in each is quite focused.
You don’t need anything more complex than this. The buttons in these forms lead to calendar booking links, but they could just as easily capture the lead’s email address & name. The type of action that you want someone to take will vary based on what your offer is—and what your product will someday be.
You need to find people to validate your idea.
One of my favorite ways to launch today is through paid ads, but it’s not the only way to launch.
Fundamentally, you want to find a platform with a bigger audience than you have (since you probably have about 0 audiences at the moment) and then use it to boost your message. Some common places to go:
- Direct Marketing
For each of these areas, you’ll want to adopt different tactics to promote yourself, but the goal is the same: 99.999% of people don’t want whatever you’re offering right now. Find that tiny tiny fraction of people who do by selecting your community or partner with your offer’s recipient in mind, and then work like heck to attract them to your destination with a specific ask.
What are good asks?
“Get a free trial”, “Save $X a month”, “Solve PROBLEM today”—these are all asks that can get people to come and visit your destination to consider your offer.
“Take a survey”, “Answer some questions”, “Please share with friends” are all weak asks and ones that won’t get you the validation you need. Launching means treating your offer as if it’s real. When people book or sign up, you can tell them you’re in closed alpha then and they’ll need to wait before they can get into the product themselves.
So why go through this?
There are 2 immediate benefits to this.
- You have been forced to wrestle with the idea that you’ve been nurturing for weeks or months or years. You’ve made it tangible, and you’ve bounded and enclosed it. It can start to be a real business.
- You are now testing the idea. You can share it around on Reddit or at a networking event or anywhere else you can find an audience to share your ask with.
With those 2 benefits, you can quickly validate or—just as importantly—invalidate your idea.
And pivot or launch the next.
So Launch Today. Launch first. Learn fast.
You’ll never regret what you learn from launching today as much as you will regret never learning if it could have been.