90% of all Startups FAIL because they ignore this advice…

startups-fail
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Recently I was hosting a series of Live Workshops and started some Meetup.com groups to kickstart my local networking. And that worked out very well. New members keep joining the group on a regular basis and I welcome them with an email asking how I can help with their startup or idea.

Approach potential customers by asking how you can help themClick To Tweet

I can only urge you to approach any potential new customers by asking a few questions about how you can help them improve their business. The experience is an eye opener and will enlighten you in many ways. For me, it was instantly clear from their answers that most were doing the completely wrong things and running around like chicken with no heads. I was not even aware of the fact that so many people are starting out the wrong way and that insight changed my own perspective and the very definition of the Startup School altogether.

Asking for other startup´s problems completely changed the definition of my own businessClick To Tweet

Looking back on the first months of launching the Startup School website and comparing that to the external insights I got from other people´s problems launching their own startups, I realized that I needed to refocus the Startup School and start over from scratch. Most people are saddling their horse from the back and that usually means asking for trouble. How well that strategy works out is made clear when you get a horseshoe kick in the face. Lesson learned. Fast.

From now on I will focus all my efforts on helping people launching their startup ideas and new products in the exact right sequence to kickstart their business to the next level and completely eliminate the risk of failure! I think you can do without a horseshoe kick in the face, don´t you agree? 😉

Everyone has an AWESOME IDEA! So what is the PROBLEM?

Most people answer that they have this awesome idea and are currently building a prototype but don´t know how to do anything in terms of sales, marketing, hiring external experts or even need to figure out a business model, to begin with. So obviously building or programming stuff is NOT the problem!

BUT: no one of them even realized that they already had a completely different problem altogether, because each and everyone had made a fatal initial mistake at the very beginning: They stepped into the so-called “Cycle of Guaranteed Failure”.

What is the Cycle of Guaranteed Failure?

The Cycle of Guaranteed Failure usually consists of four steps:

  1. You have an AWESOME idea
  2. You hide in a cave to build a product around that idea
  3. Six months later (let´s assume you have managed to survive on fast food delivery) you emerge from the cave to announce your product to the world and of course, you are as proud as a new dad!
  4. And then… Crickets. Nothing happens! Now you realize (much too late) that NO ONE CARES!

So what does that mean for Startups?

The Cycle of Guaranteed Failure should teach you on thing: [easy-tweet tweet=”you MUST STOP creating products that you have no proof of concept for!” user=”RokJokLabs” hashtags=”#StartupSchool”]

According to a much-recited report from CBinsights.com, the number one reason (scoring 42{29aa455276397f00c1193b4e8f2cd2513ab565e44090161a127889106909cabd}) why Startups fail is that there is NO MARKET for their product! That means it is absolutely crucial to test your idea BEFORE you even spend a minute of your precious time or a Dollar of your hard earned bootstrap budget on creating a product.

why-startups-fail-top-reasons1

(Image link source)

That report is from 2014 and ever since Google shows a skyrocketing Trend for the search term “Startups”, which means that ever more new people are trying to launch their ideas and products to the world. Most probably without having tested if the market even wants the concept first.

Google Trends Search for the term Startups

You have some problems that you are not even aware of!

You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you don´t have the market´s demand and distribution figured out early on, you will fail! I know best because it happened to me as well! Several times actually! It was a hard lesson but I learned it eventually. And YES; I lost a ton of money (about 40K USD) repeating the same old mistakes over and over again!

So it might sound like you have an awesome idea, but the number one problem is that you have not figured out if your idea can fly! And you have no expert team to make it happen. This is generally a bad starting point. Are you able to take over the product development, multichannel distribution, business strategy, and marketing part all by yourself? If not, then what else can you even bring to the table? Your whole business would depend on OTHER people. If you have a tech idea and you are no techie, don’t even bother!

O.K. so let´s just say you want to do this anyway… have you even tested the idea? Are there potential customers and do you HAVE their email address? Are you in contact and are they ready to spend money on beta testing a prototype? This is the FIRST step that you need to do BEFORE you spend a single dollar on any product or even start thinking about hiring a workforce!

So how can you test your product idea before you even have a product?

You need to create a landing page where you explain the concept. Then drill down deep on your ideal target customers, and send a small paid ads campaign to your landing page if you don´t know how else to get traffic to it. Set up a simple autoresponder to ask the subscribers a few questions in a survey and collect their email addresses for your launch campaign later. This way you have already set up parts of your sales funnel for later use in your online marketing strategy.

When people are negative about the product or don´t react at all, trash your idea and start from scratch!Click To Tweet

When people are positive about the concept you will notice that your product changes a lot as people send you feedback and feature requests. Only listen to the best ideas and ignore the rest. As soon as you can sell preorders of your first units, THEN you can go on and build your prototype as you have proof of concept and early paying customers.

The best thing about proof of concept is…

The best thing about getting proof of concept before you even start working on a product is that people will tell you exactly what they want you to build.  Go ahead and build that. Trash the rest. People will even feel as a co-creator of the product and evangelize it more easily to their social channels.

90{29aa455276397f00c1193b4e8f2cd2513ab565e44090161a127889106909cabd} of all Startups fail because they ignore this advice!Click To Tweet

Have you already planned all these steps and figured everything out? Then you can go on. If not, sit back down, relax and figure it out before you spend any money on a prototype! When you want to get an easy blueprint for setting up your landing page and automate your online marketing strategy take a look at my FREE Advanced Sales Funnel Webinar.

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