To build a business you must sell your house – and follow your passion
When watching a house moving programme on TV it is clear within 5 minutes when the couple will fail to sell their house.
They insist on keeping their (very) distinctive colour scheme, so that ‘people can understand the potential of the place’ or because ‘it is my favorite colour’. Although they need to stay in the house while it was being sold, they make almost zero effort to make their product shine.
They do not build a relationship with the broker, organise open house days, or have a very clear idea exactly who would buy their house.
Setting up a new venture can be like house selling – it is a huge undertaking, there are a million things to do, uncertainty is rampant, and pretty much everyone has a strong opinion on what needs to be done.
To avoid a business with a ‘For Sale’ sign hanging around for months on end, remember the following:
0. Know who will buy – what their problem is, what you have to offer, how you can reach them. Having the technical details right is simply the entry criteria – concentrate on making sure they understand the benefits.
1. It is not about you. Be ready to listen to the market and let that hobby horse go. Perhaps they are just not that into your compelling vision, however you do have a unique perspective and offering in there somewhere – just be prepared for some brutal feedback and adapt accordingly.
2. Obsess about your customer – Model everything around their buying criteria. Know them intimately, Listen to them, act on what they say. Repeat.
2. Resist the urge to impress and pontificate. Be very clear about the problem you are solving and get to the point
3. Concentrate on costs and revenues from day one. Most ventures fail from lack of customers and running out of cash, so do what you have to do to get the cash flowing, and no more.
4. Outsource wherever possible. Your focus is on getting the engine running and closing the sale. Value your time appropriately based on these two activities and outsource everything else. It is a very hard lesson but you need help and you need to learn to let go.