Chris Guillebeau has written $100 Startup after extensive research and lots of personal experience as well. The cover page says it all. Fire your boss, do what you love and work better to live more. If you are one of the happy 9 to 5 workers, this book is not for you. This is only for people who want to start a venture. This will be specifically helpful because Chris talks here of lots of businesses and their average starting cost is about $100. Following are few of the lessons I learnt from “The $100 Startup”
Lesson 1: Do something for which you have passion as well as you have skills for it and a target audience
Do not start business out of passion alone. You may be passionate but you have got to have skills as well. Skills and passion are also not enough. You must have a target audience willing to pay as well.
Passion + Skill + Usefulness to others = Success
Most people make mistake of starting with only passion. Sometimes they lack skill and most of the time, they lack usefulness to others. You may love doing something and you may even be good at it. But until and unless, there is some usefulness for others, it will just not work as business!
Lesson 2: Target audience based on interests, passion, skills and values
New start-ups should not emphasize so much on location, age, and race. Instead they should emphasize more on the demographic factors like interests, passion, skills and values. The cases in $100 Startup mostly target based on these parameters.
Identify people in Facebook and linkedin groups of like minded people. Instead of targeting anyone and everyone, this approach certainly makes more sense with better ROI.
Lesson 3: Do not teach your customers how to fish. Just sell them the fish
If you go to a restaurant and order some food and then chef comes and takes you to the kitchen and shows you how cooking is done and then asks you to cook it as well; how you would react. Most of us go to hotel so that we can enjoy the ambience and we ourselves do not have to visit the kitchen. We are paying high amount for that. New businesses should learn that you have to just sell the fish and not start teaching how to fish as Karl Marx rightly says: “Catch a man a fish and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.”
Lesson 4: Good things happen to those who hustle
Hustler represents the ideal combination: work and talk fused together. A hustler does lot of creating and a lot of communicating. Good things happen to such people. Lot of networking helps them a lot. Create lot of stuff and market a lot. You are bound to make more money. There are no short cuts or alternative to hustle. $100 Startup is all about stories of hustler who persevered all the way. Chris Guillebeau is honest to the core. He does not provide any false promises.
Lesson 5: Business succeeds only when it provides real value to clients
Nothing will work unless you do. Any business relationship is a two way transaction. You cannot succeed unless you provide things of real value to client. Business relationship encourages recurring purchases and get more networking which will only happen if client has received things of value. This is an era of repetitive business. And you can get client second time only if he is satisfied with your first product or service. Until and unless, you provide real value to the clients, business just cannot flourish!
Lesson 6: Do not be afraid of failure
Almost every test case study mentioned in the book is the kind of failure to success story. Things might not workout as you plan. But you certainly learn important lessons to learn. Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again with newly learnt lessons. It is better to fail and learn than not to start at all. Failure should be taken with utmost optimism and converted into a stepping stone.
Lesson 7: It does not require million dollars to start a startup. $100 is enough sometimes!
Chris gives a lot of case studies and all of them start with a very low investment. Most of them are started with a budget around $100 which is very affordable. This is perhaps the most important lesson of all. I have seen many wannabe entrepreneurs who do not dare venture because they believe it takes millions to start a startup. Chris proves this wrong by giving lots and lots of success stories which is why this is a must read book for all wanna be entrepreneurs thinking they need lots of money.
Next Plan of Action:
Apart from these lessons, $100 Startup has lots of inspirational stories of entrepreneurs and lot of wisdom! The lessons mentioned above cover just the tip of the iceberg. If you find this article worth exploring and learning more on the topic, please buy the book by clicking the below link. I also happen to be an affiliate for Amazon Affiliate program. You can buy the book by clicking the following link:
The $100 Startup: Fire your Boss, Do what you Love and Work Better to Live More (For Indian visitors to Amazon.in)
The $100 Startup: Fire your Boss, Do what you Love and Work Better to Live More (For US visitors to Amazon.com)
Most of the start-ups mentioned are E-commerce ones which have their own blog in it. Hence for all the bloggers, they can think of it. If your small startup or proprietorship does not have a blog, here are the reasons why you should have a blog. Here is how you can get your blog started.