So you think you've got the idea of a lifetime huh? Or maybe you are ready to take the plunge into the freelance world - "Fuck the man", right! I get it. Congrats - this is the first decision of millions you are going to have to make on the road to some kind of success…
Here’s the tricky thing, the facts are sometimes pretty difficult to swallow. Are you ready?
Your idea most probably sucks.
I mean this in the nicest possible way of course. But let's be honest. Most of the ideas we get are pretty damn half-baked. They normally, actually they are never thought out properly. But that's because of one very obvious reason, that an idea only forms and moulds into something good from taking action and doing something, yet remaining flexible and passionate enough to keep the ability to adapt along the way….
Now that's a PC way of saying you're going to fail. And you're going to fail a lot. Don't stress though, because without a few Band-Aids - a couple of grazed knees or even a few sleepless nights the chances of anything coming of your new venture is pretty damn low.
You know the saying right? “if it was easy, everyone would be doing it”.
OK so let's get this shit-show on the road huh!
You've made the decision. You're pumped up. You told ya Mum you're doing it, taking the plunge, you got all new stationary there's just one problem. You have no fucking idea what to do first!
Or, if you do know what to do first I can almost guarantee (unless you've been around this block before) that the first thing you think you should do is wrong. Lucky for you, I've fucked up enough to share how I would do it if I was to do it all over again.
Number one thing to do is to get things down on paper. Put your laptop down, delete that stupid app that promises the work of organisation - those things will be good later, but right now you need to be working with good old fashioned pen and paper.
The reason I'm so passionate about keeping things analogue isn't because of some strange hate of whizz-bang apps, it’s far more simple than that;
1) Pen and paper are fast.
2) Apps are on Phones or Laptops, Laptops have the internet - the internet has youtube - youtube steals hours from your life. Hours you need for your Business.
There are a few simple questions you want to ask your self about this idea/concept to either reassure you self that this life-changing plunge is worth it, or if this idea has some holes in it its a perfect time to put a finger over that hole.
Here are a quick few questions to ask yourself.
Who might my customer be?
What problem is my desired customer facing?
How does my customer currently solve this problem?
What’s my solution to this problem?
Why is this solution so damn special?
Who are my ideal first customers? the early adopters?
What gives me the advantage over my competitors?
How will I get to my customers?
How much does it cost me to solve this problem?
How much can I charge to solve this problem for my customer?
How much profit is left?
Now, these little questions are the basic questions developed by these startup nerds over at Strategizer. They use it on a canvas looking thing that you can find with a simple google of 'Lean Canvas' - or you can draw your self a version that asks the same questions.