Felt productive all day but by 5:15pm realized I didn’t accomplish anything.
1.Build product - coding/building, design/prototyping, product specs/project management
2. Sell product: face to face sales meetings/calls, email marketing, content marketing, customer development
In a startup, always seems like there are 1,000 hours of work to do but only 24 hours to do it in.
💯 especially if you’re a solopreneur.
How do you focus on what’s important?
Let's break it down:
My focus is on tech products because that’s what I know. Hopefully this helps for offline too if that’s your business.
Writing code is the obvious step. But if you don’t know how, no sweat. You don’t need to be a rockstar 🎸🌟 developer. But you can’t be scared of code either 😱. So if you’re not coding your website or application, what should you be doing to build your website?
Create the look and feel of how your site should look like. Don’t know Photoshop? Try Keynotopia.
Don’t want to do a full blown design? Then make the stick figure version of it: prototype! Use Balsamiq, super easy point and click way to do create black and white prototypes.
Make a specific list of items, or stories in agile-speak, that your product will do. Here’s an example for Blastoffcode:
The product would be for digital products that have a download link which is shown after a purchase is made
Set a timeline with your developer. Make payments ONLY when timelines are met and do at least weekly update calls to see what was done. This is deceptively very time consuming.
Don’t like to sell? Then you won’t like being an solopreneur. Sorry I’m not sorry. Here’s a good place to start: To Sell Is Human.
One of the most important metrics, outside of sales, that online businesses need to track is email subscribers. A good place to start growing your email list is 12 Email Marketing Strategies from the best in the business, SumoMe.
Everybody writes. Thinking of content marketing is a bit overwhelming so instead think of it like documenting your solopreneur journey. Things you’ve learned, what you’re doing and any advice you have for others. That way you’ll make a habit of writing and connecting with your audience without feeling like you have to write a piece of great literature every time.
Talk to people and ask them ‘What can I help you with?’ Helping someone is the easiest way to get them to be a customer later.
At Blastoffcode, those are the only 2 things I focus on. Whether that's launching new products or marketing the company, I’ve found out that's the only to push the business forward one step at a time.
As solopreneurs, we need to do the tasks that give us the biggest return for our time.
What doesn’t help you as a solopreneur are the following:
I get it, the corporate world runs on PowerPoint. But this isn’t the corporate world. Tech startups run on code and revenue.
Creating financial models 📊
Congrats! Your spreadsheet says you’ll be at $37B in revenue in year 5 woohoo!! Would your bank take that spreadsheet as a deposit for even a dollar?
I have never seen a real live customer hiding in a cell in a spreadsheet.
Trying to get investors 💸
This may be controversial but you shouldn’t pitch investors until you have a product up and running. With the low cost of launching products today, there is no excuse to not show an investor you have the chops to get something into market. Ignore this advice if you are building a self-driving car or a rocket ship. Take this advice to heart if you have a billion dollar idea for an app or new social network.
Looking for a technical co-founder 💸
Again, if you can’t even build a website yourself, why would a developer work on your idea for you? Think about it from their point of view: job opportunities galore, 53 people pitching them their idea to build in exchange for equity all before lunch. Why would they pick yours? Now imagine if you have built a product, have some users and are looking to scale it but need some help with technology. Isn’t that a much stronger pitch to a potential technical co-founder?
That’s it 🚀
Call me when the IPO goes down 🎉.
Whether you agree or disagree, let me know: