Lock in Your Team Your team is your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness. Your first team member defines your culture – be selective and intentional – Talk about the business you intend to build and how you intend to build it. It is better to go it alone (for now) than to go with a bad fit. Build the business that your team can build.
Financial Model Cash (or lack thereof) Kills Teams What does your team need to survive? Can your business support your needs? If not, raise capital! If not and you can’t, get a job!
Business Sketch What is the core value? Personalized Drip Training for SaaS companies How much does it cost? $100/month Customer Acquisition Cost? $10 How many customers can you get? 100 http://bit.ly/13z9nfp
Customer Discovery Doc and Folder Set Up Google Doc with Key Fields Set Up Google Folder for each Customer Can Use Startup CRM – Dyor.com – Free, and not that great – Zoho - $300/year, and not that great. Goal is to have a place where you go to set up your first 20 to 50 interviews (5x if you are B2C) Payboard Customer Discovery Doc How to conduct customer discovery: http://9slides.com/Talks/Business-Model-Primer http://9slides.com/Talks/Business-Model-Primer
Mentor Outreach Once you have a decent signal from your customers, ask 5 mentors for help. – Spend time with you for the next 3 months while you launch your business. – Push you to make faster progress. – Connect you with potential customers.
Investor Outreach Same Approach as with Customers Start Talking Before Asking for Investment – But don’t waste their time. – Have something interesting accomplished (working on a pilot with companies X, Y, and Z) Ask if you can add them to mentor update email.
Get a Brand You Love …and your customers can spell. They should not have to repeat it to you when you say it to them. – Ideally they say “I like that name.” There should be a single misspelling per brand (.io and.co count as a misspelling). It may cost you money.
Develop Content Strategy 1 Mentor Update Every Other Week – Use MailChimp – Do not fancy format – Tell them what you have accomplished and how they can help. 1 Blog Post Every Other Week – Establish yourself as an expert in the space – Use WPEngine for the blog (working on it!) – Use Spokal to help with blogging (working on it!) Find out where your customers are, and comment/blog/share there. – Quora Create events, and add them to your calendar.
Get a good accountant Madeline Bailey, www.qccomputing.comwww.qccomputing.com Accounting, Business Analysis, Projections Accountant $360 for the afternoon ($90 an hour) and you will be good for the setup. Bookkeeper $120 an afternoon ($30 an hour) Quickbooks Online – it is easy to use, but hard to set up. Costs $13/month. Set up time when you have very first bank statement (with US Bank). Until then, put your receipts in a folder.
Get a Bank Account US Bank Works with Washington State S Corp (and LLC), and Delaware S Corp Works with Stripe No Fees for basic banking Decent mobile app Small branch in Safeway around the corner
Get a logo…boom! 99 Designs, Ei Talent Marketplace, Fiverr
Business Cards Sounds small, but it is a ritual of business $22.84 for 100 cards from Uprinting.com
Company T-Shirts Wear your T-Shirts around, and people will ask. It will help you with your elevator pitch. You will look cool. Socedo has the best shirt quality of all time, from Ted Dann. – American Apparel – 2 color logo – $15/shirt 2 color 12 quantity ($180) – $8 at 37 – Front only – Heather Black is popular right now. – 7-10 business
Get a Gym Membership $10/month at Crunch, plus some other fees. Too easy to let your health fall apart while you are building.
Work at Ei $150/Table until we are full, then $200/table. Just do it! 8 Tables Left.
Social Stuff Create your twitter, facebook, and linkedin pages (and cruchbase and angellist if you are raising). Integrate accounts into your content strategy. Update your linkedin profile.
Set up Wireframes Set up wireframes – Use creately eg - http://bit.ly/1aanHKahttp://bit.ly/1aanHKa – Use paper – Resist high-fidelity (Photoshop or actual web page)
What Next? What did I miss? What has no place on that list? Tweet your favorite out (and mention @eastsideinc)