Start Up Blog

6 things I learned in 2 years

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 1, 2010

Guest Post – Young Melbourne Entrepreneur Josh Moore has shared the thoughts from his young untainted mind!

Here is a list of lessons I have learned from two years in the entrepreneurial community:

1. Networks are everything: The most important thing in entrepreneurship is the people you meet. You will learn more by being willing to listen to others, which compounds your experiences without having to make the mistakes yourself. They can also help you to get jobs more easily, and can recommend you to potential clients. Don’t underestimate the people you meet.

2. Save: Entrepreneurial ventures are high risk. Having a buffer of cash will help cover you when income is bad. I’m in the process of stepping out of an active role in one of my investments as it drained my savings account by $6,500 in twelve months, as it was not paying me enough income and I had to fund the gap with something. Better to have savings to draw upon than to go back into debt.

3: Ignore the bells and whistles: You don’t need a fancy website. Steve’s blog is simple but gets the core message out. Find the core of your business and ignore the rest. If you don’t you may spend too much time and money on things that don’t matter. Don’t spend money on costly legal structures and don’t risk your money on untested markets. Spend time instead and invest money when you know you’re likely to succeed.

4: Have a timeline to failure: If you start doing something, have a timeline for it not to work. If you want to start a little side business on the side to make $1,000 in the next six months, then use that as your KPI. If you can’t reach at least 80% of that milestone then walk away before you invest more time and money into something that is not working.

5: Read: Reading is the only real way to gain an information advantage in your area. An information advantage helps you to be seen as a leader in your industry, and also allows you to make better investment decisions. Never invest in anything you don’t know better than the back of your hand.

6: Personal development: Continue to work on yourself every day. Practice, be willing to try things and don’t be afraid of failing. I wanted to learn about NLP and couldn’t swim, so I took courses on both earlier this year. I write in my spare time to clarify my thoughts and to reflect on what I’ve learned.

What lessons have you learned from your entrepreneurial endeavours? Leave a comment and help the community gain from your experiences.

Startup School

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 17, 2009

I’ll be running a one time Startup School event in Melbourne and Sydney. During November. It’s a 2 day weekend course for a maximum of 10 people.

It wont be free like the blog – but it has a money back guarantee to blow your mind:

Picture 22

Details to follow soon, but it will also include on going personal mentoring for Alumni & other benefits.

I expect seats to go quick – there’s only 10, and if you register your interest as a Startup blog reader you’ll be first in line and have priority to attend.

To register send me your details directly via email (which is in the side bar to your right) – please let me know if your registering for Sydney or Melbourne.

Steve.

twitter-follow-me

Niche Marketing & Startups

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 11, 2009

Once upon a time I used to think that entrepreneurs had to be smart enough to develop a niche strategy. A nice smart strategy which will keep them hidden from the big ugly and powerful incumbents and other startups. A strategy to extract sneaky revenue.

I learned how wrong I was the hard way. I was way to clever with my first startup 1-bil (an anti stress drink). We developed an incredibly clever niche distribution strategy aiming for 5 star hotels, business class travelers on airlines and airports. What we called a ‘sneezer strategy’ of niche distribution to grow from. The category influencers.

Anti stress drink

Turns out niche strategies limit the number of doors we can knock on. It limits the number of people we can sell to. It limits the angles of success we can have. It limits the number of rejections we can have (and we’ll get plenty) When we get a rejected from our core strategic market, we lose confidence, we count how many points of distribution we have left and start to struggle and lose faith. We invent our own failure.

The niche market is great for well resourced companeis doing innovative stuff. Not so for startups. It’s very counter intuitive. Entrepreneurs need to learn the truth about niche marketing. And the truth is this:

Gaining traction with any new product or company is inherently difficult. We ought sell to anyone who’ll buy our stuff. Get the message out to as many people as possible. Take all the revenue we can get and what will transpire is a niche strategy anyway due to natural startup dynamics. We’ll get rejected 9 out of 10 times on average. We’ll end up in a market niche, from which we’ll have to grow and expand from anyway. Starting with a niche in mind, really just limits our probability of success.

The startup lesson is this: Find your niche through market dynamics, don’t target it.

twitter-follow-me

Insights for Entreprenuers

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 20, 2009

Yesterday I caught up with Fiona Boyd who is an incredibly successful internet entrepreneur who started and sold www.artshub.com.au

She gave me some great insights into entrepreneurship and here are some of the sound bites I was so compelled with I had to write them down.

“When asking for input into your business or startup, never ask for more that 2 pieces of advice. Ask them for advice which is both perceptual and low cost.”

‘Think about your business in terms of the sequence of events. This is more important than the model itself.”

“The right words, in a certain order, make people do stuff.”

“Free creates lose caboose behavior. Think of your business like a nightclub. Free entry makes us feel as though what’s inside isn’t as valuable as when there is a cover charge.”

‘What can you do to bring the money forward? It might be as easy as asking your customers.”

‘What are the steps to money? How can you reduce the number of steps?”

Absolute gold as far as startup blog is concerned. Fiona has also written a book called ‘Niche Content Millionaire’ which I’m guessing (I haven’t read it yet) is full of awesome ideas…. simply because she has the runs on the board and has done it.

Startup blog says: Only take advice from those who have the done what they espouse.

twitter-follow-me

Start Up Blog live v2.0

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 24, 2009

Given the success of Startup blog live this week, I’m doing it again next week.  We had over 50 people tune in, with virtually no planning, or promotion at all, and had a 1.5 hour Q & A on all things Entrepreneurship and Start up. I really enjoyed it.

Steve Sammartino on twit cam

So I’ll be back on live this Wednesday Night 7.30pm (Australian EST) on http://www.Twitcam.com

- To see what time that is in your part of the world click here

- I’ll be doing it using my twitter log in which is @sammartino

And you’ll see on twitter when I’m live – and I’ve got the technology sorted now which is really simple to use. In fact, I reckon I came up with some of the best ideas I’ve ever had while talking. So spread the word to your entrepreneurial friends, they’ll love it too.

Best question of the night wins a rad Pez Dispenser as show below:

See you Wednesday night!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 903 other followers