What to do when you are over twenty
If you are not yet thirty, most likely your parents, like mine, were raised in the USSR. They studied hard to find a better job and earn decent money. And you and I were preparing to become a good employee, although the world around us was already different. The Internet took away the monopoly on knowledge from teachers, allowed us to get a profession without leaving home and showed us the first young millionaires. We were taught to effectively exchange our time for money, at a time when we had other opportunities and other ambitions.
This series of articles should not be taken as a recipe for success, although I give very specific advice. This is more like a message to myself - seven years ago such an article would have changed my life. Then I read Kiyosaki and Branson - their example is inspiring, but it is difficult to use experience in practice. Real estate and multi-million dollar deals are impressive, but if you want to earn hundreds of thousands to start with, I think my experience can help you.
Since childhood, I was a fan of graphics, so by the end of school I already worked as a designer. There was no clear plan for the future - I just wanted to get better and better. Incomes grew, but to make good money, you need to spend a lot of time. I think everyone thinks of such thoughts - the salary has a ceiling, time is also limited, but you want to be rich and independent. Of course, the idea of his own business settled in his head - someday, one day. Often I hear this from designers at interviews: “I plan to develop, improve, then, maybe, start something my own.” I do not think that an additional incentive or an occasion is needed to start a business. Whoever wants to is looking for a way, and in this case, useful advice motivates better than Shia Labaff.
I am sure - you can start your own business right now, without loans, connections and risks. First of all, for the sake of experience. The main condition is to stop directly exchanging your time for money. At first, your business may resemble freelance (self-employment or craft). This is not scary if there is an exit strategy - more about that in one of the following articles.
Where to begin
Everyone who plans their business, the question arises - where to start? Can make a new generation of social networks? On the Internet, all the money. Or a coffee franchise? Mom’s girlfriend has access to suppliers. Or start a business with a friend programmer? Limitless opportunities prevent you from moving towards the goal.
First of all, give yourself the right to make a mistake . It is difficult to choose a business of a lifetime, but you can create a small project and gain experience in entrepreneurship even now. Like in an RPG - before fighting a dragon, kill ten rats in the basement. In any case, with the experience of a failed business, you will become one hundred times cooler than someone who has not even tried it.
Elementary planning, on the fingers, helps to evaluate ideas. While you are just fantasizing, you do not need to download business plan templates and calculate the depreciation of machines for 10 years in advance. Work in large strokes - first think about profit and the number of sales. By profit, I mean the margin on a product or service - relatively speaking, margin. You can often sell with a small margin or less, but with a big one. And if you manage to sell a lot with a large margin, you can swim in the money like Scrooge McDuck. Do not be smart - evaluate your ideas as a first approximation, ARPPU or APC will come later.
Profit from sales * Sales per month = Monthly profit
If the goal is to make money, you probably have less to spend in your plans than to receive from clients. Why will people pay you? Because you are beneficial - you have assembled a professional team, simplified the purchase or delivery, produced quality goods, are in a convenient location, have earned a good reputation or status. Or maybe all at once.
Estimate how much money you will have from selling a product or service. Create a table with key indicators, for example:
Reduce all ideas and ideas to approximate figures. For example, to engage in website development, you need a designer, programmer and manager:
It is not necessary to express the margin as a percentage - do as you see fit. The main thing is to back up abstract thinking with numbers. You do not expect 5-10% profit - in practice, you will pay for attracting customers, renting and paying taxes. Work in large strokes and display only the main indicators in which you can easily navigate. Then the table will grow with additional fields and calculations, but first you need to understand the big picture.
Before you figure out the number of sales per month, think about coverage once and for all. How big is the market you are planning to enter? No need to research the reports of leading analysts and take the market to the cent. Just think to whom you will sell. Each word in the project description reduces the chances of success - if the service to increase sales is of interest to every entrepreneur, then "increasing the sales of trousers in Omsk at night" will interest only a couple of trouser magnates. At the same time, evaluate the possibility of scaling abroad.
From personal experience: Now Logomashinamakes the most of all logos in Russia, although initially the idea seemed to me too simple. But this turned out to be her strength - there are no problems with work in Russia and abroad, the service is necessary and understandable. I myself have repeatedly become my own client. It is not necessary to have a revolutionary idea - the absence of competitors is often a minus than a plus.
When you are convinced that there can be many buyers, you need to estimate sales volumes . In the example with the development of sites, we add columns with profit (we subtract all salaries from the revenue), the cost of the site (we set the price ourselves, for example, 50,000 rubles) and the number of sales (we divide the desired revenue by the cost of the site):
Be sure to analyze the result: “In order to earn 75,000 rubles a month on website development, you need to find four and a half customers who will buy a site for 50,000 rubles.” It becomes clear that the idea of developing sites for 50,000 is not very successful.
At this point, it’s worth copying the line with numbers and playing with the variables. What if workers are removed? Can raise the cost for the client? Increase margin? Bind workers' salaries to the number of orders? Most importantly, do not forget to pronounce the result: “if all employees work remotely and for free, you only need 10 orders for 100,000 rubles to become a millionaire”. Great, but not realistic.
It is not necessary to make just such a table - you can move downward and build on any indicator, the main thing is that you navigate the data. You can estimate the number of customers this way - if you spam on the Internet for half a day, and the rest of the time you run around business centers, knock on doors and offer your product, will it be possible to make one sale a day? If the picture seems realistic, substitute 30 sales per month in the table:
Wow - a million in the first month! Here we must remember that staff costs will increase by a factor and make an amendment. Formulas for calculations should be simple and natural. The main principle is to understand the viability of an idea, you need to estimate the numbers that you consider important. While you are ashore, fantasize with common sense. You can calculate the number of customers based on site conversion or find the industry average - it is important that you feel that these numbers are realistic. In any incomprehensible situation, assume a pessimistic scenario: not two clients a day, but one, an employee not for 100 rubles per hour, but for 200. Will your project withstand such tests? If you have any difficulty evaluating ideas - write in the comments or contact me , I will try to help.
From personal experience: A couple of years ago, when I came up with the Logomashine, the reasoning was: “Okay, I'm going to make logos much cheaper than usual, but with clear conditions. Who are my clients? Entrepreneurs. Are there many of them? Enough. Will I be able to make one sale per day? Of course, I already have clients who pay more, they will like a more profitable scheme of work. Okay, if I make at least one sale every day, I will have about 60,000 a month, which looks like a normal salary. In doing so, I will work for myself. Will I be able to stop doing the design myself? Yes, when I increase sales. What happens if my assumptions are wrong? I’ll get experience and come up with a better idea ”
This table did not give me rest two years ago - it is realistic, simple and understandable. Therefore, I invested 8,000 rubles in the first landing page for the Logomachine and started looking for customers. Then everything went not quite according to plan, but more on that in the following articles.
This is the first material in a series on entrepreneurship, I will be glad to comment and suggestions - it is worth writing in more detail, deeply, or just right. Write in the comments what topic interests you so that I can adjust the plan and write a separate article.
If you do not want to skip the next article, subscribe to Logomashina in Vkontakte (there is still much interesting).
Good luck to you and your projects!
Text: Roman Gorbachev, director of the Logomachine.
Illustrations: Nastya Kiseleva, permanent illustrator of the Logomachine.