There’s a point in life, which only some get to experience. A point of clarity through the fog. You see a market and find a problem within it. More than that, you can in fact, solve the problem yourself.
Those of you who’ve experienced this feeling, and went on to try our hand at making it a reality know, that it’s within the ideas realization that most of the challenge lies. To you my fellow entrepreneurs I say good luck, this article may bring back memories and you’re welcome to read on. It is, however, written to help those who have just begun their startup journeys.
So to the point, is “don’t quit your day job” valid advice? As with most things, the answer is that it depends. Do you have enough money saved up to sustain yourself and your family for a few years? Are you willing to risk those savings? Do you have a shot at early investment? How large is the risk of new players entering your envisioned market segment? Depending on your answers, quitting your day job may not be right for you. But there is hope yet, in-fact your position may even prove to be beneficial.
Bootstrapping your startup refers to doing business with minimal (or even zero) resources. There are various methods of doing this, and it’s best you find your own, but here are a few tips on getting started.
There is a concept in marketing called community first, it’s a content marketing technique and it basically boils down to creating content aimed only at building an ever larger audience of readers/watcher/listeners. Whether it’s by creating a blog or starting a YouTube channel on a certain topic focus merely on providing them with interesting content. As you acquire a larger audience, you will be able to gauge their interest in your idea, or create new ones, which fit their needs perfectly.
Once the idea is created you’ve got hundreds, thousands or maybe even millions of people you can reach, for which you know your product is a perfect fit. Many startups have used this route, from the outside it seems like an overnight sensation, while they know that they’ve been building and interacting with their audience for years before that faithful night the product was launched.
Make sure you pick a topic you’re interested in, preferably one where there is little competition, or you believe you are better equipped to prepare content than the existing competition. Use ads to increase your initial reach, as well as to test content ideas. And focus on long term organic growth through SEO and social media marketing.
A large enough audience can also be monetized through Patreon, advertising & other methods. This may initially seem very tempting, more money could get you better equipment, more people & time etc. While these methods seem great, we recommend waiting until your initial community grows large enough, as ads and other forms can slow growth substantially.
Building your own community is a long & difficult process, a way to kick-start it is to integrate yourself with the community you chose.
Make sure you join relevant Facebook groups, subreddits, twitter tags etc. interact with the community, ask questions, provide answers and share your content with people who are likely to be interested in it.
Coworking spaces and other industry events are a great way to meet new, like-minded, people. Many of our startups claim that their joining the ecosystem have helped them thrive.
In line with standard definitions, coworking stands for a shared workspace. It simply means that we join different organizations under one roof; all utilize different tactics and have distinct products, but join in with the same aspiration – to run a successful business.
Yet, there is more to coworking than meets the eye. It can manifest as an opportunity to develop ideas, work on them on the side and to find significant connections in order to start a business fully. After everything, it is not so much about individuals doing their work and sharing an office, as it is about different people with diverse backgrounds helping and learning from each other in order to succeed.
This enables you to materialize your business idea, even though the idea itself is a product of freelance work or a side project of their day job.
Where ABC can help
Still, it is one thing to conceptualize a product or solution, and completely another to actually make it profitable. For that purpose, we have built a unique ecosystem in BTC City, that is comprised of ABC HUB and ABC Accelerator.
When the idea has matured, and grown in terms of potential and revenue, you can consider applying to our accelerator. What this means is, that if a company gets chosen, they become applicable to a 250,000€ investment, learn new skills through our intensive 3-month program – completely adjusted to your needs & meet industry mentors, which can help resolve the problems you’ll encounter. The key element of acceleration is knowledge. ABC Accelerator’s team takes the role of ensuring that participants operate successfully with the skills required for their business quite personally. Once you join you become a part of a community, helping each other thrive.
In retrospect, when an idea is dismissed humorously by saying “Don’t quit your day job”, it does not necessary mean a recommendation of not pursuing their goal. At least not anymore. It can also easily mean that if the idea is the one – you should keep your day job, surround yourself with like-minded people, build up connections, conceptualize the solution and get accelerated.
As ABC HUB manager I’ve seen people succeed this way, admittedly it is not the easiest way and it requires a lot of sacrifices. At the end of the day, however, one can go home with a sense of security and more importantly, with the feeling that they have made an impact on the world.