Book: Start Small, Stay Small, Rob Walling

Review

Great intro into building a small software company. Some really good advice on finding and serving your market.

Buy on Amazon.com.

tl;dr

Order of importance is market, marketing, aesthetic, function. Go into niche markets and create focused products. Target small businesses and consumers. Create complementary products not products across niches. Build an email list. Outsource tasks and automate processes.

Summary

  • anytime you’re on computer ask yourself: “Is this activity getting me closer to my launch date?”
  • before starting any task, ask yourself: “Could one of my contractors do this?”
  • work or play, don’t kill time
  • the order of importance is market, marketing, aesthetic, function

Niche Market

  • niche markets are critical for self-funded startups
  • the narrower niche, while being big enough, the better
  • a niche requires you to narrow your product focus
  • niche advertising is more cost effective
  • niches have less competition
  • niche markets are not used to good marketing
  • it’s easier for prospects to know you and trust you
  • target small businesses and/or consumers – they have the purchasing authority, make fast decisions and search for solutions online
  • vertical market niches are superior to horizontal markets (complementary product not products across niches)

You’re looking for a market that is already looking for your product/solution even if it doesn’t exist yet.

Product

  • product success triangle: product, market, execution
  • pricing: know the market, ask yourself, look at competition, determine value, lean towards high pricing, three tiers, end in 7/8/9, determine benefits of each tier, test

Website

  • don’t sell to customers on the first visit, build a list
  • create your hook – four second pitch
  • mailings: monitor current events, Q&A, interviews
  • mail Tue/Wed/Thu 7AM-10:30AM
  • building an audience through mailing list, blog or podcast gets the best quality traffic
  • SEO is important

Management

  • outsourcing to a VA is a must to save you time with administrative tasks
  • with “micropreneurship” you can run multiple companies at once, albeit tiny ones
  • do not build or buy your second product until you have outsourced/automated as much as you can with your first one
  • to increase your company value, optimize profit through marketing and sales and minimize ongoing time investment through outsourcing and automation

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