It's what I've used to grow Sumo from $0 into an 8-figure business, and has been tested with thousands of customers in my Monthly1k program to start their own successful businesses. Here are the four questions you should ask yourself.and more »
How can you start making money this week? Courtesy of Noah Kagan
Do you want to start a successful 6+ figure business?
I created a simple four-question framework to help you.
It's what I've used to grow Sumo from $0 into an 8-figure business, and has been tested with thousands of customers in my Monthly1k program to start their own successful businesses.
Here are the four questions you should ask yourself.
1. What's your specific business goal this year?
Before you start your business, know your goal. It sounds simple but even entrepreneurs who think they "know" how to set goals totally mess this step up.
Most people set goals which are too broad or too ambiguous:
"Provide the best web design services to every customer."
"Become a leading company in the marketing industry."
"Make an impact in people's lives by helping them achieve their financial goals."
If you don't have a specific, action-oriented goal, you can't take steps to get there.
When I decided to start my podcast, Noah Kagan Presents, I set the goal to reach 100,000 podcast downloads per episode.
Having such a specific goal helped me focus all my efforts. I planned to:
Cross-promote. I'll make YouTube videos connected to my podcasts. Then, I'll share on social media, email to my list, and even try cold outreach strategies.
Meet with my team members. If Dork Squad is confused about priorities, I can easily focus us with one question: "How does this help us get 100,000 downloads on our podcast?
Cut through the noise. There are a million things you can focus on in your business. Ignore the B.S. and focus on what's important with a goal.
What are specific goals for YOUR business or idea?
Maybe you want to:
Reach 1,000 downloads for your app
Launch a new online course by December 31, 2017
Get 20 new paying customers for your SaaS product next month
Having a clear vision for success in your business can help you put together a plan.
2. What's your unique proposition?
Your business needs to provide value for the customer to buy, sign-up, or switch from a competitor. If you offer the same cookie-cutter service as everyone else, you're in trouble.
Ask yourself: Why would someone want to use my product or service?
If you can't explain it in a sentence or two, are you sure you're delivering something unique or valuable enough?
If you're having trouble coming up with a unique value proposition, figure these 3 questions out for yourself:
What are some of my own problems that don't get solved yet?
What are weaknesses of the competitors I can use as an advantage?
If I took a survey of my customers, what are their favorite features? Least favorite?
You don't need to re-invent the wheel, but you do need to convince people to buy your product or service. Instead of adding more features to products blindly, focus on solving the problem better for your target audience.
And if you still want more help defining a unique business proposition, check my favorite business ideas for 2017.
3. How can you start making money this week?
Many wanna-be entrepreneurs procrastinate on selling. They say:
I haven't built anything yet, how can I start selling?
My plan is to grow my following first. When I hit 100,000 YouTube subscribers, I'll start making money!
No way. I don't want to sell. I'll focus on building the best product, and people will come.
Stop with the excuses and start bringing in cash now.
After spending time to create a product, the pain of seeing your sales sit at $0 is the worst, which is why you need to validate your idea before anything else. (I talk about this in Monthly1k.)
Before printing the business card and building your website, think about how you can start making money this week. If you're selling a course, start pre-orders to see if anyone is willing to pay. If you're selling services, build a mini-package and start selling. If you're creating a physical product, build a few prototypes and put it on Kickstarter.
Focus on the essentials and get started today.
If you can get tons of sales this week, you might have a good business idea. If you don't, it's far better to adjust your plan early.
4. What's one routine to move your business forward weekly?
Too many entrepreneurs focus on scaling too early. They:
Think about hiring before you're making enough money
Plan future products when your sales are still $0
Buy business cards, expensive websites, and pay for consultants before the idea is validated
Not only will this train of thought waste your time, it will waste your focus on the unimportant. Instead, build simple routines and small habits to move your business forward weekly.
To give you a better picture of what you should do, here is a weekly routine I created to move myself closer to my goal of 100,000 downloads for my podcast. Every week, I publish:
One podcast episode
Two YouTube videos
One blog post
One guest post for another site
If you want more inspiration, here are some other ideas we've tried in our weekly routine:
Appearing on other podcasts and publications for exposure
Spending money on Facebook Ads to drive traffic
Optimizing lead generation funnels to maximize conversion
Don't dream of creating a successful business — do it.
Many entrepreneurs are thinking about going for luxury vacations and working by the beach before they even start making money.
It's easy to dream about all the perks when you finally make it big. But if you don't follow the 4-question framework, your dream stays a dream.
Noah Kagan was #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint and has since created four multi-million dollar businesses.
His latest obsession is Sumo.com (free marketing tools for small businesses to become big). He founded AppSumo.com (daily deals for entrepreneurs) and has a popular podcast on business, Noah Kagan Presents.
SEE ALSO: I studied millionaires for 5 years and realized most peoples' success comes down to an overlooked factor
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