Saturday, October 21, 2017
Home Developing A Product

It is very typical. Whenever you start a new business, one hundred percent of your time is spent on making your product better. Awesome Idea + Awesome Product = Awesome (and by “awesome” I mean “money making”) Startup, right?

Well, not really.

The typical thinking here is this. You will create this amazing product or service and the customers will immediately rush in to buy it. And, being a perfectionist of course, if you don’t see the sales, you tend to blame―what else―the product. The product has to be improved, improved, and improved again until that mysterious BIG DAY comes, when an influx of customers, users, funds and venture capitalists will make your company a superstar! And yet the days go by and then the years, and the situation seems to be staying the same. What could possibly be the problem? One possible problem has to do with the fact that no matter how much time you spend on improving your product, the mysterious BIG DAY may never come until you start using what we call

The “One-One-One” Technique.

 

The “One-One-One” Technique has to do with planning your project so that for every one unit of time spent on:
1) the development of your product, you spend one unit of time on
2) marketing and at least one unit of time on
3) sales.

So what in the world is so special about this idea?

Marketing can never be an afterthought. For many successful startups, it has to do with spending an obscene amount of time developing those “silly” things such as detailed product descriptions, instructional videos, that Q&A section to help users get around your product, a service, or a website. And how about infographics to make your process appear as simple as possible?  The reality is that often marketing takes just as much time, if not more, than creating the initial product, and those of us who have launched at least a couple of successful products in the past know its importance.

Sales, a third element of your startup, is just as important. Sales has to do with placing an actual human being in front of your product.  Here we are talking about live seminars, webinars, and what is commonly known as a “human being” to present your product to. How about that toll-free number that leads a potential customer or an investor to a live person? Or a live pitch person who will present your product in front of that important executive in your industry? Whether you are pitching your idea to new users, or to a venture capital firm, sales has to do with getting a pretty good handle on your sales pitch using the marketing materials you have created and the willingness reach out and to respond to your potential customers or investors at a moment’s notice.

Now the obvious question is this. How can you possibly focus on your marketing when you are still stuck in the product development stage? And how can you possibly start working on sales when you still haven’t finalized your marketing materials?

The answer is, as always, somewhat counterintuitive, and if you are familiar with launching a new product, you may already know the answer. Specifically, the best time to start developing your marketing materials (your education videos, your “how-to” help sections, your Q&As and your animation) is precisely during the time of developing your product. This will not only help you showcase all of your product’s most important features, but will save you a ton of time in the future.

Similarly, and as always, counterintuitively, the best time to start “selling” your product is before your product (your website, your store, etc.) is complete and the proverbial opening ribbon is yet to be cut. The feedback you will get from users (or customers) of your “beta” product will likely become the invaluable input you need to make your product better prior to its official launch date.

 

Authentically yours,

 

Max Azarov
“Authentic Startup,” Author

 

Copyright @2015 | YoloStartup.com

Authentic Startup: The Concept

Or, Don’t Overthink, Stick To The Model That Works

“Authentic Startup” is a way of creating profitable startups from scratch using personal and business experience you already have, or can easily obtain. It took several years for “Authentic Startup” to be transformed into a system in its present form.  It started as a “cheat sheet” I intended to use to “cheat” on any future exams at my “Experience University.”

In my own example, I was able to launch/co-launch several startups, including graphic design startup, a healthcare startup, a pharmacy (recently acquired by a chain), and even an EMR medical records startup by progressively building on each one of my business and life experiences.

“Authentic Startup” is founded on a concept that all of our experiences have a real cash value and it is up to us to “unlock” it using proper “packaging,” pricing and marketing tools while taking advantage of S.P.I.N. model at its core.

 

Authentic Startup: The Book

Eventually, “Authentic Startup” turned into a book with 40+ illustrations, graphs and inspirational content that takes a mystery out of launching a startup by setting up theoretical and practical frameworks to make your startup (or existing business) successful by keeping you away from overthinking and re-inventing the wheel by focusing on:

  1. How To Become a True Leader Of Your Own Startup and Stop Waiting on Others To Believe In Your Project

  2. How to Be Excited About Your Product

  3. How to Determine When is the Best Time to Seek Financing While Avoiding Traps

  4. How to Define an Authentic Product

  5. How to Package Your Product and Properly Price It.

  6. How to Properly Build a Website and Landing Pages with Conversion in Mind

  7. How to Achieve Explosive Sales Using Online Marketing and “The Nuclear Marketing” Concept

 

addtocart-amazon2

 Contents:

Listed below are the actual chapters of “Authentic SPIN: How To Turn Your Unique Experiences Into a Profitable Startup”:
  1. Authenticity as a Starting Point of Your Startup

  2. The Three Words That Will Make All The Difference

  3. The “Experience Game” Strategy

  4. The Omega Mission Principle & The Two Types of Startups

  5. The Startup Capital Trap 101

  6. “SPIN” Packaging Your Experience Into a Sellable Product or Service

  7. How To Create an Authentic Product or Service The Smart Way: Marginal Authenticity Principle

  8. How to “Tweak” Your Product and Improve Conversion Using 7SP Authenticity Test

  9. SPIN Packages and Pricing

  10. Internet Sales 101: 8 Elements Of a SPIN Website

  11. Internet Marketing: Search Engine Timbuktu Dilemma

  12. Unlimited Customer Leads: Adding SPIN Copywriting and Social Media Components To Your Sales Funnel

  13. Even More Customer Leads: Google Bus Scenario

  14. The Nuclear Sales Funnel

  15. The Spin Gravity Theory

 

addtocart-amazon2

Download it now! I look forward to your reviews and feedback.

When I came to America with just a few hundred dollars in my pocket, I didn’t yet understand the full potential of what it means to build an American dream from scratch. I didn’t know that an average Joe like myself had the capacity to make thousands, and later, tens of thousands of dollars in a single day as a part of my journey of consistently learning from, and building on both positive and negative experiences.

So, How Much Money Do You Need To Start a Startup?

Is it $5,000? $10,000? 100,000? 100 million?

What if I told that the amount of money you need to start your own business equals to, precisely, whatever you have in your bank account + however creative you can be to get the rest of what you need to get your startup going  ($0 in additional costs) + whatever experience you can bring to your business ($0 in additional costs), plus the cost of knowledge you will gain in the process.

I will explain.

A startup with $100MM does not have to be nearly as creative as a startup with only $1,000 to play with.
Similarly, a person with $1,000 in startup money will have to bring a lot more experience to, and be willing to learn a lot more from running a brand new startup:

before

 

10 Startup Courses (and Lessons I have Learned) at My True Alma Mater, “The Experience University”

Of course, the “knowledge” part can be a tricky one. During just the first few years of my startups I racked up a pretty hefty tuition fee payable to my true Alma Mater I call “The Experience University” (disclaimer: “Experience University” is not an actual university :)) The following is a short list of some of my pretty expensive “courses” I took at the “E.U.” while paying to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and unnecessary business expenses (while the lessons below are real, course numbers, of course, are not :)).

1. Being Authentic 101 
A real life lesson where I found out that selling unique, authentic product(s) is the best way to maintain control of my pricing and profit margins. Startup that is founded on a unique/authentic product is, generally speaking, much more likely to succeed. Selling a high priced, unique product is much more rewarding and keeps your anxiety level within the normal range :). In addition, whenever you sell a product that is neither unique nor authentic you run a risk of competing with others over increasingly slimmer profit margins, thus automatically running a risk of losing your business.

2. Don’t Start a Business Just Because Someone Thinks You Should Start A Business 101
You can easily get yourself in a total disaster of a situation by jumping into, let’s say, a social networking project, or a brand new coffee shop business, expecting it to work just because it worked for someone else. Or perhaps because your friend told you that coffee shops in general make a lot of money.

3. Your Product Does Not Have To Be “Disruptive” to be Unique 101
Most of the billion dollar ideas (i.e. Facebook, Amazon.com, Google.com, Chobani Yogurt) are not all that “new” and not all that “unique.” All of them are slightly modified versions of products/services which already existed in the market at the time they were introduced. And yes, it took me a lot of valuable time to determine how much modification is needed for my product to be in demand.

4. Not Waiting On Others 105
Another real life course where I learned not to spend so much valuable time waiting on others instead of taking a lead and proactively doing a lot of the things (sales, etc) on my own.

5. Just Because You Have A Business It Does Not Mean It Will Make Money 201
Strange, but true. Going to work early and staying up late while working on your business does not equate to making money. What I have learned was the fact that one type of businesses is more likely to succeed and make more money than others and, ironically enough, the businesses that are likely to make more (a lot more) money, typically, require less (a lot less) work.

6. Being Your Own Boss Does Not Always Make You Free 205
Pick a business that does not tie you up to one geographical location. If you do not follow this advice, say good-bye to your travel plans and vacations. When planning a business, choose one that can be eventually managed via your phone and a laptop. I call it “The Agency Model.”

7. Many Already Have A Best Selling Product Or Service To Sell. They Just Don’t Know It Yet 305
Most of your business and life experiences can be packaged and sold by turning it into a new innovative service (consulting, graphic design, brokerage, a book, etc) or an innovative product (actual physical or software product). The problem for so many is not the lack of experience, it is the inability to turn experience into sellable packages and eventually into actual dollars. (Read my book, Authentic Spin, to find out more).

8. You Don’t Always Have To Spend Money To Make Money 401
Marketing can be very costly. Or it can be very cheap. It all depends on whether you are willing to spend some time learning how to do it. If you do it properly, you can get unlimited leads at very little cost. Yes, I am talking about online marketing.

9. Nuclear Sales Funnel 405
Don’t spend another dollar on advertisement until you can be sure that the sale of your product to just 1 customer will bring 2 more to your doorsteps.

10. Life Goes By Fast: The “Now” Method 410
From the time we are born util the time we die, only one moment matters. This moment is called “now.” Yesterday cannot be changed and tomorrow is not guaranteed. So if you want to start something. Start now.

 

Authentic Startup: The Concept

Or, Don’t Overthink, Stick To The Model That Works

“Authentic Startup” is a way of creating profitable startups from scratch using personal and business experience you already have, or can easily obtain. It took several years for “Authentic Startup” to be transformed into a system in its present form.  It started as a “cheat sheet” I intended to use to “cheat” on any future exams at my “Experience University.”

In my own example, I was able to launch/co-launch several startups, including graphic design startup, a healthcare startup, a pharmacy (recently acquired by a chain), and even an EMR medical records startup by progressively building on each one of my business and life experiences.

“Authentic Startup” is founded on a concept that all of our experiences have a real cash value and it is up to us to “unlock” it using proper “packaging,” pricing and marketing tools while taking advantage of S.P.I.N. model at its core.

 

Authentic Startup: The Book

Eventually, “Authentic Startup” turned into a book with 40+ illustrations, graphs and inspirational content that takes a mystery out of launching a startup by setting up theoretical and practical frameworks to make your startup (or existing business) successful by keeping you away from overthinking and re-inventing the wheel by focusing on:

  1. How To Become a True Leader Of Your Own Startup and Stop Waiting on Others To Believe In Your Project

  2. How to Be Excited About Your Product

  3. How to Determine When is the Best Time to Seek Financing While Avoiding Traps

  4. How to Define an Authentic Product

  5. How to Package Your Product and Properly Price It.

  6. How to Properly Build a Website and Landing Pages with Conversion in Mind

  7. How to Achieve Explosive Sales Using Online Marketing and “The Nuclear Marketing” Concept

 

addtocart-amazon2

 Contents:

Listed below are the actual chapters of “Authentic Startup: How To Turn Your Unique Experiences Into a Profitable Startup”:
  1. Authenticity as a Starting Point of Your Startup

  2. The Three Words That Will Make All The Difference

  3. The “Experience Game” Strategy

  4. The Omega Mission Principle & The Two Types of Startups

  5. The Startup Capital Trap 101

  6. “SPIN” Packaging Your Experience Into a Sellable Product or Service

  7. How To Create an Authentic Product or Service The Smart Way: Marginal Authenticity Principle

  8. How to “Tweak” Your Product and Improve Conversion Using 7SP Authenticity Test

  9. SPIN Packages and Pricing

  10. Internet Sales 101: 8 Elements Of a SPIN Website

  11. Internet Marketing: Search Engine Timbuktu Dilemma

  12. Unlimited Customer Leads: Adding SPIN Copywriting and Social Media Components To Your Sales Funnel

  13. Even More Customer Leads: Google Bus Scenario

  14. The Nuclear Sales Funnel

  15. The Spin Gravity Theory

 

addtocart-amazon2

Download it now! I look forward to your reviews and feedback.

You get overwhelmed. You start spinning in circles. The website development is delayed. Business cards are not being printed on time. Jeff, the designer guy does not answer to his phone. Or email. Or texts. The landing pages are in disarray. Another meeting with your teammate is put off because of other commitments.There seems to be so many things to keep track of and there are days you get so frustrated that begin to wonder whether that startup idea was really worth it to begin with.

Calm down.  In the business of running a business, dealing with being overwhelmed should become your second nature. Just like being able to quickly prioritize what matters to you TODAY and what  doesn’t.

Find a comfortable space. Clear your mind. Relax. Close your eyes. Imagine a serene place (maybe even a fantasy place) where you feel safe and think of just one word that matters to you at this present time.

Think of LTP-100 C O N V E R S I O N.

LTP-what?! What the…?! Is there another thing I need to put on my to do list?

LTP-100 is not as much about adding another thing on your to do list as it is about setting the right priorities. If you are a startup that does not have a system for tracking your conversion, you need to continue reading, as not many things in your business matter more than your CONVERSION and if whatever you plan on doing today is not related to CONVERSION, you are probably wasting your time.

So what in the world is LTP-100 conversion? It has to do with being able to measure 3 very important parameters related to how a market sample of at least 100 of your potential consumers responds to your product, your sales and your marketing efforts. The higher your overall LTP-100 conversion, the higher the chances of your startup being a success. Specifically, the three parameters we are talking about are:

L) Leads (how many leads did a particular sales/marketing campaign generate, per 100 potential consumers)
T) Trial users and (how many trial users came from a particular campaign
P) Paying customers (how many actual paying customers did a particular sales campaign generate).

Stop. Ask yourself a question.

At this very moment, do you know your LTP-100 Conversion ratio?

If you don’t, you are not alone. Most likely the reason for that is because you are, like so many startups:

a) have never attempted to present your product in front of 100 actual living customers.

b) stuck “perfecting” your product, website etc. and live in denial of the fact that you HAVE to know your LTP-100 number as a pre-requisite to your business moving forward

c) you believe that as long as you make a good product, someone will miraculously discover it and buy it and you will be profitable as long as you have faith in your product.

 

A “Trick” Question.

Assume you have presented your product to 20 potential customers (leads), out of which 0 customers tried it and 0 later paid for your product. What is your LTP-100 ratio?

At this point the only correct answer is: I don’t have enough data to give you the correct answer. You see, LTP-100 assumes having a minimum of 100(!) actual potential customers who have clicked on your ad, visited your website or your store, were contacted by you personally, or called your toll free phone  number, etc.

This means in order to find out your LTP-100 conversion ratio, you have to do whatever it takes to get and, subsequently, measure an actual response from at least 100 potential consumers!

Why do I need to know my LTP-100 ratio?

Remember the 1-1-1 Technique we talked about earlier? Remember how Product Development, Marketing and Sales cannot exist without each other in a startup? Well how do you know where is the problem: is it your product, or is it your marketing and sales?

Your LTP-100 ratio is a unique tool that gives you the ability to pinpoint a particular weakness in either your sales/marketing or your product development (more on this later).

Work on your Product Development, Marketing and, most importantly, Sales (see the 1-1-1 Technique) to hit higher LTP-100 conversion numbers week after week, month after month, or quarter after quarter, depending on a how your beta-product launch periods are set up.

And whatever it is, start working on it today!

Authentically Yours,
Max Azarov “Authentic Spin,” Author

Launching Your Product As Soon As Humanly Possible

You see, if you are an entrepreneur, chances are by nature you are a creative person. And it’s awesome. However, this also means that you, as a creative person, are likely to have a very serious disease.

It is called Perfection. And when your startup is still in its beginning stages, it may be deadly.

Let me explain. Kind of like an artist who steps away from his or her canvas over and over to make sure the painting is perfect, we tend to spend a lot of time trying to quote/unquote “perfect our product.”  The problem is, when we are trying to make our product quote/ unquote perfect, we make it so in our own mind only. That is, without realizing that our potential consumer may have a completely different definition of “perfect,” when it comes to our product.

What often happens is while one startup (Alpha), will spend years perfecting their product, we will call it Product A, another startup (Beta)company will launch a series of competitive products A1, product B1, and product C1, put it out in front of actual customers (or users) and let them vote for their favorite one with their actual wallets, subscriptions, product trials and so forth.

Suppose that Beta’s product launch determined that Product A1 has a conversion rate of 0%, meaning that no one out of 100 viewers of their ad had any interest in buying it, Product B has a conversion rate of 4% and Product C, which they  never thought of as a perfect product, has a conversion rate of 8%, meaning that twice as many people considered their least likely product, Product C, to be “perfect.”

In short, put your product out in front of at least 100 actual people as soon as it’s humanly possible. It is not your feelings, not your emotions, but solid data on how many sales, subscriptions or signups you were able to generate per 100 potential consumers of your product―i.e. people who will be the true users of your product―who will determine the direction of your product development.

And, as any successful startup entrepreneur will tell you, if Product A, B, C and D fail to generate enough conversions, no need for drama. And when the alphabet runs out, simply start over.

Remember―it is your dream and YOU are the only one that can make it happen.

Max Azarov

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In a marketing environment where authenticity is gold, one might wonder, how can anyone give birth to an idea or a marketing strategy that is both, highly authentic, and in high demand? And if you are on the verge of something great, is there a way to know it for sure? Thus, we come to

The Authenticity Of Babies Theory

As a consumer of many things of this world, I came to realize that there is a wide spectrum of things I would be willing to give up, provided the proper pricing is set in place. This spectrum, however, has some pretty definite exceptions.

One such exception, is my son who, of course, is not a thing, but has the authenticity value that cannot compare to anything else in this world. As a finished output of a highly superior creator, the babies are designed as a perfect ”product” we, as parents, are willing to pay, care  and work for during a very extensive period of time. Namely, a lifetime. Thus, babies (philosophically speaking) are a perfect product that responds to our basic human needs.

Now, is it possible that to create the most authentic product or design the most authentic marketing strategy all we have to do is to… take a closer look at babies?

The Authenticity Factor Of Babies

Interestingly enough, while we often refer to our babies as being “unique,” it is important to note that most of the DNA of any baby is structured to mirror that of any other animal on earth and the rest is a roughly equal mix of DNA traits of its Mom and its Dad combined. In fact, the “UNIQUENESS” factor of any given human baby comprised of less than 10% of his or her DNA. Now, would it be appropriate to ask:

If the 10% authenticity factor is good enough for people, is it also good enough for a new product or a marketing strategy?

The Authenticy Factor of Successful Products

Nike did not invent shoes, Starbucks did not invent coffee, Monster energy drinks did not invent energy drinks, Facebook did not invent social networking and Groupon did not invent online coupons. When it comes to successful marketing approaches, Aflac did not invent the use of animals on TV and AllState did not invent the use of accidents in commercials and yet, the slight creative difference (of a duck saying “Aflac” or the famous “Mayham” commercial series for AllState Insurance) was all that mattered in making their ads successful.

While each company is unique in its own way, the “Authenticity Factor,” or the way the idea behind the products were different from other products in all cases was only slightly different from the ideas of their predecessors.

Often, all we need as human beings slash eager consumers is something that is just a little bit newer and a little bit better to consider buying a, or buying into a product.

All we need as human beings slash eager entrepreneurs, slash sales people is an Authentic Spin that identifies our products and our marketing approach as different enough to be considered Authentic by others.

And while, sometimes, that difference may appear as a revolution to others, the success, often is a result of a difference that is very small and yet, profound.

Kind of like that very small difference in each of our DNA.