How to Start and Validate A Business (30 Day Business Challenge)

January 8th, 2017

Last year a guy on my team asked me how do you start a business? It was a fairly broad question and my first response was… You just start! But it is an interesting question and to answer it for you I am going to start a business today and see if it will gain any traction in the next 30 days.

Here is what I am committing to… 30 days, $500 investment and I will only be working on it about 1-2 hours per day. The goal is to get 5 customers and see if the advertising to sales ratio is a winner.

The Business Idea

In November I updated a friends painting website. He is a contractor so I added a booking utility that allows his site visitors to book estimates online. Since we added it, he has had 11 people book estimates via the site.

Its simple, the pick a day/time and then it adds the appointment to his calendar and emails both parties, reminders, etc. It’s a sweet little tool from a third party that is quick and easy to setup.

So my 30 Business is simple. I will add this same tool to websites for $99. Actually the price point is not set but I’m going to begin at $99 and assess the results.

Since I am a developer I created a landing page for the product with all the details of how it works. I added a 3 minute Youtube video as well. To setup the landing page with the video I put in about 4 hours of work. Click the image below to see the landing page I built.


How to start an online business in 30 days

A special thanks to Ryan Robinson @ https://www.ryrob.com/validate-business-idea/ Two days after I started this Ryan randomly followed me on Twitter. I clicked on his page and saw he was blogging about the same thing I was doing. So that inspired me to post about my progress on my 30-Day challenge.

I’ve started a lot of businesses and there is no set formula. I do know that I will make mistakes and learn things along the way.  My initial plan is to run Facebook ads to anyone who listed their occupation as a painter or home decorator. I am running $20 per day.  I’ll update this post in a few days with my progress

I’m happy you are reading this and I hope it inspires you to take action towards your ideas. Please share, follow, comment and reach out to me if you need any help or inspiration!

UPDATE #1

January 13th 2017

As I mentioned above I would make mistakes and it happened two days in.

To start I decided to run Facebook Ads. I created an initial test group for anyone with in the USA with a job title of either Painters (house) or Decorators. Since this was the initial test I decide to run the ads for 5 days at $20 per day and see what the results were.

It took about 2 hours to setup the Ad’s but that was over the entire day because Facebook kept rejecting my Ad. They were rejecting it because the URL I entered was missing the .com portion of the URL. I finally discovered the error and after a quick change my ad’s were running.

And that is where the mistake happened… Apparently the .com didn’t save and my ad’s ran for a day and a half with a bad URL. When I checked Google Analytics mid-day I had zero clicks. So I had to contact their support and get a credit for that.   But I was out a 1.5 days of seeing the results.

Here is the data on the ads

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 1.33.42 AM

The bad news is that out of the 307 clicks I got ZERO sales. I started the price at $99 and then moved it down to $29.99 after 150 clicks.

More of the Same Produces More of the Same!

Since the FB ads produced no sales I turned them of and decided to take a new approach. And that approach is email. The truth is that same day I started the ads I found a site that sells emails of painters. So on a whim I bought a list of 5000 for $79.99.

And when I say whim I literally mean a whim… I started thinking after the fact about the quality of the list and that I may have dove in too fast on that one. One of my better qualities is that I make decisions fast and stick to them.

I am going to begin sending emails over the next 4 to 5 days in groups of 200. I will vary the subjects, content, links, etc. to see what get higher opens and clicks. While that is running I am also creating six emails that will send as an auto responder. I will start running the auto responder campaign next week.

To recap: $187.70 spent of $500, Zero sales

Contact Me!

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is the , Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!

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Thinking From The End

One of the flaws with goal setting and achieving is that our minds are programed to think in a liner fashion from a starting point to achievement.

Because of this programming, we are handicapped in reaching our goals.

Think about it… You have to finish high school before you can get into college. You have to have a job before you can buy a house. Everything in the visible world tells you that you have to accomplish A, then B in order to get to C.

Therefore, in your mind if you are at point A all your focus is on getting to point B. And that is the primary reason people never follow through and reach their true potential.

For instance, lets say your goal is to get a new job. In order to do this you have to update your resume, look online, submit emails, interview, submit references and then be chosen. This process will take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks before you start working.

And if you follow the process in that fashion you will fail to get the job you want or stay stuck where you currently are.

Why? Because you are thinking is completely ass backwards! You are thinking of the end instead of thinking FROM the end. Although that wording is similar… they are 100% different approaches that will determine how successful you are in life.

Thinking from the end means that before you even start towards a goal you relax and imagine what you want to be. Imagine what your life would be like if you had the business of your dreams. Imagine how some people would respect you and congratulate you on your success. Imagine how your bank account would grow.

I’ll give you an example from my life. I am leading a team building an App and website for one of the biggest companies in the world. The project will take 18 months to complete, its huge. There are over 60 people working on it. My mental approach is “we always accomplish our goals and launch on time every time”.

Look if I got bogged down in all the bullshit that is happening this week I’d be stressed that we are not going to make the launch date in 18 months. There are people in your office and mine that think if they don’t constantly grind on minor items that the major goals will be missed.

These folks are “Thinking of the end”. They are so focused on A to B to C that all they see is bumps, roadblocks, tunnels and risks. And they will tell you about all the problems that are happening and how “we will never make the launch date”.

I’ve been on teams where people have yelled and screamed during the project. But once we hit the goal we were all best friends that where brought closer because we were successful. Situations like that make you stop and think… If we are going to hit the date in the end, then why the hell are we yelling in the first place? And the answer is because we were not thinking from the end.

So I challenge you right now to think of one area of your life you want to improve. Your relationship with a loved one, your weight, your job… I know there is something you want to be better right now. Now that you have that in mind the next step is to IMAGINE the perfect end.

How would you feel if the end you imagine were a reality? Seriously… How would you feel? Now that you know how you would feel I give you the final piece of the puzzle:

Act as if you already are that person!

If you think I’m telling you to live a lie then you are correct. The only way you can become something different is to convince yourself that you are different already.

Think of the CEO of your company. Do you think they thought “I’ll start in the mailroom and work my way up to manager and then vice president and finally become the CEO”? Hell no, if they did start in the mailroom they knew and acted like the CEO from the first day. And people around them took notice that they were different and going somewhere.

Your CEO was always the CEO in his mind and that’s the difference. They thought from the end and then became that person. The material world had to succumb to their desire. It’s that simple.

I want you to put it to the test right now. Even if you are motivated to prove me wrong I want you to try it. And comment if you agree and especially comment if you think I’m crazy.

Contact Me!

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is a Mobile Commerce Expert, App Developer and Founder at Flip Shop Marketing