Starting a new service/product line is much simpler than many make it out to be;  you just need to act like a start up.

It’s not as if it is easy, mind you.  Here’s the steps, all difficult, that start up experts generally put start ups through:

  • Create the idea or concept
  •  Customer discovery to determine exact needs and wants.
  •  Build the prototype.
  •  Test/measure the prototype on customers you have talked into using it.
  •  Refine/adjust.
  •  Repeat 2-5 until you get it pretty much right.

But here’s the difference.  You already have customers, and start ups don’t.  You certainly have customers who love you and trust and will be honest with you.  Customers that will be willing to take a chance on you if you make the right kind of deal.  A couple of those deals would cash flow the new product or service.

So here’s the steps for starting that new product or service:

  • Gather a small group of customers who love you, trust you, and will be honest with you.  Present your new concept to them.  (Or, gather ideas from them on what the new addition should be).
  • Do discovery on how they want to be sold, how they want to purchase and what problems it really solves for them.
  • Build your prototype.
  • Make a deal with this small group of customer that cash flows the product, but more importantly allows you to learn how to sell and deliver it.
  • Get feedback from the same customers and make adjustments.
  • Then take to the rest of your customers when you already know how  to sell it and deliver it successfully.

It will seem slower at first, but it will go much faster at the end.  And you won’t waste time trying to sell it and deliver it to everyone when you don’t really know what works.  (Won’t be throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping it sticks.

So when will you start acting like a start up again?

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