Ideas from A businessman the donors are theirs.
I have no intention of starting my own software company. I was forced into it. You see, a few years ago, I was a full-time YouTuber. Everything was fine until my channel got demonetized. This means I earn $0 from ads placed on my videos.
There were places where I was getting 2-3 million views a month on my channel and didn’t earn a penny. As my way back from this low, I decided to invest my life savings ($5,000) into a creative economic software startup at 19 years old. I dropped out of college to work on my SaaS startup full-time, and learned valuable lessons along the way. Here are the five most important lessons I’ve learned so far:
Link: How to Start and Grow a Business: A Digital Guide for Young Entrepreneurs
1. Done is better than perfect
I have no experience in privacy – let alone creating and running a startup. Despite these challenges, 100% believe in my ideas. Armed with proof of concept, I was willing to do everything within my limited budget to transform my SaaS concept into reality.
With a well-written vision and a lot of persistence, I was able to find a good overseas designer who not only fit my budget but believed in my vision for Trend Watchers.
We still work together to this day. The first version of Trend Watchers was terrible, but over time, the UI/UX gradually improved. When I look back on my journey from a software development perspective, I shouldn’t have done it this way. I have many setbacks and obstacles. I need to stop back at the starting line, but with a great vision and team mixed with the will to succeed, we can pull.
No matter how challenging a task may seem, doing it is always better than perfection. Often, perfection comes from the many mistakes you make along the way.
2. Importance of data collection
One thing I developed early on was good data collection. What do I mean by data collection? Data collection has a bad combination, thanks to big companies and scammers exploiting it to make a profit. But there is a positive side to data collection. Data collection can be used to make better marketing decisions. It can be used to find out what users like and dislike.
I collect data in a few ways, but the two most useful methods of data collection I use are asking good questions in our registration process and having time tracking software that tracks how long users are on a page. no matter what they click. Both of these methods of data collection have helped in making the right decisions and software updates to improve the user experience.
Link: The complete, 12-step guide to starting a business
3. Get a proof of concept before building
For those who are behind, I will repeat myself: Get a proof of concept before you build it. At the beginning of 2022, I think it would be good to build a shop in Trend Watchers. Marketplaces are great, and when used properly, they can be a huge growth engine for a startup – but no one wants that. They just need a system they can use to go viral online.
Instead of listening to this market feedback, I went ahead and built it anyway, and it was a huge flop. It caused a lot of other issues, but I was wasting a lot of time and money on things that my employees didn’t want at the time. Because of that experience, I always do research and get proof of concept before I add something new.
4. Tell your story
Starting a software company at 19 years old with my own money was already quite a financial challenge. The next question is, how can I buy this product with a $0 marketing budget?
Growing up, I used to be an amazing storyteller. In my free time after school, I always write my own book. I walk into our home office, take a few sheets of paper from the printer, fold them in half, staple them together, and boom – I have a book.
I decided to use the skills I developed in my childhood to slowly build a movement of loyal people that would help me gain traction for Trend Watchers. The two platforms I decided to focus on and document my progress were Instagram and leveraging press. This is not an overnight success. It took millions of texts, letters and pitches to slowly start hearing my brand story, and now it’s starting to pay off.
An interesting insight I discovered recently about my paying clients is that they stay longer knowing that their money is being put to good use. Many of my paying customers follow my stories through my email list or Instagram page for weekly updates.
If you’re working on growing your startup, document your journey. Not only will you end up with a well-written newsletter, but you may also find loyal customers along the way.
5. Take every opportunity that presents itself
Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made were opportunities that came my way. Some of these opportunities include the opportunity to buy into events, travel to different locations and spend my time attending certain events. About 90% of these opportunities came out of nowhere, and every time I took one, it helped me tremendously in growing my business.
Related: 6 Tips for Building a Successful Software Company
As many people know, starting and starting a business is not easy, especially for a young person with no prior experience. Reading books and watching YouTube videos can help with knowledge, but experience is truly the best teacher. The skills and lessons I’ve learned from my experiences have helped me grow immensely, and hopefully, the five lessons above can help other entrepreneurs – young or old – grow their businesses. .