Find Out What THEY Want – Q&As

Your Ideal Clients – Part 2

I hope you started working on finding out what THEY want.

Just in case you didn’t start yet (or you missed it today)… CLICK HERE to do it NOW.

Remember – this week’s assignment is answering a different question in the process – each day.

  • Did you give the process a try?
  • Do you have any question about the process?
  • Did you get stuck anywhere?

This is your opportunity to ask any question related to this week’s implementation assignment – to make sure you get the maximum out of it.

It’s also a golden chance to help someone else – by reading their question in the comments below – and offering them an answer, an idea, an encouragement…

If you have any question regarding this week’s implementation assignment or you need some support – let me know in the comment box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

If you can offer an answer or support to anyone – please reply to their comment below.

Your Ideal Clients – Part 2

I hope you started working on finding out what THEY want.

Just in case you didn’t start yet (or you missed it today)… CLICK HERE to do it NOW.

Remember – this week’s assignment is answering a different question in the process – each day.

  • Did you give the process a try?
  • Do you have any question about the process?
  • Did you get stuck anywhere?

This is your opportunity to ask any question related to this week’s implementation assignment – to make sure you get the maximum out of it.

It’s also a golden chance to help someone else – by reading their question in the comments below – and offering them an answer, an idea, an encouragement…

If you have any question regarding this week’s implementation assignment or you need some support – let me know in the comment box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

If you can offer an answer or support to anyone – please reply to their comment below.

I am looking forward to celebrate your progress and results on Friday (I’m curious to hear what solution you’ll come up with).

Until then…

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh

43 Comments

  1. Day 3 03-08-22
    Decide WHAT are the questions you're going to ask them and share in the comments EXACTLY the way you're going to ask them (so you can get feedback from the other participants);

    1. How has their career progressed so far?
    2. What are the biggest mistakes they've made?
    3. What do they use to influence their employees?
    4. What do they get stuck in with employees more often and are they annoyed by them?
    5. What would they like to change in their own organization?
    6. What expectations do they have of a manager themselves?
    7. What attracts the most attention in leadership?
    8. What do they waste the most time with?
    9. How do they give feedback and what are its effects?
    10. What arguments do they have for being coached and what expectations do they have for it? What is the decisive factor here?

    I'm going to call my ideal customers how they want to be interviewed and I'm going to post these questions on my website as well. Would someone like to help me how I can place these questions as a survey on my website?

    1. Hi Marcel,
      You question requires a bit more information.
      If you don't do changes to your site: ask your site maintenance agency.

      If you do the maintenance, check if you have a form builder installed for your contact form. If so, build a new form with your questions. Save. Copy the form shortcode (something in []) on the overview page of the plugin. Make a new page with a relevant titel, and past your shortcode. Save the page. Test the page. Done.

      If this was chinese or your sitebuilder is very different from wp, make it in google forms, make a new web pade, add title and some paragrapgh, and say "start helping me here: " + paste the google form url for participants. Save, test.

      Or go to fiverr. 10 dollar tops. But do say what site builder you use (wix wp, joomla,...)

      1. Thank you very much, Sin, and is it an idea that we have contact by phone? Please send me your phone number to 06-81182046 and I will contact you. Thanks in advance.

  2. Dear Nisandeh,

    I know this is more a question for last week’s Q&A but the personal reflection about your ideal clients over the years (the house painter, the 13 year old girl, the billionaire consultant and the nearly blind young man) triggered me some questions.

    You write that none of these remarkable people fitted your ideal client description by then:

    1. Why not? What were they “lacking” considering your past ideal client description?

    2. How could you have seen (at that moment) the potential of these people so that you could have prepared the next steps (products & services) for them and continue the business relationships?

    3. From your valuable experience, how do you advice us to ”test”IF our current definition of ideal client is “correct”? Meaning: how can we avoid falling into a blind spot in order to discern/recognize what an ideal client really is?

    4. Or is this discernment something that only experience can bring?

    Many thanks in advance for your reply 🙏

    1. To your questions, Maru:

      1. My ideal clients definition was 40-year-old plus - so teenagers were not there.
      They were knowledge service providers (so no painters)
      They were business owners - so no employees or interim managers.

      2. I saw their potential, as well as all the other ideal clients we had.
      But I think in those days, maybe 5%-10% of our clients were ideal clients - and since our focus was on fast growth and number of clients, we didn’t pay (enough) attention to that small group.

      3. I don’t think it matters if your definition is correct.
      If you Love working with them, they pay well and keep their agreements - they should be Ideal enough for this phase…

      4. Indeed, experience is king (and queen).

  3. Introduction:
    I focus on both consumers (people with IBS) and healthcare professionals (who guide people with IBS). My future ideal clients are in the group of healthcare professionals (such as dieticians, therapists and lifestyle coaches).
    Lately I have been receiving specific questions from consumers about dietary guidance (via chat and e-mail). They feel misunderstood or not properly guided by their own therapist or dietician. They want me to help them.

    Now I decided a few months ago that I will no longer do this, the 1:1 guidance. That's why I sold my practice. But I do know that I am so good at what I do and I have so much knowledge that I can help someone very far after 1 coaching session. Until now I send people to dieticians that I have trained myself. And yet I feel something in me that I still want to help these people. Because I know I'm good and can really help them. I have an online program where all my knowledge can be found, but somehow consumers want a 1:1 session with me rather than taking an online course.

    Nisandeh, my question for now is: How can I give less attention to the non-ideal customers and let them go? And how can I let the frustrations I feel come in less?

    Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. What still attracts you to these non-ideal customers that make it difficult for you to let them go? Somehow they still give you satisfaction. Does this satisfaction outweigh letting them go?

      1. Hoi Marcel,
        I honestly not sure why they still give me some satisfaction. Maybe only because I know I really can help them in a good way and that makes me feel good. But because most of these customers are not ideal in all these years (12) I worked with them and helped them. Maybe someday I will only help such a customer if they want to give me good money for my time and expertise. I can try it, to say that I want to coach them, but it costs........

    2. With non ideal clients I would either:
      1. Get them to become “Ideal” - usually by educating them for what/how you expect them to be/do.
      2. Get “rid” of them - gently but firmly (or pass them on to someone else - for a small referral fee).

      About frustration, here’s what I experienced lately…
      ideal clients = minimum (to no) frustration… and if there is - it’s easy to resolve with a quick, honest feedback.
      Non ideal clients = lots of frustration.
      Flops = frustration is so much bigger than the profits they generate.

      1. Hi Nisandeh,

        Thanks for your replay.
        I know these non ideal clients won't be 'ideal'. Maybe some but I never found them, so I don't trust that it will be the case, even if I tell them what I want or expect.
        I do pass them to dietitians whom I trained.

        So about frustration.. it is in me I know... I think indeed that if there is a frustration, it is mostly easy to fix when it becomes to friends and almost ideal clients. Most of the time it is about miscommunication.

        I am in a process now te get "rid" of the non ideal clients.
        And I am in the process of letting the frustration go...
        The less I will work with these non ideal clients, the less frustration I will feel. That is my conclusion so far..... 🙂

        I can not create an ideal world where every customer will be super happy and be guided in a perfect way. That is not possible.
        The only thing I have controle of, is to work with the people who I like and want to be guided by me.

  4. Good afternoon! ☀️

    The hard way I learned that asking questions to (potential) clients is a fundamental step in entrepreneurial validation.

    Before WOMB , I found The Mom’s Test method by Rob Fitzpatrick the most useful to ask questions. Hereunder a 3 min. video explanation:
    youtu.be/Hla1jzhan78

    As you can see, this method is about asking about the client’s life, his or her past experiences, usability and NOT about one’s business idea or future presumptions (ego confirmation).

    Nisandeh’s method however, revolutionizes the method above because it is about asking ideal clients what they want BEFORE even thinking/creating the product or service. Concept validation takes place when ideal clients show their commitment by BUYING the product or service before it is created! 👌🏼👏🏼

    My questions are:

    1. What are the types of questions that Nisandeh uses to ask ideal clients what they want? In order words, what to take into account when asking?

    2. What is your strategic system in asking ideal clients what they want?

    3. In your experience, what does work? What doesn’t? What should we avoid asking?

    Looking forward to your reply. Many thanks in advance

    1. To answer your questions, Maru:

      1. I’m usually ask these questions:
      - What is your biggest struggle/challenge/problem when it comes to XX?
      (XX is your topic - losing weight, growing your business, raising your baby…)
      - What would be the ideal outcome you’d like to achieve in XX in the next 12 months?
      - What do you need to learn or master to be able to achieve that outcome?

      2. I don’t know what you mean by “strategic system”…
      I’d ask before developing any new product, program, service…

      3. As I mentioned to someone else… my experience worth nothing for you.
      Don’t try to be safe.
      Just try different things and develop your own experience…
      “Write your own book” - remember?

  5. Question about Personas

    Last week, one of Marcel's posts made me think of the concept of Personas, which I used to work with when creating designs for apps.

    From interaction-design.org/literature/article/personas-why-and-how-you-should-use-them:

    "Personas are fictional characters, which you create based upon your research to represent the different user types that might use your service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. Creating personas will help you understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors and goals. "

    Wouldn't surprise me if this concept of Personas can be applied to Target Audience + ideal clients.

    Nisandeh, do you have experience with Personas in this context?
    Or do you know of others who have and their experience with it?

    1. Yes, Rens…

      Persona (or avatar) is the oldest way of “visualizing” your target audience…

      Companies would be encouraged to create such a persona with a name, age, family status, where they live, what they drive, etc… etc…

      Many marketing consultants even suggested that the company would take a mannequin, dress it up, put a name tag on it, and give it a seat in the table during strategic marketing meetings…

      If it works for you - feel free to use it.

      Personally, I think that today demographics are not as important as they used to be.

      To use an example I shared below (answering Sin) about using a language-study app like Duolingo…
      Both my mom and I are avid users of it.
      But demographically we are so different, you wouldn’t even guess that we belong to the same family.
      So the chances of such a persona/avatar to work are as close to zero as it gets.

      My best advice for you and any other small business owner…
      Simply get to know THEM… close and personal.
      How difficult it can be?

      Even when I had over a 1,000 people in the room in each Business Bootcamp, and I could probably notice only a couple of hundreds, not to mention know their names or anything about them… I simply set “office” on the stairs to the stage - and every break I would probably talk to 20-40 people…
      I’d answer their questions, I’ll ask them my questions, I cared to listen…
      And I knew everything I needed to know about them.
      Not that difficult, really.

      You just need to care.

      1. Hi Nisandeh,

        Indeed, if I look back, in the companies I worked with .... talking to customers seemed to scare the sh*t out them.
        I got them to do it once and it was really helpful.

        In the other cases, I used Personas to make sure I at least had *something* to work with in order to understand what the users of the app would need.

        I love your much simpler , more human and more complete solution.

        Looking at it from that perspective those companies I worked with left so much opportunities go to waste...

  6. The challenge I have is that I have ONE client currently, which I'm working with on a long running project.
    Although it is valuable to understand more of what they want, it's not enough to go on.

    So my idea is to approach potential clients that (seem to) fit my ideal client profile and find out what they want/need.

    I have quite some business connections on LinkedIn.
    So I was thinking of DM-ing them and/or creating a LinkedIn post that links to a short survey.
    So my questions:

    1. Do you have any experience / advice on which of those two would have best chance of success?

    2. Do you have an other suggestion on how to find out what my ideal clients want, while currently only having one client I'm working for?

    And a question about the assignment for day 5:

    3. "create and test your questionnaire (and then test again)" - what are ways to test a questionnaire? I'm absolutely not familiar with this.

    1. Good questions, Rens…

      Let’s see if I can shed some light for you:

      1. My experience (as well as anyone else’s experience) would NOT help you.
      Please understand this… the only relevant experience is yours. And it’s worth gold.
      So… how do you get that experience?
      Simply test both ways and see which one delivered you better results.

      2. I LOVE the strategy I call “Interview Marketing”.
      Basically you make a list of your 100 ideal clients.
      You contact each one of them on LinkedIn (or any other way that you can reach them).
      You tell them that you develop xx especially for a company/organization/individual like them.
      (XX can be a program, a product, a service, a book, a video, a course, an article - whatever it is you’re working on), and you ask them for 15-20 minutes of their time to ask them a few questions.
      If they agree (and most of them would agree, if you approached them respectfully with a good message) - then ask them if they prefer the questions in advance or during the interview, and make an appointment for the Zoom (or phone, or live) interview.
      That’s it… then make the interview, keep to the time you promised, and reserve a couple of minutes at the end to ask them if there’s anything you can do for them as a thank you…
      If you chose the right questions, and you interviewed them well - you will come across as an expert on your topic, and they might have something for you.
      In any case, make sure that you ask permission to contact them in the future, for follow up questions and to report what you did with their answers…
      I believe you can see where this part is going… 😅

      3. Testing your questionnaire simply means - send a copy to yourself and a couple of colleagues (or a friend) and ask them to fill in the questionnaire - making sure all is clear, easy to fill in, and actually get the results to you…
      You won’t believe how many times we sent a link to a questionnaire that either was the wrong link, or the form looked funny in certain (or all) devices, that questions were unclear, that the submit returned an error message, or that the person submitted the form - but because of a mistake in the settings - we never got the answers…

      I hope those help…

  7. I aim for 100 to 200 clients a year who are ideal for my new product, and about 12 vip clients who are a great fit for my inner circle.

    In an ideal world, my 100 clients would rely totally on self service. That is however an illusion. I think.

    We've always build idiot proof software and automations. We always go from many questions to zero questions in 4 weeks, for that is a business goal.

    I'm scared that our current endeaver is not going to get to that idiot proof level.

    Should we choose our clients so they will give us less headaches and support questions, so redefine who are our ideal clients? Should we get a customer support team? Should we rethink how we are building the automation, skipping part 3 that is most valuable but will cause most questions? Or not sell it as self-service, and just it for our own use and hire staff to use it as done for you service? Should we certify clients before they get do do it themselves? Or ignore the matter completely, and just start with 20 to see how it goes? Or offer no support at all and refund those who need support? Etc.

    I am not a people's person. I cannot lead a team. No idea who could do that. I'm not ready for several hires if I'm honest.

    We are turning in circles with this ideal clients question. I don't expect a clear answer. If you have one - i'm all ears. But a guiding question would be very much appreciated.

    1. Guess the question is: how can we support customers without spending time on it. Only self-service help. And capture what info was not available or foundable. I'll generate ideas on that question.

    2. To be honest, Sin… I think you need to look hard on your WHY for the software/automation.

      Are you doing it because you want to empower THEM, to serve THEM better, to serve more of THEM, to make money… All good reasons, but you need to get very clear (and very honest with yourself) why you’re doing it.

      I don’t believe in idiot-proof systems…

      You will always have to support users, to one degree or another.
      Even if it’s not holding their hands, or answering their questions, you will still have to watch closely how they behave on the platform in order to keep tweaking it.

      I’ll give you an unrelated example, but I’m sure you’ll be able to see my point.

      I’m using Duolingo to learn Spanish… it’s a simple app (a lot simpler, I believe, than what you’re creating) and they have 37 million monthly *active users* (among them 2.5 million paying yearly subscribers).

      In the 7 months I am using the app I found 3 mistakes in the translation and contacted the company (through the app) with the appropriate screenshots etc… I don’t expect an answer… but I do hope they’ll check it out.

      My mom is using the app on her phone to learn Italian (her 6th language) and once every few weeks she’s getting stuck somewhere, not really comfortable with all the gamification I guess… she simply Googles the company main support email address, and send them a long email expressing her challenge and expecting them to answer her as if she’s one of a few clients they serve.

      With 500 million registered users and 37 million active monthly users, I believe my mom and me are not the only ones contacting Duolingo…

      I totally understand that you don’t want to hire and run a support team… but it seems to me part of the deal when you choose to develop a software or a platform. No one says you have to manage the support team, but I don’t think you can avoid having one.

      Circling back to the beginning…
      What is your WHY?

      If it’s empowering, supporting, expending your clients - then maybe a software/platform is not the best solution - as, I believe, they would all prefer (an affordable) do-it-for-them solution.

      If it’s about making money… then part of your costs of doing business would probably include some kind of support.

      Probably in the scope that you’re dealing with - it would need to be a hired team that is trained and managed.

      If you were a lot bigger, a community-based support could be initiated, encouraged and supported - but this is probably another headache you won’t want to deal with.

      I know it’s not the answer you were looking for, and there might be other answers out there.
      This is just my 2 cents…

      1. Hi, well, it is the logical answer you gave me 😀

        I have spend some time on the why of the project. And it is a twisted one.
        I build it because I want to earn my first million/year, and then move on without abandonning them. Rather silly to abandon them upfront without tech support whaha. Must change that.

        I like the "hire a support team". I might need to grow up and stop being the companie's bottleneck.

        (We do got questions down to zero and to 1 every 3 months for previous automations. With hundreds of users. Where you focus in design, and stop when it is still simple, it is possible)

        Thank you for your honest feedback, appreciate it.

  8. In my personalized curriculum (thanks for that, makes a lot clear to me and puts me in line)

    The question of how I can financially start the platform is still open to me.

    Somehow I stay blocked and just looking for ideas to get the finances together.

    Maybe it's about fears from previous experiences where I now have to pay back €35,000 from 1 collaboration. This gives me some stress and I want to get out of that.

    I want to see the opportunities that I see and that I have to do to take the two-wheeler industry to a higher level and to implement this further in the world. the bicycle is becoming an increasingly important means of transport, but there is less and less staff to get the job done. This is due to the grocer's mentality, don't look further than your nose is long, small environment, leave the old.

    I feel the need and I see the need in the industry and also in myself because I've had several misfires in release. You mentioned in answer to my question last week that I better let the big plan do this by another party and that I then execute it. I'm stuck in my head how do I do that.

    Do you have any tips on this, it seems to be about control I'm afraid of losing the region. and about trust. NOW the best company starts with yourself so in personal development I have something to do with it. It is and seems subtly small and yet it is large.

    I can keep coming up with ideas and play more and more clearly, but actually I've been there for years and how do I get that step further.
    Do you recognize this from your own career or from students? How did you or did they get out of here?
    Thanks for thinking along and watching, I really appreciate it.
    Sorry for my long story, find I need that often so one more question how can you ask powerful clear question without telling the other whole stories. I hope about much story needed. It's about self confidence. What is there to transcend. Desire is there and those things hold me back

    1. Most people with ideas never get to writing a solid business plan. That is step 1 if you want financing. Some parts of your story can be a cooperation with third parties - say a work place can be offered by a sponsor or municipality in exchange for taking care of their fleets etc. Again, you can't negotiate without a business and financial plan. You would also need a team. Do you have the will and skill to hire both management and labour force? How many do you need? Guess how you figure that out? 😀

      After the plan, you test the market by asking them money. Signing a contract. Not words, but money or contract. So you need to ask them what they want to pay for first.

      It is of no use if they don't see it the way you do AND want to be part of it. If you get past that hurdle, you can do the finance part. Not now. No finances without signed contracts.

      So the short answer to your question is: do the right things in the right order. First the business case and financial plan, than contracts, than financing.

      1. ... then the building.
        I forgot to write the most important part whaha.

        Leo, serious, if you can't get them to pay for the idea, you are bound to find out they will not pay for the service. Hence: find people with a lot of problems and a lot of bikes.

        I totally get what you want to do, and why. It is a genuine problem in the market. But is there willingness to pay?

        BTW, Nisandeh hits an important point. You can/should have a facade business first. Do the work manually. Or do invest in a verrrry basic automation. What you want to offer, IS a very simple automation.
        1. You make a list of bike types.
        2. Put it in typeform, google forms , whatever.
        3. Make a list of repair services leads
        4. Make a qr code for the url
        5. Print on your printer 100 cards with the qr and the link below it
        6. Give it to repairships and explain the idea. No paying you.
        7. Deadlines are a must. Free till... works well.
        8. Count the number of applications after the deadline. Is it worth it?
        9. If so, talk to bike fleet owners. Your list of participants is proof. These people are easy to find and will talk to you.
        10. Have them sign up as founder for 5K. No starting up in 2 months = money back.
        11.count those user numbers. 1big one can be enough....
        12. Make a new form for clients. Have it hosted on a site. Ask your clients to handle the distribution to their employees.
        13. Have a simple script written, that sends back a list of "right fit" shops. You might need to host a database if we're talking thousants of users.
        14. If you get that working, get 10 big fleets at least. Nr 1 is your proof. Sign them up for 20K.
        15. If you want you can build a more fancy site - not really needed but you can.
        16. Now you get more shops in, and have them pay a small monthly fee
        17. Get individual people in if you want to, but do think twice. A ton of headackes....
        18. Sell your proven idea.

        That's how I would do it. I actually could - but I don't see myself doing the work. None of these steps is hard or expensive. My guess is you would get far with 1500 euro for the whole thing over 2 years. Focus on 'it works' is way more important then fancy. You can show screenshots to start out, drawings, ... that's how I'm doing my new automation selling right niw. Well, i will very soon. Right now, i any have the idea to sell. Those who like the idea, get screenshots and a contract. Then we test, improve, sell more. Then we build it for real.

        I did have to build since oktober 21 for we are doing a lot of stuff where it wasn't clear if it is possible. We still aren't 100% sure - but we use what we build already for our own work. So it has a good ROI. If magic puzzle piece 7 works out, i'll be at about 2500 to 3000 euro in total, my time excluded. And this is way more complicated...
        BtW, you can actually buy wp templates for your kind of platform for less then 100 euro. Tech isn't the issue. Money might, but let clients pay for development after n MVP version.

        All of this is not meant as " do it this way". I wanted to show you how easy it is if you allow it to be simple.

    2. How can you ask powerful clear question without telling the whole story?

      I’ll start with this one, Leo… because it’s not just you…
      It seems like it’s a skill we all need to become better at - how to ask questions in a way that would get us the best answers…

      Let’s start with your “WHY”… why do you ask this question? What’s your purpose when asking the question?
      One-line answer like “Because when I have the answer I can get more ideal clients” or “Because when I have the answer I will waste less time on non-profitable activities”… are good.

      The second step is finding out, WHAT exactly do you want an answer for?
      One-line answer like, “How do I protect my idea from being ‘stolen’?” or “How do I get my project financed?” are clear, simple questions.

      The third step is figuring out if you need to supply any background, context, clarifying content.
      One paragraph should be more than enough to do so.
      When you join the mentoring program, I will show you EXACTLY what context you need to include to get the ultimate answer, but for now… this should be enough.

      Then reas your question plus any extra paragraph you might have added, and ask yourself if a stranger that knows nothing about you or your business can understand it. If not… keep working on it until it shines.

      If you want to get the maximum of asking an expert a question - then the most important is your question.
      Spend 10-15 minutes on getting it right, and you’ll get good answers.

      The best indication that your question is NOT yet a great question is if it’s longer than one paragraph.

      And one last thing, very practical for this program.
      Ask one question in each comment.
      I’m happy to answer any number of questions you have, but you need to post each question as a separate comment, so I can answer each question separately.

      This is again… not just for you, Leo… but for EVERYONE.

      Let’s start with a simple indication… if you need more than a short paragraph… one or two lines - then you should re-read your questions again and again, until you can summarize your main point

      1. Thanks again for your valuable answers. I can do something with that. Your question was also very nice. For the record...

        "How do I protect my idea from being 'stolen'?

        1. This is one of my favorite questions, Leo…
          And you’re gonna hate my answer… most everyone does.

          Your idea is worth NOTHING!
          Any idea is worth NOTHING!

          I prove it to you every time you’re using the Idea Generator.
          It takes 10 minutes to come up with 10 ideas, and half an hour to come up with 10 (or more) great ideas…
          So - between a minute to 3 minutes - that’s all the work you put in to come up with an idea.
          So, even if your hourly fee is €1,000 then 1 minute of your time is worth €17 and if it’s an amazing idea that took you a whole 3 minutes to come up with - it’s still only €50 worth. And that’s if you’re making €1,000 an hour, which I doubt you do…

          My point is that your idea as an idea is worth nothing.
          But if you implement your idea and make it happen - it can be worth millions.

          So… don’t be afraid that others will steal your idea…
          It’s honestly not that original anyway.
          If no one developed it till today - it’s not because no one thought about it.
          It’s because making it happen is where the work and creativity and effort and genius is.

          I can promise you this…
          Go to the best company that could “steal” your idea from you and offer them the idea for €1,000 and I bet you - they’re not gonna invest that amount of money in “buying” your idea.
          Because the idea worth nothing, but execution is worth everything.

          Build your idea, make it happen, get thousands of people to pay for using it, and then you can go back to the same company and offer them the platform for hundreds of thousands or maybe millions - and they’ll probably take it…

    3. I will answer one question I understood from your “long story” and I will wait for you to break down the other questions into separate comments…

      This is what I understood your question is:

      How I can financially start the platform

      A disclaimer for EVERY question I answer…
      I only share from my own experience and knowledge…
      My experience and knowledge might not fit your business, your situation, your personality, or a dozen other factors…

      My personal, very strong, belief is that if a product or a service depends on financing - I don’t even think about it. I’m not interested. Financing is not in my area of expertise, and I’m not wealthy enough to waste money on experimenting. I also believe that unless you’re going to create a physical expensive product from scratch - like a car an airplane or a spaceship - you don’t need financing.

      For sure in your case, where the costs of developing the platform are so small - I wouldn’t bother.

      However, for the sake of the bigger discussion - there is one type of financing I like, and I use it ALL THE TIME.

      It’s called Client Financing… and I use it and teach it for many, many years.

      It’s so simple, so easy, and making sure it’s always a win-win proposition.

      Basically what it means, sell it before you develop it.
      Not to get into a long explanation - simply get users to pay to use your platform before you develop it.
      If lots and lots of them are buying - now you have the time to develop it, and you can (and should) do that in partnership with them.

      If not so many (or no one) is willing to pay for it - you have the clearest indication, that either there’s no market for your idea, or that you have no idea how to sell it. Which in both cases, is a great sign that you should drop the idea and do something else.

      But really, in your case, it’s so easy.
      All you need to have a platform setup is a free WordPress website, with a domain and a hosting (less than €100 a year). If you don’t know how to put a WordPress site and some content online - then go to Fiverr and they’ll do that for you for another €100 or so.

      I can’t think of any other cost you need to get the platform going - to show prospective clients and get them to make a decision - do I pay for it or not.

      You don’t need any automation or sophistication at this moment.

      For the exchange part of the platform - just make a page where you list all the mechanics that are part of the platform and then a contact form - so a cyclist can contact the mechanic of their choice, while you get a copy of the communication…

      For the education part of the platform - simply make a WordPress POST for each “lesson”, give them URLs that are not easy to guess and “deliver” those URLs to whoever buys your “university”.

      For years we had all our content online, behind a “password”.
      But we never bothered to actually develop the automation for that - so no matter what password people would put - they still got the content.

      It worked like a charm and generated us tens of thousands of euros a year.

      A long story (this time on my side), but the short answer is:

      If developing your product or service depends on an investment that is more than a few hundred euros… personally - I wouldn’t touch it.
      On the other hand, I can’t think of any service like yours that needs anything more than a couple of hundred euros to get it live, so you can start selling it.

      I’ll wait for your other questions…

      1. I foresee more costs because the idea is about a custom platform.

        You can find plenty of lists of bicycle repair shops on google or various other sites. That is why I do not see the platform as added value in this.

        What we can do to tailor-make the right match between the cyclist and the bicycle mechanics is that we know which bicycle and what is being done to it and that it is linked via the software to the bicycle mechanics of which we know which bicycles they make and which they use. don't want to make.

        With more and more brands of electric bicycles, motors and batteries and brands that supply directly to the consumer and most colleagues do not want to make or cannot make. When this is clear in the background of the system, we can make the ideal match. Unlike google.

        This also saves us a lot of time for colleagues in the companies. They then get the right customer and immediately a customer with an order and that customer already has an indication of what it will cost, this is also processed in the software.

        This means higher costs.

        I first asked (now that I still process manually and often still have to look for the right bicycle repair shop) € 150 for the first year and that starts when the custom platform is ready. I thought with 100 participants I would have money to have customization made.

        Now I got max 10 registrations on it. And you get what you called the chicken and the egg story. And actually you're saying that I shouldn't go through with it because people don't want it.

        I have now done it for free and the bicycle mechanics pay for orders above € 5.00 per order obtained. Ultimately, this is an even better revenue model if we receive a lot of assignments and are able to distribute them.

        Another player who does that in the Netherlands is werkspot. There is also no ideal match and as a bicycle repairman you pay € 6.00, but it is also possible that you do not receive the order or do not want to do it.

        The costs are therefore higher and it cannot yet pay for itself.

        Ask
        What are the possibilities to pay for this

        1. You write:

          I foresee more costs because the idea is about a custom platform.

          That’s exactly my point…
          This is NOT necessary at this phase.
          Everything the custom platform can do automatically you can do manually at the beginning.
          Get 100 people to pay, serve them manually (you or someone you hire for that).
          And when those 100 people are happy, giving you raving testimonials and refer others - then use the money they pay you to pay for the custom platform - so you can scale it.

          It seems that everyone wants to scale their business, before they get any sales.
          Here’s the right order in my “book”.
          1. Get one sale
          2. Get 10 sales
          3. Get 100 sales
          Can you get more sales without changing anything important?
          If not… then it’s time to scale.
          If yes…
          4. Get 1,000 sales
          Etc…

          1. By the way…

            We ran the Business Bootcamp with more than a 1,000 participants in each one using only Excel sheets for a few years.
            Then we decided that we should automate the company - so over 3 years we spent close to one million euro on 3 different software solutions (3 different developers), just to discover that any of these solutions create more problems than it solved.

            We had to suck it up and get rid of everything, “burn” the million euro, and the last few years of the Business Bootcamp - we were back to the old Excel sheets.

          2. Thank you, i love your answers and comments.

            Honest and clear it helps me further in my blockades in my head and old thoughts.

          3. What I see is what I actually already know but don't dare to face. From the idea of ​​failure and not yet proposing anything, etc. I make a whole package out of it. which does not contribute to success.

            Like almost not daring to ask questions. first post my messages in Dutch, because I'm afraid to make mistakes.

            I say to everyone you can learn from mistakes and luckily I do that myself more and more and now failure can transform, live to greatness.

            My core value of dignity has of course a positive side and a negative side, neither right nor wrong.

            Just on the road, just learning. Which all has to be done quickly but takes longer because I don't dare to put on paper what I experience and feel and see.

            Thanks again Nisandeh

          4. I find you very courageous, Leo…
            I think you’re in the right environment.
            Just keep exploring and moving outside of your comfort zone.
            We’re all here for you…
            Keep up the good work.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top