In 2018 I moved to 🇮🇩 Indonesia and started an online business, fully bootstrapped from 0 to $500k/year in revenue (25% profits). Here are some insights about creating value, distribution, building a team, and what my role is about.
1/ ⚡️ Starting your online business (1/3) The foundation of any business (and online too) is to provide value. The first step to create value is to find a good problem to solve and work on. Focus your energy on understanding the problems that people have.
2/ ⚡️ Starting your online business (2/3) Problems are not as sexy as solutions but should be your top focus. Once you know the problem, set up a MVP (I did that in 5 hours https://www.indiehackers.com/@Vinrob/cf013aa198 …).
The goal of a MVP: Here's the problem, here's how I solve it, do you want to buy?
3/ ⚡️ Starting your online business (3/3) The last step of starting: Get your MVP in front of people. Post it on communities (FB groups for example) where people interested in that problem might hang out. I simply asked for feedback and people went on and bought my service.
4/ 🚚 Distribution (1/4) After finding product / market fit your goal is to find profitable channels to reach people to buy your service / product. The key here is : experiment + customer fit + measuring (but not too much!)
5/ 🚚 Distribution (2/4) Do a lot of experiments at the beginning. You have a lot of channels to test (paid or unpaid) A good read on figuring out how to grow / distribution is this guide by @Julian : https://www.julian.com/guide/growth/intro …
6/ 🚚 Distribution (3/4) Distribution however can go wrong. You might acquire a lot of customers easily (it happened to me) but you will realise churn is a problem. Either 1/ Your product needs some reworking 2/ Your product is great but you target the wrong audience.
7/ 🚚 Distribution (4/4) Do not try to please everyone. Filling a niche is really powerful (and cheaper in terms of acquisition!). Your last step is to start measuring: Improve your conversion rate, run A/B tests, etc. But don't go crazy on it with low traffic.
8/ 🏃♀️🏃♂️ Building a team (1/4) it seems basic but the foundation of working with people is that you must be human with them. Always think about this + show respect on the top of your head when making difficult decisions.
9/ 🏃♀️🏃♂️ Building a team (2/4) I recruited about 80 freelancers in Indonesia (different culture and challenges, which are two-sided). But most humans care about two things: Growth + Independence. Orient your team and projects with that framework in mind. Compensation comes second.
10/ 🏃♀️🏃♂️ Building a team (3/4) Once you get people (especially remote), set up a good working environment + rules. People must have a planning of what to work on otherwise they get demotivated + they must follow rules. Work is either done or it isn't.
11/ 🏃♀️🏃♂️ Building a team (4/4) Praise people. Good resources on working with people is the KnowYourTeam Blog from @clairejlew https://knowyourteam.com/blog/ - A simple thing we do to praise our staff is the designer of the month with a small reward.
12/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (1/6) like @sama mentioned you must make sure that the company wins. Here are the most important lessons I learned on how to do that.
13/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (2/6) Be decisive. The speed at which your company will grow is directly correlated with your ability to make decisions fast. This is risky but if I am 80% sure of a decision I should probably have taken it earlier.
14/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (3/6) Make good decisions. The best way to make decisions is to remove your ego from the process and know biases. Learn from other people mistakes (@IndieHackers from @csallen is a good resource) and get an advisor who has been there.
15/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (4/6) Another one on making good decisions: Be aware of your mental mood / manage your stress. It will be overwhelming and you need to take time off and spend time with friends / in nature so you can make better decisions.
16/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (5/6) Once you and your team have decided what to work on, you need to make sure it gets done. Be disciplined, extremely organised, and follow-through projects. Here are a few tips I learned on executing ruthlessly.
17/ ✍️ Your role as a CEO (6/6) Communicate a lot (send emails to your team with progress / planning) and focus on shipping simple stuff every now and then. Keep momentum going, this motivates everyone to see their progress towards a bigger objective.
You can follow @Vinrob.
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