How to start a business from scratch
Every week we take half an hour to talk just about any topic that crossed our minds during the last days and create a podcast for you (Listen to it in Spanish here and subscribe to our feed). We call it an Open Mic Podcast as we want to invite different people to participate, new ideas to take form, and to shed light on various experiences and perspectives on business development.
You will hear Bernat, CEO at itnig, César, Product Director at Factorial and Masumi, Content Media Strategist at itnig discussing different topics with guests from our startup ecosystem in Barcelona. This week Roger, Product Manager at Quipu and Jordi, Growth Hacker at Factorial join us.
Our podcast #14 starts with inspiration: Cesar was listening to a talk of the founders of the Segment — a customer data platform — and how they started out with a completely different product and only later created what is now known as Segment.
“In the process of creating one product, the need for another product was born.”
Similar to Segment, Quipu was born out of the need to manage the administration for different projects. What first started out as a personal need was then transformed into a business (now known as Quipu) by Roger. In this week’s podcast, we want to focus on exactly this: How to start a business from scratch.
How to bring a new product to the market with a 0€ budget?
Jordi has experienced this very initial stage of every company many times and today he joins us to talk about how to reach customers with a new product and how to create the first traction with a marketing budget of 0€. Throughout the podcast, we explore initial SEO strategies, influencer marketing, offline customer acquisition, and crowdfunding as possible options to generate the first sales.
Getting somebody to endorse your product, to present it, and to vow for it in front of your target audience. Do you remember the craze around fidget spinners earlier in the spring of this year? It’s the perfect example of a product that went viral through youtube videos, social media shares, and word of mouth. As far as we were able to find out, ‘nobody’ was behind it pushing the toy out in the world, yet it is a great inspiration for marketing departments of any physical product. Who wouldn’t want their product to sell itself and create such a hype?
Offline customer acquisition
Go out and meet possible customers. In the case of Quipu, Roger went to talk to small companies, individual freelancers, or even accountants to better understand how they work and what they are dreaming of. Similarly to developing an MVP at the initial stage, going out to approach customers directly was an enriching experience and an important step in the growth of Quipu.
At the beginning of Camaloon, an e-Commerce for custom products, we tried different ways of acquiring customers from participating at events like Design Conferences or Comic Conventions in Spain and Italy, sponsoring artist groups, or even being part of flash mobs. Looking back, now we laugh about those actions but at the time they were a good way of reaching a niche audience and getting the first traction.
If you are developing a physical product, crowdfunding can be a smart way to receive funding and your first customers. It’s a way to market your product to a very specific audience and tap into the potential of established platforms and networks like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
You reach your first customers and you have the opportunity to establish a special bond with them when your company grows.
Marketplaces & other eCommerces
With a physical product, one of the more traditional ways of placing it in front of possible customers is using existing structures like other e-commerce stores or marketplaces. These could be self-service like Amazon or even more selected marketplaces that feature and sell your product for you.
No matter how you start out, Jordi cannot say enough how important measurement is:
“Measure from the start. Even though at the beginning you might be measuring very low numbers, you still need to know whether you are going in the right direction.”
If you are curious to find out more and listen to some of our examples, subscribe to our channel here and listen to episode #14 right now.