• Anil Kasibhatla

Seven Stages Of Starting an Online Business-Stage 3

Updated: Jun 4


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The entrepreneur journey is ridden with self-doubts. It's very natural to question yourself along the journey and one of the key aspects and probably the most important aspect is to question what if I fail?


Whether your plan involves leaving your full-time employment for good or starting a side hustle that can eventually scale you need to test the waters and build that confidence to execute.


As Andy Grove the late chairman of Intel once said, only the paranoid survive. Yes, it’s an attribute that will help you to stay grounded and execute with precision.


As I had mentioned before it’s a nonstarter to begin your entrepreneur journey by betting the house, farm, and everything in between.


What I have learned is that there are things that can build that self-confidence muscle and that have to do with self-introspection, and finding the first customer/early adopter for your business venture.


Don’t do the mistake of seeking greener pastures on day one. Take it slow and learn along the way. Remember this phase is to prove to yourself that you can mitigate all the risks that come with “what if I fail”?


Self-introspection is critical since this allows you to think through your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a personal SWOT analysis you need to conduct and prepare for the challenges ahead. This exercise is bound to offer you enough insight to take meaningful risks and not jump into untested waters and burn yourself.


We have seen what happens if you try those get rich schemes. The recent stock market speculation with AMC and Gamestop trading is a perfect example of gambling away savings etc to only realize that it can only take them so far.


You see, folks' business ventures are serious in nature and speculation will only get so far.


Your objective during this phase is to answer to yourself that you have an actionable plan of action to survive and sustain the journey you have begun.


So with the SWOT analysis, you would create a doc or a spreadsheet and layout Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.


These are related to your own self and not your business. Businesses conduct a SWOT analysis to analyze various aspects of their inner workings. I am suggesting you conduct this for your own “ME INC”. Once you are able to address each of the areas you would tie that to actionable deliverables with KPIs and timelines associated with each step.


An incredible advantage that can come out of this exercise is your ability to self-evaluate your ME INC and come up with a plan of action to execute.


For any business venture be it online or offline whether a side hustle or full time everything starts and stops with customers. It doesn’t matter what you are selling and at what price points.


Your ability to start a business and stay in it boils down to your customers and your ability to find a product or service to cater to their needs.


I would argue this is the single most important aspect of your business venture. Not knowing where, how, and what it takes to acquire customers is sure to backfire and end your business journey way sooner than you would have imagined.


Before you venture out to procure a domain, talk to agencies about building your website, research buyer, and audience personas.


I would strongly suggest relentlessly focusing on acquiring your first set of customers along with simultaneously planning other aspects of kicking off you’re online business.


Learning Customer Acquisition strategies will help you in building confidence and answer that question of what If I fail phase but also help you in building confidence one customer at a time.