#11 - Low-Risk Businesses
Building big and complicated products and services is risky. Upfront investments in time and money are large. Failing is expensive.
Aim lower if you're just setting out on your own. Keep your day job, aim for slow and steady growth on the side. Forget the million dollar ideas: solve an everyday problem or improve on an existing business model.
Start in a proven market. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of business models where the demand is already validated.
Keep your day job at first. Negotiate to work part-time. Or work on your own thing before/after the daily grind. Consider quitting only if your personal runway is at least 12-24 months.
Aim lower. Go for $1 revenue first. Then $100, then $1,000. Start one step lower than you think you should. Achieving something constantly keeps you motivated and in the game.
A basic toolkit for keeping things simple, low-cost and light-weight:
NameCheap - Cheap hosting and domains for websites.
Trello - Keep your tasks organized in one place./p>
Notion - Organize tasks and collect knowledge.
Carrd - Easily create websites on templates.
Plausible - Simpler website analytics.
Calendly - Book meetings without the hassle.
Gumroad - Sell digital products.
Welder - Host and record video calls.
TypeForm - People-friendly forms and surveys.
Wave Accounting - Accounting tools.
Keeping the total risk low allows you to learn more over time. Failing doesn't mean it's final. You can start over. Just don't quit completely.
Lower risk can mean lower profits. But more is not always better. Staying small can also be a great goal.
Micro SaaS Idea - This newsletter grew to 600 free subscribers in 2 months. After 1,000 subscribers it was launched on Product Hunt and made already $800/MRR. Since then growth has picked up, latest stats:
$4k in total sales
only after 100 days. The founder @upen946 shares his progress openly on Twitter.
Startup Without Code - Meisuleen made 11 presales within 2 days for her Notion dashboard after posting it on Reddit. She has a part-time job and is aiming ultimately at $4K-5K/MRR income while inspiring other women do the same. She believes strongly in picking trending and already validated ideas to keep the risks lower.
Ark Watcher - Stan Choi built up the backbone of his investment newsletter in 1 day while working full time as a software engineer. After leveraging YouTubers for shoutouts he was able to grow to +1,000 subscribers in just one month. Ark Watcher has now over 8,000 subscribers and is monetizing through sponsorships.
DocTemple - Jan Świst worked on DocTemple slowly while having a day job. A key idea: he did not publish a roadmap which allowed for slower and low-stress work. DocTemple has peaked at $1500/MRR and made $4k sales in total.
Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days - The one book that got me started. How to earn the first dollar within a month step-by-step.
The Sweaty Startup - Nick Huber hates the "Shark Tank" -culture. He argues there's a fortune to be made in trades and local businesses.
Side Hustle Stack - An aggregator of different work platforms and resources, ranging from gig work to help you start a small business.
Don't aim big, especially on the first time. Go for proven business models. Concentrate on making the first sale, the first dollar and keeping the first client happy. Manage risks and be sure to have a plan-B.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!