The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau - Book Summary

The book is a guide for those who want to give up their current 8-hour day job to start their own small business, turn their passion into profit, and thereby bring you something of immense value: Free. Built and accumulated from the real-life lessons of 50 entrepreneurs who started their businesses with $100 or less, Guillebeau offers advice and tools to help identify and sell successful products and thrive. your business

Who should read this book:

  • Anyone who has ever thought of starting their own company
  • Anyone interested in the idea of ​​a successful small business
  • Anyone who wants to grow their small business and increase their income

About the author

Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur and writer with a great passion for travel. He has set foot in every country in the world, devoted himself to spontaneity and inspired people to live more meaningfully. His personal blog titled “The Art of Non-Conformity has over 300,000 monthly views.

Starting a property and becoming your own boss is not as difficult as you think. People still do that.

All over the world, ordinary people, they're creating their own business. Most of them don't have a formal plan other than "try it and see what happens". They started out as random businesses that emerged after a tough test. Usually they don't need training, don't need too much money. They take advantage of the internet, they turn their passion into profit and create a more meaningful life for themselves.

Brandon Pearce is living in Utah, is a good music teacher, he is working for a salary, but still can do what he likes. He combines his skills with what other teachers need. He created the Music Teacher's Helper interface for music teachers of all disciplines, anywhere in the world. Music Teacher's Helper is currently on track to make at least $360k a year. Brandon's life changed. Now his family lives in Costa Rica and they can live wherever they want.

Their successful small-scale business is built from their own personal interests, they have achieved some of the following criteria: (1) Pursue your do-follow-your-passion-passion model. (2) Low start-up costs (in some cases less than $100). (3) Net income of at least 50,000 dollars a year. (4) No special skills required. (5) Have less than 5 employees.

Through their micro-investment, have you seen this magic formula for success:

They are: Passion/skill + usefulness = success.

Your business is the perfect match between what you're interested in and what others are willing to pay for it.

You can do more than one thing well. You should think carefully about all the skills that can help others.

You don't need an MBA, you don't need capital, experience, or a lengthy business plan. The most important thing is to combine your passion and skills (create what you sell) with the usefulness of others (who are willing to pay for what you sell) and payment method, you will be a businessmen.

To be successful with your business, see the market with sharper eyes, understand your passions, and get to know your customers.

The best way is to give people what they really want, and the way to do that is by understanding the very simple thing about who we are. Get this right and everything else will become much easier.

You notice inefficiencies in the market, you yourself have not been met, then the idea will come to you. Do what you want for yourself and others will want it too. One business idea can lead to many other ideas that form a by-product.

But in general, the secret to success is the value you bring to your customers, which is what the customer wants and is worth. Even more important is the value associated with emotional need.

To do so, you must uncover hidden needs to make customers happy when they achieve desired results and emotions. Therefore, you have to think about what people really want to buy rather than what you think people need.

What people really want often involves love, money, approval, relaxation to overcome pressures, conflicts, depression, sluggishness or uncertainty. Focus on what you can add or remove to improve someone's life…then you will succeed.

So after having a long list of problem-solution propositions, what do you do? Choose it based on your passion and skills!

Anyone who wants to travel somewhere, but doesn't want to go through the trouble of figuring out how to get there on their own. Ask Gary Leff, via his website, email or phone.

Gary will advise on destinations, book flights, he volunteers to find some creative ways to help you enjoy traveling the world at a cheap price. Gary is very passionate about travel, so he chose this part-time job, he wants to bring real value to his customers. “I do this because it makes me feel really happy,” he said. This is a follow-your-passion-passion-of-your business.

To run a similar business, you need to: (1) Pick a specific niche and become an expert in the area where you can actually help someone. (2) Set a fee equivalent to the benefit you provide, do not underestimate your service.

Pick something you love and build a business around it; that's the job you want to do as an artist. The desk job during your office hours is just a means to get you to the destination of your passion work. You should always follow your passion wherever it leads you. Sometimes the beginning can fail, so you have to develop a skill for a problem. Only when passion is combined with skill will others appreciate your work, and the business will work.

Not every passion or hobby is worth building into a business, but you have to find the right passion, the right audience, and the right business model. Compared to jobs for a living, it's often much easier to do what you love and get paid for it.

You have an idea and it's your passion, so it's time to find clients for your business. Customers, who are they? How did you find them? Finding your ideal customer by traditional demographics – things like age, gender, income – you probably won't find.

Actually the target market has nothing to do with traditional census statistics, but consists of people from all walks of life who want to live unique, unusual lives with hobbies, passions, skills, beliefs, values.

To find customers you must be strategic: Understand some interest, passion or fad. The simplest and most effective is to “ask” a prospective customer, or anyone you see fit, if they are willing to pay for what you intend to sell. You ask what you need to know, build a very close draft, use data carefully.

Remember, the internet makes it much easier to connect with people through shared ideals and values.

You need a plan to put your idea into practice

Make a plan and, more importantly, act on that plan, and see what happens.

First you pick a marketable idea, not necessarily a big, new idea that just needs to provide a solution to a problem or be useful enough that others are willing to buy it. Then check out its market.

Keep costs low by investing capital instead of money in your project. Must strive to get the first sale as soon as possible. Fight stagnation by pushing your website online to get it up and running and be rewarded with that first sale.

When thinking about freedom and value, you ask yourself “how does this business help people?” That is, business activities purely for profit revolve around social factors. That is, you declare a mission for your business.

It's not enough to be different, it's the difference that makes you better than what is required. Customers they will trust and give you valid feedback and they will become your “missionaries”.

Have you made an effective offer yet?

I was in the marathon, I was determined to run to the finish line, but at mile 18 I was too tired. A volunteer was handing out slices of fresh oranges on the track, I slowed down and gratefully accepted the gift. Fresh orange slices are an offer that cannot be refused.

To make an offer you can't refuse, remember, you first need to sell what people want to buy, and market to the right people at the right time. A great offer is something people really want and are willing to pay for. Persuasive offers create the illusion that a sale is an invitation, not a pitch, and that “you have to have this right now.”

The way we place a value on something is often based on reason. You must learn to think about value the way your customers offer it, not the way you want them to.

Offer reassurance and thanks after someone buys or hires you. Find a small but meaningful way to go above and beyond their expectations (like sending a handwritten thank you card or letter, or doing it in a way that makes the most sense for your business). your).

You'll get off to a smooth start when there's a product launch

In the first mention of the upcoming launch, you don't reveal all the details. So it's better to start with a simple introduction. The first message about the launch is why your customers should be interested in the product or service you intend to offer.

The launch plan needs to be specific in terms of time, how will it work? Is there a bonus for the first buyers? What do people need to know in this moment? The goal is to turn the buyer's interest into a real decision, and now is the time to open the door to welcome the customer.

You don't stop at being satisfied with the results you have achieved in the launch, because you can achieve even more remarkable results with just a little extra effort. You review launch mistakes to fix, share customer stories who have shopped. Keeping promises to customers is extremely important, considering the weaknesses and shortcomings of the product, especially the special features of the product, its linkability and timeliness. Outline additional content for future communications. Consolidate and grow revenue and influence potential customers.

Try the method of attracting customers and advertising after that

The most effective persuasion lies in creating a great offer and getting everyone talking about it. You can make yourself stand out, then start with all the people you know (old colleagues, classmates, acquaintances…) and ask for their help. As soon as the project is ready to go live, contact them directly by sending them short letters and inviting them to join if they are interested. A letter is a personal message, although the content is essentially the same, it should not be sent to the public.

As soon as my business grew, I became interested in the masses, who asked me for advice. I'm strong enough to make that request, but it's free. I get excited about caring and trying honestly to improve someone's life. The giving strategy only really brings good results when you help others without expecting anything in return. But it is a long-term strategy, not a short-term tactic.

Combining solicitation with paying for advertising may be a viable solution in some situations. That example can take you further. When you're thinking of ways to advertise and build your business, think of pitching first and paying for advertising later (if applicable).

Never forget Money when doing business

The purpose of business is profit. You must ensure that your activities are directly tied to monetization. Use as little money as possible, make as much money as possible. There's nothing wrong with having a hobby, but if you want to call it a business, you have to make money.  

Spend money on building your brand and driving sales. Borrowing money for business is completely optional, borrowing money is not essential.

Most entrepreneurs pursue their projects with a trial and error approach. You can try anything without wiping out your fortune. Don't invest and go into debt for something that is not certain to work. The best solution is your own savings; if this is not feasible, you can consider “pooling” funds for your project.

The price of your product or service should be based on the benefits it provides, not on the cost of creating it.

Offer more than one price for a product. See Apple always creates a range of prices and options, and there is a premium version that creates an “anchor price”. Almost any business can create an continuity program, shifting customers from one-time purchases to recurring subscriptions, recurring billing model that generates income over time more than single sales model.

Increase revenue with effective pricing strategy

The first sale is very difficult and very important. I made my first $1.26 with a new project. While that's not enough money to buy a waffle, it's a nice sense of the future. Because I know my business will work, everything later is only a reinforcement for the initial success.

Impress your best customers, they will tell about you to future customers. Word-of-mouth advertising is a great starting point for a new business. You continue to attract your customers a little more, increase the rate of customers at checkout a little more, increase the average selling price a little more… and your business will grow a lot.

Cross-selling products or after-sales (i.e. customers buying more related products), organizing promotions, free gifts, contests will help you create a new customer base in the future. Try to give the best warranty possible. But keep in mind that a strategy that emphasizes no guarantees always works better for high-end products.

To quickly increase your income stream you need to create a service based on the product, or create a new product based on the service. For service providers, frequent price increases tend to filter out some customers but still higher overall income. But the amazing thing is that almost no one left after the price increase and this has become the norm.

In short, you can grow your business horizontally, by spreading and creating different products to satisfy different customers, or vertically, by growing deeper and create more levels of commitment according to customer objects.

Expand your business by franchising yourself

You can build a business of your own, one that you have full ownership and control over, using self-franchise leverage, to generate better profits:  

As businesses grow and owners begin to look forward to new projects, their essential solution is to work with a trusted partner, to create a joint venture owned by members, to overcome beyond what each can create.

Meanwhile, others are of the opinion that outsourcing gives them more freedom and allows the business to expand without the business owner having to do all the work himself. However, if a business relies heavily on customer relationships, outsourcing is not a good option.

Some people hire family members to work for them. Eleanor asked her husband to help with accounting and programming. Pincas again asked his mother to receive mail twice a week in the UK and then scanned the letter to send it forward as an e-mail.

Others have a motto: never have a boss and never be a boss. They can always take care of their own business and operate completely independently. Erica does not hire employees, but only virtual contractors to do its work. She used a central-to-branch connection model by maintaining an online headquarters.

At it's different. They have been building an “all-in” partnership since 1996, inviting their own clients to join as profit-sharing partners. This can be an easy way to franchise yourself.

Who said you're just one person? You can hire an army of virtual assistants. You can pursue partnerships. You can grow your business with multiple leads with the same message. You can reach a whole other crowd while keeping your business running. Just, don't open a store with someone else's name on the sign is a better way to franchise yourself.

Expand or maintain is your decision. Focus on taking action and doing what you feel comfortable with.

Entrepreneurs are not necessarily risk-takers. Every successful business faces a choice. Someone prudently decided to keep the business small to create a “freelance job”. Others choose to go the extra mile by carefully recruiting employees and jumping on the bandwagon.

Cherie saw her father, a very creative and good thinker, take his company from being alone to over 50 employees. But then, the stress weighed on him and reduced his quality of life. So, Cherie said, money is not the goal. “My feeling of being a successful business owner is based on the quality of life I aim to live, not the amount of money I make,” she says. I own my business, and the business doesn't own me." And she has kept her business small and private.

Tom and Darcy ran a backpack and handbag manufacturer but were also direct retailers from the start, and they were delighted with the choice. Tom refused to sign with retailers but was willing to hire staff and grow to his limits. This can also turn out to be a good business model.

No matter which way you go, when you're running a business, you usually take the time to keep things running. You need to take a higher-level approach by investing some of your time in impulse thinking to move things forward. You need to monitor your business closely, so that you feel in control of your destiny and find freedom in cultivating a meaningful project. Go ahead!

Let's start, why be afraid of failure?

If you're still waiting to start your own $100 startup, and you know what you need to do, the next step is simply to do it. Start taking action now, even as one European designer confided: “In the early days, I mostly waited for my business to fail. It has to be that way, because, this is my first business, and I know the biggest successes often come after the failures.”

There are many business owners who have concerns when starting a business, especially capital, then the market is changing, afraid of products being copied, worried about ensuring income to pay employees...

You have to be as confident as Marianne Cascome is to always believe strongly, if you focus 100% on making a quality product, you will be in the lead.

Therefore, the most important thing is to seek personal freedom in the pursuit of value for others, which means constantly focusing on the point of convergence between what you love to do and what others are willing to pay. money to get.

Decide for yourself what kind of business you want to build, some business models are easier and less expensive. It is also possible that you will easily succeed. It is also possible that you will learn a lot from failure because it is very likely that you will have at least one failed start on the road to freedom. The biggest battle we need to wage is not with competitors or outside agents, but with our own fear and inability to change.

Don't waste your time living someone else's life.