Eric Rafat - Community Builder, Startup Founder, and SEO consultant

Throw That Spaghetti at the Wall to Find That Business Model

Startup Business Model

Believe it or not “Throwing Spaghetti” at the wall is your best strategy at an early-stage startup. Chances are you may have an idea or an MVP, but you need to validate and find paying customers. Without paying customers it’s just a hobby. I’ve seen so many founders make this mistake their startup and I’ve been there too myself. Often times, it’s so easy to sit behind the screen and build with no customers.

Let’s face it, who wants to hear about feedback or criticism? No one! We ask our friends about it and they say they love it but no one signs up on a first day. Here’s why you need to implement the Spaghetti at the wall strategies:

1. Building without any paying customers is just hobbies
You’re not running a charity and neither am I! You need to find those early set of customers that are willing to pay for this product, service, or community. People’s wallets speaks volume at an early-stage startup! It’s one to say “I’m interested”, but it’s totally another to take out that wallet and pay for it.

2. Early monetization leads to success!
If there’s money involved, everyone is more committed.
Would you play poker without having to buy in? Chances are it’s a no, as you would want take the game more seriously.
seriously. If it’s all free, users come and go. Additionally, as a founder you have to cover a lot of expenses including servers, domains, and more. The best thing you can do for your startup is to always monetize early and often.

3. Best form of startup validation is paying customer, not your friends feedback
It’s easy as we can fool ourselves thinking this is the next best idea. This involves coding and building all day with zero marketing. This is recipe for disaster at an early-stage up. Often times

4. Don’t need to reinvent the wheel for the startup business models
Business models have been around for a long-time so there’s no need to sit down and ponder all day. How do you find the right one for your product or service? You just have to test it out! These startup models can be:
* Software as a Service (SaaS): this like your gym membership where you charge a monthly or annual pricing
* Transactional: this is like Airbnb, where if you book a place they get some percentage
* Ad-base revenue model: this can be done either via sponsored products or content and you directly deal with the brand. This is can also be found as Pay Per Post mode, which are common among job board and other advertising channels
* Consultation: this of course very common for consultant, where you charge per day for your time.
* Affiliate: this is a tough to crack but essentially you promote a product or service on your site and upon successful purchase you get some cash

5. The more testing you do, the more lucky you can get
Startups that run two or three experiments per week will always be relevant and at the top of the game. Testing leads to better ideas and feedback, which in turn leads to more innovation. This is why we need to “test the hell out of everything”, if you haven’t it’s a good idea to go back into the drawing board.

6. Use execution to find your path faster
The more you think, the less you do! At the startup this is very common as often times we get stuck at the drawing board. Strategizing is a start but you have to execute on it! Your biggest advantage as a startup is to execute. Execution often times leads to better direction and strategy overall.

7. Nobody cares about the product but you need a community to succeed
It really takes a village to build a startup, so founders that get the value of community win. You need to find your tribe of founders that can help you share expertise and knowledge. It’s also incredibly motivating to talk to another founder with your aspirations and struggles! Find people in the same boat as you. This is why we’ve been working on FoundersBeta non-stop to bring the most supportive community to you.

Startups require tremendous amount of laser-focus execution. Perfect business plans never led to anything but imperfect executions can lead to better things. Start early with your planning and move at the speed of light to dominate your market.

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