#018 - Andrea martins - key steps to getting your business off the ground
'Articulate your idea into a sentence so that your audience gets your business idea instantly' [Andrea Martins]
Nicholla speaks with Andrea Martins who co-founded ExpatWomen.com in 2007 and is the co-author of the book Expat Confessions: 50 Answers To Your Real-Life Questions About Living Abroad. Her website attracted annual sponsorships from global companies like HSBC, Barclays Wealth, Aetna International, Clements Worldwide and SIRVA Relocation and she was a guest speaker at expat events in the United States, Mexico, The Netherlands, Morocco, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. Andrea's site was acquired for an undisclosed six figure deal in April 2014.
Having lived as an expat for nine years in Indonesia, Mexico and Malaysia, Andrea is now back in her home country Australia. She was a finalist in her local 2014 Business Pitch competition at the Innovation Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast in August.
Andrea is also the founder of: Story Resumes – an innovative service to help jobseekers get noticed via eye-catching infographic, illustrated and animated video resumes; Launched and Noticed - an e-course and community to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life; and the co-founder of a new startup called Green Socks - designed to be an Uber for lawn care providers.
In this interview Andrea helps us build the key steps to getting your idea of the ground. We are often caught up in the idea and then don't know how or where to take the next step. Here we identify your next steps. We have summarized them below but the interview will shed more invaluable information on making this happen for you. Enjoy and then take action. :)
Podcast information update (February 2015) - Oddjobs is now Greensocks
The key steps we identified during this interview.
1. Having a great idea and being passionate about it. Doesn't necessarily need a structure but it does need to have a core purpose.
2. Do your research. Investigate who has a similar idea, how are they doing it?, What makes them successful at it, What are their unique selling points and what are you doing differently and challenges they facing that you can overcome.
3. Attend a Start Up Community weekend and network with those that are their to help. Start Up Communities or events where you can meet like-minded folk who can offer advise, guidance, tips and critique your idea to make it better.
4. Share your idea - don't be shy. Talk about it and get it going. The more you talk about it the more it will make sense to you and develop.
5. Be open, listen to the advise you are given. Seek advise from start up people or people in the business of being new and have a number of new businesses with them. We can't work alone so taking advise from experienced minds adds an invaluable offering to where you want to take your idea and your vision. Potentially helping you avoid wrong turns or bad decisions too.
6. Find a mentor that understands your niche. Choose carefully and find someone that 'gets' where you are coming from and has similar experience.
7. Be able to articulate your idea in a few sentences and find a way of making your businesses relate-able. Find a personality or an entity that makes your business instantly recognisable and help you put your audience into the right mindset.
8. Explore your idea with potential customers. Find out if they will buy it and how much they will pay for it. This is another key point in the development of your business idea.
9. Define your skill sets. If you have a partner or you are collaborating with someone create a map of who is bringing what skills to the table and what is expected of each of you.
10. Be aware of where you are spending your Funds. Be very aware of how you spend your funds in the early days of your business. Though we need to formalise our businesses be aware of what is and isn't necessary.
11. Stop talking and START DOING.
Inside this episode
Question 1: Where do you start? I guess start with a good idea and structure it? Andrea and I had a great moment with this question. Her answer was honest and how I believe how alot of us starting are at. Have a listen at how Andrea explains her answer. Articulation and research of your idea is a key component to her answer.
Question 2. How did you target your networking list - what were your key tools? Linkedin plays an important role in helping Andrea find connections she needs to get something done aswell as attending 'Start Up Weekends' where you can meet, discuss and work through your ideas with business investors, angel investors, mentors, and other entrepreneurs.
Question 3: Andrea spoke about her New Business Pitch she made at a recent event in Australia where she was a finalist and I asked her what she thought stood out to potential investors who were hearing her pitch? Andrea's newest initiative 'Odd Jobs' is what she was pitching. Andrea responded with three factors that contributed to her finalist position. a) the potential investors liked the idea, b) Andrea is very passionate about her idea & c) Her idea made sense to the listeners. Through her explanation and narration she was able to present her idea and help people relate to it.
Question 3. How open and closed were you about your idea in the early stages? Andrea advise was to be open and share your idea as fully as you can. Sharing means you can hear how other folk interpret your idea and help you see what can and can't work. Ultimately helping you gain clarity and direction of your business. Even if it means its not a great idea.
Question 4. How important was a mentor to your business development? Andrea said mentors have been an invaluable offering over the few months with the development of her 'Odd Jobs' concept. She would highly recommend them but ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise of your niche area.
Question 5. What did you find were the key considerations your parties were focusing on when you were talking about your idea? Was there a pattern? The key consideration was your ability to articulate your idea in a few sentences. Being clear about what your business is about. Try and find a way to help people relate to the idea. In Andrea's case she describes 'Odd Jobs' as being the 'Uber for Handymen' and this helps your audience immediately connect with your business.
Question 6. What tips would you give to someone trying to connect with mentors, investors or start up professionals to get their advise and direction particularly if they don't know you? Andrea's recommendation here was www.clarify.fm. A Website offerering on demand business advise for entrepreneurs. Its an awesome space if you want to get connected to some professional expertise. Particularly when you don't have any mentors or investor help.
Question 7: What would you recommend to help people explore if their idea was tangible? An important element of exploration into your idea is if customers would pay for it. Andrea presents her own case study and suggestions on what can work to help with the development of your idea. She also talks about Google's Consumer Surveys (Link Below) which helped her generate data, knowledge and insight that helped her in the business planning of her new business idea, 'Odd Jobs'
Question 8: How will you and your partner collaborate and run the operations of the business? Andrea briefly outlines the expectations of her partner and herself along with identifying the key skills they are brining to the table to help get the venture off the ground. She also share with us a key lesson she learnt the first time for setting up her company and how she has now learnt more about the early days of development of your idea.
Question 9: Did you attend any on line courses to teach you more about what you needed to know? Andrea said that she had done a few but she has learnt more from her experience and just getting on with it. One of her Favourite quotes on this is by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger which is 'Many times 'success' is more about DOING the things you know you should do. Not learning the 'secrets' that you don't'. She explains why this quote is very powerful
- Andrea recommends you www.clarity.fm for seeking entrepreneurial advise. Check it out its a great spot for all categories of business.
- Here is the link to 'Google's Consumer Survey Tool'. Watch the video to help you see how it can benefit you.
- Connect to Andrea's Businesses: expatwomen.com, launched and noticed, Story Resume Green Socks
- Connect on Facebook: Launched & Noticed Facebook Page , Story Resume Facebook Page
- Andrea's email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connect with Andrea on Twitter
- Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn
- The Learning Curve Podcast interviewed Andrea to discuss her entrepreneurial journey. Here is her story.
Interested in Being a Guest on The Learning Curve? Learn More Here
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