Vlado Sedlařík has been operating successfully for five years. Later, he worked at Microsoft in various positions, helping to establish dozens of young companies from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He currently lives in Thailand, but still helps startups through consulting.
In an interview with Startitup, he talks about the biggest mistakes beginners make in business and advises them how to avoid them effectively. He claims that you don’t need a lot of money or a revolutionary idea for a big project. It also gives advice on how to replace a comprehensive business plan.
I have a great idea for a great project. What should I do first?
I always say one thing to people who ask me this question: I’m certainly not afraid to talk about it. Most of them keep their idea in their heads or their drawer, which of course is not enough.
You need to try to check if your idea will be interested in the market. First of all, you should try to produce the first working prototype as quickly as possible and put it on the market immediately. Let’s say you want to sell electric bikes. An inexperienced businessman will take out a loan, pay for an expensive online store and order a container full of bicycles from China.
At the end of the day, he may find that there is no interest in the genre.
So what is the correct procedure?
In principle, very simple. In a few hours, you’ll set up a simple page with one big picture of a bike and a big “buy” button.
If the user clicks on it, it will show them something in the pattern: “We apologize, we don’t have bikes in stock yet, but we will contact you as soon as we start selling. Please leave us your email.”
You pour, for example, 50 euros into Instagram, Facebook and AdWords. Once that money runs out, you’ll get your first hard data. It is not important how many visitors came to the site, but whether they made a conversion, that is, a purchase. In a few days, you can get an initial picture of whether or not your idea makes sense. You don’t have to invest a lot of time or money.
Go from a successful business to a job. Did you feel more comfortable as an entrepreneur or as an employee?
This is difficult to answer. Business and corporations are worlds full of contradictions.
The company was an experience for me, thanks to which I understood the business more deeply. Both worlds have advantages. At the company, as an employee, you enjoy your vacation, the security of continuous work, and the benefits. However, at the same time, you have only one small wheel in the entire perpetual mobile phone.
As an entrepreneur, you have complete freedom, as long as you do not have investors above you that you must acknowledge. However, in principle, you deal with completely different things – whether it will cost you money at the end of the month, employees, marketing, or product development – but also dealing with investors, which are often not easy or pleasant.
Source: VS . Archive
What is the most important piece of advice you would give a beginner entrepreneur?
Perhaps the most basic and basic thing is – getting started. Whatever idea you have, just thinking about it is not enough.
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