Building or Selling Your Product or Service What Comes First for a Bootstrapping Startup with The Startup Coach
Hey it’s the Startup Coach here and recently I was working with a bootstrapping startup who is struggling between building a product to demo in order to get your first sale or making your first sale then building the product. While I always coach startups, to get clients first before building anything, sometimes there is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that can or should be done before the sale. However, this MVP is usually not an app but what is minimally required to test your hypothesis (hypothesis is usually ‘will people will buy my product or service’). This could be phone calls, an ad on Craig’s list or local paper, going somewhere where your target market is going to be (tradeshow, meetup etc.) and talking, or doing a survey, and getting potential customers to yes. Signing a letter of intent or a purchase order.
The question that every startup needs to ask is not can this product, service or company be built but should it be built
As The Startup Coach I know every entrepreneur and every situation is different, when mentoring startups I always coach,
If you can’t sell it why would you build it?
I can think of a number of exceptions to this rule but they are exceptions. Generally, there are two types of founders the makers and the sellers. The makers are the product people, they do the code, product or service the startup provides. The sellers gather people around them to build the product, or service and have a gift for vision and persuasion. While some builders can iterate rapidly and build MVPs quickly to demo and get to sale;
If you are a seller founder who is bootstrapping you need to sell before you build there should be no exceptions!
The Startup Coach
Founder of TorontoStarts Toronto’s Most Active Startup Community