We talked about product testing and getting to the MVP level (and you can learn more about that in Module 5 of The Structured Start-up). Along the way, here’s a snapshot of some of the advice they shared for fellow entrepreneurs.
- “If nobody wants to buy it, you don’t have a business.”
Sometimes, there’s a fine line between a hobby and a business, and most of the time, that line is financial. So, while it might be great fun to make macrame plant holders or Great Aunt Ruth’s famous cookies, if no one is willing to buy those products, you don’t have a business.
- “Use sales data for feedback.”
Entrepreneurs usually have a lot of questions about their product, particularly when it comes to pricing. Often the best form of customer feedback is sales data. Sales will let you know which product customers like best and what they’re comfortable paying for it.
- “Everything we have learned, we learned in the trenches.”
No matter how well you know your core business, there will always be elements to entrepreneurship that you have to learn on the fly. With their extensive background in recipe testing and catering, for Mary and Tiffany, creating meals that worked was never the problem. However, there are many other aspects of meal delivery – from packaging to shelf life and how food tastes after reheating – that they had to learn as they went. Mary and Tiffany say that the menu wasn’t complicated, but learning what can be microwaved seven days later required more of a learning curve. Their experience is common to entrepreneurs because while most people are passionate about their business, there will always be elements that can only be learned by doing.