Developing a name for your business is an exciting process yet comes with its fair share of frustrations. Just when you thought you crafted the most original and memorable name, a quick Google search reveals that you and many others have considered the same name. When the availability of a domain separates you from your greatest business name, what’s an entrepreneur to do?
I’ll begin by sharing with you a quick and humbling story about my experience naming The Opportunista so that you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone with your business naming plight. Read on to learn how you can avoid this big naming mistake.Read More
If you’ve decided you want to start your own business, you may have a ton of business ideas swirling around in your head. On the other hand, you may know that you want to be your own boss, but you’re lacking that all-important business idea.
Some entrepreneurs will tell you “do what you love.” And while they may have the best intentions in sharing that advice, passion is only one part of the business-building equation. Adding two more parts to this equation is key. The result? A business idea that you love, that you have the skills to create, and most importantly, that your customers will be willing to pay for.
Learn how to build your business idea with this formula.Read More
MVPs are often used in the context of building products, especially tech products like software or apps. But as I’ve previously covered on The Opportunista, MVPs can apply to building a service, so let’s think of an MVP as an “MVPS” – a minimum viable product or service. And rest assured that building an MVP doesn’t mean that you have to be an engineer, rocket scientist, or any kind of technical genius. You can build a simple MVP for a product or service, even a non-tech product or service.
Here are 5 minimum viable product or service examples that you can use to build, measure, and learn from. You may be surprised at how minimal you can go, while still learning what your customers want and love.Read More
Creating a startup and building a business means that you’re developing new products and services, testing them out with your target market, and learning more what your customers want. Building, testing, and learning about your customers and their wants and needs is grounded in the MVP (minimum viable product) process.
In this second part of my three-part series on MVPs, I’m sharing the step-by-step process on how you can develop your MVP to test your products and services with your target customers so that you can provide them with what they want and love. And since I recently built The Opportunista’s MVP – the Business Idea Blueprint free course – I’ll share examples from my MVP-building experience to help things sink in.Read More
The idea of using an MVP (minimum viable product) in creating a startup often brings to mind visions of hoodie-culture incubators and scruffy tech bros pushing out broken apps before they are ready for market. But used correctly, MVPs are an important part of creating a startup even in non-tech industries. In this three-part MVP series, we’re going to talk about how to use MVPs in your startup development process by building ideas, testing, and learning how to improve them on the fly.
In the first part of this series, we’ll cover what an MVP is, how The Opportunista recently developed one, and the benefits of using an MVP and the validated learning model for your startup.
Let’s kick it off by defining the minimum viable product.Read More
In my interview last week week with the CEO/Founder of Spa Girl Cocktails, Karen Haines shared the importance of building a brand and effectively communicating its value while pitching investors:
“I knew I would have only one opportunity to introduce Spa Girl Cocktails, and the pitch had to be very strong … That’s where the branding came into play and served as a very important part of my presentation … I felt it was very important to build a lifestyle brand with Spa Girl Cocktails for a few reasons. It is an untapped market in the spirits industry. Why can’t there be a brand such as Spa Girl that shows a lifestyle very similar to Kate Spade or Tory Burch in the industry? Women are the primary purchasers of spirits; why not create a brand that speaks to women?”
Spa Girl Cocktails states upfront what the brand stands for through its core beliefs: Timeless beauty not trends; passion not conformity; personal relationships not contacts. Karen shared that when she focused on building her brand, she was able to be taken more seriously and gain the right kind of attention that she needed from investors.
A strong brand is essential to your business. So, how do you build a brand?Read More
As entrepreneurs, we’re always being told how important it is to network, network, network. Depending on where you are in the development of your business, your network can help you build partnerships, raise money for your company, and win potential customers. But do you really want to partner with other entrepreneurs and businesses that don’t have anything synergistic to offer? Do you really want to strive to raise money from an angel investor that doesn’t understand your vision? Do you really want to win over a bunch of customers that you can never please despite producing great work for them?
NO. NO. NO.
Don’t waste your time trying to win over those that aren’t a fit or don’t get you or what you’re doing. Someone will offer a complementary opportunity. Someone will get your vision. Someone will appreciate the work you do. In the meantime, don’t waste your precious time with those who don’t.Read More
If you’ve kept up with me for the past few months since I’ve launched The Opportunista, you’ve likely realized by now that I’m always game for trying new things. This week and moving forward, my “new thing” will be dedicated to reflecting on The Opportunista interview I feature each week, gathering the insights, and sharing the lessons learned with you so that you can incorporate them into your entrepreneurial endeavors.Read More
If you’re working on your on side hustle with a full-time job, you get that it’s not not easy to do both well. While the side gig feeds your soul, the paying job, well, pays. Until you start making a buck with your venture, you need to pay the bills. And if you’re in situation where you support yourself, you know fully well that those bills–don’t pay for themselves.
It’s easy to make excuses as to why it’s hard to juggle your side biz with your full-time gig. I have so much to do for my day job that it’s almost impossible to make the time for my startup. I’m so tired from work day that I can’t even think when I get home. When I finally do get home, I have too many distractions.
Yes, these are all good excuses. But they are exactly that–excuses. We all have 24 hours in a day. You can figure it out. Spoiler alert: I’m juggling my full-time job with The Opportunista. I’m still always learning and striving to juggle both, but what I have figured out is how to launch and run The Opportunista on a management consultant’s schedule. (In case you’re not familiar, a management consultant’s average work hours can range between 60-80 hours per week.)Read More
One of the toughest parts about being an entrepreneur is staying true to your vision. Losing your focus and becoming distracted by your competitors or by suggestions from your trusted network, family, or friends can be tempting as you build your business, your brand, and your voice.
Don’t lose site of what you’re working to build. Listen to others’ advice, but don’t feel like you need to apply it immediately or ever. Some ideas may sound tempting because they might initially provide more money, a bigger customer base, or a larger following. If an idea sounds like it may clash or contradict your vision, then it probably will. And then you’ll need to deal with the repercussions of that–discontent with the new direction, an unsettling inauthentic feeling, attracting clients and partners that you never wanted.
Opportunistas Liberty Tsighis, Katie Corcoran, and Jessica Corbin have provided guidance about the importance of staying true to your vision and avoiding the distractions that are easy to succumb to throughout your entrepreneurial journey.Read More