3 mistakes that I see founders make include failing to validate their ideas, neglecting efficiency, and ignoring social media.

Here is a run-down of this weeks newsletter

  • 3 Common Mistakes Early Stage Founders Make
  • This weeks podcast episode with Chenell.
  • One interesting thing from my week.
  • 2 Tweets from this week.
  • A short-story about a business I started in 2017.

This should only take about 5 mins to read.

Mistake 1: Trying to validate an idea on paper.

I’ve said this many times, and I don’t mind repeating myself: product validation happens when your users get to tinker with it and test it in the real world.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Your idea on paper is perfect. Your idea in real life will never be perfect. The best way to test something is to get it into people’s hands and let them play with it.

I am sure you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on building something that might not be useful.” The answer is no-code. So many great and easy-to-use tools allow you to build an MVP version of your idea within a matter of days. You don’t need to hire a developer or designer; take time to learn and study these tools, and you can whip something up quickly.

Remember that iterating and refining your product based on user feedback is crucial for success. Embrace the imperfections and learn from them, as they’ll guide you toward creating a product that truly meets the needs of your target audience.

Mistake 2: Not focusing on efficiency

Every founder should wear multiple hats in the early stages of their business. Be the salesperson, the marketer, the CEO, and the customer support rep. You get to understand the ins and outs of the business. When the time comes to hire someone, you will have a better idea about the overall role and the type of person you’re looking for.

Initially, prioritize automation and resort to delegation if automation is not possible. This approach will be beneficial in terms of time and cost savings in the long run. The employees you recruit will contribute more efficiently to your business.

Mistake 3: Not building a presence on Social Media

There is something spectacular about social media nowadays. It’s free, effective, and the best place to build a product in public.

You don’t know who is reading your posts.

You don’t know who will stumble on your product.

Instead of reaching a few hundred people, you have the opportunity to reach every corner of the world with a single post. A single retweet or comment puts you in front of thousands of new eyeballs outside your immediate network. You suddenly reach a wider audience without spending a dime on marketing.

You get to showcase new features, customer testimonials, and case studies and engage directly with your (potential) users.

In the long term, you establish trust and credibility with your audience. It’s an effective way to stay transparent and tighten the feedback loop.

Go out there, build, make noise, and keep your business lean.


Newsletter (self) sponsorship

This weeks newsletter is brought to you by DropVoice.

My Shopify app that allows merchants to attach a voice-note to any of their products to humanize the shopping experience for their customers.

The app helps with customer retention and building a stronger relationship with your customers.

A short story:

In 2016, I was working with my dad on revamping a fireplace for my girlfriend, and we were putting natural stone over the existing, ugly tile that the previous owner had put in. To cut the stone, we needed a wet saw. My first instinct is to check if there is an app for renting tools from our local neighborhood. There had to be someone with a wet saw sitting in their garage that would rent it out to us for a few days. I pulled out my phone and typed in "tool rental" in the app store, and it came back with ZERO results. I thought I mistyped something, but I didn't. I was shocked that there was not a single tool rental app on the market. I thought the saying "there is an app for that" because there is (literally) an app for everything. I waited one year, hoping that someone out there was either building a tool rental app and that I would be able to use it before we did another project. One year later, still nothing. I was getting a little frustrated, but curious at the same time and asking myself "why is no one buidling this"? So in 2017, I decided to solve my own problem and build Sparetoolz.

2 tweets from the week.

Tweet 1: My story about rediscovering myself.

Tweet 2: Insight about the Agency Starter Kit that's coming out soon.

One interesting thing from my week:

I was listening to the audiobook version of Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks and Dan Kennedy and I loved the concept of Homework for life.

End every day by writing down a few words of the most exciting thing that happened in that day. Keep it simple, just one sentence. I put this into action immediately for myself, I am currently on day 4.

This weeks Podcast episode

In the latest episode of the podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chenell Basilio, a digital marketing expert and creator of the Growth in Reverse newsletter.

  • Chenell’s first attempt at building an online business was to create a personal finance blog, which was focused on her experience of paying off her student loan debt. It led her to meet people in the personal finance industry and build a network of people that needed help with ads. This is where her two worlds of personal finance and digital marketing came together.
  • In 2017, Chenell left her job to start focusing on her own business. She was always interested in newsletters so in 2022 started a Growth in Reverse, that focuses on understanding how to grow an email list by reverse engineering the growth strategies of successful creators.

Join us as we delve into Chenell's fascinating journey and learn from her experiences and insights.

Listen to the latest episode here

Checkout some of my products here.

If you are interested in 1:1 business coaching, go here and see how I can help you.

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on LinkedIn.

Listen to my podcast.

Download Dropvoice for Shopify.

That's a wrap for issue #44

Email me at z@zlatkobijelic.com if you are building something. I'd love to know what you're working on and if there is anything I can do to help you.

See you next Wednesday!



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