The $100 Startup is a business and management book written by Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity. Normally, people will invest on money in order to start their business. Likewise, they will hire people to help or attend business school for some training.
In his book, Guillebeau teaches entrepreneurs to start a business without a lot of money, begin a project by themselves using passion and skill. Finally, instead of going to business school, they should learn as they go. The book is the product of a research that Guillebeau himself conducted. Robert Peter Janitzek revealed that the study involved over 1,500 entrepreneurs with the following qualifications:
1. Make at least $50,000 per year from their business.
2. Started the business on a very low budget. (The average cost of initial investment for entrepreneurs included in the book is $610, with a median cost of $125.)
3. Willing to cough up financial data and demographics.
The book is broken up into three major parts:
1. Unexpected Entrepreneurs. This section covers how to connect your skills and interests with what other people want.
2. Taking it to the Streets. In this section, the book digs into the details with a one-page business plan, guide for creating a “killer offer,” and how to raise funds, launch, and hustle for customers.
3. Leverage and Next Steps. Here’s where you learn about how to test pricing and positioning, create a franchise, grow in line with your goals, and push past failure.
Lessons From The Book
• Action wins. In the battle between planning and action, action wins. He’s not saying to leap without looking, he’s saying that you could spend years tweaking a plan and never get your business off the ground. Then he gives you seven steps for market testing so you can stop dragging your heels and launch already.
• Master the art of the non-sleazy hustle. Before I struck out on my own, the idea of selling myself was terrifying. It still is, but I’ve found a few ways to cope. Chris not only walks you through how to locate and segment your customers, he even gives you a script for a low-key sales pitch that you can customize. If I’d feel comfortable using it, I think anyone would.
• Connect with people on a regular basis. It’d be easy for me to hole up and write for days on end, but creating is only half the equation. If you want to be successful, you have to devote time to connecting with others, too. “If you’re not sure where to spend your business development time, spend 50% on creating and 50% on connecting,” writes Chris.
• Profit is more important than tweeting. “On any given day, there are all kinds of things you can do that have nothing to do with making money,” he writes. In other words, forget tweaking your website or designing the perfect business card and go find some paying customers!
• Experiment with pricing. Chris tells the story of one entrepreneur who made $35,040 more the year he tested his pricing. He found that the higher of two prices resulted in five fewer sales per 1,000 customers, but $355 more in revenue because of the higher price. “Experimenting with pricing is one of the easiest ways to create higher profits (and sustainability) in a business,” he writes.