The Magic of Using Customer’s Money to StartUp | Rebel Entrepreneur Podcast

It takes money to make money, doesn’t it? You need to write a business plan and get a loan to get going, don’t you? What if there was a way you could use customer’s money to build the business of your dream? Sean, KC, and Alan unpack how to get going using the customer’s money not your own.

Key Points
  • You don’t need anything to start a business except to make a sale. A business isn’t a business until you make a sale.
  • Most ideas fail. Test them before gambling money. 
  • You don’t know what will work until you try.
  • Rejection is the real market research. 
  • Give customers a reason why you need money upfront.

When you’re starting a business, you need everything in place before you need the product defined. Do you need the service defined? You need the marketing material written? Do you need the website complete? Do you need the company structure set up? Do you need everything built before you launch and sell? Or is there another way?

Welcome to the Rebel Entrepreneur, this is episode 10. Sell your value before you create it, the confusing sentence that Katie Coombes didn’t like from Episode Two, five ways to build a business with no money. But we’re going to deep dive into what that means. And how much of a business do you need set up? Before you actually start? Let’s start there. If you were advising someone, Katie, if you were advising someone, Shawn, and they’re launching a business, do they need the company structure do they need? What percentage of all this stuff you need for a business? Do they need set up before they launch? And I think the answer is quite simple. They don’t need any of it. Not one thing that you said do you actually need, you might have it, you know, you may have done it already. So if you have, that’s fine. But you don’t need any of those things. You don’t need a company structure. You don’t even need a name. Don’t need a logo, you don’t need a website. You don’t need them. But you may happen. So if you’ve got them, don’t panic, it’s okay. What you actually need is a sale. A business exists, the minute I think it makes a sale. You’re telling me I don’t need a logo to get a sale. Don’t really cute logo. Look, I spent a long time paying for logos, designing logos dreaming about logos, wasting money on logos, and they don’t get you a say we’re talking about businesses starting at that point of startup, you do not need a logo at all. You may really want one and you may be a great designer and you want to make one yourself great. But don’t pay for one. Do I don’t need to buy all the domain names. Don’t I need dot something else to dot fish the dot banana, otherwise people will steal it once I’ve launched. You don’t need any of that. Yeah, get the dot banana one.

Yeah, I think people think they need to talk so much, aren’t we about what we need to do the plan that goes back to that business plan that nasty little thing or big thing, the business plan, we got to have everything lined up ready to learn to launch to who. So I don’t think you need all those domain names that comes you don’t have to do everything at once. And you may have you know, dreamt the logo, have a great name or want to get everything nailed down sorted out. But I find that some of those things we use as excuses, excuses to start actually selling, oh, I can’t do it until I’ve got the logo, I need to get the domain name sorted. There’s no way people won’t think I’m professional. People won’t take me seriously. And I think it’s just these excuses that we create in our minds. So we don’t actually have to go out and sell. So that’s my take, you don’t need any of them, you need to go and sell. What do you think, Shawn? Are they just excuses? Or is there a real need for this stuff?

Well, for me, I would liken it to gambling, I think you have as good of a chance. You know, if you want to go spend all your money on setting up your office and all your logos and doing your research. Not even just spending money and spending your time and your energy as well. So I would say you probably haven’t even shot. If you have $5,000 Let’s say you’re 5000 quid, and you go to Vegas and bet on black on roulette. Or if you go ahead and do all that, you know, pre work without even knowing if your product or service is gonna sell. So like if you want to take risks, and you want to get really living on the line. Well, yeah, go spend all your money first. Yeah, go spend all your time build your products. What if it doesn’t sell? Or you could be very conservative, and try to sell it first and not spend any money and not take any risk and not gamble at all. So to me, if you really want to live on the edge. Yeah, go spend all your money first. Or you could play it safe, and try to sell your product and see if people want it.

I love that analogy. I’d never thought of it as gambling. But you’re right with the success rate of small businesses. And even if you back away from that with the success rate of my ideas, the success rate of my ideas, it’s actually quite low. And what I’ve learned over the years is I just need to test them. I’ll throw out 10 ideas, ask a load of people to buy. The one they’re excited about are put into production. The other 10 I will bin and I will move on from quickly. And I think it’s that quick prototyping to customer to get the money. Oh, they bought now I’ve got cash Let’s make it happen. And that’s absolutely I love that analogy of gambling. I haven’t heard that wonderful, Shawn.

Yeah, I just made it up. Thank you. I did, but it seems that way to me, like I’ve done it in the past. And it’s kind of an ego thing to some degree, it’s like, well, I know exactly what this is, and what everybody wants, and so forth. You know, nobody knows that at all. And if you delude yourself that you know all the answers, you know exactly what the markets thinking, you’re setting yourself up probably for a pretty big disappointment, not to mention all the time and energy and going round and round in your head. Before I would start businesses in the past, I would come up with plan a plan A one, Plan A to plan a two, a one, a two, and so forth, and so on. So I was ready for everything that was going to happen, because I knew I was going to do it. And by the end of doing that, I got myself so worked up. And if I looked at what I actually started with, and where I got to, they were two completely different things. And I had not talked to anyone about it. So all I did was get myself in a frenzy and probably spend money and time and just put myself in a situation where I was no farther ahead, probably more far behind. So I would say the thing that I’ve learned best from that is take my ego out of it, share my ideas and ask people would they buy it? And then if they said no, I said, Well, why tell me inform me, let me know. Instead of gambling with my time, my money, my energy, I could just ask a question and get feedback from people if they would be interested in it or not, not try to come up with the greatest idea ever, and move forward with it without understanding if there’s a market for it.

I think it’s interesting where some of this training comes from. And one of the shows that I actually think is the culprit in the UK, it’s called Dragon’s Den. In America, it’s called sharks tank. And you go in front of the dragons, which are wealthy business entrepreneurs, or in front of the sharks, so far more dramatic in America, because you’re gonna get eaten alive mind, you get might get burned in England. But you go in front of these people, and they will judge whether your idea will be successful or not. And then if they think it will be successful, they give you a pile of money to spend to go out and launch it, or to grow it from where you are. And I think where it really hit me was there was an episode in England, and the business idea being presented by these entrepreneurs. This couple of gentlemen who said, we’ve got this idea, you’ve got websites that have recipes on them. And it’s a really annoying thing that you look up the recipe, then you have to go to your food delivery service, and enter in all of those items. And that’s annoying that process because I’ve got to like buy a little bit of this, a little bit of this, a little bit of this and all these ingredients. So what if we had a website programme, that a little button at the end said, add all of these items to my cart at x supermarket, would not make everyone’s life easier and make the sales process far better. And we think for people who are planning out their meals during the week, it’d be a great idea. And then one of the dragons came on, and absolutely jumped on them, and said, No one plans their meals, No one plans, their meals. What are you talking about? This is an utter waste of money. It’s an utter fallacy. It’s crap. And Katie and I were at home thinking, we plan our meals. I would love that service. And actually, I know quite a few people who would love that service. I think it’s great. And I think this is the bit is that any one person can’t tell what the whole market wants. They can only tell their opinion. And I spend my whole time that pop up, people come up to me and go, What do you think of my business idea, Alan? Will it work? I say, I have no idea if it’ll work or not. What’s the only thing I can say with certainty? The only thing I can say with certainty is will I buy it? I can say Alan will pay money for this yes or no. Can’t say if anyone else will, can have a guess. But that’s all it is. It’s a guess. And the interesting bit about the sharks and the dragons is they get a large percentage of those Gamble’s wrong. And those businesses don’t succeed. One or two of them will succeed stellar. An incredible way that will pay it back. But they get such a large percentage wrong. And I think you can’t guess what the market is into. just impossible. Have you tried to guess what the markets into And do you still do that? Or do you just go and test now? Oh, constantly. I’m imagining what people will think. And I imagine what they want and it’s those little fantasy stories that I that we or I play my head about what people need, where the gap in the market is. That’s another one. I mean, the thing about Dragon’s Den, is I think it puts more people off starting a business, it does encourage them. Yeah, every entrepreneur and business owner I know, watches it. We all watch it. And we’re all pulled by it. But remember, it’s a TV show, it’s there for the drama. It’s not about real life. But I imagine all the time what people want. And part of coming up with new ideas can be some of that you can walk in somebody else’s shoes, or look, what what do people knew, but you’ll never ever really know. Even if you ask them. Even if would you buy this people will say well, yeah, maybe award. In the end, you’ve got to see what people part with the cash, will they make the transfer? Will they open their wallet? And will they give you the money that is the only that was the actual test. Without that, it’s just all imagination, it doesn’t exist. That’s one of my favourite things that I say pop up is that people will be nice to you until you ask them to take their wallet or their purse out of their pocket. It’s only when you ask for the cash that they will give you the real feedback, which is either a yes, no. And an excuse.

Exactly. So when you guys face that kind of question, the yes or no or excuse. So let’s say I would say no and excuses pretty much the same thing. How do you then deal with that? Is it okay? When you get a note or an excuse? What do you ask?

Me personally, I see every no as a learning opportunity. If someone rejects my business, my idea? Well, that’s interesting. Tell me what didn’t fit. What did you not get? Was which element of it? What did you think? And I asked these open questions and dive in. Because every single No, will teach me something and helped me get closer to a yes. But that feedback actually isn’t possible to get before you’ve got rejected. Because before you’ve got rejected, they’ll make some stuff up. After you’ve got rejected. If you take it well and say cool, I understand. You said no, that’s excellent. Just please help me to understand why so that I can go for the next customer, you’re more likely to get real feedback. So I think actually, the only real feedback in terms of that comes afterwards. So I am just to add to what Alan said, it’s the best piece of market research is asking people for money. That’s real market research. And the thing I think, at the point of starting a business, or when you try and sell the first few times when people say no, it can be a little bit shocking. It’s a rejection. You know, we we are I when I say we are enemy, I want people to say yes. What a great idea. And yes, I’ll have one. And aren’t you brilliant? And this is a brilliant idea. And yes, please will have four. And that doesn’t always happen. And people don’t want to book or not interested in what you’ve got to say. But when you first start out, and you may be unsure about what you’re doing, getting used to that can be difficult. And if I’m honest, even now, at this point, when people reject ideas, and people don’t want to book me, people don’t want to give me money. It feels a little bit upsetting. You know, it’s ego, it’s competence. And it’s getting used to dealing with that in your own way. I suppose there are ways and techniques to deal with it. But getting a rejection. And getting a no can be tough, especially at the beginning. I don’t think it ever becomes any particular easier. Doesn’t matter what age you are, what, what zone you are, and I’ve reached financial independence and built an incredible company, it still hurts when someone says no, your ideas are crap, and I don’t think that ever goes away. That’s okay. Actually, I think that’s what you got to overcome to be an entrepreneur.

Some of your ideas, just some of them are not crap.

Yeah, but that’s what it is, is one out of 51 out of I think you’re being a little generous, you know, generous on average. There’s been, there’s a gem somewhere within there, but I have to go and test a bunch of ideas. My way of doing it is to go and try and sell it. So I go and speak to a load of customers send a load of emails, see what they say. If someone says yes, I’m like, Oh, I’ve got an idea that actually might be worth it. And then we decide whether we want to press in. And this is the this is absolutely the fundamental of sell your value before you create it. And I just want to highlight before you create it because That’s the opposite of what nearly untrue every entrepreneur does, and is what we were talking about at the start. They feel like they have to create everything before they sell. It’s actually the opposite. It’s a far better approach. And when I was coming up with new ideas, I wouldn’t create a company name, I wouldn’t buy a domain, I wouldn’t create a website, I wouldn’t create any of the things that I did. I just have an idea and see if I could go and sell it. And one random idea I came up with was, I wonder if I can take what we do at pop up and run it as an intrapreneurial course. So being an entrepreneur within a company, so I just went to some companies I knew, and said, What do you think of this idea? Here’s a title and a paragraph. And here’s what we’ll do. What do you think one of them got excited, and they bought, and then I had to write the course. But I never, ever would have written the course. If I hadn’t actually sold it first. I wouldn’t have wasted my time. And actually, most of my ideas, they never get to the stage of creation, because no one wants to buy him. The sentence sell your value before you create it. Shawn, what does that actually mean to you?

Well, I’d like to ask Katie to repeat her definition of that, because I like it better. Katie, how would you you set it when we spoke last time in the other? Yeah. What episode I can’t remember what the episode was, but maybe five ways to episode two? Yes. Okay. How did you define that. And then I’ll speak on it. Well, after I got over the idea that I don’t know what it meant. So your value before you create it, not because I just have to be honest, I can’t say or spell entrepreneur. So I don’t know if I should even be on here. So they’ll your value before you create it to me is get the money upfront, get the kitchen before you spend. And if you put that idea against everything you do, then that’s how business can start without going into debt is the most fundamental. And once you’ve got that idea, you can carry that through everything you do, including getting payment upfront, even as you get going. One of the things that I used to do when even that business was big, using the same idea is that I used to phone some of my clients who I knew, in a book with us before I had a good relationship with what they were getting phoned. And they were getting contacted by all sorts of different companies trying to sell them events. And I would phone up and tell them that I had three or four great new ideas. For what we used to do is not fashion events, I’d say we’ve got these great ideas for spring summer fashion, can I come and talk to you about them, because I want to get face to face with them. Because that’s where I could sell. And if I could get a date in the diary, I put the date in, put the phone down, take a deep breath. And think that yeah, I’m going to have to have these ideas now. Because I didn’t have the ideas. But rather than spend the time with the ideas and phone up and see if I can get a meeting, I got the meeting first. And then that gave us a little bit of pressure to have the ideas nine times out of 10 I walked in there with a bag full of ideas that I could sell. So that’s the same thing. It’s sell the idea, sell the product before you get the cash.

Yes, that’s the antithesis of gambling and kind of what Alan was saying with the situation when you’re talking about being an intrapreneur and not creating a caste. So you could have took all this time wrote a course had 15 Different outlines, nine different pitches and so forth, and it probably would have went nowhere because you didn’t know what they need. So to me, you know, when you’re creating your value, before you sell it, or getting the money up front is a conversation as well. Like telling people is not is not selling like to me the beginning of selling is asking questions. You know, what do you want out of this programme? You know, what are you what are you looking for, from a face painter? What are you looking for, from a business school, and then once you have an idea of what that person wants, then you can really have a conversation and all that stress and the silliness goes down because then you’re just talking to somebody and figuring out, Hey, this is what I want out of this and sometimes guess what, they’re not gonna want anything that you have, but if you build good rapport with them, they probably know from a degree of separation, somebody that you can help. So taking that that salesy attitude out of it, and then also, you know, killing the idea of like asking for sale, or money up front is rude or you don’t do that

Andrew, we’ve lost Shawn. He’s frozen with his mouth in a very strange position. I should screenshot that for the promotional material. It is doing really well in Colorado. He is probably just monologuing in his own room KC he was doing so well is he coming back? You might have to dial back in. Yeah, I’m just gonna message him. Okay. Cool yeah, he dropped out. Sure. Okay. Sorry about that. I thought it was going. Yeah. How was James? Oh, Debbie’s okay stuck with me. Yeah, what happened? You just where was it? Where was I on my rant Wasn’t listening? No. Meaning, you know, was just can’t think where you were talking about selling? I don’t know. Yeah, exactly. Not telling you do that. telling, asking questions with people.

Where I was leading to it that way, I guess Andrew, is Andrew, writer or editor, we can kind of cut back into his, I think there’s a big mental block with it, the idea that it’s rude, or you’re not supposed to ask for money up front. That’s, that’s wrong. And then how do we get around that? You know, if you have that story in your head of, well, I shouldn’t do that, or I’m not supposed to do that. My, you know, I kind of ask the question is why. And what I found is, if you are working with someone, and we’ll just break it down into very, two very small groups, if you have a product or service, that is a small price point. Now that’s going to be different for different people, but not something where it’s a big thought of, hey, I got to buy something, let’s say your product is, you know, 10 pounds, or $15. That’s probably not a huge gonna change the day kind of purchase. And if you ask for somebody to pay that upfront, and they won’t do it, well, I’m going to say they’re never going to be a customer at all. So when people say, Well, I’m going to scare them away, you’re not scaring anybody away, if you’re having a conversation with someone, and you guys are on the same page, and you understand what they need, and that you can provide that need for them. And then you ask them for the money. Well, guess what, they were never gonna buy it. So don’t look at it as you’re scaring somebody away. It’s just saving yourself time and saving them time as well. And then seeing if you can provide some value to them of what they do need or refer them from there.

So I think actually, you should scare them away. I think there’s a fit to that. And this comes from in the pop up support group about a couple of years ago, we had a message from a lady that start to cake business. And she’d got an order for 100 cupcakes. She’d bought all the ingredients, she’d made them all kitchen work services were filled with cupcakes, she’d rung the customer to say they’re ready, come get them. And nothing. Yep, didn’t answer the phone, didn’t answer emails, nothing whatsoever. So she put a message in there panicking. What do I do? What do I do? My first question was, did you ask for a deposit? Well, if they haven’t paid a deposit, how committed are they? Do they even care? And I really genuinely think, for both of your benefit, people should pay something up front, they should pay a deposit or they should pay a fee. And I don’t care whether it’s a cake, or a training course or doesn’t really matter what it is, if they’re not even committed to pay some up front. Don’t trust them.

Yeah, and it’s not saying for that example that you had with the cupcakes, okay. So the automatic story goes in people sad as well. That guy is bad, you know, or he made a deal and he didn’t go through with it. Sometimes that’s the case. But sometimes there’s other things where life happens, right? And let’s say That gentleman had a family emergency, right? Or got in an accident, or whatever happened. So he could not follow through with that business deal does not not because he was actually one over, it’s just life came out. But that does not deny the fact that you put the time in. And you put them getting waved at Yes.

You cut out again, maybe cut the video out Shawn. And just yeah from it’s not because he was a bad guy in the middle at the bottom, There was only look at my Wi Fi or hold on. Decent. Okay, so starting again, it’s here, Andrew. Yeah. So, with Alan’s example of the the lady who made all the cake, excuse me cupcakes, and then the client did not respond to her did not pay for them did not pick it up. We assume in that story that this guy is just trying to get out of his agreement, or, you know, not wanting to communicate. Now life happens in all the time. And we don’t know what happened to that guy, he could be sick, he might add a huge family emergency that take precedent. The point being, though, is that regardless of what happened with him, you are or her as the entrepreneur that made took all the time spent the money for the product made the cupcakes needs to be compensated for their work. And by asking for the money up front, that makes sure that you are going to be compensated for your work, at least in a deposit, you know, and that way, if you can come back around to the purchaser and say, Hey, what happened here? And if it seems like it’s a viable situation, well, then you can rework the deal. So everybody can still win. But making sure you have major profit or locking your profit in upfront before you take all that energy, and you take money invested in time is very important. If you do that with like I was saying with a smaller product or service where it costs you a minimal amount, I think it’s great just to get the payment in full upfront, if it’s a larger purchase, that’s going to be known over time. Oh, yes, definitely a deposit. And as Alan was saying, them to say no, right, then, because it saves me time. If they’re not willing to give me a small deposit or pay a small amount for a product or service, they’re not really a customer. And that’s okay. It just gives you to save your time to go out and find the people who really are a customer.

I love that. Okay, see you. Yes, yes, I was gonna say that are those early stages, when you’re starting your business, you are speaking to lots of different people. So it is a form of market research, as I said before, and that market research will include asking to see if the type of people you’re speaking to, or you imagine, will want your product, so you’ve got to speak to them and try and sell to them. If there seems to be a problem around paying up front, they may not be the right people for you. You may have targeted your product or service to the wrong people, if you keep asking and you’re getting nowhere. So again, if you get lots of nose, you may need to ask in a different way, you may need to ask a different type of customer. This is all part of the learning process. And I think the other thing about it is trust as well. You’re asking people to trust you and I agree completely with Shawn, with a small and in with a small amount of money that you are going to turn up with the goods. So you’re going to have to get that trust going as quickly as you can. And I think with those things, you’re going to have to think about how you tell the truth, and being authentic. And being clear. You know, the truth well told is an old thing that I got told years ago, in advertising, we tell the truth well, so be clear about what people are buying, be clear and and talk about price, this is a transaction. And if you’re uncomfortable with talking about money, then that’s something that you’re that’s your stretch, so start to talk about it more and more, so you become more comfortable with it. And so all these early things in the development or the start of your business, a great massive is a massive learning curve. And some of them will make you feel uncomfortable. And some it’s a bit different to start to ask people for money if you haven’t done that before, but it’s part of it. And that’s where the golden nuggets are. That’s where you’ll learn and get better at it. But it’s the start is that idea that you know what to do. And then there’s a gap before the action. And there’s a grey area in between you know what you’ve got to do. And then there’s the action and there’s this weird area in between. And it’s that jump is that step. It’s that first one and when somebody says yes, for the first time when somebody agrees to pay you money for the first Last time before you actually delivered anything, God it is a euphoric moments, it means it works. There’s your start, and there’s your business, and you can make money before you sell your value. I’ve got that the wrong way around and you’ve sold. Yeah. So really, you’ve sold right? cash up front. And you’ve started.

I think that’s a great point, Katie. And also, it’s an unbelievable motivator to get stuff done and when somebody gives you their money, it’s like wait a minute, oh, I made the sale. Now I really got to do it. So I think not only is it good to lock your profit in and make sure you’re going to be able to be compensated that also is great motivator today. This This train is started. I’m on the way I got to the point you put in there here’s my product and let’s say it’s a you know, I’m selling. I don’t have a right? To provide lunch for you. There’s 20 of you tomorrow. And I want the money up front. And once you give me 10 down, you give me 10 quid Now does that feel like building trucks? Probably not because you’re just demanding money. So to me, give a because for a reason that you’re asking for money. People will understand that chicken, rice and veggie. Well, in order to do that, you buy the ingredients, I’m also going to be able to buy the tin or whatever you call that. I’m also going to have to hire a couple of people to help me prep all the food so if you give a person because they’re going to understand that people get Yeah, well it does take money to buy that food. It does take money to get people to help. So giving some sort of because or giving them the opportunity to ask questions about why we’ll build that drugs. People are understand. Actually the product explaining and giving, why you need that money up front and how it is going to provide that product or product or service for the customer. Really builds that trust there and then opens up a conversation where you can probably, you know, calm down some of those worries of oh, is this person not going to show up again? Or why are they need the money and then once they understand that when you build a new level of trust, and moving forward, it becomes a lot easier Alan I know you did something like this as far as with the first pop up business giving the reason of why you needed that money well before the class was actually written for put off do you remember your because on why you need to get that money six months in advance I believe in I just asked for the money upfront. I didn’t frame it. I wanted six months in advance. I just said can we have the money upfront please because we need to secure the dates. I need to lock the venue and I need to make sure everything is in place. To get this ready. That would really help me please.

Because make sense to me. Wait, wait a minute. I have to put that time down. So if I’m the client, well I want to make sure that my my Cadet is going to come off on the days I want it. You just say to me Oh cool. I just want the money up front and that’s how it is I was like I don’t get it and I was like well, I can’t lock that in with you. Well then I gotta go find another client that can take the states. So to me just that little a after lock dates and I have to find a venue Hey, I have to get other help. To get chairs in there. The projection system, whatever all these things are really helps give people a visual picture of how they can say yeah, that makes sense. Why I need that money and it’s not a nefarious thing. It’s the real process of that you’re going to have to get there excuse me process. You’re going to get through so I love that because Because almost always builds trust and opens up a conversation. And it gives them the ability to announce their fields or verbalise their fears and why they wouldn’t want to do it and then you have Oh, I understand what you’re saying, Oh, well, here’s why. Because if it’s a I need your money now, period, full stop, then it’s kind of not a discussion. You’re like kind of Oregon ordering them. But if you put out there, here’s reasons, then they can say okay, that makes sense. Or tell me more of why this is necessary. That’s building trucks. KC, that was a you know, something from our last episode where you were talking about with face painters, you made the ask up front of that. Do you have any example of why they you needed to be paid in advance on that art that was within a certain amount of time? And how did you give them a cause for that? What did you do information wise to make that client feel comfortable with you knowing that you are going to follow through with the agreement you made?

Great question, Shawn. I’m gonna tell you the truth that we didn’t give it to him. Because on that particular occasion, though, I do agree with you and I wanted to make a point when you were just talking then is that I think when you stopped talking very much at the start of business here, sometimes actually, we’re the people that need to pop up. We’re going to at the Harvard Business School, kind of don’t want people to know that they’re starting almost they want to give the impression that they’re already an existing business. And sometimes people say we want it’s just gonna happen and want to give this facade almost, you know, it’s what pretending that there’s something they’re not. And I always say to people, be who you are, be where you are. It’s okay. To be honest and be truthful. Because exactly as you said, you couldn’t because of a real reason, not by demanding money. So I think that’s a really strong point you’ve made however, so we didn’t give it because we just told me

Yeah, we got paid in a shorter time period before we paid for face painters who came out. So we, we turned up, but we hadn’t paid for House Painters until we got paid on Manchester City. So that’s how we did it.

Well, let me ask you this after we went to a meeting. So as soon as we got here, we started a dialogue with them. We got ourselves into the into the opposite, and we had a meeting. And I think when we when you have that human to human contact, and you realise you’re dealing with real people, and you’re being honest, and you clearly know what you’re doing, and the connections, but it comes down to being straightforward, clarity, truth, being honest, be who you are and getting the actual to the actual real deal, be honest. And so yeah, it’s human to human face to face. That’s where we did our best work. And that’s where our sales happened. It was face to face.

You remember the point during that conversation where you realise like, hey, yeah, we’re on the same page here, where people are like nodding their heads and you know, for for that situation, for those of you did not hear the other episode that we were talking about KC and her partner, went to a soccer match for the United States fix and a football match and a very big stadium, a very big team that had a huge following and probably the management for this I was yes, it was not a huge outlay of cash for them to be able to do that. Right. So but we make up in our head that wow, it’s the end all be all like this. You just do whatever. You were feeling a need that they saw. You know, that was there. Where was that point where the crossover between that same like yes, we’re on the same page here. Please do it. Because it didn’t seem like you needed to because with them as soon as you gave them the idea, they’re like, Yeah, we’re in. Yes, the email that we send this person we need some face painters in it how much arrived just to the point where they are having the meeting virtually a discussion on the office saying we need to do something. We need to do some more activity and it’s early days, it was 50 years ago, before school got much more experiential the way it is now. So we just got in at that point. So we were incredibly, incredibly lucky. The fact that we had the right message at the right time to the right person, is just go on for the rest of our career. 15 years. That’s what we were looking for every time that we talked to the viewer to you know, your message under the need, or the right time. So the conversations with them, and we were very straight to the military, we have a company. So we were very clear about who we were and what we could do. But what was quite I think the difference for us was the community I faced painter, but we’ve kind of come from a marketing background. So we were able to speak and talk to them in the language that they understood and we understood to so we knew we were doing more than pacemaker. We were building value. We were getting people to arrive earlier around to spend more money and to become you know, more connected with the football club. So we were able to talk that language. It wasn’t just face painting. So that’s kind of how our relationship develops with with one city.

Did you make the the ask over email or was that in your meeting in person for the actual sale itself?

I think it first went over email. And then they came in and we had a chat with them and then when he was massive to us and of what we thought was very little yet then it was three months. It was a very small part of that much of a budget.

Did you agree in the room there? Or was it over email? Yes, we’ll do this price or is it a is the price would you like to do it? How did how did that ask you? Was it a comfortable one? Was it something where they were on board? I’m just trying to fill out like, you know for the we put it in the email. It was inflated price that we just made up on the spot and have a go. We thought well to go high. Then they’ll they’ll maybe took us down and we went high and they stayed with it. And they didn’t shut us down. So we just emailed. We arranged a meeting and we went to see them and that was it. It was a very simple start. Very simple stuff. We still didn’t you know, that was a face painting business, potentially but we didn’t actually start presenting business in that. That first interaction. It was just after sale. And it was our first learning of things and what could happen when you asked and when you turned off.

I we got a great rendition right there. Have you thought it was a you know we’re going to give huge on the price. You know, it’s because they’re gonna try to beat us down a bit so to them that maybe the other idea is like this is all they want and where you didn’t get any argument on price at all. So that’s really good lesson of showing like hey, ask for the value. You believe that you are because you don’t know where the other person is coming to them. Here’s a need and like, that’s nothing to ask probably. What’s the process we’re getting? We’re getting them for a deal. So creating that story up in your head that the price is too high because I’m new or whatever that may be is a bad idea. How and I think you had a point on that as well.

So I think what I’d love to do is to work to try and take sell your value before you create it as a concept and turn it into a process for me. Because I love a step by step. Here’s what you do. Here’s what you do. Here’s what you do. If you were gonna, let’s do a service, let’s do a product and maybe an online business and let’s come up with a few ideas. If you were launching a service, and you wanted to sell it before you built it, how would you go about that? Well, first of all, you got to look about it. It all starts with your customer who would want it and what problems have they gone? What problem are you solving? Or what are their you know, I would say in the sales section, what are people wants or needs or problems? What are they staying up at night worrying about? And if you can look at the benefits of your service, how it solves those problems. So you visible rebill understand who your customers are, and get out there and find out what their problems are you can almost design your products around what people need. So if you are a coach or you’re a trainer and the problems because the benefits of what you do or your skills in terms of benefits, that is exactly how I would approach it find someone I think that would need what I do. Go chat to them, ask them what their biggest problems are. And then one of the sayings that Simon I repeat to each other at the pop up is people support what they co create so if you go and have that meeting, and you co create the service or the solution with them, they’re far more likely to buy it. If you go in with a finished decision. They will go yes or no. And the answer more often than not is No. People are more likely to support what they co create so I think for the service businesses out there, it’s find someone you think has the problem you can fix. Go and ask them about it. Come up with some ideas and see if they’ll buy it. And I think it’s a fairly fairly simple process. Shawn, what do you think about that? Is that the process you go through?

Yes, sometimes you get some, some gifts and surprises by going through that and it kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier. You can spend all this time planning, buying getting everything together using energy and money. Or you can just start asking people what they want, kind of like KC was saying, so I have a business. I had a business that was a personal and group physical training. Specifically it was called CrossFit and I have been doing the group training for a while and then decided I was going to start working one on one with people. Now the the clients that I had in my head that I was going to be working with turned out to be completely different person. So I was initially going after a more serious athlete. I was thinking they were going to be around the ages of 30 to 40 years old white collar professional that really wanted to take it up a notch. What I found was as I was marketing to this people, I didn’t really enjoy having the conversations with them. They had opinions on how things they go, this is how you do it right. And I wasn’t looking for discussion. I was looking for eight years, the problems I have. How will we go about solving it? So what came to me is the people who wanted to talk to me more were new folks who’d never been into a gym before. They were clean slate. They didn’t have all these presupposed opinions. This diet, this worked out and so forth. So I ended up actually working with my one on one clients were usually older clients that were afraid and they would come in and tell me what they want. I can say here’s some steps to get there. So where I was going to be thinking that over here about 30 and 40 year old it actually became usually 55 to around 71 And my oldest client on that boy was a lot more enjoyable because we came in I was told what the issue is they didn’t have any preconceived notions of this is how you’re supposed to do it. And so then I can say, hey, here’s the here’s the endpoint. You want to here’s the path to the endpoint. Do you want to do that? Yeah, yeah, I could do that. So it became clientele, but I had no idea was going to be my clients out because I started asking people that I thought were gonna be in the feedback was like, I don’t want to work. They’re trying to tell me still looking at talking to other folks. He kind of pushed me towards the client that I actually wanted to work with, but I didn’t know who that was. When I began so if I would have spent all this time marketing with my income and marketing to that 3040 year old market, and selling to them without putting all the time and energy into that that would have been a huge waste. But by naturally just asking questions to different folks came in, I’ve found a target that wanted to work with me and I knew I could provide great value to them. So by testing that out, and creating value for these clients, this is the way you want to do it. Would you like to do it and then asking for the sale and I would do it in a way where like, Look, can I can give you one training session here. But in the big picture, that’s I don’t want you to spend your money on one training session. What I want from you is agreement that you’re going to do the work to get the results you want. So I would do a call on my one class offer was very, very expensive. So if I say if the training rates in the area I was in at the time was about $125 for a very good trainer. For now. So when I made my price Yeah, we’re we’re in an area where people have very big personal problems $125 250 Why did I do that?

Buy a bigger package. That’s not actually what we were buying. Never got close I wanted. My job is serving clients as well. And I knew I could not serve them in one session. Should we have a conversation? One hour they were telling me so I said look, if you want to go right ahead, but I don’t want you to because you’re not going to get what you want out of it. And I will give you that $25 raise if you’re willing to work with me three times a week for the next three months. Because then I know I’m guaranteed to have won. We know we can get what you want to do. You’re not going to guarantee that I’ve seen it. So that’s also a way when people get beat up on a service. I see a lot with trainers and saij artists so far people are trying to fight with you about your hourly price. Anything that’s not a one off service, I think is his service to the client. If you do not get them working with you over time and giving them that true value. I would not have been providing value for one session or $200 an hour. I know it was a little bit around around the thing, but I think showing that you know understanding what the person wants and then showing them the steps to get there and then providing value with that it really makes

you tick I think that’s a actual luxury I wanted I want to go and attend each one of the trainers pop ups and do one we shown one with KC one with Paul Simon. I haven’t seen Simon before but years go one sale or one off? Where would you want a relationship with a you don’t have to have a huge group of people if you can provide value to a small group of people over time. That’s all you need. You know and I don’t want people to treat me like a one off situation. In any facet facet of business I want to understand you know understand who they are what they want to do with me and so forth. So if you can cannot concentrate on, you know, just one sale or something like that. Really good as it was get your money up front. You can get a value proposition where people will see over time how they’re saving money and getting exactly what they want. That’s a win for the service provider and the person who’s getting it and guess what? They’re gonna do all kinds of word of mouth advertising for you

I love that shown. Let’s move away from services. Let’s move on to products. If you were launching a product, how would you apply sell your valuable or you create it to a product because it is slightly different similar principles for this

well it looks like give us a product cater now you’re going to sell them.

Okay, I’ve got two examples that you can choose from. Number one is I’m deciding I’m going to do a Rebel Entrepreneur hoodie. Number two is under the launcher Rebel Entrepreneur branded so just snapback that’s horrible marketing, advertising and smell bad. So there might be a better market for KC you get to take the Rebel Entrepreneur is a perfect example. I get a lot of people talking to me about one thing when it comes down to a couple business sort of ideas. I get a lot of questions students fashion designers want to start their own brand. And the first thing and some people who haven’t got an idea of what they want to do, yet they know they want a business and the first place it is to print on demand services. And there’s lots of different ones. And for example T shirts that I have some experience of not much for them to look at or a new piece of news it is t mail. So basically the way that works is they print it on demand so you set up within it’s for free. You upload your designs, and when you get a sale, they handle that they print it they dispatch it so you can add zero so if we could just go to the movies have another receptor and we can have Rebel Entrepreneurs really, actually been producing revenue or English trousers around alright, in the UK Independence our clients are not talking about

I love the idea of the gardener lucky pencil is a good guide for wearing them on the outside or like a revenue.

Maybe Maybe superhero, right? So that you can do that. And also the Kickstarter website as well, where you can put your product out there and people basically pay for it before you’ve made it. So it’s a framework and existing framework. They are trusted. Talks about trust that is when you go go there is Kickstarter has lots of them. And you can put your products book there and people can buy them from you Beijing again that would be a great way to start. Really entrepreneur. I love the idea of Kickstarter, and actually Kickstarter and Indiegogo incredible practicums two thoughts. One is that is the purest form when we’re talking about product, the ideas the video description as the last people to buy. If they buy and you hit your target, then you produce the product and shipping. This is exactly the purest form of talking about. The second thing I’d love the audience to realise is that IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are not big goals. Just because you put it on there does not mean it will sell. You still have to drive the traffic, market it sell it and get it out there. Because I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs go I launched my Kickstarter because no one comes and your job only starts you still have to sell it. Kickstarter is not a substitute for the sales process. That’s the purest, purest, short episode. It’s marketing.

it’s actually going to be in season two. Yes, we had so many subjects for season one, marketing nullifies important subject for season two. So that will be coming season two and I’m very excited to do that with KC. All about how you market your product. We will be doing one handle about driving traffic.

I would I would say it’s kind of the same thing, as KC was saying but I think as she was putting out earlier, I think there’s a misnomer here with like somebody like speaking aways. He have this is just you and your solopreneur and you’re doing this for the first time. I think that transparency really works. So saying if you’re doing that buddy, right, and you can let people in on what you’re doing, say look, I’m gonna put a design up here or I’m gonna put one or two designs of what this sweatshirt could look like. And you vote for the one that you would buy. Right? That way getting feedback from the clients. You don’t want to give them too many different choices just A or B or A or B or C maybe at the most. And say, you know, in order to make this work and get you this great product, I’m going to need to get the money up front. So you get the work done on that. And I’m going to need a little bit of a lag to be able to get that product team so if we make even making a competition like say I sell 100 of these, you know within this amount of time, well then I will ship every one of those to you within three weeks. So you put a marketing element into it. You put a game element to can we reach that number? Which one is more exciting, so forth. Like that. It’s saying, Hey, guys, in order to get this done, I got to make sure that that people are gonna buy it. So you get them on your team as opposed to trying to hide behind. We’re a big company, and we’re, you know, we’re gonna sell 1000s of these or whatever it may be. So by being transparent and being open with your clients, showing them who you are and why you’re excited about doing this, people get behind. You know, instead of trying to hide behind Well, I’m the best and I’ve done this forever, and so forth. So the mistake mostly especially for we have these options on the internet to be able to post pictures and logos of what something will be when it’s made was, well I have to have I gotta buy T shirts, and print them and have all that and then you’re gonna come from a place of kind of getting affinities pushy, and you’re gonna demand and so forth where that’s a completely different type of energy. Would you put yourself out there and be vulnerable say yes, my first time where I’m really excited about it. Which one do you guys think was great? Or tell me you know, I can make small little changes here is it the letters or whatever if you get you know a critical amount of feedback saying yeah, this is what we want. And then you awesome. Okay, I’ll give it to you. Discount upfront for the first 100 people. It’ll be to you within two weeks of the closing day. Something we’re doing in Riyadh create kind of a wave and a game on the courtship like with a product is in green.

So bringing this back to a process. The clear bit here is have an idea to find the idea a little bit. Find someone who would be interested, put that idea in front of them and ask them to buy and it doesn’t really matter whether you’re doing that face to face you’ve ever seen. Whether you’re doing it via email, or whether you do it with a website or Kickstarter for free website, describe what you’re going to sell for the Pay Pal does not ask for. We could put it on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, the key is you are getting it out there and actually doing the meaningful task of asking for the money before you waste too much time. That’s the key to this. So KC, Shawn, what closing messages do you have for the audience? About several valuable creative and why they should do? I mean a lot of people who have everything ready, the website, idea and product invested on the school and will say I knew ready to trade. I want to count them trading and they’re confident about the audit. They’re excited. And all their ducks are in a row and they’re ready. How safe is your audience who’s waiting for this? Not quite sure. And ready to launch launch is exciting word yourselves. It’s gonna be wonderful. Megan will have champagne in the reception at the launch. But who are you launching to who’s waiting corner who’s got the problems clearly spoken to is giving you the money. And I think that this can crack on this misinformation that we’re told about having a business kind of all comes back to doing everything before going to market. on its head. You’ve got to start where the timing not to start. Find that customer that was lucky to be in your phone. Now. It could be your cousin’s best friend or somebody in this room equipped anybody you know that start with real equal working and ask for the cash even if it feels uncomfortable. I love that KC, Shawn, closing thoughts on selling your value before you create it.

I like like cases better get the money up front. Very clear cut. I think it comes back to asking. So if I was selling let’s say, a coffee mug and I think I know everything about coffee mugs and I know everybody wants to talk about that’s not true. That’s a story. I’m creating my head and if I do all my research on coffee mugs and I buy just the right you know, colour plays and so forth. Then I go out there and say buy my coffee cup. That’s my gambling analogy. That we were talking about in Las Vegas earlier. Okay, that’s a huge gamble. A lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of money. A lot of anxiety of Will this work? Will this work? So what I want you to do is take the anxiety go up with a normal coffee cup. ask somebody what they’re looking for in a coffee cup. Listen to them. If you can provide that. Ask them if they want to buy it. That’s it. Stop going to Vegas.

I love that. There is definitely mic drop at that point stop going to Vegas. And I think all right let’s take the gambling out of entrepreneurship. Because whenever I speak to people, they think that entrepreneurship is risky by entrepreneurs, they’re risk takers and they go out there and they blaze the trail and they blow all the money and risk millions. But that’s not my experience of entrepreneurship. And actually, I don’t particularly like risk. And I have found ways to avoid taking risk. And so your value before you create it is my number one way of avoiding business being gambling because I’m not gambling. If it doesn’t sell, I’ve not lost everything. But it does sell. I’ve got a business I’ve launched. I’m helping people and I’m making money. So Shawn is absolutely right. Let’s take the gambling out entrepreneurship and sell your value before you create it. Sean, KC, I’ve loved having you on this episode of the energy input. Thank you so much.

We got to congratulate KC tomorrow is the three year anniversary of her and Lindsay are partner selling her business that she started by selling up front getting the money up front. And 15 years later she sold that business and is now able to give her value and knowledge that she’s learned on the Rebel Entrepreneur. Congratulations, KC. Yay. I think it’s awesome. Thank you

it’s a big thing. So the next episode is episode 11 which is all about ideas and creativity and Simon and I are talking about the tools and techniques and processes for creativity to come up with ideas. So if you don’t yet have a business idea that you could apply, sell your value before you created to Episode 11 is the one thing. Thank you for tuning in to the Rebel Entrepreneur. Get out there. And sell something!