4 Best Examples Of Lean Startups

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We have often heard a lot about lean startups, how they are different than the usual startups and how do they exactly work. But today I was just thinking to talk about something far more valuable, in fact something practical which might end up giving some good courage to all the entrepreneurs delaying their launches out there.

The best part that the lean startup approach is that you launch the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a small chunk of market rather than the marketing to masses. This acts like a sample test before developing or launching the actual product. This is more like A/B testing of the product where the performance has been tested in the market. Now imagine how much costs this sample can save before launching the actual product.

Yes, it does. It does wonders actually.

Now today, you are going to witness some amazing real life examples of the Lean Startup Approach which used MVPs. These are all product examples which are really doing great in their specific fields.

Now this is going to give you a new vigor to come out of your shell and start walking towards your big idea through adopting the very best lean approach.

Check out this Lean Startup Planning Worksheet to help you out in creating a customer-oriented product: Lean Startup Planning Worksheet.

 So without any further talk, now I will be introducing you to these amazing examples which will make you believe on how effective can a lean approach be…

 Here you go with Four Best Examples of Lean Startups:

  1. Buffer:

Buffer is a very interesting app which schedules all your social media posts. It’s a quick way to organize your social media accounts and the social media posts.

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Now the interesting thing that Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer did was creating a minimal viable product (MVP). Joel decided not to directly launch the app but to see if the consumers really want it or not.

He created a landing page and gave a ‘Plans and Pricing’ button to see if the visitors really click it or not. Later he also added prices with different packages and it turned out that people clicked on those packages too.

This make him clear that his product was in actual demand and there are people who would actually buy it also. That is when he thought of actually developing such app.

Isn’t it both cost and time saving?!!

  1. Dropbox:

Dropbox is one of the very famous startups that has grown immensely with lean startup approach. This file transfer service just started as a MVP which later reached over 500 million users around the globe.

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Dropbox just came out as a screencast initially. The most helpful were the comments provided under the first video because that helped the developers to shape up the product as per the actual consumer demand.

This is how the minimal viable product in lean production helps the development team to make actual correction as per the customer needs in a quick time. Today, most of the internet users use dropbox for transferring big files which cannot be transferred through the simple mail.

  1. Pebble:

Pebble is a smartwatch company which people love using and staying updated. The people who created this wonderful watch also tested the demand first by creating a pre-launch page and seeing if people would actually buy something like this or not.

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Pebble is now doing a wonderful job because the proper research and development was done later when the demand was observed. This is how lean approach made this new technology a hit.

Pebble was basically launched through Kickstarter first. Kickstarter has given many startups a platforms to check their demand first before even being launched.

  1. Zappos:

Another awesome example of lean startup is Zappos. Zappos is an online retailer which sells a huge variety of bags and shoes.

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Zappos didn’t just become a million dollar business overnight in fact Nick Swinmum, Zappos founder, used his idea in a great manner. In 1999, when Nick thought of launching an online shoe retailer, he did not have anybody to set as a benchmark, the online retailing business was new.

That is when he didn’t hurry up investing everything into and developed a minimal viable product of online shoe retailing. He just used a basic online shoe selling website, put some picture and waited for the orders, as soon as he got the orders, he ordered those shoes from the original shoe brand and delivered it to the customer.

The time when he realized that people really took interest in this online retail business, that is when he bought his actual first stock. This is how lean approach secures your startup.

As it turns out,

Lean startup approach is not “All Talking”, but it is an actual and practical approach. In fact it adds to your success 10 times more than a traditional working approach.

I am sure these wonderful examples that I have given above will help you out in how you want to go about your startup. The examples come from different backgrounds. Buffer is related to social media marketing while Dropbox is about file transferring. Pebble is a smartwatch company and Zappo is a shoe retailer. There are other companies also which adopted the lean startup approach and showed a fantastic performance. The companies include General Electrics and Toyota.

You see, the competition is tough today. You have millions of products launching every month. You simply cannot afford to put a further delay on to your idea.. So just put your idea out there in front of your target audience and start checking its viability in the market.

I am assuming you would do this asap!!

Also, I would love to have more examples from your people if you have any. Do not hesitate to mention those examples in comments below.

I would also love to have your views about the examples I have given in the article.

BONUS: Lesson Learned- Lean Startup.

Guest author, Hammad, is a tech entrepreneur with a passion for technology and online marketing. He’s currently focusing on a new startup TruConversion , a SaaS application in web/mobile analytics space. Check out his blog HammadAkbar.com.”

Stop Cutting Costs! Increase Your Income Instead

When profit margins are slim, most businesses decide the best course of action is to cut costs. They limit their expenditure, trim their budget, and try to spend less and less. However, this isn’t always the best option. Instead, you should focus on increasing your income instead. How can you do this? Just look at these three ideas for inspiration:

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(Source: http://bit.ly/2nvgeSF)

Make As Much Money From Advertising As Possible

Advertising revenue is one of the best secondary sources of income for business. It helps keep your income ticking over, and can present huge profits come to the end of the year. The key is ensuring you make as much money from adverts as possible. How? By monetizing as much as you can. Get ads on your website, ads on your mobile app, you should even have a separate blog site and get ads on that too! One brilliant idea is to start a YouTube channel and monetize it. You can earn some serious revenue through YouTube, and it will dramatically increase your income. Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping reel in new customers and broaden your appeal with a YouTube channel too. The bottom line is that you must take advantage of ad revenue and use it to boost your income in any way possible.

Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards are a brilliant way you can boost your income without having to come up with a crazy new product idea. With a gift card, someone can spend money and get a car that they can only use with your business. Most people buy these for friends and family as a present on birthday or Christmas. They’re convenient, and benefit you in that you have one extra thing to sell and gain money from. It’s easy to get gift cards printing done and have some cards that look great and follow your business design ethos. Also, gift cards are brilliant for bringing new customers to your store too. A loyal customer might buy their friend a gift card, meaning they have to buy things to spend the money, a real win-win for you.

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(Credit: http://bit.ly/2nqYk6I)

Start Selling ‘Add-Ons.’

A great way to boost your income is by selling add-ons along with your main products. What this refers to are any additional things that can be sold to go with your main products. For example, phone companies sell smartphones, then they have loads of accessories like cases, headphones, chargers, etc. Look at your product and figure out what things you can sell to compliment them and provide something more for the customer. That’s the key with these items, they need to enhance someone’s purchase. A customer needs to feel like their main purchase is made better by getting an add-on as well. The good thing is, these items are usually much cheaper than your main products, which helps entice customers while keeping your income ticking over.

Focus on improving your income, and you’ll see larger profit margins without having to make sacrifices and cutting your budget.

If you’re looking for advice on how you can boost your personal income, then we’ve written a guide on that for you to enjoy too!

Why the Internet of Things is for Your Business not just Your Home

Businesses should be looking to exploit the interconnected world in which we live. Thanks to the Internet of Things, or IoT for sure, many homeowners have thought about an interconnected home where devices talk to one another and can be controlled remotely by those with access to the system. These include turning lights on and off, opening the garage door or preheating the oven en route home. Smart businesses have not only got on the act in terms of creating and selling IoT products, but exploiting this technology for the benefit of their own businesses. In a world of integrated devices, it’s never been easier to grow a dynamic, responsive business.

Integrated Work Spaces

As we’ll explore below, some businesses can work purely online with no physical presence. However, many businesses from retail to manufacturing need a physical bricks and mortar presence. The IoT is perfect for creating smarter workspaces by allowing businesses to better control lighting and heating for example. This includes creating fake nighttime lighting programmes to give the appearance of the offices being used or more focused security lighting.

Integrating Diverse Employees

Many service and some product-based companies can actually work purely online now. The IoT allows for companies to design or access online work platforms such as Slack or Trello as well as communication tools like Skype. The former allows businesses to build a range of chat channels and personal conversations, Trello is a pinboard for tasks and checklists, and Skype is the most famous chat and video conferencing app. Information can also be shared using cloud storage services which allow for a need to know access to particular photos, files or data across a wide range of devices and locations. In doing so, if well organized, the data flows better across verticals and separate work groups and divisions. If you know the term, Big Data, then this is how it was accrued – services and products can send real-time data back while it is easier for separate departments to access and process the said data then share their results across the company.

The Flexibility to Expand or Contract

Not all of the staff accessing the above IoT applications need to be full-timers. Access can easily be gained or removed on a needs basis. Furthermore, there are a huge number of gig and freelance websites and services such as UpWork, which allow businesses to quickly sale up with new PAs, new writers, designers, delivery drivers, and sales reps as needed. Each freelancer takes care of their own financial arrangements, and as work is paid on an item by item or hour by hour basis, if there is no work needing to be done, there is no expenditure for the business.

Jenny Holt is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Why The Natural Connection Works Much Better Than Ad Bombardment

Every business needs to work at getting the most out of their target market. For a lot of businesses, advertisements are a crucial part of reaching more people and creating leads. When they’re targeted well, they are certainly good at doing that. However, a marketing strategy that relies entirely on advertisements is far from cost-effective or even time-effective. If you want marketing efforts that cost less and have longer-term benefits to offer, then you need to think about fostering the natural connection customers. You need to think about making your marketing inbound.

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Take part in conversations

When you get people interested in your brand and in your products, capitalize on them. The best thing you can add to a brand is positive word-of-mouth. For instance, consider asking for testimonials and building them up until you have enough to feature on your site to make good use of positive social proof. Make sure you’re working on keeping social media channels active and participating in conversations about the industry or other topics relevant to what you do. Don’t be afraid to even have a little fun with online communities. The personable, human approach on social media shows that there’s a human core to the business. That’s what makes a brand memorable.

Make your business easier to find

On the internet, you’re not just competing for the customer’s money but for the attention you require in order to convince them that your business is worth that money. Visibility is crucial and while outreach might inform more people of your business’s existence, you might be able to see more cost-effective results by targeting those who are actively looking for your services. Search engine optimization ensures that your site appears in those kinds of searches and in a better position than your competitors. Techniques like using meta-data properly, content marketing, and link-building as mentioned in http://theprauthority.com/link-building-and-why-you-need-it/ all contribute to giving you a place of prominence on search engines. It’s well proven by now that people trust what they see on the first page of Google much more than they do what they see in a corporate branded advertisement.

Have the site do more

The website is supposed to do a lot more than giving people information on what it is you do. It’s supposed to convert visitors into customers. As https://conversionxl.com/ways-to-increase-your-conversion-rate-right-now/ states, there are plenty of ways to create a site that is better at making customers. Elements like calls-to-action, clean navigation, and concise text providing a clear value proposition are all necessary. Too many businesses make their websites too complicated, too crowded, and not truly focused on the customer at all. A strong website can be a fantastic tool for building leads naturally if you use it right.

The best marketing strategies weigh heavily on the inbound side, using advertising when they can capitalize on a new offer or a seasonal high in the business. If you’re just constantly trying to throw ads out there, you’ll find that the customers you do win might not be enough to support your marketing costs.

 

Finding the Best Deals for Your Company

As you pour over the ways to make your small business as successful as possible, what are you doing when it comes to locating deals for your company?

By saving money whenever and wherever possible, you will have more green to spend on other things that are relevant to your business.

That said don’t automatically look for the cheapest products and services out there, figuring you will always win with a deal. Although it is perfectly fine to save money (and it is encouraged), make sure you are getting quality products and services in return.

With that in mind, the Internet offers an array of information for you, information that can lead to locating some great opportunities for your small business.

From office products to finding the best mobile app for your brand, use the worldwide web as often as possible to track down savings.

So, are you ready to find the best deals for your company?

Delivering Quality and Savings for Your Brand

So that you are able to deliver quality and savings for your brand, remember these pointers:

Promoting awareness

As a small business owner, one of your greatest needs is making customers (present and potential) more aware of your brand.

That being the case, you have a myriad of means in order to do this, with some typically working better than others.

One such way is by having a mobile app aboard for the ride.

As countless small business owners have discovered in recent years, a mobile app is a great means by which one can tout their brands to customers.

In your search of the top app development companies, take note that you do not necessarily have to pay through the nose for the right app.

By properly researching the different app developers out there, you can narrow down your list of which ones could build you the best app possible. From there, you might even see some savings come about by not necessarily getting all the best and whistles many apps offer.

The bottom line is finding the best mobile app at the best price, so start shopping today if you do not already have an app.

Office supplies

Be honest, do you have way too many office supplies sitting around your workplace?

If so, there’s a good chance you’re solely responsible for that.

Sure, you may have your office manager or another individual in charge of ordering such supplies, but did you really need all of what you ended up with?

In many cases, you are literally throwing money out the door by ordering extras of this and that.

To cut down on such waste expenditures, have the person in charge (it may even be you) of ordering supplies keep a detailed list of what is needed each month.

From recycling paper to using money-saving light bulbs and much more, you can end up cutting your office supply expenses down month after month.

Hiring talent

Lastly, while you should never skimp on hiring the best talent possible for your small business, you once again can take a cue from your promotional efforts and ordering office supplies.

By hiring good talent with fair compensation packages, you actually end up saving money in the long run.

Keep in mind that a revolving employee door in your workplace ultimately costs you money over time.

As such, while you thought you were saving some green by paying workers low salaries, there’s a good chance they will leave sooner rather than later. That then leads to having to train more new hires.

Without overpaying for talent, try and give your employees what each is worth, finding ways to come out with the best deals for your company when all is said and done.

As a small business owner, how are you going about locating deals for your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

Finding Your Marketing Match as a Business Owner Just Got Easier

You already know that influencer marketing has proven immensely successful in helping you garner support for your business without having to scare anyone away with tons of ads. But do you know how to find just the right influencer marketer for you?

That’s exactly what former director for Famebit, Rob Ilas, has been working on lately. A company called Soulmates AI is the result.

What Is it?

To summarize, the company uses a combination of AI, machine learning, and social science to figure out what innovative influencer marketing techniques and organizations work best for the businesses that are looking for one.

It’s like having a dating website for businesses and marketing companies. Since social scientist and co-founder of EHarmony, Dr. J Galen Buckwalter has contributed to the project, that’s an especially apt description.

How Is It Done?

The technology analyzes conversational content, speech patterns, and even emotions to figure out what influencer market is best suited to the needs, style, and target consumer base of a given company. It greatly simplifies the process of partnering up with marketers with businesses, which is favorable, for instance, when planning how to use influencer marketing for a networking event.

Thank goodness for that. We all know how hard it can be for businesses to date marketer after marketer trying to find a nice, dependable one that produces a spark. After all, so many of them are only after one thing! (Your money, that is.)

What Next?

In all seriousness, though, this new technology is set to revolutionize influencer marketing for everyone, so you have questions to ask yourself.

  • What is the sentiment driving the idea behind your business? Once you can answer that, it will be easier to search for a corresponding driving sentiment in a marketer.
  • How do you like to address your customers and try to convince new ones to buy from you? You need to know so that you can be matched up with someone who can reach your target audience in the ways that you know will catch and keep their attention.
  • What exactly is your niche? The more specific, the better. You need a marketer who precisely understands what you do and how to help other people realize how much they need or want it.

Figuring out your influencer marketing “soul mate” has certainly gotten much easier, thanks to Soulmates AI, but you’ve still got to have a firm grasp of your identity before you can take full advantage of it. Give it some thought, then hurry up and get on the influencer marketing train. You have no time to lose.