It’s your dream. You know just how people will react to your brand new service, and you can see the beautiful lifestyle that the millions of dollars rolling in will get you. Your logo is amazing, and your business cards are premium stock because your brand does not cut corners.
Your web designer is a genius who made you look fantastic! That $4500 investment in your brand is stunning!
Then launch day comes and goes. The payment notifications are not dinging on your phone. At all.
But that’s ok, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that. Million-dollar sales figures can take a few weeks to ramp up, right?
90 days. 180 days. One year in and you’re scrambling to post your desperation discounts on Facebook along with passive-aggressive memes calling out your family and friends for not supporting Black business.
Here’s your wake-up call, honey. It’s not them. It’s your untested and incorrectly-packaged product/service/offer.
A problem you could have solved with strategic testing, much less bling, and a mere fraction of your budget.
What is this magic tool that would help you maximize your profits while knowing the numbers that will make Kevin O’Leary actually pay attention to your pitch?
Don’t panic. I’m not asking you to become a web developer. Learning how to build your own proof of concept is an important part of your commitment to being a savvy, successful entrepreneur. Especially if your startup budget ends with a very limited number of zeroes.
A proof of concept is a way to figure out if your idea is feasible and profitable before you fully invest in it. It allows you to test your business model and assumptions about your target customers.
It’s also an affordable way to figure out whether that amazing mobile app you want to build should be a much more affordable web application instead. After all, most of the apps on your smartphone started as websites.
The process of developing your proof of concept slows you down so that you think carefully about your business model, your customers’ needs, and your sales processes so you can perfect them. Best of all – you don’t have to wait until it’s perfect to start making money.
You can launch your new professional community.
You can build a marketplace for mobile hair and make-up stylists.
You can create a system to collect rent from your tenants online.
You can create the Next Big Thing.
And you can do it with a basic understanding of how a website works and how to manipulate the parts to make them do what you want.
You don’t even have to learn to code. I repeat – you don’t have to learn to code.
WordPress, in its latest configuration, is very friendly to the non-technical user. That means that all you need to understand is how things work together, what you can do with the system, and what your limitations will be.
WordPress is free, but depending on what you want to build, you could be looking at an investment of a few hundred dollars to build out your idea. I’ve rounded up to the higher end for the budget below – most of these components will likely cost much less upfront.
Domain Name (the address of your website): $15
Web Hosting (the virtual file cabinet where your website will live): $30/month ($360/year)
Premium Theme (takes all the guesswork out of design): $75
Plugins (specific programs for the functions you need): $250/year
Launch Total: $370
(plus about 6-8 weeks of Youtube University, $0)
It’s definitely doable. It certainly beats shelling out $4k-10k for custom development!
Taking a WordPress class is an option that can cut down or even eliminate the weeks of YoutubeU, and definitely ease the frustration of learning something new entirely on your own.
The real bonus is that once you learn the skills, they’re yours forever!
You can build the foundation for your new business model now, and when you are ready to hire a pro, you’ll know the right questions to ask to make sure that you’re not taken advantage of. You won’t have to worry about your web designer ghosting you because you’ll already know how the system works. That way you’ll carefully screen out scammers who will take your money and disappear.