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Starting Up a Business: Customer Base or the Business First?


Senior Don Juan
Apr 5, 2014
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So, I've been planning a lot and thinking carefully about my business move for within the next year or less (don't want this to exceed that), and one of the critical questions I've realized after hearing some opinions that, before you get into a business, you should already have prepared your buyers or clients.

What do you think about this guys? Should I start preparing my buyers/clients first before I do the paperwork, logistics, equipment, and the rest of the entire system? Or should I do it vice-versa?



Master Don Juan
Apr 17, 2013
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I started my business in June.

I started with internal tasks first. I was able to complete mine in a week....I quit my job without planning and had to make money ASAP to pay bills at end of month lol.....so obviously not the ideal start up scenario.

But I was able to make it, and have been on my feet now since. You should have no problem nailing out the internal details if you bust your a$$. Have the same sense of urgency I did, and you will be successful.


Master Don Juan
Dec 10, 2008
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incorporating a business is very simple and you can do it yourself for unders $300-500.

Other than that, i wouldn't do anything else. You never hear anyone complain about have too many customers or more customers than they can handle. You do however hear about people complaining about how they spent all this money on paperwork, legal fees, etc. before their business was even ramped up.

Get the customers first then, when other issues come up, tackle them as they come. I've started a couple of businesses and had these issues.


Master Don Juan
Sep 9, 2013
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Yes, definitely do some market testing as part of your initial business planning. No, definitely do not presell your business to clients before it can meet their needs. Never speak to any prospect (other than family, friend) directly about your business until you are prepared to close them and service them.

Do planning, don't get bogged in it. Plan just enough at first to get the ball rolling, then get out and roll the ball. There are lots of good information sources out there, google "lean startup."


Jun 23, 2014
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Well, Slasher, this is like asking what comes first, the chicken or the egg? In actuality, you have to do it ALL at the same time, it's called starting up the "operations". It's just that when starting out the "operations" it will be small, but it grows over time.

For example, let's say, you are starting up an Independent Insurance Agent Office/Business. You have to do the following list of things at the same time in relation to the start-up of the operation:

- Get licensed
- Do market research and segmentation studies
- Develop your unique value proposition (UVP)
- Develop your marketing plan, strategy and cost
- Develop how you will finance the business now at startup, and later as it grows
- Determine what legal resources you need now at startup, and later as it grows
- Determine what accounting resources you need now at startup, and later as it grows
- Determine if you will be solo or have employees
- If you will have employees, will they be direct hire or contracted virtual assistants?
- Where would the operations be? At home, at a leased office, at a shared office?
- Will the contact with clients be by phone, face-to-face, both, etc.?
- If it will be face-to-face, what's the limits on the market in terms of how far you are willing to physically travel?

This is called the "operations" of your Insurance Agent Office. All of these things work together for an efficient office. You can't just focus on "marketing" without focusing also on "financing" the business, because how do you pay for marketing without capital? You can't just focus on getting licensed without having already done SOME form of market research and segmentation studies as well as developing a UVP, as otherwise, how do you know after you get licensed if there's even a market opportunity out there for you to capitalize on?

Most start-ups fail due to inefficient management of the operations.


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Master Don Juan
Mar 25, 2008
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Have you sold anything? Test the market first. There is no point building all of this and sinking money into if there is no market willing to buy. I'm about to test a product. If I make a few sales, I'll keep developing it. If it doesn't sell, I may do a little more research and try again. After that I'll either tune up everything or move on to another idea.