How did you transform a passion project into a legitimate start-up endeavor? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Kara Goldin, Author of #Undaunted, Founder & CEO of HINT, Unstoppable Pod, in their Session:
Starting a business involves a lot of steps, but there is a moment in time when you go from passion project to business and that’s when you make your first sale. As I describe in my new book, Undaunted, the day that the first bottles of Hint arrived at our home in San Francisco, my four kids were super excited. They grabbed the old lemonade stand out of the back of the garage, slapped a Hint sign over the front of it and opened up the garage door to sell those first bottles. It was late on a cold and foggy day in San Francisco but somehow cars were stopping – about one a minute – and our very first sales were racking up! That is, until the kids got cold and closed up shop about fifteen minutes later.
But in that moment, Hint became a real business, and yes, I was paying the bills, which vastly exceeded our revenue for the day, but that’s a start-up. The product wasn’t perfect. There were a lot of unanswered questions. But people drank it, enjoyed it, and asked where they could buy more of it. That was key. We knew we were on to something when we saw that our product had traction with consumers. People loved it – and they understood the inherent benefits Hint offered over other beverage options.
If you can achieve that connection with consumers (no matter how small the sample size), you’re well on your way. From there, you also have to do the research. Find manufacturing partners, retail partners. Reach out to your network and see how they can help. You have to have tons of conversations with experts (some of which will be very discouraging). Start small and build on your successes. And you keep asking “why not?” every time someone says that you’re trying to do something just can’t be done.
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