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Author of Tiny Business, Big Money, Elaine Pofeldt

Elaine Pofeldt, journalist and author of Tiny Business, Big Money.

We discuss:

  • Common strategies for one-person businesses [02:22]
  • Automation is always a low-hanging fruit [07:06]
  • How enthusiasm makes us hard on ourselves [10:53]
  • What prompts employees to start their own business [14:03]
  • How to dominate a very tiny niche and think as big as Jeff Bezos [17:07]
  • A semi-scientific testing of a product [26:30]

Learn more about Elaine at https://www.elainepofeldt.com, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Transcript
Elaine Pofeldt:

To build a very general business.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Amazon takes a ton of money, which most people won't have access to.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So if you are running a smaller business, you need to think about with the

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that's where trying to dominate a very tiny niche is accessible.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You can always branch out once you build a base of cashflow and think

David Shriner-Cahn:

Welcome to smashing the plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We help you get unstuck so you can do what you love and get paid.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What you're worth consistently.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm your host, David Schreiner.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Today.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I welcome back to smashing the plateau, journalist and author of tiny

David Shriner-Cahn:

Have you started your own one-person or very tiny business following a long

David Shriner-Cahn:

On today's episode, Elaine shares what she learned about what leads

David Shriner-Cahn:

As she researched and wrote her latest book, tiny business, big money, stay

David Shriner-Cahn:

One of the characteristics that Elaine mentioned is connecting

David Shriner-Cahn:

The comradery of supportive collaborative colleagues is the foundation of the

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll also find a range of tools and resources to support your

David Shriner-Cahn:

Check out the smashing the plateau community so that you can build a

David Shriner-Cahn:

Learn more@smashingtheplateau.com slash community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashing the plateau.com/community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Now let's welcome.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine Postville journalist and author of tiny business.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Big money.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Welcome back to the show.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Thank you so much, David.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It's great to be

David Shriner-Cahn:

here.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So you've been busy since the last time you were on.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know as a journalist, you certainly spend a lot of time writing all kinds of

David Shriner-Cahn:

Why did you decide to write this book?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Tiny business, big money.

Elaine Pofeldt:

One thing I noticed David was when I was updating the

Elaine Pofeldt:

And they had scaled by adding maybe one or two people, or they had built

Elaine Pofeldt:

People that had to be managed as opposed to the random bookkeeper or accountant

Elaine Pofeldt:

And some of them are really struggling with it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And I thought, wow, there must be people one step ahead of where they

Elaine Pofeldt:

Using the technology we have today, newer business methods that

David Shriner-Cahn:

is the addition of team members.

David Shriner-Cahn:

The.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thing that's most in common with the businesses you profiled,

Elaine Pofeldt:

that is a common thread.

Elaine Pofeldt:

These are businesses that have started to scale.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Whether they're going to scale to two people or scale to

Elaine Pofeldt:

Some of them are very committed to having a small boutique business,

David Shriner-Cahn:

Okay.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And what else can you tell me about the business models that they are

David Shriner-Cahn:

What else might be either very strikingly similar to those that you profiled in

Elaine Pofeldt:

One thing they do have in common is that when they're getting

Elaine Pofeldt:

But these businesses are a little further along in that progression.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Usually what will happen is they start with automation to try to offload

Elaine Pofeldt:

Plus contractors.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I have a chapter in this book called set yourself up for success

Elaine Pofeldt:

then what will happen is they might start adding an employee to that mix.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then sometimes what happens is once they add the employee, they

Elaine Pofeldt:

Sometimes in the mix there's outsourcing.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So for instance, you might outsource to fulfilled by Amazon.

Elaine Pofeldt:

That's not really using contractors.

Elaine Pofeldt:

that's a service.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then partnerships was an interesting one too, where sometimes

Elaine Pofeldt:

Who gets equity in exchange for managing the backend so they can move

Elaine Pofeldt:

So that was really interesting to me to see if I interviewed almost

Elaine Pofeldt:

I saw this progression and how they were doing it in one interesting thing was the

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you can bring on people and not have to watch over them constantly.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So they know exactly what the steps are and what good looks like.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And Angie and Collin Raja.

Elaine Pofeldt:

One of the couples that I profiled in this book, they have an e-commerce

Elaine Pofeldt:

And they scaled up to about 20 employees in India.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And as they did that, Angie is really great about documenting.

Elaine Pofeldt:

All of the processes and procedures.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So they know how to respond to a customer email.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And there's testing around that when they take people on to make sure that

Elaine Pofeldt:

And if not to give them training that they need.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So that was interesting for me to see it go really going under

Elaine Pofeldt:

And all of the businesses have hit seven figures and they tend to be in certain

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine, is there a particular order that you find it's really important to

David Shriner-Cahn:

Cause you mentioned things like automation, contractors, employees,

Elaine Pofeldt:

automation is always the low hanging fruit.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Even if you're not a techie, there are so many apps and tools that are

Elaine Pofeldt:

some things are a little more advanced than others, but for

Elaine Pofeldt:

That a lot of these people use using different tools.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You can add on to your mailbox.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You don't need to hire an admin to do that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

That's going to be much more costly within admin.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So always looked at technology where you can and bring on people with.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Only a person can do that work.

Elaine Pofeldt:

where that extra warmth, how it feels when you get a bot and you have a

Elaine Pofeldt:

They like being able to get through to real people.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I think that's a strength you should lean into, but not lean into using

David Shriner-Cahn:

Is there a question that you should ask yourself when

David Shriner-Cahn:

Like questions that may trigger?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Oh yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

This is something that I should look into autumn.

Elaine Pofeldt:

My business coach taught me an exercise

Elaine Pofeldt:

And I'm about to do it again, which is, and he actually

Elaine Pofeldt:

He said, create a spreadsheet where you track every hour of the day and what

Elaine Pofeldt:

That could best be done by somebody else or done by an automated tool.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that's very telling because you don't realize how these things are slipping in.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Even I'm very committed to doing this, but I didn't notice that I was

Elaine Pofeldt:

One thing that happened in my business was a lot of the

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I refocus a little more on ghost writing.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Ghost writing involves a lot of transcripts.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Sometimes the client would like a transcript, so I don't want to send them

Elaine Pofeldt:

So one of the things I'm working on right now is finding a really

Elaine Pofeldt:

I know for instance, zoom has one on the paid zoom that you can turn it on.

Elaine Pofeldt:

When you do a zoom call, you automatic.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Get a transcript and that only costs $20 a month.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So that's affordable for a lot of people.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I'm going to try that one.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I don't know if it's perfect, but that's the thing to do is just make sure

Elaine Pofeldt:

Like for me, it would be writing the actual book for the client,

Elaine Pofeldt:

And there are other things where maybe you can start bringing in an assistant.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Like double checking details, like someone's title, if you're

Elaine Pofeldt:

If you have an assistant, you can't really do that with AI,

Elaine Pofeldt:

No, probably not.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you could batch tasks like that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Get a virtual assistant to do.

Elaine Pofeldt:

a few hours a week for you for starters.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it forces you to really think about what needs to be done in a week

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you don't hire the assistant to do one five minute task, and then they have

Elaine Pofeldt:

because

David Shriner-Cahn:

you could automate things in your personal life and you

Elaine Pofeldt:

Exactly.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I was talking with an entrepreneur who has an apartment in New York city and

Elaine Pofeldt:

To indulgent, she just felt guilty about it, but then she did it and she

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it just freed up a lot of mental space that wasn't something in her

Elaine Pofeldt:

Or if you're living in clutter, it's probably distracting you.

Elaine Pofeldt:

so that was, it was hard for her and she looked at it as an experiment.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Where she would just try it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It was a little bit expensive, but she felt like she was much more committed

Elaine Pofeldt:

So there's also a psychological thing that made occur when

Elaine Pofeldt:

One of the things that's interesting to me about businesses is we're drawn to

Elaine Pofeldt:

Just trapping yourself with all kinds of tasks, working around the clock.

Elaine Pofeldt:

There's always more opportunity to tap into.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I think as entrepreneurs, we're so enthusiastic, we have to really rein

Elaine Pofeldt:

and sometimes you don't realize you're doing it until you create the mental

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I can't tell you how many clients I've had this discussion with

David Shriner-Cahn:

They want control over their time and, they're not opposed to structure, but

David Shriner-Cahn:

But after.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They've created the business and the business is sustainable.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They're spending a lot of time working in the business and then they feel

David Shriner-Cahn:

They have.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And even more challenging boss, which is themselves.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So

Elaine Pofeldt:

it's so funny how we're so hard on ourselves.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I think because a lot of times it's enthusiasm, right?

Elaine Pofeldt:

We actually, I love my writing work.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I that's why I do it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

But I can go overboard with it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I always tell my family, I live on the planet overdue and it's

Elaine Pofeldt:

I find that for a lot of these folks, they're very protective

Elaine Pofeldt:

Or Friday is daddy daughter day.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They do things proactively to make sure they reign in that tendency

Elaine Pofeldt:

I think it's an occupational hazard of people that start businesses.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And they put some checks and balances in place so that they don't lose all

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Speaking about starting businesses, Elaine, what percentage of the

Elaine Pofeldt:

I didn't take stock of that, but I think the

Elaine Pofeldt:

So often what happens is people have a job they don't like, and

Elaine Pofeldt:

We see this with the great resignation where I think 5 million people registered

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that's up from about 2 million, about four years ago.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You can fact check me on that one, but it's a significant jump.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And I think what happens is people reach the point where

Elaine Pofeldt:

In their work for whatever reason and need for greater flexibility, they

Elaine Pofeldt:

They're not given opportunities to reach their potential or there's so much work.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They can never get caught up and they're not being paid enough for what they do.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They start to plan ahead a little bit and think about, could there

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that prompts them to start businesses.

Elaine Pofeldt:

There were some people that are serial entrepreneurs.

Elaine Pofeldt:

For instance, one entrepreneur, Anthony Coombs.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Splendors which is a box company like Birchbox, but what it sells is

Elaine Pofeldt:

He was, he created an app to help people meet other people in close proximity.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He was selling automobiles online before it was popular to do that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He went to university of Pennsylvania and he actually had an internship in politics.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he was very disillusioned because he found that the politician that he

Elaine Pofeldt:

So he quit and he became a week.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that touched off his desire in part to be an entrepreneur.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He had also had an early experience in childhood where his mother

Elaine Pofeldt:

She was a single parent and there was a change of governors and she

Elaine Pofeldt:

So these combined factors then contributed when he graduated

Elaine Pofeldt:

The first one, I believe that he started was a mosaic type.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Selling operation.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then he started going into all these different areas.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He's more of a person who loves entrepreneurship rather than the

Elaine Pofeldt:

He's somewhat agnostic.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I think about the type of business, he's more motivated by

Elaine Pofeldt:

So he, I don't think he had really a long career in jobs,

David Shriner-Cahn:

Right now, you just mentioned in this particular

David Shriner-Cahn:

So what is it about finding something that's very narrow, a

David Shriner-Cahn:

For tiny businesses to build

Elaine Pofeldt:

a very general business.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Amazon takes a ton of money, which most people won't have access to.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So if you are running a smaller business, you need to think about with the

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that's where trying to dominate a very tiny niche is accessible.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You can always branch out once you build a base of cashflow and think

David Shriner-Cahn:

and to be fair, Jeff Bezos started out

David Shriner-Cahn:

He was just selling, he was just selling books online.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Which was something, he took something that was being sold

David Shriner-Cahn:

And he was just selling books for a long time before he branched out.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's

Elaine Pofeldt:

a good point.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I guess we all think of Amazon is what it is today.

Elaine Pofeldt:

But I remember that story of him driving across the country and

Elaine Pofeldt:

And from when I was at fortune small business magazine, that was a while back.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It is true.

Elaine Pofeldt:

he did branch out and build on something small.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I guess books is pretty big, but it's small relative to the

David Shriner-Cahn:

But anyway, you were saying that, it's much easier

Elaine Pofeldt:

Exactly.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And you can really learn it better than anyone else.

Elaine Pofeldt:

If it's really that niche down in the case of Anthony Coombs, he found out

Elaine Pofeldt:

There are a lot of, box company out there because of the success of Birchbox.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he found that there was a big response at, to organic Facebook groups

Elaine Pofeldt:

if they got a new set of underwear that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Was, not to their liking.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They would treat it with someone else who liked it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he also targeted, he did a lot of online research and he found

Elaine Pofeldt:

So when we're like, Alaska is a big market for him, which is

Elaine Pofeldt:

Store where they can buy their underwear.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I thought that was just interesting, understanding how

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he then doubled down on his marketing in those areas.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it's a lesson for anybody.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You don't have to be selling underwear to do that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

A lot of them have narrow niches and that's great.

Elaine Pofeldt:

A lot of the niches tap into what they learned in a corporate career.

Elaine Pofeldt:

One example is a company called message pay.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Greg Peshy is the founder and he is over 50 and he did have a corporate

Elaine Pofeldt:

And so he became an entrepreneur and initially he started a.

Elaine Pofeldt:

community for freelancers.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then that was a very saturated market.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And there were some very big players in it already, like Upwork and places like that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So then he started looking into other things and he had a background in

Elaine Pofeldt:

Since Bill's by text message.

Elaine Pofeldt:

You've probably gotten a link from somebody like your utility

Elaine Pofeldt:

And what he did was offer this to banks and financial services companies,

Elaine Pofeldt:

In that industry specifically.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So that would be a barrier to entry for other people that did not know their way

Elaine Pofeldt:

And so that's how he built the business.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It's over $1 million with just a handful of people working there.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So it could be something from your past, which is really, I think it's

Elaine Pofeldt:

Else, one of the things I did David, in this book, that's different from the first

Elaine Pofeldt:

But what it looks at is the businesses that have the highest financial

Elaine Pofeldt:

Average payroll from average revenue.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Why payroll?

Elaine Pofeldt:

Because payroll is often the biggest expense in most employer businesses.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it's hard to get data on other costs from the census bureau.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So I organized those according to which ones had the most money left over.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And you'll see there a lot of very niche businesses just to give you an idea.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And one other thing I should say is that does not equal profit because there

Elaine Pofeldt:

Keeps running data on the average profit of each industry.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So if you see one in the tables in the back of the book, that looks

Elaine Pofeldt:

And there's a lot of information in the book on how to do that.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Including looking at businesses that are up for sale.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And they often provide their financials.

Elaine Pofeldt:

If you're an interested buyer and they'll put some teasers in their

Elaine Pofeldt:

But when I thought it was really interesting for businesses from

Elaine Pofeldt:

Who knew.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it turns out there are these little gas station casinos.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I'm not recommending people start those because it's just so niche and you'd

Elaine Pofeldt:

In general.

Elaine Pofeldt:

The second one was Creamery butter.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So it turns out buttercream rays are heavily automated.

Elaine Pofeldt:

That can be a nice artisanal business for someone who knows

Elaine Pofeldt:

Ethyl alcohol was number three.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So this is probably ethanol manufacturing, but these are businesses that are

Elaine Pofeldt:

And I think that was really telling that you could even do some of these things.

Elaine Pofeldt:

With fewer.

Elaine Pofeldt:

What I then did was my own analysis, combining what I learned from that,

Elaine Pofeldt:

But looking at the bigger patterns like business to business

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that was across the different sites.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Staff that I had, I organize it by zero to four employees, five to nine and 10 to 19.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that was consistently there.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And I found that those types of case studies were coming up a lot.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So that's where you can start to get market intelligence.

Elaine Pofeldt:

One example would be a pervert Batra.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He started a business called flexible pouches and he was

Elaine Pofeldt:

He was in his twenties, but he just didn't like the corporate life.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he started researching what kind of business could I start with

Elaine Pofeldt:

And what he sells are those plastic bags inside of cereal boxes and

Elaine Pofeldt:

They are needing the bags.

Elaine Pofeldt:

That's such a great skill.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It would be hard to work with a small business to provide them.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He tried initially marketing at trade shows, but he found online, actually

Elaine Pofeldt:

And so now he can travel all over the place.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He wasn't doing much of that during COVID, but now he can be back to that

Elaine Pofeldt:

And a lot of the processes are automated.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He has a few employees, but it's a very lean little business and it

Elaine Pofeldt:

Very profitable.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So those types of millionaire next door businesses, I think

Elaine Pofeldt:

If you, some people might not be able to sell plastic bags.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They would not be interested enough in it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

But if you think like an entrepreneur that, how do I use my capital to make

Elaine Pofeldt:

You could get a lot of excitement out of it and a really great lifestyle.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine since finding these narrow niches that

David Shriner-Cahn:

One of the challenges I see with entrepreneurs that have left corporate

David Shriner-Cahn:

And even trying to think about a niche, it's like somebody who's

David Shriner-Cahn:

I can create markets.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Strategies for anybody.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What's one piece of advice you can offer that will help them understand how they

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's going to help them dominate the marketplace in that niche.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I

Elaine Pofeldt:

think it helps to do it slowly.

Elaine Pofeldt:

There's a whole feeling of overwhelm that I think people who have been in corporate

Elaine Pofeldt:

You're so rule-bound in corporate situations.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I think about it just because I'm a freelancer.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Sometimes I'm on my own team.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Sometimes I'm on very small teams.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Sometimes I'm on corporate teams on the corporate.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I'm not going to say a word in a meeting unless I prepared a slide deck or

Elaine Pofeldt:

There's not a lot of ripping and spitballing going on.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It's just not the culture of big corporations.

Elaine Pofeldt:

They're much more formal.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So if you used to that, then you're in the world of entrepreneurship where

Elaine Pofeldt:

And you're not presenting it to 20 people and having embedded by a whole

Elaine Pofeldt:

You might have to change your way of thinking a little bit

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that takes time.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you have to give yourself some grace and say, I'm going to dip a toe

Elaine Pofeldt:

And you can, if you're doing a product based business, There

Elaine Pofeldt:

You can do two things that interested me.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Anna Gambia is a maker of bikinis and she was a medical student in Australia

Elaine Pofeldt:

She went on Alibaba.

Elaine Pofeldt:

She found a factory and ask him to make the prototype of one bikini.

Elaine Pofeldt:

She only had $200 to invest in this business, being a student and she put

Elaine Pofeldt:

And use Facebook ads to drive traffic to this.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then she saw it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

She would get pre-orders or not.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And she got a thousand pre-orders.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So she knew women will buy this bikini.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So she went back to the factory, which was a small factory and

Elaine Pofeldt:

It just for the benefit of people that haven't manufactured, they

Elaine Pofeldt:

Turn on all the machines and everything else.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So they don't want to do it generally, but this factory wanted to grow with her.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So it took some leg work.

Elaine Pofeldt:

She actually went to China.

Elaine Pofeldt:

She was in Australia.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So it's not that far away.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And, found one.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And that is what she's done with every single bikini, her

Elaine Pofeldt:

And now she's expanding into the U S based on doing that kind of semi

Elaine Pofeldt:

Entrepreneur who has a similar approach is Jason Vander.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Grantee has it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

We have a service based business where he does CAD design.

Elaine Pofeldt:

It's an engineering type of design, and he's got about 40 contractors.

Elaine Pofeldt:

He's one of the small percentage of employee of a.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Businesses in the book that don't have any employees, but he's got about 40

Elaine Pofeldt:

So what he does is he'll get a GoDaddy website and I think it costs about $30

Elaine Pofeldt:

Drives it drives traffic to it with Facebook ads and

Elaine Pofeldt:

If he gets inquiries and if nobody's interested, then

Elaine Pofeldt:

And he spent like 30 bucks on it and maybe his design time.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then he moves on.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And the reason he does this is because one of his first ventures was a

Elaine Pofeldt:

It helped people find designer sunglasses.

Elaine Pofeldt:

For discount prices and he launched it, he spent $29,000 on it.

Elaine Pofeldt:

And then he discovered the market was already saturated with this

Elaine Pofeldt:

So he had an expensive lesson, but it's now helped him to

Elaine Pofeldt:

so those are two things that you can do as an entrepreneur.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I think it's also helpful to have a buddy who's a little bit ahead of you.

Elaine Pofeldt:

If you can find one, by going to events where.

Elaine Pofeldt:

When you're not so sure about the niche, someone who's a little more experienced

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you don't give up too soon because there might be

Elaine Pofeldt:

We don't always know what we don't know.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Maybe they know of some way.

Elaine Pofeldt:

That you could test it then, like for instance, in marketing, there's

Elaine Pofeldt:

And it allows you to do polls of targeted demographics.

Elaine Pofeldt:

So you might, maybe you came up with a product and you want to

Elaine Pofeldt:

You could say, I would like to test this product, a military

Elaine Pofeldt:

they wouldn't be 18, So say 30 to 55 and then they provide comments and

Elaine Pofeldt:

It's very inexpensive, but there are tools like that, that maybe

Elaine Pofeldt:

Cause it's mostly used by people who are marketing, something to

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine, we've covered so much territory about, just some of

David Shriner-Cahn:

If somebody wants to learn more about this topic, get access to your book,

Elaine Pofeldt:

they can, find the book on Amazon Barnes and noble and other major

Elaine Pofeldt:

Elaine dot com is a good place to reach me through the contact box.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Or you can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Elaine Pofeldt:

I love when people write to me, it makes me a better

Elaine Pofeldt:

And, we'd be delighted to hear from your listeners, David.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So Elena, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to join

David Shriner-Cahn:

Congratulations on the publication of tiny business, big money.

David Shriner-Cahn:

It's great.

David Shriner-Cahn:

My guest today has been journalist and author.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Elaine . Thank you again, Elaine, for joining us.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Thank you so much, David.

Elaine Pofeldt:

Great to be here.

David Shriner-Cahn:

When you visit the smashing the plateau

David Shriner-Cahn:

On today's episode, Elaine Poe failed, shared what she learned about what leads

David Shriner-Cahn:

As she researched and wrote her latest book, tiny business, big money.

David Shriner-Cahn:

One of the characteristics that Elaine mentioned is connecting with

David Shriner-Cahn:

The camaraderie of supportive collaborative colleagues is the foundation

David Shriner-Cahn:

Inside the smashing the plateau community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll also find a range of tools and resources to support your

David Shriner-Cahn:

Check out the smashing the plateau community so that you

David Shriner-Cahn:

What your.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Learn more@smashingtheplateau.com slash community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashing the plateau.com/community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our show.

About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

Host of the podcasts Smashing the Plateau and Going Solo, David guides solopreneurs selling knowledge and creativity to build profitability and sustainability in their businesses.

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