What can you sell to small business owners?

By Joseph

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I've been developing various products like Tax Delinquent Map and Cardweller in my spare time.

The process begins with an idea, yet I often struggle to find a channel through which to sell to potential customers. Or perhaps the product I'm building isn't something my potential customers actually desire.

The most challenging aspect arises when you start to build a product or business without any feedback.

Do you believe that doing business is a skill that can be acquired?

Personally, I've learned tennis, jiu-jitsu, piano, and dance. I'm of the opinion that doing business is indeed a skill that can be learned. However, the real challenge lies in how to obtain feedback and find individuals who will hold you accountable, similar to training partners in tennis, jiu-jitsu, piano, and dance.

Starting from People vs Starting from an Idea

All the products I'm developing originate from my own ideas, essentially scratching my own itch. Sometimes, I question whether my potential customers truly need this, or am I just creating a product that nobody wants?

I've heard the saying, "Be passionate about the problem, not the solution."

After playing tennis one day at Austin park, I noticed a cardboard sign for ATX Courts, inviting people to check-in while using public courts so that other players could see if the court was available. While the project is beneficial, the issue is that if the problem isn’t painful enough, people won’t use it.

Tax Delinquent Map and Cardweller are interesting, but they haven’t yet solved a significant problem.

Eventually, I shifted my focus from building a product based on an idea to providing services to people. If I could gather entities with similar backgrounds, what could I sell to them? This led me to start searching for data on business entities:

  1. UCLA Small Business Databases
  2. Dynamic Small Business Search and search page
  3. Texas Taxable Entity Search

With these tools, I can connect with small business owners.

So, what can I sell to them?

Buy vs Build

While contemplating what to offer small business owners, I read "Buy Then Build" by Walker Deibel. The book presents an intriguing perspective: rather than starting a business from scratch, you can purchase an existing one and expand it.

I've been exploring some "unsexy" businesses like laundromats, car washes, and vending machines. The book resonated with me.

Given a budget, would you choose to buy a house or a business? Personally, I lean towards buying a business. I believe it presents a greater challenge and learning opportunity than managing a house. Plus, I can always live in a car.

There's more research I need to do. Hopefully, I can soon share what I plan to sell to small business owners and the type of business I intend to purchase.

Onward and upward.