How to Validate Your Business Ideas with Minimal Cost

how to validate your business idea with minimum cost
Earlier this year, our host Natasha Che started Soundwise, a mobile marketplace for on-demand audio courses in business and personal development. She and her cofounders want to build the Netflix for learning-on-the-go. In today’s episode, Natasha and Founders Nextdoor producer, Xue Bai, sit down and chat about how Natasha got the idea for Soundwise. And more importantly, this is an example of how you can go about testing your business ideas, so that you can confirm that your business actually has legs, before you plunge into execution and spend a bunch of money on developing the idea.

 


Reference

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

Business Model Canvas

Lean Startup Methodology

How to Validate Your Business Ideas without Spending A Dime

Building A Business from Scratch as An Industry Outsider

building a business from scratch as industry outsider - Danielle Vogel

Danielle Vogel is the founder of Glen’s Garden Market. Glen’s is not your average grocery store. Almost all of what they sell are locally sourced. And they’re on a mission to combat climate change. In her pre-entrepreneur life, Danielle was a successful lawyer. She started Glen’s from scratch, with no retail or food business experience. And at the early stage of the company, there were quite a few occasions when she almost thought she couldn’t make it. It’s been quite a journey, and in this episode, Danielle talks about the length she had to travel to make the impossible happen, what to do when your business is not gaining traction, and how to survive those dark moments of intense stress as an entrepreneur.
 
 

“I remember sitting here, 3 months in. It’s another 20 hr day. And again we do no sales. It’s not just I don’t get paid if we don’t do well. My house is on the line! It’s a sense of urgency that cannot be overstated.”

– Danielle Vogel

 
 
 


Glen’s Garden Market

2001 S Street NW,
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588 5698

1924 8th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 939 2839


Reference

EagleBank

Restaurant Man

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

Soundwise: Learn on the Go

How Bree Ryback Turned A Hobby into A Thriving Business

How Bree Ryback Turned A Hobby into A Thriving Business
Bree Ryback is the founder of Capitol Romance, a wedding coordination and e-commerce business in DC. When Bree was getting married in 2010, she struggled to find local resources that would help her plan the wedding the way she wanted. So when the wedding was over, she decided to start blogging and share useful tips from her own wedding. The blog got a steady following and eventually helped her to start her own business. In this interview, Bree talked about how to get your first clients when you don’t have a lot of experience or track record, how to be super productive, juggle different projects while staying sane, and what she learned from launching the e-commerce side of her business.

“You never feel you’ve done enough when you are an entrepreneur.”

– Bree Ryback

 

 


Capitol Romance

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Reference

Pinterest

Washingtonian

Etsy

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Grow A Consulting Business

HOW TO GROW A CONSULTING BUSINESS

Cenk Sidar is the founder and CEO of Sidar Global Ventures (SGV), a global macro research and strategic advisory firm. After graduate school, Cenk started doing risk analysis research for the American-Turkish Council, where not only did he hone his expertise but also built a steady client base. Encouraged by his boss and by targeted demand from clients, he founded SGV. In this interview, Cenk talked about how to get your first consulting client without hard sale, the efficient way of doing business development, how to compete against big name players as a small consultancy, and how to network smartly.

“Offer something that’s a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.”

– Cenk Sidar

 

 


Sidar Global Ventures

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter


Reference

American-Turkish Council

Foreign Policy

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Cenk Sidar

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Bootstrap A Media Empire by Curating Shareable Content

HOW TO BOOTSTRAP A MEDIA EMPIRE BY CURATING SHAREABLE CONTENT

Svetlana Legetic is the co-founder of Brightest Young Things, an online publishing, event production and marketing company. Svetlana moved to Washington DC for an architect job in 2003. She and her cofounders initially started BYT as a simple blog writing about events happening around town. But BYT quickly got so popular that she left her job to focus fulltime on the project. In this interview, Svetlana talked about how to identify your brand voice, promote your business through content, attract organic traffic to your site, and how to capture audience in this day and age of short attention span.

“We do not have a Plan B, failure is not an option.”

– Svetlana Legetic

 

 


BrightestYoungThings

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Reference

FotoWeekDC

Summer Camp

The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival

Hot On The Heels

Newseum

Hirshhorn

Smithsonian

Kennedy Center

The National Museum of American History

Library of Congress

The National Museum of American History

Renwick Gallery

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

Creative Strategies to Get Customers and Grow Your Brand

Episode 20 copy

Melanie Spring is the Chief Inspiration Officer of Sisarina, a Washington DC-based brand strategy agency with purpose. Melanie had the entrepreneurial blood in her since she was a kid. She started out in the web-design and marketing business, and found her true passion in helping companies grow their brands and build their communities. In this episode, Melanie shared how she made Sisarina stand out from the crowd with authentic human interactions and relationship building. She also talked about some really creative strategies to attract customers and simple actions you can take immediately to refine and grow your brand.

“Your brand should reflect who you are fundamentally.”

– Melanie Spring

 
 

 


Sisarina

Location:

801 A St SE #2
Washington, DC 20003
Telephone: (202) 854-8964

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Reference

Adventures in Branding Podcast

HERadventures

Melanie Spring

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Leverage Your Brand’s Story in Marketing

How to Leverage Your Brand's Story in Marketing
Ann Yang and Phil Wong are the co-founders of MISFIT Juicery, a business with the social mission to reduce food waste by turning misshaped fruits and veggies into nutritious cold-pressed juices.

Ann and Phil started Misfit while they were college students at Georgetown University. They’ve quickly developed a network of distributors and partners over the past couple years and are now selling at dozens of retail locations in both DC and New York. In today’s interview, Ann and Phil shared how they created and scaled the business over a short period of time, their branding and marketing strategies, and offered lots of useful advices for new entrepreneurs.

“A lot of entrepreneurs go too far into building the business without validating their product with customers.”

– Phil Wong

 
 

 


MISFIT Juicery

Email: squad@misfitjuicery.co

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Reference

Halcyon Incubator

The Economist

Dig Inn

Chaia

Glen’s Garden Market

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Create A Viable Business with Tangible Social Impact

Episode 18
Colin Hartman is the co-founder and CEO of Harper Macaw, a fine chocolate factory in Washington DC that is turning delicious cocoa into a force of social good for rainforest restoration.

Colin is a Marine Corps officer turned MBA turned food entrepreneur. In this interview, he talked about how to create a business model that is viable commercially while making a social impact. He also shared insightful tips on attracting initial investment and customers, and offered advice for emerging entrepreneurs.

“We turn the business into a value cycle by reinvesting part of the proceeds from our product to improve the environment that they come from.”

– Colin Hartman

 


Harper Macaw

Location:

3160 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20018
Phone:202-800-0351
Email:hello@harpermacaw.com

Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter


Reference

Warby Parker

Zappos

Fab

Shoedazzle

Valrhona Chocolates

Hershey’s

Nike

Dandelion Chocolate

Scharffen Berger

Glen’s Garden Market

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Get the First Customers for Your Fitness Business

Episode 17
Mariska Breland is the founder and creative director of Fuse Pilates®, a pilates studio and fitness brand in NW DC that offers mat, reformer and chair classes using their unique “Fuse” method.

In today’s interview, Mariska talked about how she went from being a part-time pilates teacher to starting her own studio. As an entrepreneur, Mariska is talented in many things. And what especially impresses me is how she creates an authentic brand for her business through everything she does. And that unique brand has helped set her business apart from all the competitors out there. In this interview, Mariska gave plenty of branding tips. She also talked about how to attract initial customers as a new business, how to most effectively promote your business, and what content to put on your social media channels.

“You need to know who you are as a brand. Companies that do branding well always have a set tone that they stick to. It’s not all over the place.”

– Mariska Breland

 


Fuse Pilates®

Location:

1401 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone:202-588-7333
Email:info@fusepilates.com
Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter


Reference

Tieks by Gavrieli

Scaling Up

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Grow Your Creative Design Business Organically

Episode 16

Rachel Pfeffer is the founder of Rachel Pfeffer Designs and also the co-founder of Stitchta (formerly Stitchtagram). She designs beautiful and quirky handmade jewelry in addition to running a creative business making pillows and bags with photos from Instagram and elsewhere.

In today’s interview, Rachel shared her journey from making jewelry in her bedroom to running two creative businesses online and offline. She talked about how to find the unique expression in the pieces she designed and shared insights on how to start and grow a creative business. Enjoy!

“Instead of contemplating for five months whether your business plan works, just start, test your product on the way, get your momentum going and grow from there.”

– Rachel Pfeffer

 

 


Rachel Pfeffer Designs

Studio location:

Studio 13, 716 Monroe St NE
Washington DC 20017
Email: pfeffer.rachel@gmail.com

Stitchta (formerly Stitchtagram)

Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, Twitter


Reference

Jewelryclassdc

Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love

Urban Outfitters

Uncommongoods

Big Cartel

Proper Topper

Intuit

Monroe Street Market

Soundwise: Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development