Day 1  --  Deciding on the Business Idea #7DayStartup

Following on from my last blog about building a business in just 7 days...

Day 1 was all about coming up with the business idea I'll be launching on Friday. It also involved travelling from home (near Wetherby, Yorkshire) up to Kielder where I was planning to stay. I say "was planning to stay" as things didn't really go according to plan. I ended up leaving late which wasn't so much of an issue and the journey there was great too. When I arrived at the campsite, there was nobody working and just a note on the door to say they'd be back in about an hour. I went for a drive further round the lake to stop for some food and a wander. I headed back to the campsite about an hour and a half later, but still nobody was around. I wasn't too impressed with the site anyway, so decided to have a drive around, and try and find somewhere else for the night.

About an hour later and after crossing the border into Scotland I finally saw a sign for a campsite! Until that point I hadn't seen much civilization, and certainly no other campsites. I followed the signs and arrived at a place that looked great. It had a huge open barn with tables, chairs, and fireplace and was really welcoming. I spoke to the staff who were super friendly but sadly they said they didn't think they had any pitches. I was gutted but after a few minutes speaking to them, they managed to find me somewhere. It was away from the camp site, about 15 minutes walk to a wood at the top of a hill. No problem to me, as I just needed somewhere to sleep! So a couple of trips later I was all setup with my tent and most importantly my camping stove and a cup of Yorkshire tea :)

First thing in the morning, I'd reminded myself of the various business ideas I'd had over the past few weeks. That way I could mull them over and start thinking about advantages, and disadvantages, of the various ideas while driving. Sat in my tent with an iPad Mini, I got to work. I started by going through all these ideas again and the day 1 section of the book (7 Day Startup by Dan Norris) to help whittle them down.

At this point I narrowed it down to 6 ideas which I still thought were decent. I then spent the next couple of hours going through that list and researching them all further. In the end I still couldn't decide on just 1, so now had 2 ideas that I thought had real potential!

The first was an online tool help people turn "morning writing" (also known as 750 words a day) into a daily ritual. This is something I do myself and is a well proven way to help people be more productive, focused, and creative.

The second idea was an online tool to automatically create websites for mobile Apps. I work in the App space already, and know that pretty much everyone with an App also needs a website for it. This usually consists of a single page website with icons, photo's, videos; a description of the App; and links of the the Appstore(s).

No matter what I did I couldn't decide which was best so in the end (and the fact that it was quite late by now!), I decided to sleep on it and decide in the morning.

So the next morning I woke up, had a campfire breakfast, packed all my stuff up and headed back to the base in the campsite. This had great wifi and lots of places to sit. I even had chickens come and visit me while sat at my laptop, lol!

I still loved both ideas so did some more research about potential market size. Both have huge marketplaces and are both in real growth areas. A simple way to assess this, is to use Google for what you think the most common search terms will be.

A search for "app 1 page website creator" returned 150,000,000 results but most of these were for website design tools or app creation tools. This huge market for sites weren't actually for what the tool would do, but will be competitors in search results which is a real consideration.

A search for "how to write morning pages" returned 18,000,000 results which although a tenth of the other results, was really targeted and focused. One of the tools that was listed I've used myself in the past too.

Another great tool for looking at information about market size, and what people search for, is Google Trends.

Searches for "Morning writing" has decreased over the past 10 years which was a real surprise. However, I think that has been the shift across from people physically writing to the more popular term for the same thing of 750 words, and morning writing, and I added "daily rituals" into the mix too. All these three terms show a steady growth and consistent results.

The results for the "1 page app website" searches were difficult to do for the same reason as the search results. They were really skewed by other non-relevant results. The trend here was initially massive growth (when Apps first arrived) and it has then plateaued and on some search terms decreased.

By this point I was already starting to lean more towards the morning writing idea. I had a look at a couple of existing tools to do this for a bit of competitive analysis. The site I'd used myself for few months last year actually shows the number of users they have. Currently this is 275k existing users and they have a monthly ongoing charge of $4.99. They give a 30 day free trial but even if half of those users are still on a free trial, that's still a decent chunk of recurring monthly revenue!

So that's it, decision made!

I'll be building an online tool to help people get into a ritual of writing 750 words every morning. This is something I've done for over a year and it really helps in a number of ways. The main benefits are: by writing every day it improves your writing; it's a great way to get your creativity started on a morning; by getting all the thoughts out of your head, it clears your mind and you'll be more focused on what you're supposed to be thinking about (aka, a brain dump!).

I'll be posting another update in the morning for day 2. This is deciding exactly what features the product will have at launch on Friday.

I'm also sharing my thoughts "live" on social media, and on Periscope. You can find me on most platforms as "richardjeaton" so do come say hi on Instagram, Twitter, or Periscope.