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πŸ’‘ Valuable lessons I learnt from my first startup πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

Derek Watson
Derek Watson

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What Is FinTech? The Basics

πŸ’‘ Valuable lessons I learnt from my first startup πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

βœ… Age: I was 13, age doesn’t matter.
βœ… Capital: If you don’t have much capital you need to be resourceful. Beg and borrow or just steal. I did, I took my Dads buckets, sponge, car wash soap, turtle wax & chamois leather.
βœ… Marketing: I needed something so I got creative with a bit of cardboard and wrote a sign. It said β€œHand car washing and polish. Wash Β£1 + polish Β£2” Later I came to learn all about Keep it simple, stupid.
βœ… Sales: You gotta be a great storyteller or use this tried and tested cold outreach technique that I have the IP rights to:
➑️ Personal: Hello Sir/Madam
➑️ Problem: Your car is dirty / filthy
➑️ Solution: While you are shopping I can wash and polish it for you.
➑️ Call to action:
If I was busy: How long will you be so I can schedule it ? (took out notebook and wrote the licence plate down)
If I wasn’t busy: I’ll have this looking clean and shiny in 30 minutes for you. (took out notebook and wrote the licence plate down)
πŸ€” Don’t know why I was obsessed with my notebook, made it feel official and organised.
βœ… Sales: dealing with rebuttals:
➑️ No thanks: fair enough, have a great day. There was always a queue and for £1 or £2 time is money.
➑️ Don’t have time: I can get it washed without polish in 15 minutes. Out with the notebook πŸ˜‰
βœ… Dealing with Shit: British weather, it rains a lot. I chased down potential customers, using great arguments to convince them; Acid rain was big back then and one of my favourites.

βœ… Regulation & Compliance:
I had to deal with regulators, like the car park attendant who was the keyholder to the toilets of the only water supply. Had to be very nice to him , and it was tricky to stay on good terms with a total jobs worth, you have to dig deep.

βœ… Competition & negotiating: Several other entrepreneurs did a β€˜me too’ in the neighbouring carpark, but I had first mover advantage, regular customers (MRR) and the infrastructure, so I managed to navigate the regulatory minefield and get exclusivity on the water supply. Yeah, I paid the Mr jobs worth comms on turnover.
βœ… Resource & budget management: Being strong with numbers with a keen eye on unit economics, I displayed premium brand soap bottles for marketing purposes but used cheap washing up liquid. I had one real chamois leather on display but used cheap faux chamois. It got the job done, todays equivalent of AI = Excel sheet.

⭐️ Entrepreneurship is rewarding, enjoyable, and liberating.
But it also has a dark side that few people discuss.
Being an entrepreneur is exhausting, difficult, and can be soul-crushing.
To succeed, you must have the noodles and tenacity to see it through.


You got this, let’s go πŸš€ for the ❀️ of startups

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