They say, “what’s your business about,” and you say, “nothing.”

I think we may have something here.

Everyone is doing something with their small business these days, and while you can’t do nothing, you don’t have to do everything. Try starting with the minimum.

You can combine two strategies to start your business without massive investment right away: creating a minimum viable product, and marketing to a minimum viable audience.

It’s not a business about nothing, because your small business is everything to you. Learn more about these two strategies to create a product that grows as your audience grows at the same time.

It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com.

Create a product by doing the minimum

Remember buying work software, like Microsoft Word, on cds? Every time the product improved, or an update had to be made, Microsoft needed to manufacture new cds. Now, software companies create what’s called a minimum viable product. After releasing an early version, companies send updates over the internet, constantly improving the product, and charging customers a smaller monthly or annual fee, instead of one big fee for a new cd set.

Even if you don’t create products that can be updated over the internet, you can still release earlier beta products, and let your customers help you improve it over time. For example, even if your business sells handmade furniture, you can release a smaller line of products, a simple table and chair combo, and then let your customers tell you what they want next. Listening to your customers is easier than trying to predict what they want. Let them tell you what to sell instead.

Keep your business running lean

In the world of startup businesses, “Running Lean,” is a buzzword, but only because it works. Keeping your business lean means limiting major investments, in money and staff, until you have a proven business model. Instead of hiring a whole team of marketing staff, operation leads, and customer service, plan to do everything yourself for as long as possible.

It may sound like a lot of work, but in the beginning your customer base is smaller. Take advantage of the smaller workload and invest the money that would have gone to a staff on productivity tools. The more you can automate and plan ahead, the easier it is to do it yourself. Speaking of investing, investing your revenue back into the business lets you grow without the help of outside investors, leaving you with more control.

Look for a tiny audience to attract customers

Once your products are ready to share with the world, then it’s time to find your customers. Instead of trying to yell out to the entire world, drowning out your message in all the noise, keep your focus as small as possible. Your messages become stronger when they’re directed at individuals, so it’s time to find your minimum viable audience.

Your product won’t be loved by everyone. That’s fine. Instead of trying to convince everyone to by, your minimum viable audience is the group of people already looking for your product. Brainstorm your ideal customer, being as specific as possible. Why did you create your product in the first place? Your customers have a problem they need solved, so match your product messaging with the group of people already looking for the solution that you’ve created for them.

When bigger isn’t better

We all want the world. Just because you’re starting small, that doesn’t mean you need to stay small. Think about it like a bricklayer building an entire skyscraper. You can’t build a solid foundation by doing it all at once. You have to go brick by brick. Once you step back after focusing on the steady progress of laying each brick perfectly, that sturdy building can touch the clouds.

Your business is the same way. If you get your products into the hands of a small number of customers, you can listen more closely to their feedback. That continual progress, making your products better and better, while at the same time, showing your customers that you truly listen, means your business creates a cult following. By the time you step back and look at how far you’ve come, your business will have a fleet of proven, customer-tested products, who want to support your business – and the owner behind it.

Keep your focus small to miss small with your small business

You can’t do everything right away and still have enough time, or resources, to accomplish everything. Instead of trying to do everything, but end up with nothing, focus your small business at the start to share your minimum viable product with your minimum viable audience. Your small business is everything to you, so keep it on the right track to succeed in both the short term and the long term.

It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com.