Is a Start-up Business without Revenues a Business?

Yesterday I wrote about leaving my job about eight months ago and still having difficulties to answer the question on what I am doing. Today I will try to explain and describe what I am doing. By writing it down now here it will also help me to create clarity and to find the right words to describe my situation. Writing things down or explaining something to someone else always helps to clear your mind.

 

A big part of my time is spent around three different websites that I have set up. I say websites here since they are not businesses yet. The objective is that they become businesses, meaning that they generate sufficient revenue to live from.

 

One of these “businesses” is based on informing my audience on stock market signals that can help you to make decisions on when to buy into certain markets and when to sell your stock market investments. These signals come from a system that I have developed myself and that I have used now with my own investments for many years with good success. This system helped me to sell my stock market funds in the fourth quarter of 2007 and to buy again funds in the first quarter of 2009. If you know how the stock market has developed over the last few years, you recognize that this was good timing.

 

I have now a few customers who have a membership subscription for my service and who get monthly updates on my analysis. I believe that many, many more people could benefit from the work that I have done and am doing, but I do not get the traction at this moment. I spend time on creating blog posts about investing and the economy in general to attract visitors to the site.

 

My audience is increasing, but it goes slowly and so is the revenue. Revenues are peanuts at this moment. My objective is to work more ON this business and less IN this business, evaluating more what works and doesn’t work. I am going to spend less time on this business but aim to spend my time more effectively.

 

One of the other businesses that I am working on is something I do together with a business partner. He is an old colleague of my and we can work together very well. We have an idea for a service that helps people to create their best possible CV or resume online. The idea is that this service attracts the people who are filling our database with their information that is attractive again for recruiters. The CV builder service is free and revenues need to come from recruiters and employers who search the database.

 

A service that is exactly the same does not really exist. However there are of course lots of sites and businesses that focus on the same market. We are working with external suppliers to get our first release of the website launched in a few months. To get this far, it has taken many, many months more than we originally anticipated. But we are working hard to get the first version released now.

 

Once we have the first release, we can only really start testing if the service that we have designed to help people creating their best possible CV is actually something that people like to use. Thus this “business” is not creating any revenues yet. We are still in the start-up phase.

 

A third project revolves around an idea for a website where visitors can post statements about almost anything and others can provide reasons on why they agree or disagree. I will tell more about this another time.

 

So far I have just started to explain the “business” component of what I am doing. There is also a part for study, purpose and self-development. Also these topics will have wait for another time.