At the Solopreneur Day in Berlin 2016 8 speakers spoke about component competence:
How do you deal with tools and services?
What possibilities do solo preneurs have with new technology?
Where are the pitfalls, what can help?
To whom the term “component” does not yet mean anything. Here is a brief explanation.
Component tip 1: Just hold it
He showed us his most important components: Spreadshirt and shopware and how they worked funny for his rabbit T-shirts. His masterpiece was the smooth data integration between shopware and Spreadshirt using his own API. But quote “that wasn’t smart anymore”. It took many hours until the API was programmed, and once again it takes a lot of time – even programming only if you know exactly what you are doing.
Components are not the business concept. The idea must be simple, otherwise the components will quickly show you the limits.
Component tip 2: Surf the Component Jump
In the theme keynote “be kompotent!” we took the opportunity of the 5th Solopreneur Day to look back at the past. In former times only the industry worked with components (assemblies), these were assembled in factories (or not, see Golf ;-). Individuals only had analog tools. Hemingway was still hammering on his portable typewriter in 1939 and was happy to double his manuscript via carbon copy.
Clear to see: The rapid increase in components since 2000. The resulting freedom of choice is what we call the component leap.
Three factors lead to the component jump:
- There are more and more components
- There are more and more solo preneurs (exchange of experiences)
- There are fewer and fewer access guards.
Today we can use targeted and simple components and would not be smart if we did not use the possibilities. But the diversity is sometimes overwhelming.
Component tip 3: Maile, Maile, Maile
Steffen Schebesta, founder and managing director of Newsletter2Go, showed us why the newsletter sending system is still THE central component in marketing. 70% of users prefer to receive information by e-mail.
In marketing, the success of e-mail communication is still at the top of the list. Only organic Google results (someone searches and finds something directly through Google) are better. An important trend: automation. And this has long been much more than just the autoresponder function.
Component tip 4:Work where you can, through German providers
The subject of data protection flashed up several times. There are more and more components, but not all are waterproof enough for German requirements. Let’s stay with the e-mail component for a moment to illustrate this tip. An argument for Newsletter2Go: TÜV-certified data protection made in Germany. Data-compliant, stable German mail components, which were also mentioned, were: CleverReach and click-tip (Mailingwork would also be worth mentioning).
At this point we make no recommendation. But those who work with business customers (business to business) should no longer use American systems such as MailChimp. This can cause problems when it comes to data protection.
Component tip 5: Drive straight to sales
Thorsten Kucklick of Autaak, an experienced bootstrapper, named the most important reason for him to use components: They are put on immediately, one is immediately in the market and receives in shortest time a positive cash flow. This is the only way a bootstrapper can grow organically. Anyone who invests in machines or programming, on the other hand, needs capital. Components are by far not only online services. Every company around the corner can become one. If one develops these enterprises for it.
He showed us how to build components strategically. By a strategic component, Thorsten means a production partner who supplies a significant part of the manufacturing process. His practical tips:
Really research deep into who could fit.
Test orders are better than negotiations.
If the test goes well, introduce standard procedures.
Agree on few and simple rules.
Control these and maintain contact with the component.
Tolga Önal, the cofounder of Elopage, surprised us with a new buzzword. The UAP. In his eyes it will replace the USP (Unique Selling Point). It’s not about sales. It’s about authentic “engagen”, “enchanten” and “empowern” (Yep, we needed some brain vitamins during the tired lunchtime). We particularly liked the fact that he used our Product Staircase® for illustration purposes. Besides, he showed how power sellers on Elopage do exactly that, to authentically supply customers with what is driving them forward. Elopage would thus be a German alternative to Kajabi, especially for experts. All kinds of digital products (e-books, downloads, courses) can be sold via Elopage. Affiliate system included.
Component tip 6: If you don’t want to do it yourself, buy it.
Romy Campe presented the newly built component portal. There you can book components. You pay a little more, but get the handling. The component portal is in the tradition of Prof. Faltin “Kopf schlägt Kapital”, legally belongs under the bonnet of the project workshop and is therefore very close to the Entrepreneurship Summit. Romy Campe informed us of an observation: Those who are looking for components are often not yet finished with their business concept.
This is in line with our experience: Ideas come first. Don’t go into the details too early. Invest in your business idea and then look for the components (top-down strategy). At the moment there are also many bottom-up concepts: You fall in love with a component and build your business idea around it.