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how to turn a full time job into a b2b business
How to Turn a Full-Time

Job Into a B2B Business


2x b2b startup founder flagback hirevoice
2x B2B Startup Founder

(Flagback & HireVoice)

Recognized Usability &

UX Research Expert


2013 Most-Liked

SlideShare Presentation


Author of Lean B2B:

Build Products

Businesses Want

where did the majority of inc 500 founders find
Where did the majority of Inc. 500

founders find their business ideas?

50 of founders got their idea at their previous
50% of founders got their idea at

their previous employer



* Study by University professor Amar Bhidé for The Origins

and Evolution of New Business (2000)

outside in vs inside out



part i
Part I

The Insider’s Competitive Edge


Easy access to customers

Start a business where you can

get access to customers easily.

- Max Cameron, Kera Co-Founder and CEO


You know the initiatives

& business priorities

If you don’t, you can ask...


You can define the problem owner,

the buyers & figure out where to

start selling


You get credibility and expertise

because you're from the market

If not, you can fake it...


You can run ROI calculations

and start with real data


You understand the risks & what it

takes to sell to large businesses

To overcome the “Status Quo Coefficient”,

your solution should be at least two times

faster, two times better and two times

cheaper than the known alternatives.


You can build a relevant professional

network on company hours


You can pivot on the cheap at

the idea level

It takes a while to get on people’s calendars [...]

For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to leave

your job before having a good indication that

you are working on a real business opportunity.


You can turbo-charge long sales

cycles by starting with a paying


part ii
Part II

Other people have done it


Martin Ouellet


Dharmesh Shah

Pyramid Digital Solutions Sells Assets to SunGard Business Systems


Martin Bouchard

iBwave Makes PROFIT 200 List of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for Third Consecutive Year

part iii
Part III

Obvious Challenges

how will you transition from employee
How will you transition from

employee to entrepreneur if

you’re successful?

Fire !!

part iv
Part IV

How to do it

the first question to ask yourself
The First Question to Ask Yourself:

Core Business?

Non-Core Innovation?

keep your eyes out for explicit and implicit
Keep your eyes out for explicit

and implicit problems.

people love to talk about their problems
People love to talk about their

problems. The moment that you’re

talking about a person’s problems,

they’re happy.

- Brant Cooper, The Lean Entrepreneur Co-Author

network talk around the problem get different
Network. Talk around the

problem. Get different inputs.

narrow the field score problems by pain budget
Narrow the field. Score problems

by pain, budget availability and

impact potential.

understand the market the watering holes
Understand the market, the

watering holes, influencers, risks,

buyers, buying processes, etc.

create a plan to test your hypotheses
Create a plan to test your


The market

is wide

enough to

sustain a



won’t be



The product

can be


There are



part v
Part V

Key Takeaways & Conclusion


Paid Work


Saving up?

Which makes most sense?

the best time to be an entrepreneur is when
The best time to be an entrepreneur is

when you, and your team, have really

learned about an unmet need,

understand the customer’s pain and you

are ready to take the plunge.

- Ken Morse, Serial Entrepreneur &

MIT Entrepreneurship Founder

the shortest path to successful entrepreneurship
The shortest path to successful

entrepreneurship is what you already

know. Start there.

thousands of innovators around the world use lean
Thousands of innovators

around the world use


« This is a must read for every B2B entrepreneur, SaaS creator or

consultant and business school student. It's the kind of book you

don't read once, you go back to it on a regular basis. » - Carmen

Gerea, CEO & Co-founder, UsabilityChefs

« Treat this book like a map to show you where you are and a

compass to show you the direction. I wish I could have read it 2

or 3 years ago. » – Jonathan Gebauer, Founder, exploreB2B

« Lean B2B is filled with rock-solid advice for technology

entrepreneurs who want a rapid-growth trajectory. Read it to

increase your certainty and your success rate. » - Jill Konrath,

Author of AGILE SELLING and Selling to Big Companies

« The book I read of which I have learned the most. » - Etienne

Thouin, Founder and CTO, SQLNext Software

« This book is essential reading for would-be entrepreneurs who

face the daunting task of entering B2B markets. » – Paul Gillin,

Co-Author, Social Marketing to the Business Customer

Étienne Garbugli: