Lean Startup: Starting a business in reverse order

We named ourselves inQbation for a reason – back in LA circa 2007, entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs came to us to build a website.  But, we ended up doing more than that.  We ended up giving people business advice, business analysis, legal advice, financial advice, brand counseling, and strategic consulting.  We helped people to do everything from naming the business to developing their intellectual property to helping them get incorporated, get a website, drive traffic to their website, and start making money.  inQbation helps get startups started.  We help catapult organizations to higher levels.

Strangely, when people come to us nowadays, they already have their domain name registered and their company registered, usually an LLC.  After all these years, I think this is the last thing they should do.  Entrepreneurs should start thinking in reverse order.

The normal, intuitive, chronological order in which most people start a business is:

Register a domain name > incorporate as an LLC > get a website built > find customers > generate revenue

I submit that people should think in reverse order:

Generate revenue > get customers > build a website > incorporate (C or S Corp) > get a domain name

Why?

First of all, registering the domain name and getting incorporated is the easy part.  All you have to do is go to GoDaddy and spend $15 then go to LegalZoom and spend $500.  The hard part is getting customers to buy your product or pay for your service.  All the time and money you spend prior to getting customers will be wasted if you cannot get customers to buy what you make or do.  It is far better, in my opinion, to find out what potential customers need, discover what alternative solutions are out there to satisfy those needs, and if nothing cost-effectively exists, then get those customers to pay you to build it.  After they pay you to build it, then bring them on as a customer and if all works out well, incorporate that company and register a domain name.

Many people refer to this as Lean Startup and it is the best way to launch a business.