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Simplify Your Startup’s Business Model

If you can simplify your business model you will have:

  1. More time to focus on what’s really important
  2. An easier time managing your business

One of the most common reasons startups struggle is because they focus on the logistics instead of the idea.

You should focus on starting, not preparing to start.

Put your idea in motion right away if you think it’s worth exploring. You’ll save the time and energy if it’s not. I’ve just realized that in the process of starting ThematoSoup we’ve never done a search for “WordPress startup resources”. It was always the idea of creating WordPress products created with best practices in mind that we focused on.

But, you can use these startup tools to quickly clear out of that “how-to-pull-it-off” area:

1. Startup Secret Wepons

2. Startup Tools: 300+ Most Useful Apps, Software, and Other Resources


If  you decide to use WordPress or you already use it, I suggest you go with one of the default WordPress themes (at the moment of writing: Twenty Thirteen or Twenty Fourteen). They are superbly coded, have great support and are future proof.

If you want to change the look and feel, you can always hire a developer at WordPress Jobs. Simple changes can be done within minutes and make sure you use child themes.

The reason I’m not suggesting any premium themes is because they go through crippled reviewing process themes and plugins on the repository go through. They may look powerful, but they’re very brittle, not future proof and should you ever decide to switch to a different theme, you may find yourself unable to transfer some of the content.

For any additional functionality, you should always use plugins. If it’s possible, try to find free plugins with good support. Plugins on the repository also go through a review process, most premium plugins never go through.

Our friend Amanda has written a nice post on How to Choose a WordPress plugin. The logic is the same for any digital products you want to use.

Time Management

Staff or Skype weekly meetings are not necessary for startups. They can be stressful and not very productive. Instead, you can get email or 5-minute updates via Skype every day. Fewer meetings mean less talk and more action. Prioritize by figuring out what’s most important and assign people to work on that first.

What’s most important will vary from day to day. Focus on what generates the most money or has the potential to do so. Schedule blocks of time to work on important projects and during that time go offline (if possible), close your email client and use only one or two browser tabs. You’ll be surprised what can be achieved with just 1-2 hours every day, using this routine.


You don’t need to be involved in everything about your startup business and you can’t. Learn to trust people and your judgment in them. Outsourcing a few tasks gives you time to focus on the things that really matter and simplifies your decision making.

You can refer to this article for tips on how to build better business with outsourcing it. It will teach you when and what to outsource and how to find the right contractors for the work.

Project Management

First thing you need to do is shorten your to-do lists. Once you do that you can create tasks for each day. Even if you can’t keep up with the schedule, assigning due dates encourages people to stay engaged.

For the first year of ThematoSoup, we used Basecamp and then we switched to Trello and its free plans, which suit us just fine.

I use Google Docs to create, collaborate on and share documents, but with all the privacy drama over the last couple of years, I’m trying to switch to Microsoft’s OneDrive and its web apps.


Marketing is a vast topic and I’ll write a new post about how to establish your startup’s presence on the web. For now, you should focus on content marketing. I recommend you this video post on how to speed up the process of content marketing and gather email subscribers.

The easiest way for getting ideas and creating content is listening. Your niche has a lot of problems people talk about. Offer products or articles that solve these problems or use your support forum and elaborate on issues to create tutorials and how-tos.

Bootstrapping your business through minimalism, focusing on tasks that are important, creating minimum viable products that can sell right away is what simplifying your startup’s business model is all about.

You’ll be able to easily identify unnecessary friction points and refine your startup business, so it becomes more efficient and easier to manage. Always start with the minimum and add components (features, tasks, revisions) and people when you need them.

Dragan Nikolic
I am a co-founder and editor at ThematoSoup, sharing marketing best practices, tips on how to simplify your online business and make it more manageable.
Dragan Nikolic
Hey @tj_reinhart do you accept new affiliate partners on Sumo? - 3 months ago
Dragan Nikolic

4 comments Simplify Your Startup’s Business Model

  1. Please tell me Cazuela is future proof! I love that theme. We use it on almost every one of our websites. So glad we found you folks…we share a common philosophy – Simplify!

  2. You should focus on starting, not preparing to start.

    Cannot agree more!
    I’ve been in that phase long time :<

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