A while back I was asked by an entrepreneur for advice about creating an income-generating website. He had no ideas in mind and simply didn’t know where to start. After taking some time to think about it, I responded with the following. Within a few months he’s already documented a ton of ideas and started executing based upon a few of them. Here is my advice on getting started.
Focus on your passions
It’s a lot easier to understand what others would be willing to pay for or find value in if you focus on an area that you know very well. I see that you are interested in personal finance & fitness; two most excellent categories that are fairly easy to monetize so long as you provide genuine value.
What technological transformations are going to bring about the biggest opportunities in the technology sector in the next few years. I took a few minutes to outline a few of the obvious opportunities that have just started down this path and are going to pick up momentum in the next 2-5 years. These industries will change the way we live, work, entertain, travel, consume and engage.
Internet-enabled home automation (mobile controlled locks, lighting, appliances, etc.)
Virtual reality headsets (Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, etc.)
Today a friend of mine reached out to me and asked me to help her with a project that she’s doing. She asked me “Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?”. Here are my biggest life lessons; there are personal stories behind each one of these lessons but I’ll spare you the details.
Strive to be happy; try not to let things you can’t control get to you
Don’t worry about what you cannot change. Complaining about the weather, bad traffic, taxes, someone else’s stupidity or working is completely useless. Just be happy you’re alive, no matter what is suboptimal, it could always be worse.
Today I’m writing a blog about how to blog… oh the irony! Recently I’ve had the pleasure of coaching several of my clients and teaching them how to make small easy changes that dramatically improve the impact that their blogs have on their business. Take a few minutes and give this a read, start implementing these recommendations into your blog and enjoy the positive momentum that will result.
Blog regularly. If you’re not going to blog regularly you’ll never gain or keep any of the positive momentum that you’re generating.
Be genuine, don’t have hidden agendas; providing value should be your agenda – people do business with who they know / like / trust. Your blogs are an opportunity to earn this.
Today I decided to prepare a blog that shares the lessons that we’ve learnt from our recent experiences in preparing investor pitch decks. As some of you may know we’ve built our first product, BusinessManage.com, which helps businesses to proactively and effectively manage all facets of their business – projects, tasks, employees, human resources, sales, marketing, finance, knowledge, facilities and the list goes on. As part of this experience we’ve been rewarded with a lot of positive attention from investors in Ottawa, Canada and Los Angeles, California.
If you’re planning to perform a pitch to investors, these tips will really help.
Where do I start?
Every investor pitch deck should have two decks – one for presentation and one to hand out at the end including all of the information you discuss. The reason for this is because if you put too much text in your slides then the potential investors you pitch to will be reading your slides while you’re talking. This is bad, because investors make decisions based upon their belief in you being able to make the business succeed. You need them to listen to you.
Today I was asked for the top lessons that I’ve learnt along my entrepreneurial journey. It took a lot of thought and consideration and as a result I’ve assembled this list of the biggest lessons that have been vital to our success. Take a moment to read and consider them carefully, they very well could be the difference between success and failure for you as well.
Know, Like & Trust
This is the single most important point any entrepreneur must know. People do business with those they know, like and trust. You need to invest the time to allow a client to get to know you, to learn about who you are and what motivates you to succeed. Once they get to know you and see that you care about the products/services that you provide and that you genuinely wish to help them then a bond of trust is created and strengthens as time goes on. Like is the intangible item in this list. In most cases it is easy to build like, but, occasionally personalities are incompatible and it’s unlikely that a sustainable ongoing business relationship will succeed. People are emotional beings, the decisions we make, investments we choose and alliances we form are based upon these three pillars (know, like & trust). If you are able to achieve and maintain all three of these then you’ve acquired a client for life.
Build Your Team
Building businesses requires a team of all-stars. Even solo-preneurs require support from external parties (partners, accountants, lawyers, banks, investors, distributors, resellers, suppliers, and the list goes on). Take the time to build an all-star team; without it you’ll struggle when trying to push through many barriers. Even worse, you’ll miss out on transformative opportunities and the opportunity to push through other barriers because you won’t even know that they exist!
I’d like to talk about a topic that most people avoid. It’s a taboo topic because most business owners are typically positive, upbeat individuals who tend to avoid the negative. Heaven forbid that any pessimism ever shadow the company! But… is it pessimism to admit one’s weaknesses? Absolutely not! So long as once the weaknesses are identified, the beholder of said information approaches these weaknesses with positivity and puts into place a plan to eliminate them.
So then, when talking about websites, how do we find our weaknesses and more importantly what do we do to fix them?
Over the past several months my company has been inundated with a higher than average amount of request for proposals. While we’re used to being solicited for several proposals every day, the last few months we’ve witnessed more than triple!
Every week we take the time to determine which ones we will bid on by using our typical approach. At the beginning of each day we sit down and prioritize, consider the types of projects along with the quality and detail within each. Finally, we assess the feasibility of any budgets identified.
I’ve noticed a trend that is evidently growing. A whole lot of request for proposals start out with wording that reveals an issue with the contract awarding processes of many companies. While the wording slightly varies, it typically starts with “We previously hired a development team that could not deliver….”
I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked the simple question “Why does my small business need a website?” Ironically, it’s a simple question to answer and it’s one of those types of questions that is most effectively answered with another question: “How do you choose which companies you do business with?”
After an individual answers this question, I encourage them to perform an exercise. This exercise can be performed any time, any place but best done where they typically make decisions of this type. I ask them to setup a camcorder and record the entire exercise so that we can review it together.