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.)
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.
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.
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.
In the past several months, I’ve noticed a dramatic shift in the ranking of hundreds of companies on most search engines. Unfortunately, consequentially, I’ve also suffered temporary hearing impairment as a result of business owners’ alarm bells going off at decibel levels not previously witnessed to date. Why is that?
Quite simply, the Internet has become a critical medium for the generation of revenue for many companies. Many of these companies rely heavily on the revenues generated from their organic traffic, or unpaid search results. The result of losing even a few positions in rank, often times is the difference between a business that is thriving and a business that is bleeding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to shift the tide, and the difference between a few placements could easily result in the loss of 70-90% of a companies’ targeted traffic. Think about how you use a search engine. Most individuals open the first 3-5 links that catch their eye and within a minute they’ve narrowed down their potential customer list to 2 or 3 options at most. If your website is not one of the links that catches their eye, then you don’t even have a chance to make a sale…. zero percent!!! That’s horrible odds!
Which pages on your website get the most traffic? How about the least? Which page has the highest drop off rates? How much of your traffic is coming from mobile devices? If you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, you’re not alone…
The reality is that more than 99% of businesses that have an Internet presence haven’t the slightest clue what’s working and what isn’t in terms of attracting and converting leads into customers, nor do they even know if it’s being viewed by a device that can navigate it properly! How to say this nicely… sorry I can’t find a way… this is simply ludicrous!
While a website is vital to the long term success of any business, it’s not of much use if it’s not generating targeted traffic and converting valuable leads into customers.
Why can small businesses no longer just get by with a website? A website on its own won’t create customers, it needs to attract visitors! Furthermore, these visitors must be potential customers. If you own a comedy club in Ottawa, and the majority of your traffic is from the US, you can be certain that it’s not generating you additional customers. Even worse, if it’s not generating traffic at all then it serves no purpose whatsoever.