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Business ideas and monetising new concepts

6 things you should know before starting a business

That moment when 'doors are open' there's no turning back. Jumping in the deep end and 'learning... read more

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Lauren HutchinOwner at My Marketing Friend
Isn't that the truth Jef! "I believe that Honesty and Transparency along with being Humble build a solid reputation. It may not be the quick way, but I believe it to be the right way." Agreed 100%. Aligning with 'slow and steady wins the race.'
Lauren HutchinOwner at My Marketing Friend
Hi Sarah, I haven't heard of that saying before. Love it. So true.
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How To watch Kovalev vs ward Live Stream

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New Day at Kovalev vs Ward Live
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Onwards and upwards

Work Inside The Box: The Rise Of The Shipping Container Office

Other than being a dedicated space for the running of business, an office is important because it... read more

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Ashley Bryan Owner at Webstrategies Pty Ltd.
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I'm definitely a fan of re-purposing shipping containers. I'd definitely like to have an office / retail shipping container setup for my business, but I'm not sure about all the local regulations here in the United States (specifically Charleston, South Carolina). However, I think it is an inventive way to stretch money and end up with a unique solution.
Startup branding and PR

Is your brand up to scratch?

Your brand identity speaks louder than anything in your business. It sums up everything that your... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Well written and helpful examples.
Startup branding and PR

Should you hire an agency to do your branding?

Yes. There are many things that you can very capably do yourself, do inhouse with your team or... read more

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Leanne O'Sullivan Founder & Creator at Summit School
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I definitely agree that an outside perspective is beyond helpful. Sometimes you don't even know what questions to ask.
Onwards and upwards

10 key factors to consider when assessing your export readiness

Your decision to start export operations may be prompted by a range of factors - to increase sales... read more

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Questions

Should you share business ideas with others?

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Nick,building on the previous answer, I would also say that there are really 2 schools of thought. I'm not talking until we all sing NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreements)I'm telling everyone I possibly can and hoping for feedbackIn the bright world of 2016 most people, companies and definitely Venture Capitalists (VCs) have stopped signing NDAs. Why? It isn't worth their time. Why else? It limits them from hearing an analyzing other ideas in a similar industry or field. It is really only needed if you have and are showing registered Intellectual Property (IP) such as Patents or Trade Secrets.The argument against NDAs is mentioned above. Execution is key. Everyone has ideas, in fact I have more than 8 notebooks filled front to back with more ideas than I could ever execute on. However in those notebooks they'll never turn into anything. I've tried to give some of the ideas away.Keep in mind, many people will belittle your ideas. It really is hard to get someone to steal your idea (most people wouldn't want to put in the effort). However, if absolutely no one wants to steal your idea, you may not be trying to create something that anyone (or at least not enough people want or need).If you aren't sharing your idea, you aren't getting feedback. Chances are, you'll need to make some tweaks to your original idea anyway. So be open about what you are trying to accomplish and realize that there is room for competition and that it is a healthy driver of innovation in and of itself.
Prosper TaruvingaDigital Marketing Expert at Livelong Digital Pty Ltd
The dream is for everyone, but the hustle is sold separately. What I mean here is, When you have an idea, it is worth nothing if it's not executed.So if you share your idea, someone may not execute it as much as you would or as good as you will. You can actually buy lists of ideas ready to implement, so your idea is only as good as the execution.You wanna know the wealthiest place in the world, Nick? It's not Dubai, It's not America. It's the graveyard!There you will find, dreams and ideas that were never realised. People die, clutching their ideas, books, or whatever gifts they have because either, they are not willing to execute or share with others what they have.Usually fear stops people from sharing their ideas. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule. That should not stop you from getting your idea out and getting feedback.Speaking of which, what was the idea about?
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Startup branding and PR

Should you hire an agency to do your branding?

In a word, yes. There are many things that you can very capably do yourself, do in-house with your... read more

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Leanne O'Sullivan Founder & Creator at Summit School
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
The branding is definitely an important aspect that most business owner's do not fully grasp or understand. I think the creative agency also needs to educate the business owner on why the branding is so important and how to correctly implement it not just hand it over to them.
The fact that the potential value of a brand is rarely considered during its development is another failing of the DIY methodology. Your brand’s value (as well as its associated IP) may one day need fund your retirement, or form the basis of a national franchise.Every brand must be devoid of fatal impediments that restrict your capacity to grow regionally, diversify into new market revenue streams or simply attract investment capital. Your enterprises brand represents its potential value and is what every business owner works each day to create and sustain.I always emphasise that a genuine commercial brand must never include any content that appears on an envelope addressed personally to the business owner. There are very few legitimate exceptions to this rule.
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best way to launch my dental surgery business

* Tips to have a good business plan * Guidance to negotiate good commercial lease. * Suggestion to... read more

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Just wanting peoples perspective if they have donated their time / equipment for a charity?

I have donated time and equipment for 3 separate charities. Each time it has left a very sour taste... read more

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Questions

If you saw a business name "balance personal finance consulting" what would you assume they do?

Just throwing an idea around. read more

Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
I would assume the firm dealt primarily with helping Mums & Dads, young singles and those on limited budgets with budgeting, crisis financial management and getting out of debt.I might also expect basic help for low/small budget first time investors with getting into the share or property markets. I would not expect a firm with this name to be operating with high nett worth individuals.
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Questions

Have you considered engaging an Advisory Board member or a Corporate Mentor?

Advisory Board Members or Corporate Mentors are increasingly used in startups and/or growth... read more

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Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Kirsty FoxPrincipal at Spitfire Solutions
I think it is a good idea. I think every business can benefit from an "Advisory Board". Probably the bigger question is who to have on your board. A mentor is an excellent starting point, and you need an "outsider" who can look at the business dispassionately.
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Startup branding and PR

It's okay to make mistakes with your brand

Songkran in Thailand is New Year and it is celebrated every April. Songkran comes from the Sanskrit... read more

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Lauren Clemett Director at Ultimate Business Propellor
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Some very insightful thoughts to consider.
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Are there differences between Chinese internet companies and the Silicon Valley model for internet companies?

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Do you see the value in AMAs?

Otherwise known as "Ask Me Anything"s. For those unfamiliar, experts or other prominent individuals... read more

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Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think Steven has a good point about live Q&A sessions at the end of a panel discussion or presentation. However, I would argue that AMA's online are very successful and even celebrated. Everyone from celebrities to presidential candidates and others have done them on the online community Reddit.I think if the person is presenting a unique perspective or is someone that has lots of following it can be a very interesting thing to participate in either actively or passively.I really enjoyed being part of the SavvySME AMA's the last time they happened. I also enjoyed participating in the AMAs of others.
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
This is popular at traditional business events when you have a panel of experts in front of the audience. I feel the value of this is stronger with a captive audience in the traditional world rather than online.
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What is your number one concern using the Cloud?

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Business ideas and monetising new concepts

This VR Company Wants to Add Missile Explosions and Race Cars to Your Workout

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists Events Subscribe 1 min read...read more

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Questions

As first time entrepreneurs, what part of the process are people often completely blind to?

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I will speak specifically to tech startups and app startups. When launching into these segments many entrepreneurs get totally enamored with the highlight reel of all the media outlets. They truly believe that in months they'll be the next Facebook.Now, I'm not trying to squash dreams, because being bold and audacious is important. However, don't throw out common sense. Starting any type of business is exciting, but there is a definite lack of media coverage on the "daily grind" of operating and selling. Why? It isn't very sexy and it doesn't inspire (or rather, the media companies don't think it will).This is the very same reason you hardly hear about failures of largely funded entrepreneurs. The media doesn't want to cover that (it is deemed dismal). However, if positioned correctly there are many lessons to be learned from the failures and struggles of others. I dare people to live vicariously to reduce the pitfalls that happen to them on their business journey.
HUNTER LEONARDFOUNDER AND CEO at BLUE FROG MARKETING PTY LTD
I've benchmarked over 1000 SME businesses in regards to their marketing attitudes and behaviours asking over 50 questions of each business. So i'll confine my comments to marketing and strategy. The absolute number 1 is lack of research. Entrepreneurs by their nature are courageous, risk takers, and innovative. They expect others to see their ideas as brilliant and that "sell themself" - we found that less than 15% of SME business owners had done sufficient research of their market, competition or their product prior to launch. They spent money and time on product development, on fitting our their offices or warehouses, on branding and websites. But they rarely invest enough time in truly understanding the dynamics of their market, their competition and importantly what strategic positioning they are going to adopt in the market.
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Questions

Have you worked with a mentor?

If you have worked with a mentor, great! But I want details. Was working with a mentor a successful... read more

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Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
HUNTER LEONARDFOUNDER AND CEO at BLUE FROG MARKETING PTY LTD
Yes, I've worked with a mentor on a couple of occasions. Once many years ago I asked a colleague to be my presentation mentor and he would attend my seminars and presentations and then give me feedback at the end of each one. This was a fantastic experience as he was able to pinpoint some key positives and negatives about my style and delivery and I improved as a result.More recently, I asked one of my clients to put on a different hat and mentor me on preparation of investment documents for a new business I'm working on. This was also a great experience, and one of his comments led to a focussing of our business idea to the point where I'm now far more passionate about the idea because I found a really nice social enterprise angle to the business that I hadn't expected and wouldn't have found if he had mentioned that one thing.In summary, definitely recommend having a mentor, particularly if there is a very defined outcome you're looking for.
Felicity LawOwner at FelicityLaw.com.au
Hi Jef, I too have worked with and as a mentor.Unlike a traditional Business Coach, the mentors that I have worked with cut through the 'guided-self-sourced-solutions framework', and speak frankly about the reality of the business world, life, and everything in between. Honesty is at the core of an effective mentor / mentee relationship and like most intimate relationships where fears, dreams, and personal thoughts are disclosed, it may take time to find the right fit.Some of the best mentors I have worked with are professionals I respect, admire, and lead by example. The mentoring happens organically as a result of their leadership, approachability, and authenticity. As a result of my own experiences with being mentored and providing mentoring, I am a strong advocate.Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions I can help with.
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Questions

For those of you who make products, do you prefer improving on existing ones or developing new ones?

In terms of both value to your customers, and costs to your company, which do you prefer doing? read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Brad Lyons at Rodcha
I would have to say both. I spend a lot of time when it comes to research and development. One project that I have been a part of over the years is called detectivedesk.comOngoing development is required in this industry and the main reason most companies are walking away from competitors is because the competitors don't spend time on research and development.The result of R&D means we are developing new products and improving our existing products all the time. This results in more and more clients wanting to use our products. In the data industry R&D is very important. While improving products is critical it is equally important to consistently develop new products. The industry demands it and as long as we keep improving and developing new products out competitors are not able to keep up. As soon as we stop! someone else will see the gap and take over the industry. Some of the databases and CRM's I have developed are direct products of R&D. They wouldn't exist otherwise. Basically, every industry I am in I spend a lot of time on R&D. When you play with large datasets, the more time you spend on R&D the more advancements you contribute to the industry and the more you contribute the more people notice you.On the other hand, if you believe a product is broken or you believe there could be future issues then you should start on developing a new product. That doesn't mean you stop production or R&D. When it comes to software, applying updates and patches can only last so long. It is much better to take a step back and start coding from scratch. I was involved in a project were the client wanted to develop an entirely new CRM. The old CRM was great however was always being patched and didn't have the ability to grow and adapt with the business. In this case the solution was to start from scratch, while one team was dedicated to maintaining the old system another team was involved in developing the new system. Once the new system was ready it was put through beta testing and once that was completed it was rolled out in stages. A slow release in some cases is the best option. So, improve the old or develop new? Both. If you believe there is a potential issue with one of your current products, start from scratch while maintaining the current product. Identify the issues, test alternative ways and run simulations to test under pressure. All part of R&D. That is what I love about business, R&D, always looking to improve and create new ways of doing things.
Steve MainOwner at Onesystem
I am very fortunate to be in a position to do both and love these opportunities. A tweak here and there, a quick fix, customise to help a client solve a problem, bolt on an addition function and of course build a new one. Its a balancing act, to ensure short term achievements align with long term strategies and sometimes acknowledging that the limitations require a new train of thought.Tonight I have worked on both, a new small application (in this case building a new application has been quicker and more cost effective) and a customisation of a larger application (small customisation to enhance the user experience and grow with the business). Tonight I am not sure I can choose what I preferred, both equally have been very rewarding.Steve
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