Get expert advice
e.g. What is the best way to market my cleaning business on the Internet?
Ask question
Startup branding and PR

How to Create a Logo for Your Startup When You're Bootstrapped

Most savvy business owners are aware of a simple truth: It takes money to make money. When you're...read more

0
Added via The Huffington Post
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
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

Asked by:
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
Please login or sign up to answer.
Questions

Do you consider it worthwhile to create a prototype?

What steps did you take before going into production, did you create a prototype first? if so, did... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Wei Yew Teoh
In short, I think in most cases creating a prototype is a great idea!I believe the benefits to name a few are:Develop a greater understanding of your product;It provides you insight on where to go next, aspects to improve, features to highlight;It provides you information on better time management;Designs and ideas always tell a different story when its still on the back of a paper napkin, until you finally start to develop it.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Phil,Great question. As a designer fully believe and promote building prototypes first. This is an ingrained part of my learning (aside from knowledge of the Lean Startup). Prototyping doesn't have to be a confusing process, so let me go into some of the benefits of prototyping.Prototypes Help:Early Exploration - They do this because depending on your end product, you can start with a doodle on a napkin with several notes. Prototypes can also be build from cardboard, clay, or other easy to work materials. By taking several passes (or iterating) on your concept you can easily create several variations instead of 1 final product.Comparatively Low Cost - Prototypes being built from the materials mentioned above are inexpensive compared to materials that may be used for the final product. Using lower cost materials means that you can again make several variations without spending a lot of money up front (this process doesn't have a required "minimum purchase order").Refine Your Understanding - When you first start out with the end goal of making a product, prototyping through multiple variations will help reveal any short comings or areas to improve the product further. Use this knowledge to your advantage.Test and Test Again - Put these prototypes in front of potential customers multiple times over several of your prototype variations. This is a great time to get feedback before you end up spending too much of your overall budget.There is obviously many more benefits of prototyping but these are some of the most beneficial. I highly recommend the process to everyone that has never tried it. I welcome more questions and discussion on this topic.
Please login or sign up to answer.
Questions

Apart from a good idea, what would you need for successful product development?

What steps have you, or would you follow when trying to develop your own product?  read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Yee,I think this is a question that can help a lot of people forward in their journey.Flush Out The Idea - For an idea to become more than something in your head or doodled down on a napkin you need to expand on it. How? The easy way to do this is write down short clear thoughts and then categorize them into groups (e.g. Product, Target Audience, Price, Sales Channels, etc.). You can and should iterate on this process multiple times over the period of several days or weeks depending on the complexities of the underlying idea.Test Quickly & Inexpensively - You need to validate that your idea is worth pursuing with your time, energy and money before getting too attached to it. How? By using inexpensive or free tools to test your assumptions. You could quickly craft up a survey using Google Forms, Survey Monkey or other related tools to put one or several different surveys together. To ensure the surveys serve your purpose decide are you trying for "breadth" of answers (quantity) or "depth" of answers (quality). I don't recommend trying to do both in one survey. After you determine that, use your connections within your physical network or across social networks to share your survey with the type of customers you are hoping to connect with (don't just blast this and have anyone and everyone answer - doing so will dilute the strength of the collected information).Review Results - After collecting the desired number of survey responses, pour over the data without being quick to make judgments. Remember that you need to be open and connected with your potential customers. Do not disregard their feedback as uneducated, incorrect or invalid, or you will do so at your own peril. If your potential customers clearly need something else or want something slightly different, adjust your idea based on this feedback to better connect with your potential customers.Now You Need To Build - This is the time where you need to put together an early version of your product. If you are a baker start working kinks out of the recipe, if a furniture maker build a scale model, if software maker create a paper or low fidelity prototype.How? You need to be judicious with what you put into this version of the product. Ask yourself, "If I don't include this, will customers still get value?" If yes, leave the feature out, if no put a rough version of the feature into the design. Review each decision against the feedback you previously received. Is rough version ready to be put in front of potential customers? No, but you will do it anyway. It is counter-intuitive to test something that isn't "polished" or "finished" but it helps you iterate and adjust to feedback before you get so far along in the process you can't afford to later. Iterate Again - Take that initial round of feedback on your rough version and start building the next slightly better version of your product. How? Did you notice users not using a feature or not liking a feature? Pull it out. Don't try to rationalize leaving it in, the customers have spoken (you can always try the feature out again in a future version). Remember, if you don't include everything the customers want in the next version it is okay. Measure putting something in whether that would still be value without including it.This of course has quite an alignment to the Lean Startup Methodology by Eric Ries, however, I do have some of my own liberties coming from a background of Product Design. I've also spent several months on putting documentation and forms and interactive forms together to put this process to a time table. However, it is not quite ready for public consumption. I will say, stay to relatively short blocks of time. If at any point your potential customers or your research proves an idea to be unsustainable for a business, go back to the drawing board and start on another idea.Above all remember the process to continuously iterate and improve your offering, even once you have successfully launched and are making money. Comfort and complacency never lead to future growth or innovation.
Please login or sign up to answer.
Questions

What are some good business ideas for a partner/spouse team?

What business ideas might be best suitable for a team of two consisting of spouses or partners?... read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Well, I can't answer this from a personal perspective yet (although my wife may get pulled into helping with my ventures at some point).First, it is important to keep separate actions and attitudes. At work you must fill your role and do your part, but you can't take any attitudes from that into the personal relationship (at least not long term). At work they may be your equal, superior or subordinate, but at home you are equals and must treat each other as such.From business that I know spouses have gone into:Creative AgenciesRestaurantsLaw Firms Retail (specifically boutiques)Why do I think the above types of businesses work for partners? Typically because the are more traditional small businesses (they aren't trying to be the next internet juggernaut at least from the ones I'm aware of). The roles they have are either equal or complementary.Example 1 (Law Firm)Husband is a Business Lawyer, Wife is a Family LawyerExample 2 (Creative Agency)Wife runs business operations, Husband is a designerExample 3 (Restaurant)Husband cooks, Wife manages
Please login or sign up to answer.
Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

Women outnumber men on LaunchVic advisory board

While the global tech space has long beenread more

0
Added via Shoe String
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Onwards and upwards

How to Not Be a Jerk if Your Business Fails

If your business venture fails, how would you cope? It depends of course on details and... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Well said!
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think one of the most important things to do is try to learn from the experience. As long as you can evaluate and understand what led to the failure, how it could have been different (if at all) and what you would do differently if you were to relaunch the same business with your new perspective you'll serve your future self very well. You must take pride in the journey and not always put all your satisfaction in a positive outcome. Learn along the way. Pass the knowledge of previous failures along to other aspiring business owners to keep them from making the same mistakes. Surround yourself with business owners that have had more success and pick their brains.
Onwards and upwards

Failing Forward

Failure, it sucks. It feels, well embarrassing - because everyone around you are full time... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
SO many good points here! I love that James Joyce quote as well, endless wisdom in the catalogues of that man.
Bootstrapping

Adelaide entrepreneurs encouraged to apply for Venture Catalyst seed funding program

Adelaide entrepreneurs are being called on to apply for the Venture Catalyst seed funding program,...read more

0
Added via Shoe String
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business ideas and monetising new concepts

50 Most Fun Home-Based Businesses

Small Business Trends Events Influencer Awards Book Awards Marketplace RSS Pinterest...read more

0
Added via Small Business Trends
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Product development

Instead of Worrying About Products vs. Features, Focus on Building Solutions

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists X Switch back to...read more

0
Added via Entrepreneur.com
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Investor funding and capital

IBM acquires Clearleap; Airbnb confirms $1.5 billion raise; Booodl raises $2.85 million

It’s been a very busy week for Australian startups – Shoes of Prey raised a US$15.5 million Series...read more

0
Added via Shoe String
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Questions

What makes a great Tech company?

Asked by:
Phil SealyOwner at Pro Leaders Academy
My view is the culture of any business makes it.If you have the right culture with a market need then you will have a great company.A culture that supports the goals and values of the company you will have a great business that has cients that are raving fans and will sell the business for you.
Please login or sign up to answer.
Investor funding and capital

Crowdfunding For Your Startup: Fueling Your Dream Into Reality

The traditional method of financing a business used to be applying for a bank loan, self-financing... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Questions

Who would be the best person/s to connect with to help start up a community service based business?

I'm looking to start up a business running courses teaching basic life skills as well as a few... read more

Hi Allison, A really good organisation in Aus is the BEC, business enterprise centres. They run all kinds of mentoring and support programs for people who are in the early startup stages of business. They are in all kinds of places... go to their website to find out more: https://www.becaustralia.org.au/ good luck with it cheers roland
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Allison,That definitely sounds like a noble pursuit. Are you planning it as a for-profit business or a not-for-profit business (charity)? There is a possibility that you may be able to get government grants if you are a non-profit business.Also, who is your target audience? Is it a specific age group, income bracket, geographic location, something else or a combination? This will help you determine how you are positioning the marketing and lead generation for your venture.Are you planning to setup a business learning environment where clients come into an office/classroom type setting? Are you planning on going to the location of your client (such as a mobile tutor). Are you planning on only offering in-person courses or will you use live streaming video or pre-recorded video sessions?Will you be charging per class (a la carte) and/or charging for a topic that includes multiple classes about a related topic? Will you be giving clients that meet a specific standard certificates of completion or something similar?Are you planning to limit class sizes so you can ensure each client gets 1-on-1 attention or are aiming for large class sizes?
Please login or sign up to answer.
Investor funding and capital

7 Seed-Stage Funding Sources That Might Finance Your Startup

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists X Switch back to...read more

0
Added via Entrepreneur.com
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Onwards and upwards

Small Business: How To Grow and How Not To Grow

Growing Your Small Business Safely and With Control Most of us small business owners want to grow... read more

Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Onwards and upwards

How TPG's David Teoh snared his prey iiNet

The notoriously publicity-shy Mr Teoh is renowned for running a remarkably low-cost ship. Photo:...read more

0
Added via smh.com.au
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Onwards and upwards

4 Tips To Turbocharge Your Primary Goal

Most people, when pressed, will be able to identify one big primary goal that they have in their... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Investor funding and capital

UK startup truRating chooses Australia as its next launch location as it begins to expand globally

UK based startup truRating, whose technology makes it easier for customers to give small business...read more

0
Added via Shoe String
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment