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Questions

How do you start or create a community ie a movement?

Hi SavvySME's, I am in the process of doing something a little different than what I normally do.... read more

Asked by:
Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Helen O'NeillFounder & MD at The Lioness Factor
Hey there Lisa,One of the biggest mistakes l have witnessed in the online business community is lack of connection caused through treating peopled differently to in person I.e. I can't see you therefore it's easier to speak , act and be different ie. Not as friendly, too over the top, fake and alot of the time, rude even. People crave connection, now more than ever, so it's critical to be connected within yourself, so you can reach out to others.It's even more important online, to build and nurture relationships. When we/l get bombarded daily with 'Please open me' stuff, l'm only going to open that which l feel l have a connection with and value. Yes it must be enticing, but my relationship to/with you is going to be the determining factor.People want to be and feel valued, we appreciate being treated with respect and not as fools. They/we/l want to'feel' as tho you are speaking with me personally, that you're not just trying to flog me something. When you do talk to me about your offer, lm much more likely to get excited if l know its got merit and in my best interests, and l'll know that by your interaction with me. Be rigorous in ensuring you remain authentic and check in that you are communicating in way that will, enable you to build an audience with your target market (which isn't everyone by the way)The other thing is value, the most successful Onliners give huge value in their sharing, they are not mean with content.The other area to consider is layout and ease of connection. A lot make the mistake of cumbersome clunky applications that make it difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, many of us don't have a great deal of patience, so simple clean and fresh works.And like in any successful business, make sure you are measuring results, if you are not reviewing daily what your numbers are and the returns you are achieving ... or not, thats a recipe for failure and demonstrates you are not in a business, but rather are playing with a hobbie. All the very best in your ventureKindest Regards Helen :-)
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Questions

Is your business tapped into the Shop Local movement?

In my community Shop Local is a big deal. There is great community support for local entrepreneurs... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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Questions

What is the one advice you give smaller startups when competing with larger or most established businesses?

Startups often fall in the trap of feeling inadequate to their larger competitors, especially when... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
I see two answers to this Phil.The first is mindset.... why is a mistake a failure? The big boys had many failures along the way and yet still managed to succeed. An example that is often given is the moon landing. On the way there they were off course 99.9% of the time, with continuous minor adjustments along the way they reached their destination, despite being off track the majority of the way.What you focus on expands so be sure to be continuously working on your energy levels to attract all matter of 'good stuff' and focus on where you are going, not the past where the mistakes are. They have already happened.... move onward on upwards taking away what you have learnt and leveraging.The second is .... Play to your strengths! The advantage that you have over a bigger business is your ability to move quickly. You can have an idea in the morning and have it executed by lunchtime. Big business can not achieve this, there are often too many chiefs or too much red tape.Flexibility is your strength, use it!
Tom Potter at pottercorp
critical time and research needs to be placed into strategy
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Questions

What would you have done differently to make Eagle Boys even bigger than what it is today?

Everybody loves pizza and there are some obvious competitors in the market. If you were turn back... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
probably introduced more capital to grow harder and faster /however the main key point was to have a major point of difference which we had up until I sold the business
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Questions

How do you determine how much equity to give in the early days of a startup to investors?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Yee,This is a fantastic and difficult question to answer. It's a tricky topic because it has to be judged on an individual basis and agreed to by the team (or at least the majority).Some people may say, take any offer you can get it is better than continuing to bootstrap. I would argue, that may not be the case. When you are bootstrapping you must be more aware of how each dollar is spent. When you get an investment, you may not be as thoughtful or creative on how you stretch the budget.Also, don't just see it as the amount of money they are giving you (in terms of the trade off for equity in your venture). Are they also bringing their knowledge of the business world and making it accessible to you? Are they giving you access and recommendations to their network? The team needs to be comfortable with the percentage of equity for the monetary infusion. Example, if an investor offers $100,000 for 45% of the company's equity some founders may see that as a quick way to grow the business while other founders may balk at giving up such a large percentage of their venture. It is a combination of your team's comfort level, your overall gut reaction and your ability to trust that the investor is trying to better your venture.It really comes down to what the team agrees is a fair or reasonable trade off between the monetary infusion, networking and resources verses losing some control of the overall business. Once again, great question.
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Questions

What are investors looking for in a pitch?

What gets them over the line from being "That's a good idea" to "Here's a cheque for $100,000"? read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Yee,Thanks for asking. I think most startups believe their presentation or "pitch deck" has to wow the investors. But that is not always what draws them in and excites them.Yes, investors want to see that you have an interesting product or service, but it can't end there. They will find accurate numbers interesting, accurate being the key word. If you have a growing number of users show them. But keep in mind they will be interested in knowing how active and engaged to your product or service your users are. If you are constantly gaining new users to replace the ones that aren't staying, they will probably not be very impressed.Another thing they look at is your team dynamics. Do you work well together and share the passion of seeing the venture through and growing it, or are you just a few people that are good at what you individually do? Sometimes investors are more interested in the team you have put together than the idea. They may in fact look to fund you but send you after another idea.This is an extension of the team dynamic, but they may look at your team's experience. Are you all first time founders? They may be a bit more cautious if you are. You can offset this by having a solid set of mentors or board of advisors on your team (even if they don't get involved in the day to day operation).Investors are also looking for honesty. Don't claim you have no competition (they will think you haven't done your research). Don't project overly opportunistic numbers so far out they are meaningless. Keep the numbers you show them honest and use them to your advantage.To sum up I believe investors are looking for:a great product/service or a willingness for the team to transition to a new ideaa team that works well togetherpassion to scale the venture into a sizable companyAnd a bonus is:a great presenter that can sell themselves, the team and the business convincingly
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Startup branding and PR

An Interview With Seth Berkowitz | How the Founder of Insomnia has Revolutionized The College Experience Armed Only With Cookies

In his book Zero To One, Peter Thiel says that you should never open a restaurant since you'll just...read more

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Questions

How did you make connections for the new venture?

How did you go about making contacts at all the exciting Asian startup cities? I'm guessing it took... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
I made most of my contacts when I lived in Beijing and was very active in the startup community. Since I was a tech blogger, I naturally had to meet people and keep on the pulse of all the trends. I attended a lot of conferences, events and ran some myself. The community is strong and you always see the same people, so over time its easy to build up a good relationship with them. This happened over a few years. Lessons learned: Get out there and start talking and meeting peopleDon't be too eager and bother people (some people in Asia just want to get your card and walk off)Be prepared to offer help where you can, it will come back to you
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Questions

What did you do to stay motivated while waiting?

What did you do to stay motivated while waiting for Ozbargain to really catch on? When you saw... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Hi Jef,First of all, the traffic actually does not fluctuate that much these days. You know the traffic is going for a dip on a weekend (somehow it's a norm checking out bargains during business hours :) Long weekends are bad, but made up by other events such as Valentine's Day or Boxing Day shopping.However early on (maybe the first 2 years of OzBargain) the traffic can be slow and frustrating at times. You analyse the fluctuation carefully so you can understand the pattern and whether these are the effect of internal or external changes. However at the same time you also don't want to be affected by it too much. "Looking at the big picture" they say. Don't worry about day to day changes but your month to month growth.As of motivation - I don't wait around for it to catch on. I just want to build something that rocks :) Somehow that product of mine became something that many Australians ended up using and enjoying.
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Questions

How much original content did you have to produce in order to gain the traffic and engagement that Ozbargain has now?

Hi Scott, I'm pretty interested in how you started out - you mentioned that it started out as a... read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
The misconception here is that the blog was there to pivot what's now the OzBargain.Not really the case.The OzBargain blog was originally started back in 2005 as somehow writing was a leisure at that point in time (had 3-4 blogs back then in various topics). Bargains were just some of the things I liked to write about & share with friends. It only evolved into OzBargain when I'm getting too many emails from other consumers and merchants requesting to have their deals featured on the blog. I "had enough" so built a site so they can post the deals themselves.However prior to OzBargain launched in Nov 2006, I've probably written maybe 100+ blog posts. Again -- no advertising, no marketing but just search engines picking up those content.
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Onwards and upwards

You Can Have Brilliance, I'll Take Reliability

So I was thinking today, after years in business, about the kind of people, from a management...read more

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Onwards and upwards

The Complete Guide To How Every Organization Must Evolve To The Future Of Work

Below you will find an infographic that I have shared over the past few days in two separate...read more

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Onwards and upwards

Samsung Struggles To Return To Its Glory Days As Smartphone King

Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man,...read more

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Questions

What is the best way to market my home and office cleaning service?

Hi, My name is Michelo, I am new to running my own business and in need of a lot of help. Can... read more

Scott BamptonOwner at WordWise Copywriting
Some great ideas on here already but also thought I'd throw PPC advertising into the mix. Using a platform like Google AdWords or BingAds (or both) can be a fairly cost-effective way to entice new customers as you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad and goes to your website. You can also get PPC campaigns up and running fairly quickly, so it can drive traffic to your website while you work on other things (like improving your website's SEO or creating flyers).There are a few "cons" though. The AdWords interface can look a little scary to the uninitiated (although many PPC agencies offer low-cost management options to take care of everything for you). In addition, certain keywords, especially those related to cleaning services, can be expensive.My advice would be to experiment with it for a month and if it works out too costly per sales enquiry, then kill it. This way, at the very least you'll end up with some great keyword data to help you with your SEO (and hopefully a few jobs!).
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Michelo,I have several ideas for you. First, with existing clients ask permission to take before and after pictures of the space. If you get permission you can post the pictures (leaving out the Address for client privacy) on your website as visual proof of your cleaning proficiency. Another great idea is to get written feedback from happy clients. Once you get feedback you may need to ask permission before posting it on your website, but client testimonials are powerful for new potential clients to see.Also consider getting your business on platforms where clients can rate your business and leave feedback can be helpful to potential future customers (e.g. Yelp, Google Maps, Angie's List, etc.).You can try to drum up additional business by asking current clients for referrals and then give them a discount on their first cleaning after the referral has tried your service.You should put up your contact information on community boards around the area you are targeting clients. Cafes and local shops sometimes provide this type of resource for free. I would even suggest making a tear off sheet with your phone number or website. You could make the tear sheet look like a broom with the tear off pieces being the broom bristles or you could make it look like a broom and the tear off pieces look like dirt so when a person tears one off it looks cleaner. The main idea is be creative and target customers in the area you are hoping to land clients.
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Questions

How do you turn a good business idea into reality?

Turning a good idea into a full fledged business is often harder than we think. What are the key... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
For me, the key steps for a start-over would be very simple. I wish I had come to this realisation much, much earlier in my 25+ years in business instead of searching for an elixir. First, ensure the product range and service delivery is properly worked out. Once you have something to sell, you need just two things to run a profitable firm:1. a method for attracting new prospects2. a scalable system for converting those prospects into profitable clientsThat's it.If you can consistently get those two things right, any business will be successful. Get them wrong, and you will be doomed to continually wonder and wander, looking for magical solutions. It's a cliche, but what that really means is: get the basic stuff right and the rest will follow.
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Phil, I think the hardest thing I have found in business is the persistence. Over 15 years the business has certainly had its ups and downs, a ton of learning, and at times has felt like a hard slog. What am I doing differently now that I didn't do in the early days? These days I am more prepared to invest in education and professionals and mentors that can either shorten my learning curve, implement strategies quicker or assist me in keeping on top of the rapid change we are experiencing. Great question,Cheers, Lisa
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Questions

Do I need a registered business name to start a home business?

Thinking of doing some freelancing work, I don't know what I need to do apart from ABN. Do I need a... read more

Asked by:
Greg TomkinsDirector | Web Architect at Top Left Designs
If this is a full time business or even permanent part-time then yes you should register a business name but think one step ahead. Bear in mind what yu are wanting to ultimately build and if it is to create a company then carefully consider what will be involved when you change over to a company structure. The decision to move to a company is quite complex and it is not always to your advantage. Your personal circumstances will play into this decision as well as the IP that your business may own as a starting point. Company structures offer certain advantages for setting up your future that may be worth considering.I would however suggest that you map out your plans for the next 12 months, 2 years and 5 years and then sit down with your accountant and talk to them about these plans and what would be the most effective structure to put in place. If you talk to a solicitor they may offer a slightly different perspective as your accountant will generally view it from a tax minimisation perspective while a lawyer views it from an asset protection perspective and the 2 don't necessarily coincide.The nature of your business, the products you intend to sell or the services you intend to offer and who your market is will all influence the decisions you have to make as well.The best place to start is by being involved in some business networks and talk to those members - be outright in stating what you are wanting to do and that you are looking for advice. Most people are helpful and well meaning - sometimes though you need to verify some of the advice given so be careful.
You just need an ABN and some customers. Get some revenue, then start worrying about all the other stuff :) If you're just getting started, I recommend consuming as much content from http://www.mixergy.com/ as is humanly possible. It costs $200/year to get access to all interviews and is the best money you will ever spend. From there, you will learn about a tonne of other useful entrepreneurs you can learn from -- Andrew has interviewed EVERYBODY, so start with Mixergy, and an ABN... and have fun :) Also, if you're interested in not going bankrupt, take a look at this article I wrote on why I did: http://successfulmensbusiness.com/2014/11/7-steps-to-guarantee-bankruptcy/
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Onwards and upwards

Android Circuit: Android Dominates iOS, Long Term Nexus 6 Review, Nexus 5 Cancelled

Nexus 6 chargerTaking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android...read more

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Onwards and upwards

Qualcomm's New Snapdragon 810 Versus Apple's A8, The Chipset Behind The iPhone 6 And 6 Plus

When it comes to the high-tech brains of high-end smartphones, there are only two players that...read more

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Investor funding and capital

Investors For Start-ups: Where to Find Them?

There are a variety of different types of investor that businesses looking for financial support... read more

Added by:
Joe Piovesan at First Class Accounts
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Onwards and upwards

Top 10 Business Trends That Will Drive Success In 2015

In 2015, you have an opportunity to take some risks, change how you market and sell, as well...read more

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