Often a venture needs both, but which would you prefer? Think about the pros and cons that may potentially come with each before answering.
I have not use Snapchat but I'm also interested on how to use it.
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
I've not tried out Snapchat yet either, however, I have heard mixed results from several ventures that have tried to leverage it. It may depend on the type of venture you have as well and who the target audience is.
If you are focused at millennials and younger your venture may feel at home on there.
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I'd have to try and contain myself here, because there are quite a few that I could gush about all day. At the top of this list would have to be Tim Ferris who is a business leader, writer and guru on many topics rolled into one.
What I love about him is his ability to do great on all areas (not just in business) by applying a very unique and effective thought process to learning: e.g.
All his teachings are a lazy mans way to getting a great result which is in line with my own values :).
I'm just in awe in his ability to just learn and do so many different things (something I tend to love to do). Being able to define yourself by the speed with which you learn not about what you know. I guess multitalented is the word?
I'm working my way through all his books and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it, including his writing style.
Other business leaders and influencers include: Seth Godin, Noah Kegan, Sheryl Sandberg and of course all you guys here at SavvySME :)! Awwww.
Love to hear your inspirations too Neil!
I have recently published several children's books which I want to promote and sell on my personal website. Can anyone suggest what would be the best type of payment system to set up?
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
It really depends on what fits your needs, but you have several good options available. Stripe (https://stripe.com) is a newer power house, PayPal (http://paypal.com) is a solid option that has been around longer, Dwolla (http://dwolla.com) is a new up and comer with lower fees and some interesting propositions. Of course there are other merchant services and exchanges but if you are doing this on your own you probably want to focus on the 3 mentioned above because they have lower fees.
I would suggest looking at the websites and researching the 3 above, but don't stop there. Talk to other entrepreneurs and publishers and see what they are using and if they are satisfied. The more information you have to make a decision the better off you'll be.
On a side note, did you write and illustrate the books? I have several children's books that I've written but haven't had any luck with illustrators. So any advice you have on forming a good relationship with an illustrator are also welcome.
I have a program that I've developed
It depends on what the program does and how it impacts your clients.
You can look at www.ipaustralia.gov.au for basic information about copyright. However you'll need to speak with a lawyer who specifically works in the field of technology and ask them to prepare terms and conditions of use or an end user licence for you. That would be an agreement between yourself and your clients about the use of the program. You'll also need to consider appropriate insurance for your business as many off the shelf insurance products wouldn't necessarily be designed for technology businesses.
If the online business can be run from home, should we have an office for it? Is office a trust factor for an online business?
Think of this from your customer point of view. How can your potential customers differentiate a fraudster website from a genuine website? Does fraudster website normally has a physical address on it? What would your customer think if they can't find an address on your website? You certainly don't need a physical address for a website but if are selling something on your website and you want to attract more customers, you should have one.
From a legal perspective, you will need to have a registered business address. This doesn't need to be a business location where customers visit, it can be a home address. This address will be on a publically available register so people can contact you for legal reasons.
Just curious, does your business name matter much in the long term? Or does it vary between industries, B2B or B2C?
Daniel Spark, Director
This is such a difficult question. When you put everything you have into a venture I feel it is important to relate to the name. Eventually, the business takes on its own identity and becomes more than it was when you named it...I think if you take a variety of names and remove the context it makes it clear that it probably does not matter in the long run to the business itself. It is the businesses operations that define itself not the name.
Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching
I don't think it matters much. People will remember you for the service you provide and the way they felt, not particularly if you have a quirky name or not.
How can I get a venture capitalist to pay attention to me?
A similar question* was asked some time ago by one of the Savvy community. Ling asked:
"What can I reasonably expect from venture capitalists for my new startup?"
Altho' you may or may not be a startup in the traditional sense, I think the way you get VC's to pay attention to you is to give them what they want. Here is the answer I gave back then, which applies equally to your question:
Without knowing what your startup is about, my comments are pretty general. Therefore, it depends. Amongst many other things, it depends on what industry you're in, what the scalability potential is like and how much skin the founders have in the game.
The first and most obvious thing to say is: they expect a return. And that mighty quick.
My experience preparing business plans for VC investment taught me several things – the most important being:
1. your idea is worth precisely zero until it is implemented. Investors want to see a working model.
2. investors are taking a big risk, therefore will expect a big return. After all, if your startup is not doing something that's never been done before, by definition it's just another business. And if all you need is money, go to the bank.
So expect them to ask for at minimum, 30% return over 3 x years on say, $1mill.
3. investors are most interested if you can clearly show your three different customers. If you can define these three distinct groups early on, you stand a better chance of growth and a better return on exit.
A wiser man than me defined them thus:
Customer One is your end-user. It is to serve her needs that your business was created. Without this customer, you don't have a business.
Customer Two is your bulk-buyer. This second customer is the one on whom rapid expansion will pivot, based on the idea that it's easier to sell to one who buys 1,000 than it is to sell to 1,000 who only buy one (customer 1). This customer shapes the speed and scale of growth.
Customer Three is the business buyer. This is the entity that will eventually buy your business. This individual or company will ultimately make more from your assets (customers, database, products) than you can. This customer shapes your positioning, your customer information collection, your database. And this customer is the most difficult to identify.
But it's this last customer the VC's are most interested in, because that's where the greatest value lies. If you can demonstrate a firm grasp of how each customer group is linked, you can argue a simple and very powerful case for investment. Everything else is just logistics.
Ask Neil at Wardour Capital about this stuff. He is the expert.
**Note to SavvySME Questions Admin: there is no system available within the site to refer to previously asked questions, if they were answered more than a few months ago. Perhaps a form of cross-referencing could be devised so questioners could find out whether their question already has an answer?
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
One of the most important ways to get a venture capitalist excited about your business is by looking for the right connections.
You don't want to approach just any VC. You want to approach VCs that are interested your business industry or type of business.
You also need to customize information you are sending to individual VCs so they can tell there is a personal touch (don't blast out stock emails to a bunch of VCs).
One of the best ways to attract investors is to have you business positioned correctly. There are key metrics that VCs find more tantalizing than others, so know them.
Some questions and metrics to keep in mind:
If you can answer more than half of those questions, you should put a slide deck together or start looking for pitching opportunities. If you can't answer even half of those questions, wait until you can before approaching a VC.
I have business clients in both Australia and the United States, what kind of tax agent or accountant should I use?
George Grimekis CPA, Accountant at Alpha Omega Accounting & Business Solutions
Most tax agents/accountants should be able to help you out, however this is a complex area so maybe engage one that has experience with clients who operate overseas.
Generally speaking, all overseas income is declared in Australia and you can claim a foreign tax offset, for any tax that you have paid i the overseas jurisdiction, to prevent double taxation.
Depending on how you're structured, it may be a case of engaging 1 accountant in the U.S to look after your affairs there and 1 accountant in Australia.
My first step would be to engage a local accountant, discuss your needs and concerns with them, and go from there.
The criteria for selecting the appropriate Accountant or Tax Agent depends on the complexity of the business and the cost factor as well.In your case you have to comply with various tax obligations in the country where your business is registered and how you derive the income is important.Other factors include, the nature of the business, entity type, number of transactions and the currency of billing etc. For further assistance or discussions you may call me on 0424419130 for personal discussions.
Can you give me guidelines for the retention of all major business records?