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Questions

What kind of events would you want SavvySME to host?

Networking - meet and greet? Informational? Debates? Guest speakers? read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
In person informational topics presented by guest speakers followed by facilitated networking, appeals to me. As does the idea of a debate, provided there is strict administration and oversight. Very easy to degenerate into an online personality clash!
Rebecca Carroll-BellOwner at RCB Mediation Services
Networking would be great, perhaps: open networking, guest speaker, open networking. Debates might be interesting - serious or comedic? By way of online or virtual events, seminars can be fun. I'd be keen to see some interviews with members too.
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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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For anyone at the stage of commercialisation, what would you advise in order to succeed in the market?

Asked by:
Anton Ilchenko at Beer Towers Australia
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People often say there is a 'secret' to success.... what's yours?

Asked by:
Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Rebecca Carroll-BellOwner at RCB Mediation Services
The ability to get up each and every time you get knocked back. AKA sticktoitness.
Tom Potter at pottercorp
hard work /focus /staying true to your values and a lot of good plannong and strategy along with don't dwell on your mistakes
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After the sale of your business, what drives you these days?

I'm curious what goes through your mind after you've achieved so much. How did you figure out what... read more

Asked by:
Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Where did you get the idea for 2 minutes service guarantee?

Was it hard getting the "2 minutes service guarantee" off the ground initially? Was employee... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Tom Potter at pottercorp
the idea came from a real challenge placed to us by the board challenging us to find a sustainable point of difference it had to be a major shift in what was traditionally offered in the market its too hard to answer here and now but the full details are in my book
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Questions

Did you ever lose passion for the Eagle Boys business?

If yes, how did you persist through it? read more

Asked by:
Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
there were times I became very tired but the key was not to blame the business the key was to go away and re generate myself
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If you have a good business, is the process of growing it into a franchise the same, regardless of what the business is?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
every business model is unique hence they need to be considered individually
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How do you maintain standards of quality and brand image when going from having total control to a franchise system?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
its all about the right people the right systems (simple) and constant maintenance
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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
Tom Potter at pottercorp
critical time and research needs to be placed into strategy
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Questions

What keeps you motivated?

Asked by:
Tom Potter at pottercorp
I think a major ability for you to motivate yourself is to ensure your challenges are laid out and your always looking for change and improvement
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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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What must happen in order for me to run a business intermediary successfully?

Asked by:
Tom Potter at pottercorp
not sure if I understand your question ?
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Questions

How do I listen to the AMA?

Where, when, on what media? read more

Asked by:
Yee TrinhCo-founder at SavvySME
Hi BrianThe AMAs are happening right here at www.savvysme.com.au/ama :) It is simply Q&A. There is no audio or video. Hope you enjoy the discussions!
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Hi Brian, right here!No listening.... Reading and interacting live.
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Questions

Can you recommend a good family lawyer?

Hey guys, just wondering if you know a good family lawyer whom you wouldn't hesitate to vouch for,... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
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Questions

Do as I say?

Hi Lisa, Is there any piece of advice that you give your clients but do not yourself follow? read more

Asked by:
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Oh Rebecca you made me laugh!Absolutely! I wish I was super human, alas I am not. My main culpruit is taking time out to smell the roses. I always encourage my clients to do this as it lowers stress levels, increases focus and concerntration, and hey, life should be fun too right?Many of my clients come to me beating themselves up for not doing this or that without acknowledging how much they HAVE done. While I am there to hold them accountable, I am also there to be a support, and sometimes that means telling them to take a break.That would be my biggest advice I have trouble following myself Rebecca - thanks for asking and reminding me to take time out and appreciate this wonderful life! :-D
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Questions

What did you do to market yourself and your business?

When you were just starting out, I believe there were ups and downs trying to get your name out... read more

Asked by:
Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Charlene SampiloCustomer Service at SavvySME
Thank you Lisa. I think most businesses struggle with building their mailing list especially to get their contacts to open and do something about it. What is your best approach when it comes to this.
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Charlene, you are right, this was a big struggle for me personally (still is at times). You must be prepared to stand up and be heard. The old saying 'tell then sell' is true. You must be talking all the time. To your existing customers as well as new prospects.My most effective way has been my mailing list and I highly recommend every business owner focus on how they can build this. I email my list one a fortnight with free 'biz tips'. This demonstrates my knowledge to them, builds relationship and helps them at the same time so its a win win. four I have been mailing to them for four years now and still generate new customers from it.I have positioned myself as the 'go to' person. With an extensive list of proven (that's important) contacts and referral partners I am able to help with almost any problem. From dog walking to legal advice. It encourages my list to pick up the phone and call me, which in turns allows me to build quality relationships with them. As 'luck' would have it, they normally end up a client at one time or another.
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Questions

How you create trust with customers?

I wounder, what is the right way to create customers trust and make them believe in your products,... read more

Asked by:
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Ananda, as Lisa sys, it may be semantics, but the problem lies in the way the question is framed.No-one can "create" trust. You can't "make people believe in your products." Depending on the value of the product or service, people will only buy from vendors who are trustworthy. Low value, less trust required. High value, greater trust level needed.Trust is earned, not bought.I'm curious as to what kind of resistance you are finding amongst customers (or prospects) that is causing you to question your sales techniques?
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Giannakos & Co Pty Ltd
Trust happens when you teach others about your character and competence.To teach others about your character:- do what you will say you do- treat everyone fairly- go the extra mile for people- be reliableThere are many more things i could mention here but you get the general idea.To teach others about your competence:- Show that you have earned the proper credentials- teach and mentor others- write publications/blog- be happy to discuss your procedure and processes with clientsAgain the list is endless. You know yourself better than anyone. See how you can do some of the things i mentioned.
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Questions

As a small business owner, where do I start with marketing?

I feel like I'm drowning in marketing ideas and making little progress on all platforms. Do I go... read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Yee, inspired by your question, I started writing an answer but soon realised it was turning into something more. For the detailed response, see my new article: Suffering from marketing overwhelm?And for the short response, segment your audience, then apply my variation of the Rule of Three.
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Oh, the overwhelm Yee! Yes, it can be very daunting at first - and it is a very big question. Firstly, and one thing I would love to be tattooed on every small business owners mind in regards to marketing is constant and consistent. One thing I have all my clients do is a really simple marketing calendar that has all their activities mapped out, this keeps the ‘big picture’ in mind and allows for easy tracking of activities Know, there is a marines rule of three which means you are only able to truly focus on three things at one time - keep this in mind to avoid the overwhelm. For example, pick three marketing activities that support your overall strategy So for your social media, pick three platforms and post three times a day or three times a week depending on the platform. Do it, and do it well and CONSISTENTLY.... you will gain momentum. For Joint Ventures - pick three you want to secure and go for it. (I suggest picking some you're not fussed about to practice on too) The rule of three will help with overwhelm. PS.... This is for 'newbies'... eventually you will want to create a complex matrix. The more complex the harder it is for your competition to copy or to penetrate as generally they only see a part of the matrix, not all of it.
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Questions

What is the biggest challenge in coaching business owners?

When trying to coach existing business owners, what is the biggest challenge you face? Is it... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Hi Jef, A great question. Most business owners who come to see me for coaching are ready to change. The already have awareness that what they are currently doing is not working or they could be doing it even better.With marketing clients, at times, yes changing the way they see the way marketing works is often an initial (but small) hurdle. Seeing marketing as an investment rather than a cost once they understand their customers lifetime value is often a first step.My style is very 'educational' so while I may be pointing out a new way of doing things, I am also explaining the logic of it. This takes away a lot of the fear around change.Cheers, Lisa
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Questions

What do you attribute your current succeses to?

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Ling,I believe my success comes from personal drive and passion. I've always been an idea guy (I have more than I could accomplish in a lifetime). This is why I want to start building teams.I think my artistic side has pushed my creativity to new levels. I also attribute training my mind with freestyle hip-hop (for faster mental connections) and learning about vastly different topics (particle physics, cooking, music, programming and more).I also find that continuing to watch cartoons help me think better about "the impossible". Cartoons aren't limited by physical constraints and because of that they open your mind to further possibilities. The best way to foster imagination and creativity are like any other skills you must work at building them on a daily basis.Also understanding when you achieve your personal "flow", which I could never describe as well as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (in his books Flow or Creativity). Basically there are certain times of the day (which vary for everyone) in which you get "into the zone" mentally. Hours seem like minutes or minutes seem like hours. You basically feel that your brain is performing optimally. My peak flow hours for better or worse happen between 1 AM - 4 AM in my local time zone. I try to be awake for those hours when possible and am ready to write down any and all ideas.I also attribute my success as what other have poured into me over the years which is why I like to give back with mentoring and training others. I want to keep the cycle going. More than anything I chalk up my success to a divine blessing. I just try to do good with the ideas I have and hope that the outcomes are useful and beneficial to others.Thanks for the great question.
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Questions

How did you get into Startup Chucktown?

Hi Jeff! I was curious how you got the idea into starting Startup Chucktown? What inspired you? read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Ling,Thanks for asking. I moved to the area (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) for a full-time job. When I arrived in the area, I had already been working on several side projects. I connected with who would eventually become my co-founder on Twitter several months after being here.I got the idea for Startup Chucktown after looking around at the local startup resources and being disappointed that all most all of them only focused on technology startups (a very small portion of the overall startup ecosystem). I wanted to create a platform/resource that would benefit all entrepreneurs and startups regardless of their industry. I toyed around with other names (Holy City Startups and Silicon Harbor Startups) Holy City and Silicon Harbor both being other monikers for the area. I don't agree with "Silicon X" derivatives as they don't really give a unique identity to the area. Startup Chucktown stuck and it became a project to see if me and the new co-founder worked well together.It seemed like a good partnership and our content started getting noticed (I attribute this to our all inclusive entrepreneurial approach). Since we started more things have sprung up but they still mostly focus on technology. We believe in our product and the responses we get are why we continue to look at ways to improve and adapt our content.My inspiration is that my startup aspirations span multiple industries: technology, music, food, liquor, writing, physical consumer goods and digital products. We also are targeting 3D printing and open hardware. If all goes well, we also want to open the first all inclusive coworking facility in the area. We want to blend shared office space, a commercial kitchen, 3D printing and open hardware lab as well as a full machine shop. We have large aspirations.
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Questions

Is offline UX getting more attention from corporations?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
By offline do you mean in retail or physical stores? If you do, the answer is probably yes although I feel that online User Experience is catching up. I would label offline UX as IUE (Immersive User Experience) because you can control and adapt to a customers many senses to create a good environment for catalyzing the sale. Online I would a new acronym is probably more descriptive than UX and that would be CUX (Customer User Experience) I see this as a blending of customer service and user experience.More companies are starting to higher people to guide and improve their User Experience for customers, however, many establish companies are adopting it at a slower pace than startups and small businesses. This is puzzling because many established companies need a lot more help because they have a much larger backlog of things that need improved and resolved.One reason I believe UX is not being adopted more quickly at companies is they don't truly understand the value that these professionals add. Many can do front-end development work as well as design and usability work. Also, UX practitioners can help make improvements based on customer feedback and professional best practices to reduce or eliminate issues before they are ever developed or delivered to production. It is between 10 to 100 times more costly (when you consider all the effort and hours) to fix things after they have been released. So, by working with UX designers you can save money up front by not having more issues to resolve later.I have experienced first hand many times that once a developer, business analyst or project manager see the results firsthand they are much more willing to work with UX professional in the future.
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What is your take in regards to neuromarketing as an advertising technique?

Do you agree that brain science and marketing really works? Have you applied it? read more

Asked by:
Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
My take is that neuromarketing is less an advertising technique than a market research measurement tool. Whether the science of studying brain patterns in response to marketing stimuli works or not is a moot point. You either interpret the measurements or you don't. Various measuring tools have been applied for decades and will continue to be applied for as long as anyone is interested in consumer behaviour and responses.
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I may be incorrectly interpreting what you are asking, so please correct me if that is the case.I'm not certain about brain science and marketing, but cognitive psychology and marketing are powerful combinations. That is why many things are priced like this, $19.99 instead of $20. Monetarily there is almost no difference, especially when you factor in that after taxes it is going to be over $20 either way.Also, consumers fall into odd behavior patterns with things like coupons. If I have a retail store and I'm selling a sweater for $35 and no one is buying it, I can add a sale or coupon (in what can sometimes border on manipulation of varying degrees. What if I mark the sweater up to $42 but it's now 20% off (well logically that put the price at $33.60 less than $2 off the original $35 price) but people think they are getting an outrageous deal.I think online retail is harder to up the experience (at least in terms of physical presence). If I have a physical store, I can change the signage, lightening or even the scent in the store to try to help create an inviting environment. However, online that isn't really an option (but many online stores vary their pricing throughout the day, or offer coupon codes to only specific geographic areas).I think it is possible to use, cognitive psychology to affect the outcomes of both brick and mortar and online stores. I would like to believe it is being used to benefit the consumer, but most of the time that isn't true.I do apply cognitive psychology in my designs, but in less ominous ways. The branding (colors, fonts, layout) all can impact the mood of the user. Trying to create an experience that a demographic of users would enjoy and appreciate is always a good thing. I do occasionally test out different calls to action or imagery, but often ask for feedback from users and peers.I believe that consumers appreciate a company that has a valuable product or service, is transparent about how they are operate, and that they value their customers. Online resources have made comparing you against your competition very easy, and if they were only for a better deal, they can easily jump to one. All it takes to lose a customer is one bad experience (but that is the same for your competition). Focus on delivering great products, with great customer service and be wiling to adapt based on your customer needs rather than business goals (after all without your customers you wouldn't be in business).People don't like feeling tricked by a company (I know I sure don't). So if you wouldn't be your own customer (if you didn't work there) chances are you need to make some adjustments.
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Questions

Do you have good "before and after" examples of websites that have undergone user experience optimisation?

What were the key differences (include stats if possible) as a result of it? read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Great question.I have never worked on this website personally, but Amazon is a great example. If you use an online tool called The Way Back Machine (its like a visual internet archive) you can see what their website looked like when they first launched. It was dreadful (as most websites were in the early to mid 90s).Once Amazon started selling more than books, their site quickly got a lot more "noisy" both in the amount of navigation and products to filter through.After several iterations their design team created an optimal checkout paradigm (the 1-click checkout for signed in users). They went so far as to file trademarks and patents around the process. By lowering the barrier to checkout for frequent users they made impulse buying much easier (for better or worse on our bank accounts).There was a second combination that become the knockout punch for online buying. It was the algorithm they created to display products other people bought (or ones you previously looked at) next to what you were about to add to your cart. This can get a bit creepy at times, but it lead to much higher conversion rates. I don't have specific stats on it, but this has become a pattern on other ecommerce websites as well.As a bonus, in the Search world, I think that is why Google as a late arrival to the Search game compared to (AOL, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, etc.) was able to disrupt them. All the other search engines at the time had very busy page layouts with much too much taking the focus off of search. Google came on the scene and only put their name and the search field. This seemed contrary to all rivals but it worked brilliantly.This is because sometimes being a service that does 1 thing extremely well, is much more beneficial than trying to be all things to all groups of people.
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Questions

How does one go about creating a website that has the best user experience?

Most of us understand the value of good UX (user experience), but what are the key elements / steps... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Phil,This is a great question. UX has gotten much more visible and I'm very grateful that it has. There are many elements that aren't given time because they aren't immediately obvious when reviewing a site or application.A good workflow is the number one thing I try to understand, absorb and resolve. The first problem is that many people want solutions without taking the time to find the true root cause of the user's frustration. Updating the branding (aesthetics) can help, but if it doesn't address workflow and tasks, the benefit will be short-lived.I like to use hand sketches or simple box drawings to have a user walk me through their actual task. If what I've created doesn't match their expectations, I need to get a better understanding of what they are trying to accomplish. I also need to know why they are trying to do it that way (to see if it is a valid task or a work around they've figured out). Then I will take their feedback and make adjustments.Large issues can start from small things such as button names that are misleading or confusing (or even the order of the buttons). It could just be that information isn't grouped logically on the page as expected. Once you get a workflow ironed out, the layout, graphics and visual interaction (animation or feedback) can be addressed.This is key to understanding, a bad design or interface will be lampooned and complained about endlessly. It isn't often that a great design is praised (usually not hearing complaints means you are doing well). You can look at things like how much negative feedback were you getting verses how much you receive currently. You can also look at things like click through rates and other metrics to make some choices. Asking users will always get you some feedback (both usable and unusable).You can also A/B test small things on a page such as button colors or names, graphics vs. photos or more imagery vs. text heavy. Watching how users respond to those things can give you a lot more insight. If you can test with users on sight, do it. Watching them will not always line up with their feedback. They may say something was easy (but you could see them struggle with it for minutes).Involving your users will engage them more. Users like to see that their feedback is being considered or applied. Why not share updates with the users in an email blast or on a company blog? Transparency is always appreciated. When users know you are trying to make their experience better they will stay. Great customer service will always keep customers happy.In fact in summary, my acronym for good usability, design or anything is: S.E.E. - Service Exceeding Expectations.Thanks for asking.
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Questions

How do you manage to do everything on a typical day?

Hi Jef, just wondering -- how's your usual day like? I can imagine that you are a busy guy. Can you... read more

Asked by:
Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Charlene,I'm usually awake for 18 to 20 hours a day. I still have a regular day job (9-5) on top of all my entrepreneurial efforts. When I first wake up in the morning I walk the dog (for exercise and time to think while out in nature).During lunch at my day job, I will write down tasks in either a notebook or in my smart phones reminders or note section. I try to only work on 1 project an evening (I have several concurrent ventures that I'm working on launching). Focus is key. Find a way to track tasks that works for you (whether analog or digital). I also check in with my co-founder on his progress and he checks in on my mine.I do experience burnout once in a while, but I've found that the best way for me to avoid burnout is to take a breather once in a while. I will take 1 week night every week and just come home and relax. This takes off the pressure of coming up with the next breakthrough idea.On my commute home from work I do still freestyle to hip-hop (either directly over tracks on the radio, or to some instrumental hip-hop CDs I have). It really helps your brain think quickly and make connections between the seemingly unconnected.I do still cook several nights a week (not as elaborate as my show) but cooking is relaxing for me and very creative. All my old shows are available online still. If you search for my username NogginFuel or just my name, you'll more than likely find them. If not, contact me directly for the link.I really like to push myself, and honestly a lot of evenings I'm weighing in on ideas friends have or that colleagues have. I not only want to push myself to great heights but bring others along for the ride.I used to think getting to $1 million was the ticket. I've changed that philosophy to, if I can help others become millionaires, I'm probably not doing so badly myself. Thanks for asking
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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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Questions

What is the process for any startup to raise funds?

Asked by:
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Ananda,Thanks for the question. It really depends on what type of funds and how much you are trying to raise.If you are trying to raise a small amount of capital (less than $50,000):Friends and family - Hopefully, they would see the potential in your idea or in you and want to help fund you.Credit Cards - This is a dangerous idea and should be avoided if at all possible.Crowdfunding - If you have an interesting idea, you can share your vision and see how other people react (this is a great way to see if you have a market for your idea)If you are looking for $50,000 to $100,000 you have a few options:Friends and family (see above)Crowdfunding (see above)Bank loans - These usually require a lot of detail to understand your cash flow, current equity, business plan, projections, etc.. The aren't usually easiest funding to get.Angel Investors - These investors typically aren't looking to make huge investments (typically between $10,000 to $100,000 (it can be more, but unless several are working together don't expect a windfall). The great thing about angel investors is that most times they aren't looking for an equity stake as big as a Venture Capitalist. They may want to be more involved in the day to day business or be a mentor or advisor for the business.If you are looking for $250,000 to $500,000. This is typically a seed round of fundraising:Bank loans - Are still an option (but for this kind of an amount they are typically looking for an established business). (See Above)Crowdfunding - This level of success on crowfunding platforms is possible, but isn't reliable. (See Above)Angel Investors - Typically this amount would require several Angels or a group of them (See Above).Venture Capitalists - This is typically a small amount for an established Venture Capitalist firm, however, if they really like the idea or your team, it isn't out of the question. If you can land a Venture Capitalist at this level they may invest more money in later rounds of fundraising (Series A or B). Keep in mind Venture Capitalists are going to want a much larger piece of your equity pie (typically between 25% and 50% depending on the amount of money they infuse).If you are looking for over $1 million dollars you should focus on:Angel Investors - They would probably only fund a portion of what you need (See Above).Venture Capitalists - Again this usually happens once a venture has already done some fundraising, but it isn't out of the question if you really catch the right person's attention or interest. (See Above)Crowdfunding - It is possible to raise over $1 million with crowdfunding, but it is a gamble when trying to raise that amount of funding.Keep in mind the more money you are trying to raise the more effort you will need to apply. Getting large infusions of money will mean you need to explain how the money will be spent and how that will grow the business. Don't get frustrated, at each of these levels people can and will say "no" to you. That doesn't mean they don't want to help or aren't interested, sometimes the timing isn't right. Stay focused and keep looking at ways to fund your business. If you are passionate about your venture, you will eventually find some funding. One last note, don't try raising more money than you currently need. If you only need $50,000 to grow your business to the next level, don't waste time trying to raise $1 million dollars.
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Questions

Does SavvySME organise business networking events?

Just wondering if SavvySME organise business networking events or meetings as it would be... read more

Asked by:
Yee TrinhCo-founder at SavvySME
Hi Leah!Thanks for your question. Good to see interest in offline events! We're setting up a few for later this year. Stay tuned and let us know what you'd like to achieve from such events, so that we can provide as much value to the community as possible. :)
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Questions

How do you see the market for tour booking sites for Asia?

I see many Asian countries are still using old marketing tools like local / international events,... read more

Asked by:
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
Do you mean, how hard is it to educate Asian tour businesses about online products? I don't really understand your question. In my view, Asian countries are becoming better at online marketing. However, they are not as advanced in terms of online marketing techniques. In China, Baidu makes up more than 80% of the search market. Most advertisers have to pay for rankings, compared to Google where SEO and SEM plays a stronger role. This will likely change over time. Tour booking sites are focused on Western markets because that's where Asian travelers want to to go. The outbound travel market, especially for Chinese tourists is exploding.
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Questions

What has the local response been like?

What a fabulous idea, are you getting a good response from both sides of the fence? read more

Asked by:
Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
I figure you are referring to Asia Recon. The response has been encouraging. I must say getting hosts in Asia has been easier. I've found in Australia, many are curious but still a little risk averse and take longer to take action. I hope this changes because in Asia, things move super fast and we'll be left behind the longer we take to get things done. Complacency is bad.
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Questions

How important is it for Australians to actually physically travel to Asia to get a sense of developments there?

What do you miss out on if you don't go? read more

Asked by:
Lisa Creffield Senior Media Strategist at The PR Group
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
Hi Lisa! I would say it is critical for Australians to physically visit Asia to truly understand it. Although Asia is very mufti-cultural with many ethnic Asians here, things are still very different in Asia and things vary a lot from country to country. Like learning a language, the more you immerse yourself in a foreign environment, the easier it is to pick up the language. You don't even have to try as hard because, you lean by just being there. No amount of reading, watching videos or even talking to people about Asia but still in Australia, will be as good as seeing things first hand. That's why I believe in taking Australian entrepreneurs to Asia with Asia Recon to experience how locals live, what they do, what they use etc. Going to Asia will help prove or disprove your assumptions about Asia. I've come across people in Australia who think a certain way because they heard about it and they take it as fact, but actually they are completely wrong. For example, I was at a start-up event and one Australian entrepreneur thought social media doesn't exist in China, when in fact it's probably being used more there, than in Australia.
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Questions

What are your favorite topics to cover for Forbes?

Are you limited to a specific scope in your writing with Forbes? How did you get your foot in the... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
Hi Jef, In regards to scope with Forbes, it's fairly broad and flexible. Although I focus on the Asia region including Australia and technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups. All things I am interested in. Forbes basically approached me on Linkedin and asked me if I was interested to write. In China, I worked on a tech blog business where I lead the English content. My work has floated around various publications including The Washington Post, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review, so I think they noticed my name. In terms of getting an outlet like Forbes to pick it up, I suggest really understanding the interest of the writer and pitch them on that angle. We get approached a lot by people wanting to publish stuff, especially PR people who are paid to do it. The story has to be compelling and fit the Forbes audience. Hope that helps!
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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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