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Iain Dooley

Owner at

Member Since September 2014

Macmasters Beach, NSW, 2251

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Iain Dooley answered this question

What is your best advice for someone looking to start an online retail store?


I just answered this question here:

https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store

"The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).

You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.

Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.

Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.

Also read everything here: http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/"

Iain Dooley answered this question

What are the first steps to starting an online store?


The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).


You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.


Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.


Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.


Also read everything here:
http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/

Iain Dooley answered this question

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


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/

Iain Dooley answered this question

Leah Cortes
Leah Cortes, Owner / Personal Assistant at

Customer Retention

What is the best way to approach prospective clients?


Hey Leah,



The first step is to narrow down who your prospective clients are. And "small business" doesn't cut it ;)



For example, in my software business, I'm interested in small service businesses that have between 2 and 10 staff and more than $2 mil in annual revenue, or professional consultants who generate in excess of $300k/year but have no staff.



In order to target these people I have setup a new brand called The Procedure People
http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/ -- my goal is to identify business owners who have solved their sales problem but are having trouble growing due to lack of infrastructure. When I did some keyword research in Google AdWords, I found people looking for help with "policies & procedures", my hypothesis is that those people are exactly the target market I'm after (or at least a portion of them are).



But without first stating very clearly who my ideal client is, I wouldn't have been able to come up with a creative way to get access to them.



You're running a PA service: who is your ideal customer? Do you want to access solopreneurs (eg. on Flying Solo) or do you want to access professional consultants? What about picking an industry? Can you be particularly helpful to anaesthetists? Accountants? Lawyers? GPs?


Anyway, you get the point: the answer to the question "how should I get in touch with my prospective clients" will depend on who those prospective clients are. Identifying who they are is often more challenging, than trying to find them ;)

Iain Dooley answered this question

What to consider when looking for a business partner or employee?

I agree with Jeff that trust is important... but to me trust is more like an outcome.

The important question is: what reliable, early indicators are there that I will likely be able to trust someone?

For me, it comes down to 1 core factor:

How well do they communicate?

Good communication is a signal for so many other good things: it's difficult to communicate well, consistently, and be insincere because you have to keep coming up with ways to lie; it's very easy to see when someone is stalling repeatedly.

Good communication entails good listening and independent learning. Someone who communicates well, can articulate questions and frustrations well, they can pinpoint what's causing problems and explain them. A good communicator will listen and process what you say.

In short, I've found that if I focus on a person's ability to communicate well, I can get a really good understanding of how well we'll work together long term.

Iain Dooley answered this question

Ling Lee
Ling Lee, at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Is SEO categorised as part of IT or Marketing?

It's an interesting question and I think this is more or less why the term Growth Hacker has come to prominence.

Digital marketing of all kinds has so much overlap with Web Development skills that it is sometimes cumbersome to employ a "marketing person" who then has to make a tonne of requests to the IT team in order to get anything done.

This problem can be solved in some part by choosing the right tools and platforms. Things like content management, tag management and sophisticated analytics tools, coupled with basic Web scripting and/or solid excel skills will usually allow someone not specifically employed as an IT professional to solve most of their own problems.

So I'd say that SEO strategy is definitely a marketing cost, some tactics will require IT resources, but that anyone doing online marketing these days really needs a "growth hacker" skillset unless they're in a big enough organisation that they can be responsible purely for the strategic side of things.

Iain Dooley answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Virtual Assistance

How much does an australian virtual assistant (VA) cost?

Hey Nick, I hire on http://www.hiremymum.com.au/ starting at around $20/hour for a few different roles in my business (not just VAs but also bookkeeping, sales assistants, editorial assistants, marketing assistants).



I posted recently on a little trick I have for dealing with the "red tape" around hiring locally versus getting someone through oDesk or similar: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/24/how-i-hired-a-woman-to-hire-herself/



By hiring someone as a casual/part-time employee who isn't a sub-contractor (with their own company or established business) you can get their time a bit cheaper.



Many of the women I've found on hiremymum.com.au only really want to work 5 - 10 hours per week and value the flexibility I'm able to offer -- it's the perfect way to get started systemising your business without a lot of risk or administrative overhead.



I also recently posted a very "quick n dirty" way to start working with local VAs if you've never done it before: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/25/a-basic-framework-for-creating-your-first-procedure/



Cheers,

Iain


Iain Dooley answered this question

Richard Schembri
Richard Schembri, Entrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood

Career Planning

What is your backup plan for income?

The dole? Bar work?



I think my backup plan for income is living very frugally. The amount my family and I live on at the moment means I could do just about any job in the world and we'd still be able to manage!


Iain Dooley answered this question

What qualities do you look for in a new employee?

The ability to read and correctly follow instructions, and craft intelligent questions, are basically the only things I look for no matter who I'm hiring.



In fact my induction process is self-selecting in this regard: when I hire someone I send them a page in our online documentation that has all the info they'll need to do their job.



If they can't read through it and start work without asking questions (well, maybe if they're GOOD questions) or -- worst of all -- requesting that we jump on Skype/the phone to "go through things", they're not my kind of employee :)


Iain Dooley answered this question

What are your experiences with outsourcing the development of your digital platform offshore?

Hi Fleur, we've been outsourcing technology work overseas for several years. The experience differs depending on the type of project. I think the most important thing for successful outsourcing is to develop the policies & procedures *in-house* rather than outsourcing to a team and hoping for the best. There are people with success stories of outsourcing to a "company" overseas, but anecdotally I can tell you they're far outweighed by stories of heartbreak and misery.



Basically, if you don't know how to do something (or at least know the basics of how it works), it's going to be very hard for you to consistently get good results when outsourcing. This is the value that a "local expert" can add - either as a consultant or a separate business - when getting your project outsourced.



It's very easy for miscommunication to creep in, and for projects to seem on track when they're completely not on track.



Hiring is hard to get right, but if you put in the yards you can get amazing people who deliver very high quality work consistently.


No results found.

Iain Dooley answered this question

What is your best advice for someone looking to start an online retail store?


I just answered this question here:

https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store

"The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).

You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.

Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.

Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.

Also read everything here: http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/"

Iain Dooley answered this question

What are the first steps to starting an online store?


The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).


You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.


Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.


Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.


Also read everything here:
http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/

Iain Dooley answered this question

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


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/

Iain Dooley answered this question

Leah Cortes
Leah Cortes, Owner / Personal Assistant at

Customer Retention

What is the best way to approach prospective clients?


Hey Leah,



The first step is to narrow down who your prospective clients are. And "small business" doesn't cut it ;)



For example, in my software business, I'm interested in small service businesses that have between 2 and 10 staff and more than $2 mil in annual revenue, or professional consultants who generate in excess of $300k/year but have no staff.



In order to target these people I have setup a new brand called The Procedure People
http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/ -- my goal is to identify business owners who have solved their sales problem but are having trouble growing due to lack of infrastructure. When I did some keyword research in Google AdWords, I found people looking for help with "policies & procedures", my hypothesis is that those people are exactly the target market I'm after (or at least a portion of them are).



But without first stating very clearly who my ideal client is, I wouldn't have been able to come up with a creative way to get access to them.



You're running a PA service: who is your ideal customer? Do you want to access solopreneurs (eg. on Flying Solo) or do you want to access professional consultants? What about picking an industry? Can you be particularly helpful to anaesthetists? Accountants? Lawyers? GPs?


Anyway, you get the point: the answer to the question "how should I get in touch with my prospective clients" will depend on who those prospective clients are. Identifying who they are is often more challenging, than trying to find them ;)

Iain Dooley answered this question

What to consider when looking for a business partner or employee?

I agree with Jeff that trust is important... but to me trust is more like an outcome.

The important question is: what reliable, early indicators are there that I will likely be able to trust someone?

For me, it comes down to 1 core factor:

How well do they communicate?

Good communication is a signal for so many other good things: it's difficult to communicate well, consistently, and be insincere because you have to keep coming up with ways to lie; it's very easy to see when someone is stalling repeatedly.

Good communication entails good listening and independent learning. Someone who communicates well, can articulate questions and frustrations well, they can pinpoint what's causing problems and explain them. A good communicator will listen and process what you say.

In short, I've found that if I focus on a person's ability to communicate well, I can get a really good understanding of how well we'll work together long term.

Iain Dooley answered this question

Ling Lee
Ling Lee, at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Is SEO categorised as part of IT or Marketing?

It's an interesting question and I think this is more or less why the term Growth Hacker has come to prominence.

Digital marketing of all kinds has so much overlap with Web Development skills that it is sometimes cumbersome to employ a "marketing person" who then has to make a tonne of requests to the IT team in order to get anything done.

This problem can be solved in some part by choosing the right tools and platforms. Things like content management, tag management and sophisticated analytics tools, coupled with basic Web scripting and/or solid excel skills will usually allow someone not specifically employed as an IT professional to solve most of their own problems.

So I'd say that SEO strategy is definitely a marketing cost, some tactics will require IT resources, but that anyone doing online marketing these days really needs a "growth hacker" skillset unless they're in a big enough organisation that they can be responsible purely for the strategic side of things.

Iain Dooley answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Virtual Assistance

How much does an australian virtual assistant (VA) cost?

Hey Nick, I hire on http://www.hiremymum.com.au/ starting at around $20/hour for a few different roles in my business (not just VAs but also bookkeeping, sales assistants, editorial assistants, marketing assistants).



I posted recently on a little trick I have for dealing with the "red tape" around hiring locally versus getting someone through oDesk or similar: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/24/how-i-hired-a-woman-to-hire-herself/



By hiring someone as a casual/part-time employee who isn't a sub-contractor (with their own company or established business) you can get their time a bit cheaper.



Many of the women I've found on hiremymum.com.au only really want to work 5 - 10 hours per week and value the flexibility I'm able to offer -- it's the perfect way to get started systemising your business without a lot of risk or administrative overhead.



I also recently posted a very "quick n dirty" way to start working with local VAs if you've never done it before: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/25/a-basic-framework-for-creating-your-first-procedure/



Cheers,

Iain


Iain Dooley answered this question

Richard Schembri
Richard Schembri, Entrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood

Career Planning

What is your backup plan for income?

The dole? Bar work?



I think my backup plan for income is living very frugally. The amount my family and I live on at the moment means I could do just about any job in the world and we'd still be able to manage!


Iain Dooley answered this question

What qualities do you look for in a new employee?

The ability to read and correctly follow instructions, and craft intelligent questions, are basically the only things I look for no matter who I'm hiring.



In fact my induction process is self-selecting in this regard: when I hire someone I send them a page in our online documentation that has all the info they'll need to do their job.



If they can't read through it and start work without asking questions (well, maybe if they're GOOD questions) or -- worst of all -- requesting that we jump on Skype/the phone to "go through things", they're not my kind of employee :)


Iain Dooley answered this question

What are your experiences with outsourcing the development of your digital platform offshore?

Hi Fleur, we've been outsourcing technology work overseas for several years. The experience differs depending on the type of project. I think the most important thing for successful outsourcing is to develop the policies & procedures *in-house* rather than outsourcing to a team and hoping for the best. There are people with success stories of outsourcing to a "company" overseas, but anecdotally I can tell you they're far outweighed by stories of heartbreak and misery.



Basically, if you don't know how to do something (or at least know the basics of how it works), it's going to be very hard for you to consistently get good results when outsourcing. This is the value that a "local expert" can add - either as a consultant or a separate business - when getting your project outsourced.



It's very easy for miscommunication to creep in, and for projects to seem on track when they're completely not on track.



Hiring is hard to get right, but if you put in the yards you can get amazing people who deliver very high quality work consistently.


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