The moment of greatest clarity for me that defined my place in the annals of entrepreneurship was when I was mixing a large batch of Good Dog Foods Home Mix, in the CAFT test kitchen of Rutgers University. The product line was all human-grade food (meat, vegetables, rice, nutritional powder) made in a USDA approved facility. You begin to think about the choice you made as an entrepreneur when you’re shoulder deep in cold mixed meat and vegetables. I don’t regret a minute of it.
Today’s Social Entrepreneurs
I began to think about that again recently when I started to see Tweet posts (@JeffPed) regarding social media experts and those launching businesses in today’s social media landscape. When I launched my marketing consulting and gourmet frozen dog food businesses in the 1990’s, there was a prescribed and albeit “traditional” way of launching and marketing your business. Today the landscape has changed dramatically and few of the new entrepreneurs are versed in sustaining a business utilizing social media.
Yes, you can jump in quickly and begin to promote your business almost instantly, however due to the amount of information that needs to be processed, networking and marketing that needs to be done, and lack of truly trustworthy advice that you will receive, most businesses will wallow in relative obscurity, be a flash in the pan, or rise and fall quickly and dramatically.
Take a Cue from The President
The reason The President surrounds himself with a Cabinet and trusted advisors is that for all his wisdom and experience, he still cannot concentrate adequately on all the multiple areas of running the country at once. You can’t do this either, there is not enough time in your day nor will you be an expert on every area you need to, to be successful.
When to Seek Help
Find the key drivers of your business and your specialties, your unique value proposition. You should be the “specialist” or “expert” in these. That does not mean you should not be continually learning from others and perfecting your craft, social media is great for this. But, if social media is too big a challenge for you, the new marketing vehicles are changing too rapidly, or every vendor you meet or person you speak to has a varied opinion on the same question you are trying to answer, do this:
How to Work with Trusted Advisor
Jeff leads Silver Lining Consulting, his blog can be found at: http://jeffpedone.com/
Reseller web hosting is not for everyone but it is becoming more and more popular in the hosting and web design industry. Many web developers, marketers and web designers purchase reseller web hosting since it is a great way of offering their clients a complete package and making extra money. Reseller web hosting comes with both pros and cons - here are five points representing both sides.
All in all, this kind of business is not for everyone. If you are in business that completes this type of hosting, expanding your business along the hosting lines is perfect.
People who tell you they make thousands every month and do nothing, are pretty much lying. Keep that in mind. Yet in a tough economy, the internet is sitting in its own world. Startups and new ideas are successful everyday; good tidings for us then. If you have technical know-how and enjoy web hosting, then reseller hosting would be a great business opportunity. Good luck and if you start a reseller business, be sure to post it here at ScrappyUpstarts!
Guest Author - David Walsh, of WebHostingSearch.com
A common small-biz rule of thumb is to set aside 10 percent of total expenses for advertising.
Are Scrappy Upstarts really doing this? How do you promote your product, get your company and its great services in the public eye without spending a ton of money?
Pay per click is a familiar and viable option, that you might not totally understand if you’re just starting out.
Pay per click lets you advertise your product or service online and only pay for what brings consumers to your business site. If you put a pay per click ad on the Web and no one clicks on that hyperlink to come to your site and buy your products, you don’t pay for that ad. If they do click, you do pay.
Google AdWords is probably the best known and largest volume pay per click advertising program. It’s also extremely easy to start and it gives you total control of your advertising campaign’s budget.
For its Starter Edition just decide what you are going to say in your AdWords ad (it’s all text), go to the Google site and sign up, write what you want to say in your ad and note the ceiling you will spend each month. Your ad will appear next to the search results of relevant keywords (that you note) when someone searches on Google. You only pay for those who see the ad and click on to your site. And you stop paying when you’ve reached your stated budget for the month.
These ads appear along the side of search related results they can also appear on sites that have agreed to show google ad words, often related to the ad’s content.
While pay per click cannot guarantee results – no advertising can do that – what it can do is guarantee that you won’t spend more than you can afford.
Great article for Scrappy Upstarts about bootstrapping at YoungEntrepreneur.com
1. Start A Service
2. Figure Out What Makes The Most Money
3. Get Volunteer Help
4. Hire Part Time
6. Form Partnerships
7. Use Pay Per Click
8. Use Search Engine Optimization
9. Leverage The Media
10. Think Big, Start Small
11. Do Something Every Day For Your Business
12. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Until You Can Afford To
13. Turn Everyone Into A Referral Partner
14. Watch Your Payments
15. Start At Home
16. Share Your Office
18. Lease Don’t Buy
19. Hire Friends / Family
20. Create A Rainy Day Fund
Youngentrepreneur.com just released a great article discussing
5 sure-fire ways to know if your business will work.
The article has an added bonus of explaining the author’s theory on leveraging pay per click on a site to bring in large amounts of revenue.
Under #3. You Can Do All The Important Aspects Of The Business Yourself I found this to be interesting:
I have a number of friends who are starting online businesses and don’t know anything about programming, web design, servers, content writing, search engine optimization, or link building. They think they can just outsource everything.
I help small and large businesses with some aspect of web development everyday, this is where the most money is wasted. A quick post on guru.com or ifreelance a low ball bid from India and the Ukraine and your site is up. There are plenty of advantages to these sites and vendors from India and elsewhere. But it is all in how you use them. If you don’t have a deep understanding of what you want along with a good sense of web usability your site goes off course rather fast. That understanding is necessary to take advantage of those potential cost savings.
While full access to SEOmoz.org requires a monthly fee they offer quite a few free resources to help you understand the fundamentals of search optimization. Whether you work with a professional or go it alone - you may find something useful for your scrappy upstart.
SEOmoz free tools include:
Their free guides skew to beginners and include:
Good post over at InfusionSoft:
Featuring links to some useful “Last Minute Tax Tips” For Small Businesses.
For those of you running your small business from your home, Score.com recommends to: