Author: Josh Simon

Old-School Businesses Can Bring You Surprising Success

Old-School Businesses Can Bring You Surprising Success

It seems these days that entrepreneurs-in-training all want to work on the next big thing – some revolutionary technology that is going to change the world all from the convenience of a mobile app. One of the first things you’ll truly learn as you venture into your journey as an entrepreneur is how to size up your competitors and find markets where you can win. Quickly you’ll realize that it makes a lot of sense to get away from all the noise, and one place that has been particularly quiet in recent years is the old-school labor-intensive service industry.

If you have the burning flame to start your old business now is as good of a time as ever to take a look at some of the business models that have been generating familial wealth for decades. Take a look around, a lot of these service businesses are operating as if it’s 30 or 40 years in the past. The good news is, the barrier to entry for a lot of these businesses is quite low, making them perfectly enticing for bootstrapping entrepreneurs. Why not use your knack for technology and systemization to disrupt one of these industries and take it by storm?

Hardwood Floor Polishing

You’ll need yourself a floor buffer and a bit of practical experience, but once you’re off and running you can charge a pretty penny for hardwood floor polishing, leaving you plenty of margin to hire someone to do the actual work for you. The best part? Odds are they’ll be much better at actually polishing the floors than you are. This means you can focus on what entrepreneurs do best – building systems and getting customers to buy into their company’s services.

Electric Dog Fence Installation

Dogs as pets aren’t going out of style any time soon, and electric dog fences are one of the pillars of effective canine training. This is a business model that can work even with unskilled labor. All you need is a shovel to get started, so your bootstrapping costs might, in fact, be zilch. Nobody wants to do the installation for these systems on their own, but the one downside might be that there is some potential for seasonal interference depending on your location.

Driveway Crack Repair

Nearly every house in suburbia has a driveway, and any experienced homeowner will tell you that replacing their driveway is an expense they are hoping to avoid for years to come. Repairing cracks in a driveway can increase its lifespan dramatically for a fraction of the cost, and that’s where you can come in. Find clever ways to market and fill up your clientele list so that your business can repair driveways in bulk.

These three business examples are simply off-the-cuff markets, and there are certainly countless others that are just as suitable for today’s ambitious entrepreneur looking for direction on their next business endeavor. The beauty of these businesses is that your competition already exists. Take a look at their website, vet their quotation process, get an idea of how they run their operation. All you have to do is reverse engineer their systems and make them remarkably better.

It may not be the most appealing of directions to take, but it is likely a smarter and safer undertaking than the next untested moon shot. The businesses themselves have been proven to work, the question is whether or not you can make them work for you.

When To Make The Leap To Marketing Automation

When To Make The Leap To Marketing Automation

Marketing is the life blood of your business. It may actually be the single most important thing for you to get right if you want to ensure you have a stable and thriving business for years to come. You can have the most remarkable product to ever exist in it’s class, but if you don’t have customers lined up to buy it you’ll find that your balance sheets will begin to look horrifying pretty quickly.

When you’re first starting out marketing should probably be your main focus. You’ll likely be spending upwards of 80% of your time getting the word out about your product until the flywheel starts moving. At a certain point it’s going to make sense to get some help, and there are a couple of ways to go about this. Traditionally, people would hire marketers or salespeople to help make sure that new customers continue to come on board. As with so many things in this digital age though, there are new approaches available. An alternative approach for freeing up time for marketing tasks is to make use of marketing automation software.

A Bit About Marketing Automation Software

So what is marketing automation software, and what advantages can it bring to you and your business? Well, there’s actually quite a bit to it. In short, it is software that helps you organize your customer data and your marketing campaigns so that you can get insight into which tactics are working and which tactics are not. It also integrates functionalities that can allow your products or services to be sold online and collect payments. You can even automate email marketing so that different emails are sent out based on your customers’ actions. Essentially, it brings all aspects of your businesses marketing needs into one place so that you can analyze and make decisions at a glance. The end result is tons of time saved, and if implemented correctly, a significant increase in the return on investment for your marketing efforts.

Why Not Jump Right In?

With all of these great features in one central place, why aren’t business owners jumping at the opportunity to use it for their own marketing practices? Well, they are. They problem is that it is cost-prohibitive if your business is not quite at the right stage. If you look at Infusionsoft pricing, for example, you’ll see that there’s a substantial monthly recurring fee with a somewhat hefty setup cost. Their product is one of the better deals on the market too, others could be more costly. If your marketing efforts are already bringing in plenty of revenues then these costs may be insignificant compared to the payoffs you’ll get by implementing implementing the software. If you’re first starting out though, this simply might not make sense until your business and marketing have gained a bit more traction.

When Does Marketing Automation Make Sense For Your Business?

As you might imagine, while marketing automation software can take a huge amount of stress off of your marketing efforts, it still takes a little bit of manual attention to keep it running. This means that someone will still need to be in charge, managing the software to get the most out of it. When exactly it makes sense to bring marketing automation software into your business is going to vary on a case-by-case basis, but I would probably recommend at least having one marketing employee before expanding further to implementing marketing automation software. By doing so, you’ll have an employee to take the helm rather than being responsible for managing the software yourself. As a business owner there are many different hats you’ll have to wear, and you don’t want to get bogged down in any one particular area. That said, your financials are going to tell the whole story, and how one person interprets financial data may vary significantly from how someone else does. It might make sense to think of marketing automation software as a part-time employee who needs some management and guidance.

Do You Have What It Takes To Start Your Own Business?

Do You Have What It Takes To Start Your Own Business?

Some people just don’t fit the mold – go to school, get a job, work hard, impress your boss and climb the corporate ladder. It’s a great and reliable way to make a living, but some people have a drive and ambition that takes the down a different path. If you’re one of those people, then you’re just going to know. You feel like your wasting your time working on someone else’s projects when in reality you’re destined to be out there working on your own.

The good news is that if you’re one of these people, you’re not alone. There are more entrepreneurs out there making an impression on the world than ever before. What’s great is that this means you’ll have access to communities and support networks that will help you get through the rough times. The bad news is that this means that the competition is fierce, so you’re going to have to work harder and smarter to make sure you stay distinguished in your path.

Going out on your own certainly isn’t going to be easy. However, if its the right path for you than you know very well that this won’t be enough to stop you. You’ll do whatever it takes to make the life that you want for your self. Just make sure to keep it ethical – you don’t want to end up in trouble for taking shortcuts that you really shouldn’t have taken in the first place.

Taking the Jump

It’s a good idea to keep in mind that your first several business ideas simply aren’t going to work out. Don’t get discouraged, this happens to just about everyone who decides to go down this path. You’re better off knowing what to expect and planning for it. Failures are going to happen, you just have to keep your head up, your eyes on the prize, and keep moving forward.

If you’re just getting started on the entrepreneurship path, it might make sense to look inward to get your first business idea. What skills do you have that others might think are impressive? What do you love to do? How can you help people? Finally, what is it that the people around you could use help with? The intersection of these four questions is a great place to get started with a business idea.

A Word of Caution

Once you have the ball rolling it’s easy, tempting, and probably even beneficial to get swept up in everything. My best advice to be incredibly tuned into your financials. The first several years on this path are going to be quite volatile – scarily so in most cases. You want to plan your spending so that you have six months to a year of runway in the event that everything starts to unravel. Naturally this might seen like a moon shot at first, and that’s OK. But it’s one of the first things that you want to get in place as you start gaining momentum.

If this means that you need to boot strap it, you simply need to boot strap it. Not everyone is lucky enough to know where to get investments, and frankly in a lot of cases getting investments makes your whole operation a lot more risky. Investors want results, and if you and your company are unable to deliver them they just might pull the plug. Making sure your financials are in order is the foundation of good business. If you can get that right from the start, then you’re going to be so much better off for it in the long run.

If this is the life for you, then congratulations. You’re going to find it extremely fulfilling. We’re glad you’ve stumbled upon our site, you’ll find plenty of like-minded people in our community.

Our Favorite Ways To Get Started in Internet Marketing

Our Favorite Ways To Get Started in Internet Marketing

The whole idea of internet marketing just seems too good to be true. Work from home (or anywhere for that matter) on your own terms, be your own boss, set your own hours, what’s not to love? Well, aside from the fact that it’s actually quite a bit more difficult than most of the gurus on the web would like to make you think (just buy their $5,000 course and you’ll be on your way to being a millionaire tomorrow!), there actually is a lot to love about the world of internet marketing.

How can you even get started though? This isn’t really something that is being taught in schools yet, at least not at a large scale. Frankly it’s going to take quite a bit of creativity, self motivation, perseverance, patience, and proactivity on your part. You’re going to fail a lot, and you’ll probably be floundering for a while before it really starts to pay off. Don’t just jump in without a plan. Get a solid taste for what you’re getting into before you choose it as a career path.

With all of that in mind here are some of our favorite avenues for earning money by marketing on the internet.

Google Adsense

This is probably one of the most straightforward way to get started with internet marketing. If you have a website that gets a lot of traffic, or if you can make a website that gets a lot of traffic, you can simply start by signing up for Google Adsense and displaying advertisements on your site. Every time a visitor clicks through to an advertisement, you’ll get a commission. You’re going to want to look into how the payment structure works, because it might vary, but it’s certainly one way to get started without too much effort.

YouTube

YouTube is quickly becoming one of the ways that a huge number of people around the world are searching for and consuming information. Did you know that once you pass a certain number of video views, YouTube will start paying you money for advertising fees? The concept is simple – make a video that people love to watch, people watch it, you get paid. You’re going to need an awful lot of visitors though so don’t take this too lightly. Payments start at every 1,000 views and you need tens or hundreds of thousand to make anything worth while.

Facebook Advertisement

Do you have a product or service that you’re already offering to the world, but you just need more customers? Facebook advertisement just might be the right avenue for you. The beauty of Facebook advertisement is that you can run highly customized campaigns to target exactly the audience you’re looking for. Take advantage of Facebooks massive database to advertise to certain geographical regions, genders, ages, and interests. It’s quite amazing and surprisingly affordable as far as advertisement options go.

These are just three of myriad ways you can get your feet wet with internet marketing. It’s great to live in an age where you don’t need a physical store to have customers, but it does come with it’s own set of complexities and complications that will take some getting used to. If you have the time and the will power to stick with it though, it can be incredibly rewarding and it may just change your life.