Business Cheat Sheets: Starting Up Your Company

 

I am going to start a new series of blog posts titled “Business Cheat Sheets”. Each cheat sheet will contain practical tips, advice and how-to’s on a key area of business. Download the Starting Up Your Company PDF here. For my first business cheat sheet, I will be giving some advice on getting started with a new business.

  1. Find an idea you believe in. Do not spend too much time hemming and hawing though; just jump straight in. You will change your business idea dozens of times as you hone in on what works and what does not.
  2. Outline a business plan.  Use a notebook or Google Docs or a similar tool to sketch out a business plan. Consider who you are selling to, what key features are needed, initial pricing, and other such information.
  3. Self finance your business. Taking on loans, venture capital and research grants are all extremely time consuming and difficult to get… not to mention once you have them it puts tons of pressure on you. Instead it is far better to save a bit of money and test the waters more gingerly.
  4. Get started immediately. Break down what projects you need to do first into smaller tasks. Don’t waste your time on things you will only need if you see traction – do not bother setting up legal, accounting, employees, or anything else that is not directly related to testing your idea in the marketplace. You can deal with all of that stuff later if the idea works, if it doesn’t then you wasted your time on all those items.
  5. Talk to your prospective customers now. Seek out people who you intend to be your target customer market immediately and try to sell them on your product/service before you get too far down the road. Make sure that your idea is something they will actually pay for and not just say that they will pay for.
  6. Minimize distractions. Sell your television and gaming systems. Remove anything from your life that you know will cause you difficulties in focusing on your business. Don’t waste your willpower trying to turn off the TV or xbox or World of Warcraft game. Get rid of those items and prepare to dig in and focus exclusively on your business.
  7. Exercise and eat healthy. Starting a business is an incredibly draining and challenging activity that requires you to be firing on all cylinders. If you want to succeed, it is very smart to give yourself the best possible opportunity by eating very healthily and exercising every day.
  8. Don’t let anyone but your target customers influence you. If people are telling you you are an idiot for doing what you are doing ignore them unless they are your actual target customers. Your actual target customers have the only opinion that really matters. Especially ignore people who tell you that starting a business is dangerous and foolish.
  9. Find other entrepreneurs and spend time with them daily. It is very valuable to spend time working with other entrepreneurs as they are also excited about starting a business and can help encourage you through tough times and give you advice.
  10. Expect to fail. Many of your efforts will fail and many of your ideas won’t work. Be prepared to work at building your business as if it is a giant scientific experiment and receiving data that one of your hypotheses did not work is actually a good thing. You now know more than you did before.
  11. Study other entrepreneurs. Read the books they have written – some good ones are Sam Walton’s autobiography, Richard Branson’s autobiography.
  12. Do not let your expenses outgrow your revenues. It is easy to want to hire an employee or a contractor to help you out, but don’t bring on assistance until you have the revenues to pay for it. This will also give you valuable training in different areas you are not familiar with such as legal, invoicing, marketing and other key areas you will need to succeed in the long run.
  13. Start with low prices. You will not be able to win on quality over competitors when you first start out since those competitors generally have had years of experience and fine tuning over you. So start with low prices and as demand for your services increases slowly raise your prices to match. Consider the time you are working at low rates to be education – and you don’t have to pay for this degree!
  14. Train yourself. One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is learn how to train yourself. Whenever you see yourself lacking in a key skill, buy a book on it and study your butt off. I have bought over 100 texts on Amazon on everything from database programming to accounting to human resources.

Hang Gliding at Sylmar

I went hang gliding yesterday and enjoyed it. My flight instructor was a nice older gentleman named Fred. He was a contractor of WindSports. I thought he did a great job of taking me up for a beginner tandem flight. I got a bit of motion sickness but our flight was only around 15 minutes so it wasn’t bad. I will post the video soon!

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Dishonesty

If there is anything a team member can do to make me hate them, it’s being dishonest with me. People need to be open and honest and trustworthy in order for a business to function well and when people lie it creates huge problems. Dishonest people lose out in the end to karma and my hatred for their dishonesty will greatly hasten that process. I would rather have an employee who makes five big mistakes and talks to me about it then a person who makes one little mistake and hides it or lies about it.

Coalition Technologies – Not Just Another SEO and Web Design Company

by Chris

There’s been a lot of talk in the business world about Coalition Technologies. You might have heard about us in prominent publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Computer World, PC World and ABC News. Based out of Los Angeles, and with offices in Seattle, Buenos Aires and India, Coalition Technologies offers cutting-edge Web design and Web marketing services that rank among the top in the industry. We’ve assisted everything from small start-up companies to large national brands in building their Web presence and advancing their business goals, helping them to achieve prominence in a crowded and competitive marketplace. So what is our company about? What sorts of services do we offer and why should you choose us for these services? Read on to find out.

Coalition Technologies – A General Overview

First and foremost, Coalition Technologies seeks to provide the best Web marketing talent in the industry to businesses of all different types, both large and small. We have worked with over 300 clients within 4 years most have been immensely happy with our work: we have a 97% client retention rate and a 99% client satisfaction rate. These clients aren’t just happy with our excellent service either. We admit we are a charming bunch, but there is something else we pride ourselves in delivering that really carries weight for us, as well as for our clients: real results. Our clients earn a combined revenue of $10,000,000 a month in online sales, as well as 15,000,000 visits a month through their websites. We help businesses both large and small achieve top rankings in their respective industries.

How do we do it? We consistently maintain our quality service by adhering to several core values that we think are important to an excellent SEO and design service. First of all, we are dedicated to providing metrics-driven marketing services. We know what sorts of problems arise when an agency makes vague promises that they can reason around if the results are less than stellar. We give you concrete, measurable goals so that you know exactly whether a given campaign is working as it should. Next, we are as committed to our clients’ success as our own. We want to listen to you and understand what goals you’d like to meet, as well as what you expect for your company. Also, we strive to be the best and brightest online marketers with creative design. There is a lot of competition out there in the online marketing world. We take pride in meeting the challenge of producing the most effective, creative marketing campaigns that will leave the competition far behind.

Finally, we believe that the highest quality of work is provided by talented professionals that are well cared for. We hire the top talent we can find and then nurture their skill and creativity with an excellent work environment and opportunities for a better life. Our professionals are encouraged to constantly improve themselves and are extremely motivated to do so. Needlessly to say, this benefits our clients in many ways.

The Services We Offer

Coalition Technologies specializes in Web marketing and website design, which implies several interlocking services that work together to give you the best online presence. We work closely with your business in order to advance toward your particular goals: we seek to understand the ideas behind your brand, the language your company uses to promote itself, the type of customers you appeal to, the culture behind your business and much more. Let’s discuss the many services we offer in crafting the best Web presence possible.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Search engine traffic is a huge source of customer traffic in today’s market. If you are not showing up at the top of the search results in your given industry, you are missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Our expert SEO professionals can craft the websites and content with keywords that are most relevant to your potential customers and most effective when it comes to the actual search engines.

Web Design and Development – With so many customers going straight to company websites for information, your own business’ website serves as the visual representation of your company, as well as your public face. Our programmers and Web designers can craft a unique, custom website for you that features a striking aesthetic that expresses the core ideas of what your company is about. Not only will your website look great, but it will have the functionality that keeps customers coming back. Our team regularly works with powerful systems like BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, WordPress, Drupal, ZenCart and NOPCommerce that can give your site the functionality to do just about anything you need.

Social Media – Building a social media presence achieves several things for your business. It helps spread word of your products and services, and it serves as a type of marketing platform. It also opens direct lines of communication from your customers to your business, allowing you to build excitement around products and services and cultivate dedicated fans to your brand. We can help you build a strong social media presence in little time.

Pay Per Click (PPC) – It seems easy enough: you pay a company like Google to advertise your business with a program like AdWords and watch the traffic flow in. However, many companies have had varying levels of success with such an approach. Many walk away disappointed. What matters is the approach you take. Our experts understand the top strategies in getting the most out of a pay-per-click campaign. We have experience with programs like Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter and can employ cutting-edge techniques to maximize paid traffic and rapidly grow your business.

Online Branding – Building a brand is essential to maintaining a lasting presence in a competitive marketplace. A truly great brand embeds itself in the mind of the consumer and communicates the essence of its parent business with a message that is as clear and compelling as possible. Of course this is not easy to accomplish. Luckily, our marketing professionals have the skills and knowledge it takes to build an effective and authoritative brand for you so that you can establish yourself as a serious player with a unique presence in the marketplace.

Email Marketing – Email marketing campaigns are less expensive than traditional postal marketing campaigns, and they have been found to be extremely effective. Fifty percent of consumers trust information in their emails and 59 percent of B2B marketers say that email is the best channel when it comes to generating revenue. What’s more, you get to keep in touch with your customers and inform them of great deals which will keep them coming back. Coalition Technologies provides excellent email marketing campaign management so you can make the best out of your email campaigns.

Why Choose Coalition Technologies?

Every business that wants to establish a serious presence in today’s marketplace understands the nature of the marketing landscape: all of the big consumer traffic is happening on the Internet, particularly through search engines, email and social media channels. This makes SEO marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and Web design expertise highly sought-after skills. With every company seeking to take advantage of such skills, it is no wonder that there are plenty of marketing and design agencies out there competing for business, claiming that their talent is the best in the industry. So why choose Coalition Technologies among all of the others?

Let’s recap what our company has to offer and why you should call us today and get your Web marketing campaign started right away. We have had enormous success with a large roster of clients for very good reason: we aspire to the highest standards in service, Web marketing effectiveness, design creativity and client satisfaction. We seek to understand the ideas, culture and goals behind your business and factor it all in to our cutting-edge SEO campaigns, Web designs, email marketing campaigns, branding efforts, social media marketing and much more. We carry out these tasks with the best professionals in the industry. We are one of the highest-rated marketing companies in the industry for good reason. Check out our portfolio for examples of our work. Are you looking to meet your business goals and grow your company to heights beyond what you’ve imagined? Give Coalition Technologies a call today at 1-888-800-9101 to receive a free quote.

Car Accident Cause Statistics and Risk Factors

I did some research this morning on car accident risk factors and cause statistics.  There are several factors that all interplay with each other – basically if you do one, you increase your rate of car accidents but if you do two you multiply your risk levels of getting into a car accident.

The car accident risk factors to be most aware of are:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Being under 25 years old
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving (phone call, texting, people in car, GPS, radio)
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Driving at night

Mechanical factors include:

  • Vehicle defects
  • Potholes
  • Ice or snow
  • Tire blowouts
  • Fog