I read a lot of blogs and articles online. Like most young (ish) adults it is where I get all of my news and information. In general I read a lot about start ups and being an entrepreneur, mainly business consulting and technology.
So naturally I see a lot of sites trying to get you to signup for a newsletter, service, or buy a product. Which is totally fine. The business worked hard to get me to their site, instead of advertising other businesses, it is best to advertise their own. Most of the time there might be a pop up I need to close out of. Maybe some advertising on the side. A signup box for a newsletter on the bottom of the article. All pretty standard and acceptable forms of self promotion. But today I came across a site that took what is acceptable and ran it over with a truck then set it on fire.
I despise most commercials to the point where I will go out of my way to avoid them. I’ll change the channel, mute my speakers or TV, or even not watch a video online if the commercial is too intrusive. The one commercial that has been bothering me lately is a commercial on Spotify. Spotify [Read More]
I want to give a little reminder/warning about a new virus that has been going around via email since two people I know have fallen for this email and now have a virus. One of them got a new ransomware virus. First a reminder about detecting spam emails.
The email is from some one or some [Read More]
Every so often when I tell people I own a business they look at me in amazement. I’m asked all sort of questions like how did I start? Where did I get the money to start? How many hours a week do I work? Just to name a few. They often walk away is disbelief at my answers. So let’s take a moment to bust some myths.
- You need to have money to make money: I started my business for less than $200. I bought a domain, a years worth of hosting and business cards. Grant it my business is a virtual business and I didn’t need to buy products or create a store. But I didn’t get my first clients because of that $200. I started my business and got clients because I went out and found clients. None of them even looked at my website and I didn’t even give them a business card. The point is if you want it you will find a way. Isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about? Creating opportunities.
- You will work 60-80hrs a week: There will be times you will work long hours. But that shouldn’t be a weekly thing. Most of the time we try to do too much or take on too much. Coupled with not charging enough can force you into working long hours. Before I realized my worth I had to bill 40 hours a week just to pay bills/overhead. Then to work on my business I was putting in another 15-20hrs a week. That got old real fast. I wanted to work 40-45hrs a week in total for my business. So I raised my rates to what I was worth, found clients that would pay, focused on what made me money, cut out the time wasters, and outsource the rest when necessary. Now I need to bill roughly 20 hours a week to pay bills/overhead. However I still work about 30-35 hours a week for clients and about 5-10hours a week building my business. It is about finding that balance.
- You need to make millions of dollars to be considered successful: Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you just want a business that you work on 5 hours a week and make $500 a month. Maybe you want a full time business that brings in $100,000/yr. It is all about settings realistic goals and outcomes. Success is meeting and exceeding those goals. My business will never be as big Intel or Microsoft. Does that mean my business isn’t successful? Nope. Being a big company like Intel isn’t my goal. My goal is to provide quality web design and development services to small to mid size businesses which will garner me money for a comfortable life.
- You need a very detailed business plan: Don’t get me wrong, you need a business plan. But it doesn’t have to spell out your entire business life. At the least it should be enough to start your business voyage. From there you can work on it, just don’t forget about it. Sometimes it takes just getting out there and starting your business to understand what exactly your business plan should be about.
- If you build it, you will get business: This couldn’t be more wrong. I’ve watched many of businesses fail just because they think having a business will automatically get them clients. You need to build your customer base by building relationships, marketing, and selling your product/services. This takes time and a lot of effort.
- Big competitors will destroy you: For a lot of people there is something about small businesses that people just love. Maybe its not dealing with a faceless corporation. Maybe its supporting local businesses. But really, it is about you as a business being able to provide a quality product or service. Who cares if you founded your company yesterday. Be totally kick-ass at what you do and provide a product or service that people want and you will be successful no matter how big your competition is.
My cell phone is a huge part of my life. It is not only for personal use but I rely on it a lot for my business. If I were to loose my phone or if it was stolen I’d be pretty screwed like I talked about in this article I wrote earlier this year: It [Read More]
It is 7:00pm on a Thursday. I’ve been here at work since 7:00am. I’ve had one break today and that was fifteen minutes so I could each lunch. I probably won’t leave here until 8:00pm. Tomorrow, I’ll be back here at 7:30am. I’ll also work most of Saturday and a few hours in the morning [Read More]
In all my years being a customer I have dealt with some pretty ridiculous policies. Policies that cripple businesses by pushing customers away or forcing employees to have their hands tied when it comes to helping customers. It always boggles my mind why you would make it so difficult for a customer to be your customer. They give you money! Without them your business will fail! But hey, these policies were written for a reason, who am I to question them?
Here are some ridiculous policies I’ve come across:
Every business should have a business plan. But chances are it won’t hold up to reality. What? Why have a business plan then? Business Plans are here for one reason, to get you to think through your business by putting your thoughts on paper so you can see the big picture of how your business [Read More]
I’m a perfectionist that doesn’t have time to be perfect. That drives me bonkers but I’ve realized it is a battle I will never win. It is true that if I’m allowed or allow myself to have unlimited time to complete a project, lets say a web service, I will never complete it. Oh, I [Read More]
Gary owns a parking lot sweeping service. After hours he comes in and cleans parking lots of garbage and rocks. Overall Gary’s business is pretty successful. He has steady customers and enough jobs to keep him busy all year but he has hit a plateau. For every customer he gains he loses one to his [Read More]