Many developers aspire to create their own companies and become entrepreneurs. What are the most important things that people should pay attention to?
Perhaps a side project of yours is about to receive some funding? Or maybe you’re just tired of working for someone else, you have this great idea and want to see it through… No matter the reason, you’re going from being a developer to an entrepreneur. Great! Now what? Well, I’m not gonna lie to you, there’s a lot of pitfalls out there, but if you can cut through the crap (that’s right I said it), and stay focused on your goals, you might just have a chance…
Figure out where you shine: “Figure out where your talents lie as an entrepreneur and then either hire in…hire people who do the job you cannot do…you have to realize where you suck…the biggest mistake people make is they assume they can do everything better than everybody else: that’s silly. You won’t be able to grow your business if you try and do every job out there.”
Be very careful with your money: “The lifeblood of any business is cash; how much cash you have. As long as you cash in the bank (and not your own cash -the company’s cash – don’t put all your money into it and wind up bankrupt and destitute in three years), as long as the company has cash, you’re in business.”
Be ready to pivot: “You might have to change your business model/change your product depending on what the market tells you; you have to be responsive to the market. So get ready to put out your idea and then you might have to shift and change accordingly…”
There’s so much more to get into and we do touch on it. Also, shameless plug: we offer a business course called “The Complete Entrepreneur”,(links below) and it’s worth it but you do you. Start off by watching this video and let’s take it from there. Enjoy!
PS- stay to the end of the video to watch me be an Entre…plant…eur. Sorry.
A basic business lesson…be very careful about who and what binding business relationships you establish.
The general idea I want to get across is: don’t get into unnecessary deals with third party companies. Really think hard about what the “partner” brings to the table for you to want to “partner up” with them.
Now, specifically I want to talk about…
MCN: multi-channel network: A company that claims to help “grow” your channel (YouTube, in this case…), by taking control of your channel for x number of years, where generally all the income is funneled to the MCN, and after the “number of years” the income is returned, minus the MCN’s cut and generally you have no idea what the MCN has done, did or was planning on doing or the “help” they provided was ambiguous, uncertain or (in your best Unicorn voice), highly dubious. In my opinion it’s predatory. Also, see rent-seekers.
Generally the stuff they offer is stuff that sounds like you need their help getting but when you think about it, you don’t. Example: free access for using stock footage (you can get that yourself for about 20$ a month which is way less than their fee).
In the video we’ll link to some YouTube content creators that got hosed real bad (if you haven’t already heard) as an example. Plus some of the experiences we had in the past. Enjoy!
A few tips on how to best structure your daily coding routines. Tips, take breaks, and do some exercise.
For those of us old enough to remember the actual commercial and not the meme, congratulations! If we were a DnD monster, we’d be “ancient” dragons (color is up to you, of course). But the meaning is the same whether you’re a lvl1 fighter or a living relic that time forgot, sleeping deep in the earth on a hoard of riches… Time to get out there and do the job; which brings us to (in a totally not circuitous way) routines!
Now, there really is no ONE routine to rule them all! (guys, I think I might have an RPG itch to scratch…)
That is to say that different jobs and different individuals have different ways to get things done. For example, maybe you go out for a coffee in the morning to clear your head and then work for 3-4 hours, then lunch, a hangout/workout and then back to the grind for another 1-3 hours, etc.
However, maybe like most people, you grit your teeth for 8-12 hours of punching it out and then you’re done and gone to whatever else you’re heart desires (which by then is probably eating/drink/sleep with variations in between).
Look we’re not gonna pretend to tell you how to live your life, you do you, playa! …BUT… “we know from psychology that there are periods of peak productivity…and depending on the individual, your peak productivity in terms of mental efficiency is 3-4 hours. So it’s good to give your brain a rest…the data shows that the quality of your output [goes down], because your brain needs a rest.”
Check the vid to see and example of my daily routine and some (admittedly biased) helpful advice on changing up your routine to stimulate some other senses and keep your brain healthy and relaxed so you can do your best work. After all, if you’re burnt out, you get zero work done. Enjoy!
Things have changed much since the late 1990’s, and modern SEO is much different. In fact, it has much more to do with web marketing.
SEO – For many businesses (and the departments they employ), it’s a three letter word of DOOM!! SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been a thorn in the side of both small and huge business owners, confounding all but the most “gifted” of programmers and webite DIYers. Originally, SEO was “going into code and fixing it up so that it was more search engine friendly”. “…You essentially had to add a whole bunch of attributes to make it readable by the search engines”, so that your website/business would be at the top of the search, traffic gets directed there and you make the sale, get the views/the ad revenue, etc…
Much has changed…
Without angering too many people, I think it’s safe to say that the search engine giant of today (and probably the last 15 years…) is Google. And part of what makes google’s search engine so thorough is it’s ability to effectively “read” sites. So code has taken a backseat to content (content is king, you’ll hear that here and in a lot of videos, both past and present). Also, marketing, social media and the ability to make these things work synergistically with each other further enhances the efficacy of the infamous SEO. Our video down below explains it best (and all while holding/gesturing/not spilling a hot coffee no less 😉 ).
Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?
So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…
Can you/should you offer web sales?
Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.
On The Other Hand…
If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…
We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.
Chasing Tech Trends and Cryptocurrency Fraudsters.
You’ve heard the stories, no doubt; a friend of a friend, or maybe even your cousin (yeah, that one…) bought Bitcoin for pennies a couple of years ago and now they’re rich…like stupid rich… Then you turn on the TV and you see a bunch of twenty-somethings who took all the money, in what little savings they had, and just threw it at the bitcoin machine and BAM! Millionaires. Financial Companies on TV, newspapers or even YOUTUBE channels are recommending anywhere from a gentle toe-dipping to a full on swan-dive into the Crypto-Ocean…the CryptOcean? Or maybe riding the Cryto…CURRENT…cy? Okay, THAT was the last one, for real!
Of course, we all want to make money. We all want to be that person who had the insight, the investment know-how, that “gut-feeling” that paid off big time in the face of all the doubters and nay-sayers! Unfortunately, there are others out there that are literally “banking” on just that. In this video we want to touch on the possible pitfalls of chasing trends and the fraudsters that are waiting to take advantage of those who “get caught up in the nerd hype”.
Now just a quick heads up, we are not putting down cryptocurrencies, Cryptoinvestments or Blockchain, they are amazing databases, decentralized banking opportunities, etc… We just want to give you a little advice from our perspective. And it’s only a perspective, legally speaking, of course… We do not mean to give you financial advise or investment advice, let’s leave that to more qualified people, shall we?
Because of technology, it has never been easier to start and grow a business. Tech is a key tool of business, and especially small business owners need to understand how, what and when to leverage tech. In my own entrepreneurial career, an understanding of technology has been invaluable.
Every business has to use the Web, whether it be a website or a social media presence:
Entrepreneurs need to use these tools. To fully leverage technology though, you need to understand it.
Do Entrepreneurs need to become coders?
Short answer: NO.
… But it wouldn’t hurt!
A friend of mine who runs a successful business (does $2 million/year in sales,) has told me repeatedly, that one of the best things he did, was to learn the basics of web design … specifically, learning HTML and CSS.
His core business has nothing to do with technology, but like so many companies out there, the company website is key to sales and marketing. Understanding the basics of web design allows him to make better business decisions about the website.
Knowing the basics of HTML also makes it easy for him to understand his web developers and web designers … this saves time and money since there is better communication.
Because technology is now a key tool in all business, entrepreneurs have to become entreprenerds if they want to be able to compete in the market. The first step is to become code and Web aware, business owners who have a basic understand on how code works, will have a significant competitive advantage over tech savvyless players.
There are lots of advantages to starting your own home business; you can be your own boss, you can set your own hours and you can decide on the direction of the company.
These benefits are part of the reason why so many people are leaving their full time jobs to become self-employed; every year over half a million Canadians become self-employed, with many of them choosing to run websites and home businesses. But how do you actually build a successful home business? From buying a domain name and setting up a website to learning marketing skills, there are a few essential things that you should do if you want to start a home business that will succeed.
Use surveys to learn more about your business
If you want to start a home business it is likely that you already have an idea; maybe you’ve already built a website for potential customers to check out – but either way it can be useful to use online paid surveys to find out more about what your target audience think about your services or website. This is because it will give you an insight into the mind of your customers, making it easier for you to alter and improve your website so that clients find them more appealing.
One of the main reasons small businesses fail is due to poor marketing – and it is very difficult to have an effective marketing campaign if you don’t have a website. Millions of people use the internet as their main tool to find businesses and companies, so if you don’t have a website you could be missing out on thousands of customers.
However, a standard website probably won’t be enough; there are over 1 billion websites online, so you will need a high quality website if you want yours to stand out among the others.
How to make your website stand out
If you want to make sure that your website stands out it needs to be easy for users to use. This means it should be optimized for all devices, including mobile, and it should have clear and simple navigation links, as well as quick loading times. Today, most websites are ultra fast and slick, so a slow, clunky website will be very off-putting to users. It is also important to have a solid web design that is visually appealing and uncluttered.
Set up social media pages and a social media strategy
Social media is another vital marketing tool for businesses, and it can be a great way to build up extra revenue, so if you haven’t already you should set up business pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. After all, checking social media is in the top three online activities for Canadians!
However, that isn’t all; you also need a strong social media strategy to help you reach new audiences and engage with customers. Try to aim to post on each website at least a few times a week, and it can be useful to vary your content if you have different target audiences using different platforms. Anyone can build a home business if they put the time and effort in. It is also important to embrace the internet as a marketing tool, as this is the one of the best ways for you to reach new customers without spending too much money.
One day you wake up and decide that you want to start a tech company but you don’t have the cash. So you figure that the easy way to get rich, is to go get some of that juicy VC (venture capital) money. Easy enough … right?
Here are a few facts you should ponder before you decide to jump into this pool:
You have about a 20% chance of making money when starting any new business.
With VC backers, your chances are even less! Learn why below …
VC guys are looking for flipability of startups and NOT viability.
VC guys will very often flip your butt out the door when they decide to. Yes, firing founders is not uncommon!
When you make a deal with VC guys, you are making a Faustian bargain – a deal with the devil.
I am not saying that all VC guys are evil but they are typically motivated by selling out or going public. They don’t make money if you create a nice business that makes $500k/year. Nope, they want the multi billion dollar flip or an IPO, so that they can dump all their shares onto the public.
In a nutshell:
The business of finance and venture capital is one filled with sharks and quick-cash money junkies. Creating long term sustainable value is not the game.
Tech Start-up Mania
We now have a new mini-mania in tech startups. I think too many people watch SharkTank or have watched the movie The Social Network – everyone thinks they can build the next huge tech company. The reality is that Facebook, Instagram and other high-flyers that you hear about, are the lottery ticket winners. The vast majority of companies fail. These are all the startups you’ve never heard about …
VC money = loss of control
One thing you have to be aware of, is that once you bring in outside money, you will lose control – they are the boss.
For me, this has always been unacceptable because I went into business primarily for independence. You will work harder and longer when you own a business but the trade-off is that you will have freedom to get up when you want, to work on WHAT you want – you will have intellectual and mental freedom.
With lots of hard work and a pinch of luck, you may have a few bucks too!
I get a lot of questions from people wanting to build a web based business. I’m not talking about becoming a web designer or a web programmer, I am talking about building a website and then making money off it.
Sometimes, people just want to put up articles and then sell other peoples products (through affiliate programs) other times they simply want to put up a bunch of ads.
The more ambitious want to sell a service or a product. This blog post is going to be about how to do that … in a nutshell.
What do you need to know (and what to do,) to set up a web based business?
Well, before I get into it, I should mention the stay at home mom who contacted me recently. She had an idea for a website and her goal was to generate ad revenue and sell memberships/access to premium content. She was asking a bunch of questions about setting up a forum, an e-commerce system etc …
So the first thing I ask when people come to me with these questions, is if they know anything about building websites? If you don’t know much, you will either:
Need to hire someone.
Or, learn some web skills.
Since this mom in question had no money to pay someone to build her site, she was going to have to learn. Before I get into what you have to learn, when you are a do-it-yourself web entrepreneur, let’s quickly talk about NOT ‘putting the cart before the horse’.