The LinkedIn of the Domain Industry

The LinkedIn of the Domain Industry

This weeks video discusses what's been happening on Whizzbangsblog and the explosive growth that it's received!

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My 10 Rules For Doing Deals

My 10 Rules For Doing Deals

My daughter is in the process of trying to find her first car…always a great experience! She went and looked at one with a friend and instantly fell in love with it. “Dad, this is the best car in the world! I have to have it!”

I openly admit that I know nothing about cars….computers….we’ll that’s another thing. So Sarah returned to the seller’s house to place a deposit on the vehicle but this time she took a friend’s father who happens to be from the automotive industry. It took him ten seconds to glance at the car and say, “No.”

This raises the point, if you want to invest in diamonds don’t ask the butcher for advice, ask the jeweler – it’ll save you a packet! I have domain investors coming to me all the time with a wide variety of deals that they’ve been offered to ask my advice on whether it’s a good deal or not. If you’ve been in the industry as long as I have then you never get surprised by the garbage that some people try to sell at incredible prices.

My 10 rules of buying:

  1. Never buy when I feel pressured and take your time to think it over.
  2. Good assets are worth the price, you just need to find the good assets.
  3. You can ask whatever you want but I’ll pay the price that I’m offering.
  4. Telling me over and over again how good something is will not change my mind. If it’s a dog it’s a dog, if it’s not then it’s not.
  5. Fancy deals normally end in tears….keep it simple.
  6. If it looks too good then it probably is.
  7. Go for repeatable income not just look out for the big one offs.
  8. Investigate the person selling the asset as much as the deal itself. If they’re right then the majority of the time the deal will be fair.
  9. Never do transactions, do deals where everyone wins and both parties will want to do business together into the future.
  10. Get good advice and then make up your own mind.

Do you have any rules that you use in your own deals? Please add them in the comments below.

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Being An Entrepreneur

Being An Entrepreneur

For the past 30 years I’ve been building businesses and the majority of them have been in the Internet industry. As fate would have it I was talking to a friend of mine last night on skype and he was lamenting the pain of his new startup. Investors didn’t invest what he really needed and technology wasn’t coming together fast enough. All the typical birthing pains associated with a new venture.

If you’re looking at your domains and thinking to yourself, “I really need to start developing some of these” then be ready to go through some tough times. It’s never easy doing something new and what you think is a great idea, other people will trash.

Which brings me to another point. Over the years I've found that the worst sort of people in the world are those that cheer you on no matter what. For example, my wife and I had to give our daughter a bit of tough love near the end of her final year in high school. Essentially it boiled down to, “Don’t be an idiot!”

She came back and told us we weren’t very supportive and that we needed to be more encouraging. I thought about it for a few milliseconds and replied, “People will cheer you on as you leap over the edge of a cliff, we’re not those sort of people honey.”

Now that she’s passed her exams and been accepted into university she’s told us that our advice (which was really tough) was the best advice she’s ever received.

The real secret with being an entrepreneur is knowing whom to listen to and then taking all of that good advice so that you can make a better decision yourself. Once you’ve made that decision, be bloody minded about it and as tenacious as a bull terrier. Never, I say never let that bone go and push through every obstacle!

So what did I say to my friend going through the tough times in his business? I consoled him a little and then said, “Suck it up princess.” What did you expect? If it was easy don’t you think that other people would have run with your idea already? It’s tough love but sometimes people just need to hear it…..I’m absolutely confident that he’ll make it a success…..and that it will take him about twice as long as he initially thought to do it.

So back to your domains. My advice is get good advice, make your own decisions and then be ready for the obstacles. One last point…..the opposite of those that cheer are those that jeer. It’s always easy to tell a person why it won’t work. I use these people to inspire me forward with a, “I’ll show them mentality!” So go to it and get off your backside and change your world. :-)

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Stop Crying and Make Money

Stop Crying and Make Money

Sorry if this is a little bit of tough love but seriously…..it’s probably the best advice some of you could ever get.

I’m always amazed at the number of domain owners that get incredibly emotional about their domains and make economically irrational decisions. I hate to say this but domains are not your children, they don’t care if you sell them, you can monetise them anywhere and more than that they don’t care what price you sell them for.

Let’s unpack one level of thinking that is surprising……“I’m going to place all my domains with parking company X because the salesperson is my friend.”

For a start, my experience at ParkLogic has shown that no parking company wins more than 25% of the traffic at any point in time. This means that if you place ALL of your domains with a single company you are losing AT LEAST 75% of the time! This is a fact and one that has years and years of data behind it.

It’s great making friends with your account manager but I hate to burst the bubble, that person gets paid for the traffic that you bring them. The question you have to ask yourself is, “If I moved all my traffic away from them would they still want to hang out?” The last time I checked, I didn’t have to pay to have a friend so the answer should be yes.

Remember that business is business and you owe it to yourself and your family to do whatever you can to maximise your revenue.

I’m getting really tired of going into the various forums and seeing the complaints about PPC revenues declining. Many of the same people that complain keep on doing the same thing year after year with their domains and yet expect a different result. Einstein said that this was the definition of insanity.

My daughter just passed her driving license test the other day and is looking to buy a car. She found a great car but it was a little out of her price range so she came to Dad for help. I looked her in the eye and said, “Honey, you have six weeks to earn an extra $1,000 for your car. Put your creative thinking into action and stop coming to me for the money and start earning it yourself.” Literally within a few hours she’d solved the problem.

If you’re one of the complainers then get off your backside and make some creative sensible decisions about your domains. Don’t do the same thing as you’ve always done and the spend half your life on the forums whining about how the industry is going down…..it’s not going down but with an attitude like that it is for you.

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Cutting the Grass

Cutting the Grass

A few minutes ago the doorbell sounded and upon answering it I discovered our friendly lawn mower man smiling back at me. In my opinion his dark sun tanned wrinkled face had seen altogether too much of the Australian sun but that was his job and he loved it.

During the few minutes of idle banter I remembered that we had a now thoroughly dead Christmas tree down the side of the house that needed removal. I asked him if he’d take it away and he quickly replied, “Not a problem but there is a disposal fee of $10.”

I know that the local council will charge something but it’s nothing like $10. Despite this I quickly replied, “Not a problem!”

So why did I do it? The value in not having my wife Roselyn ask me to remove the tree was worth more to me than the $10. For that matter he probably could have asked for $15-$20 and I would have agreed! My problem would have been at that price Roselyn would have made me do the tip run the following year with the pine needles from the dead tree filling up my sports car. She pays the bills in our family and there’s nothing getting past her.

From our mower man’s perspective he normally gets $35 per cut so he’s just dramatically increased his take from his client. It works out really well for him, for me and that’s what business is all about.

I speak to a lot of people about business and it surprises me that time and time again many of them think that it’s all about trying to get the most out of the other guy. That’s a transactional mentality. At some stage the person on the other end of the transaction will get smarter, feel ripped off and go elsewhere.

I personally think that it’s better to have a more long-term view with clients. This means that every transaction needs to be fair and work for all parties. I don’t just want a deal now I want to deal multiple deals into the future. With the result that we’ve had clients for seven plus years with ParkLogic and whenever there is an issue we have a relationship with them that’s stood the test of time…..I think that’s a much better way to go.

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