Do you have any ideas or thoughts on how to better run a business? This is the place for these blogs.

Be Careful Who You Listen To

Be Careful Who You Listen To

One of the great things about the Internet is that it allows everyone to express and opinion on whatever topic they desire. One of the bad things about the Internet is it allows anyone to express an opinion on whatever they desire, regardless of whether they have any authority to do so.

I was debating whether I would write on this topic as it can be somewhat controversial as some people may view it as a censorship on free speech. I’m actually all for people being allowed to express themselves but as readers we need to be really careful about who’s advice we listen to and adopt in our businesses.

For example, the other day I was having a really “vigorous debate” in a forum about monetising domain traffic. The person I was debating was very outspoken and to be quite honest with you at times insulting and sarcastic. In the end I found out they did about thirty cents a day in traffic revenue. If you didn’t know this then you could be mistaken into thinking they were an authority on their topic and earning millions of dollars per year.

There’s a really good saying which goes somewhat like the following, “By their fruit you shall know them.” This means that you should look at what a person does and has achieved rather than just what they say. On the Internet anyone can speak but very few people can do.

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Part 4 - Portfolio Optimisation - Products and Services

Part 4 - Portfolio Optimisation - Products and Services

In this series of articles, we are looking at how to optimise your domain portfolio across the different business models of sales (big and small), traffic and development. The first model I have been unpacking is development, not the technical aspects but the business aspects of domain development.

We’ve explored why people return to websites and how to earn money from advertisers. In this article I will be discussing how to build an online business selling services and products.

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The first thing we need to separate out is the different between building a business and conducting a transaction. Building a business is all about repeatable revenue that ideally grows over time while transactions are the big deal you hope to get one day.

My wife has a great saying, “Like clockwork.” What she means by this is that she would much rather have twenty dollars each month coming in from a customer than the big deal that may happen one day.

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Part 3 - Why Domain Portfolio Optimising Works - Advertisers

Part 3 - Why Domain Portfolio Optimising Works - Advertisers

Obviously there are a great multitude of business models that you can apply to your development project. Remember that we are looking at developing one of our domains into a business as part of our portfolio optimisation. The first business model that we will examine is advertising.

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In this business model you are trying to ramp your traffic so that it becomes worthwhile for advertisers to spend their money to reach your audience. A couple of things about audience, you can either provide mass numbers or the right people to advertisers. For instance, Whizzbangsblog doesn’t have millions of people visiting it every day but it does have the right people in the domain industry. This is valuable for sponsors.

With your new development you need to choose your approach and go mass volume of advertisers or a select few. If you have a mass of advertisers on your pages, then readers may revolt and advertisers won’t pay the big dollars. Less advertisers will potentially allow you to charge a higher rate and keep the readers onside. It’s a balancing act and it really depends upon your market vertical.

Remember that one person’s advertising can also be another person’s content. This is often the case in hobby publications where the advertising is just as valuable as the articles to the readers.

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Part 2 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works – Development

Part 2 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works – Development

In this article I will be further expanding on how to develop a domain into a business. This is the first business model that can be applied to domains, the other three are monetising traffic, treating domains as stock-items and the last selling domains at high values.

The first issue for me with any developmental project is working out how the domain is going to make money. This seems like an obvious question but many people approach developing a domain from an aesthetic perspective (ie. pretty website) rather than being focused on the business outcomes.

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Generally speaking, all business models hinge on getting not just new traffic to your website but repeat visitors. A repeat visitor is gold as they perceived a value in your site enough that they returned for a second look. It shows that there is something about your business offering that they want.

So here are some reasons why people will return to your website.

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Part 1 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works

Part 1 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works

I recently had the privilege of conducting a session at Domaining Europe on the topic of monetisation. Many domain investors have fallen into the trap that monetisation is dead and let me share with you that nothing is further from the truth. Domain monetisation is alive, well and thriving.

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What has happened, is like any industry there has been an evolution in technology. Those that have kept up with the technological curve remain successful while those that don’t struggle to remain in business.

This is not dissimilar to the days of the buggy whip manufacturer. During the days of horse drawn carts they made an absolute killing. Then a strange contraption initially known as a mechanical horse came onto the market. This technological innovation was really expensive so the buggy whip makers all laughed at the early version of the motor car and continued to make their whips. The rest is history and other than the handful of craftsman buggy whip makers are no more.

It’s the same thing in the domain industry. On one of my recent trips around the world I was talking to a domain owner that had been in the industry for years and he was decrying that monetisation was dead. I asked him one question, “What are you doing now that you weren’t doing five years ago?”

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For Heaven's Sake! Be Professional!

For Heaven's Sake! Be Professional!

There is a massive difference between a business relationship that you have with suppliers versus partners. Many domain investors view their registrar, brokers and traffic monetisation providers merely as suppliers of services. They then go ballistic if anything goes wrong and lash out at anyone that is convenient.

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For a start, do not assume that the other person on the end of the skype call is out to defraud you. My experience has been that the vast majority of the people that work in the domain industry are honourable individuals that are trying to put food on the table for their families. So dial back the angst and be nice.

I’ve heard of parking company account managers getting absolutely abused and sworn at by customers for the smallest of things. It’s amazing the stories you will hear if you just sit at the bar at conferences….. To be quite honest with you, I’m stunned at the behaviour of some individuals.

If something really does go wrong, then the best advocate you have is your account manager! Look after them, be polite and work with them when there is an issue. We all work in the technology industry and quite often at the bleeding edge so things WILL occur from time to time. It’s called, “Stuff happens….so get over it.”

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What To Think About in Running a Start-up

What To Think About in Running a Start-up

I’ve founded a lot of different businesses over the years and there is one thing for sure, running a start-up is very different to running an established business. So what’s a few key things that I’ve learned?

The biggest mistake that many entrepreneurs make is they believe their cashflows and assume that success is only moments away. A cashflow is the result of modelling the business in Excel and often bears little resemblance to reality. There are a lot of assumptions that you are able to identify that are built into any cashflow and then there are a lot of other assumptions that never make it to your analysis because you never thought of them.

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For example, today I was looking at a cashflow for a new business unit I’m working on and one of the major assumptions is the price of the new offering. When I put the cashflow projection together I really thought about the pricing and made sure that it at least looked sensible. Despite this, now that we are market testing the service I’m going to be looking at what real customers tell me more than my guestimates.

Many entrepreneurs also make the mistake of trying to make the perfect product/service prior to taking it to market. Don’t do this! You could end up spending a huge amount of time and money on something that no one will actually pay for.

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How To Get Business Investment

How To Get Business Investment

There never seems to be a shortage of people wanting you to invest in their brilliant idea that is going to take the world by storm. So what do I look for in an investment opportunity?

Just to be clear, I’m not going to invest in a business where the money goes to paying off loans, scooped of the table by founders or pays off some other obligation. The purpose of investment money is to GROW the business so that it is successful…..not clean up messes.

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When I invest in a venture, I’m actually investing in a person so I really listen to not just the content of the pitch but whether the person giving it really understands the value proposition. If they can’t articulate the value proposition in about 1 minute, then I become completely disinterested. I’m not deliberately being rude; I just don’t have the time for someone that hasn’t clearly thought about it themselves. It may be a good idea but a potential founder who hasn’t thought about why it is of benefit to customers is not investable.

The second thing I look for is the background of the founder and how they came up with the awesome idea. I’m wanting to hear passion in the voice and why they are going to put everything on the line to get the business up and going. Entrepreneurs tend to have a succeed at any cost mentality that allows them to push through or around any obstacles in their path. If that attitude isn’t there, then you’ve lost me.

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Upcoming News

Upcoming News

In this video I will be chatting with Sarah about what’s to come for WhizbangsBlog. We discuss how she has been going with her most recent blogs and the overwhelming amount of positive feedback she has received.

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We also touch on the upcoming webinars that will be happening in the future. We would love for you to leave a comment on this blog about any questions or topics you may want us to discuss.

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Generation Y: Update With Sarah

Generation Y: Update With Sarah

Today I had the pleasure to make a video with my daughter Sarah. Since it has been so long since she has last featured in one of my videos, we thought we would do an update of the last one! If you haven’t already watched the video you can view it here. The video is about ‘Generation Y’ and if things have changed in how they use the Internet over the past few years.

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Have a watch of the video and let us know what you think! Sarah has now registered for an account with Whizzbangs blog and would be more than happy to answer any questions or comments you may have!

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