Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battl...eframe. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments. More

My Business is Failing….What Now?

Have you ever had a time when you feel like your helpless? No matter what you do nothing seems to work and yet, those around you seem to be doing incredibly well. This is what it’s like to be in the grip of a business failing.

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Running a failing business is a scary proposition. There isn’t enough cash to pay all the bills and creditors start hounding you for money. You never know whether you should answer the phone or not because you’re not sure if it’s someone about to bring some business in or someone chasing you for an outstanding debt.

The stress levels at work increase dramatically and this often impacts loved ones as the days disasters spill over into home life. Is running a business supposed to be like this? Isn’t the reason why you’re working so hard is to provide a better life for your family?

If the business completely fails, then what is the outcome? Many people (especially males) tie their self-worth to their businesses and they end up getting more and more depressed as they scramble to save what is often unsaveable.

The first thing a business owner needs to realise is their self-worth has NOTHING to do with their business but has a LOT to do with their personal integrity while going through the tough time. The measure of a person is how they behave during adversity not how they act when things are going well.

Over the years I’ve helped a lot of business owners out and without exception they believe either;
1. A big deal that’s just on the horizon will solve their problems OR
2. If that investor just put a lot of money in then all will be good.

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Wolftalker
Good advice.
14 July 2018
Rawgi
I will agree Good advice. Can't ever feel too good to eat some humble pie and roll back to square 1. It actually makes you stron... Read More
14 July 2018
mgilmour
Robin, great to hear from you. I hope your colleagues come through their troubles and that I was able to help out in some small wa... Read More
15 July 2018
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Getting Into the Numbers...

I had a discussion with a domain investor today that went like this….."Michael, ParkLogic isn’t performing for my portfolio so I’m going to stop the test.” I replied, “Let’s take a look at the numbers and understand what they are saying.”

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We have a standard report that compares a baseline for domain names versus the most recent data. It only took a few minutes to identify the problem….it just so happened that out of over one hundred domains there were five that were pulling down the results for the portfolio.

Without the five domains there was an overall 63% performance increase. Our recommendation was to move the five domains that were pulling down the results and re-baseline them to see if it just so happens an advertising has gone missing during the USA summer period. If the domains popped back up then it was a great win for the client.

Getting into the numbers is key to assessing the performance of a domain portfolio and yet, so many domain investors don’t understand how to do this. The question that I constantly ask is “Why?”. Why are the domain not performing? Why are the domains performing? Why is company X winning the traffic? Why is the traffic going down? Why is the traffic going up? Why are/are not direct advertisers bidding on a domains traffic?

It’s asking the “Why” which leads to a fuller understanding of the overall portfolio performance. For example, without those five badly performing domains there was an overall revenue increase of 75% for domains that had at least 80% of the traffic compared to the baseline. Anyone would have to agree this was a great result!

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How to Exchange Stress for Peace

We live in a hyperpaced fast world and surrounded by so many distractions that no wonder many of us feel under increasing levels of stress. So how can you reduce your levels of stress and return to that subline state of enjoying life?

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The age of the smartphone compounded the numbers of distractions coming through to us as Instagram, Facebook, emails, texts, skype etc. poured in and demanded our attention…..not to mention the alerts from the various newsfeeds and games we may be playing. Our smart devices are wonderful servants but really bad masters.

I was recently having a meeting with a person who was constantly looking at their phone (I really do mean constantly). Every beep, blip or brrrrring seemed to instantly demand their attention so much that I wondered why I was there.

In one of their “moments” of screen time I pulled my own phone out and texted them a message. It said, “Let me know when you’re available for the meeting.” Sure enough, their phone beeped with my message and as was their habit they looked at it.

They were really embarrassed by my text but after putting their phone away we had an interesting discussion about how the phone has increased their levels of stress. I suggested they could make the decision to control their phone rather than the other way around.

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Wolftalker
Brilliant!
08 July 2018
Rawgi
These days phones are used for babysitters , ( do you really know what your kids are doing on the phone?) and trending, and much ... Read More
12 July 2018
Rawgi
I can remember a friend that had no phone at all. Her father eventually put a pay phone in the house, ( remember pay phones? ), ... Read More
13 July 2018
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Why I'm in Business....

As many of you know, I’m one of the founders of ParkLogic and for over a decade we’ve been working with clients to extract the maximum possible value from their domain traffic. In blogs and at conferences I’ve gone to great lengths to explain WHAT we do and HOW we do it….but up until now I’ve never tackled the WHY….

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When I reflect about my personal journey at ParkLogic I realised that over the years we’ve developed a number of core beliefs that up until now we’ve never shared. They've actually become the reason why we behave the way we do and why we love the domain industry so much.

It should be said from the outset that this is not an exhaustive list and they are not in any particular order but hopefully it will provide some insight into how we operate.

Transparency
We believe in being transparent with clients. This means we won’t lie to you if you have a question and if we stuff up then we’ll make amends. Our focus on being open means all our statistics are what the domains actually earn, and our accounting clearly show the commission we take from managing the domain traffic. We don’t hide our commission behind smoke and mirrors.

I must say that we've received quite a bit of flack for being so transparent but we believe that it's through transparency that the industry can grow and increase overall earnings.

Good People
The domain industry is full of wonderful people….so why waste your time dealing with jerks? We believe in working with good people, serving great clients and establishing strong relationships with suppliers. We believe that doing life with people is important and that if we don't work with you now you'll have the confidence to work with us in the future. For us, everything is not just about business.

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Saturday Musings - Open Heart Surgery

For a long time I’ve been putting off conducting open heart surgery….but this past week I decided that it was about time I pulled out the scalpel and made an incision. Thankfully, not on a human but on a platform I developed.

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Like many things in life I've been procrastinating about doing this big slab of work for several years. I’d kept running into problems because the work wasn’t done but there always seemed to be some convoluted work around that allowed me to just make things work.

Finally, in a fit of frustration I took the plunge and began restructuring the foundations of an application that literally process tens of millions of requests each day. It was like looking at a great big ball of string and the more I pulled the more the string seemed to resist.

Knots would form and quickly become mini-projects in themselves that needed to be resolved before the bigger issues could be addressed. Numerous times I completely broke the entire system and found myself tracking down some esoteric piece of code written three years ago. Grrrrr!

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Rawgi
I seem to remember 1 to 3 am as being the time you find most of the answers. Interesting. I hear that writing code is to be a sc... Read More
30 June 2018
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