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  • #966628
    akagrp
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    • Total posts: 315
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    Hello

    Would love to hear from business owners on the issues they faced and overcame when starting your business for an upcoming article.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance

    #1019754
    Mat
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    • Total posts: 39
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    akagrp, post: 23303 wrote:
    Hello

    Would love to hear from business owners on the issues they faced and overcame when starting your business for an upcoming article.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance

    G’day,

    Just a few that im currently experiencing trying to launch my current business:

    -Overcomming the red tape (ie formalising everything sometimes for the sole purpose of getting to the next step, a good example is needing to prove income to purchase from a wholesaler, this then means operating without a wholesaler in order to prove income to then get a wholesaler).

    -Holding back your excitement to go to market when everything isnt correct. There is a fine line between rushing a unfinished idea to market and researching and fixing every problem and never getting to market.

    -Explaining to yor current boss why you actually need less shifts because your trying to get a company setup.

    Hope it helps,
    Mat

    #1019755
    Steve_Minshall
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    • Total posts: 518
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    Hi Anna,

    The thing that that I remember most about the first year or 2 was trying to work out where to spend my advertising dollar. I wasted more money in advertising that didn’t work than any other cost in my business. I now have it pretty well worked out, I know how to reach my customers and how to spend effectively. Unfortunatley I recon I wasted around $50k finding out.

    Steve

    #1019756
    raymilidoni
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    Hi Anna,

    When starting its great to be excited and tell family and friends your ideas, however they can be of little help unless that have been in business them self. Many may say that your ideas may not work, or it has been done before. Try and be deaf to the noise they make and i suggest getting to know some one in the field and ask for some mentor-ship or coaching. You may feel you know it all, but there is someone else that know better. (your family and fiends may think it’s them.. but it’s not)

    Most importantly have FUN! starting a business is super fun, but you also need to be focused. I made the mistake of starting too many business at the same time and my focus was all over the place.

    It is also great that you can get advise online, it’s best to learn form others mistakes. ;-)

    Take care and have loads of fun!

    #1019757
    VideoTraining
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    • Total posts: 101
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    Steve_Minshall, post: 23368 wrote:
    Hi Anna,

    Unfortunatley I recon I wasted around $50k finding out.

    Steve

    Hi Steve, so what are your lessons learned?

    What would you recommend to others?!

    Tony Morris
    http://www.DVDcoach.com
    Online Computer Training Made Easy

    #1019758
    Karen Wardle
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    • Total posts: 363
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    Business Plan Templates

    Would love to hear from business owners on the issues they faced and overcame when starting your business for an upcoming article.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance

    Hi Anna

    This time has been fairly smooth for me as far as set up goes but that has come from experience and from learning from my mistakes. (Which I have outlined on my website. You can read more here if you are interested http://www.you-can-start-business.com/about-me.html

    Since then I have completed formal qualifications as well as gained many years hands on experience.

    The one thing that I found that really made the difference to me was formalising a business plan. I genuinely feel that a lot of people, particularly those new to business, underestimate the importance of this valuable tool.

    I speak a lot about business plans on my website. I have business plan templates available on my site for over 70 different types of businesses as I feel that it is one of the most important resources that a business can have. http://www.you-can-start-business.com/what-is-a-business.plan

    Unfortunately many see it as an unnecessary expense. Yes they can be a headache to put together but you learn so much about your business, the product, the market, your strengths, break even point etc that the investment will reap you huge rewards later on. Don’t just write it out and stick it in a drawer never to be seen again. Write it, use it and review it, regularly!

    Ok Anna, I will get off my box now. I just wish that I could get across to more people how important they are. Not everyone will agree with me, I am sure, and there are businesses that do succeed without them. But they ARE necessary if you want to maximise your businesses potential. To any business owner out there who is doing well but doesn’t have one, just think about how much better you WOULD do with one.

    Good luck with your article Anna.

    Karen
    http://www.you-can-start-business.com

    #1019759
    Anonymous
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    Great points Karen!

    For those still reluctant to put together a comprehensive business plan, Stacey Barr’s one page strategic plan is a useful alternative. You can check it out and download it from here: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p315345515_The-one-page-strategic-plan.html

    Best,
    Jayne

    #1019760
    Steve_Minshall
    Member
    • Total posts: 518
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    DVDcoach, post: 23402 wrote:
    Hi Steve, so what are your lessons learned?

    What would you recommend to others?!

    Tony Morris
    http://www.DVDcoach.com
    Online Computer Training Made Easy

    For my busines (motor accessories retail) I learnt the following:

    1) Yellow pages didn’t work. Small ads get lost behind the big ads. This cost me $8k to learn. Colour does not make a difference this cost me $12k to learn. Going big gives you more traffic but not enough to recover the $25k this took me to learn.

    2) YP on-line, is ok, is pretty cheap but doesn’t light any fires.

    3) The little banner ads at the top of the page on YP on-line didn’t work for me. This cost me $2-$3k to learn, Can’t remember exact figure.

    4) Crude flyers printed in black and white on orange paper announcing the new shop did work to get things going.

    5) Glossy flyers a few years later did not work. I don’t know if this is because they didn’t have the interest of a new shop or because people are now sick of letter box drops as the big stores have hammered this so hard for the last few years.

    6) Local newspaper didn’t work for me. People tell me you need to advertise continuously for this to work but after $600 and zero responses I didn’t want to try.

    What has worked is web and shop front.

    I have put quite a lot of effort into learning about the web and search marketing. If you enter my most important 2 searches in Google “roof racks sydney” and “tow bars sydney” I will often appear 3 times on the visible portion of your screen on page one. In position 1 or 2 in the organic listing, somewhere prominent in the paid listings (position varies) and also in the local business map listing. This is pretty cool but my expense that has paid off has been in paying for listings and learning about search marketing.

    In the last year I have also gotten into blogs. It cost nothing other than time and I usually do it while watching trash TV. An example of how this is successful is, I write a blog on fitting a tow bar to a VW Golf. If you enter VW Golf tow bar into google this will appear on page 1. I am now Australia’s expert on VW Golf tow bars because no-one else has written a blog about it. This one blog that probably took me an episode of Underbelly to create now brings in a steady stream of work and enquiries and also builds on my web presence. And this is just one vehicle.

    My current strategy is just to produce as much volume of info as possible. It gives me a real buzz when I find out that either my web site or blogg is being used as a reference source in an autos or outdoor leisure forum. Also I quite often find my own images being used in googles image search results which also lets you know your search engine optimisation is working.

    My web site is a funny one. Developers hate it. It is the wrong colour, it has bits of old Frontpage scattered thro it, it use old style formating, some of the borders don’t render properly in Firefox and it doesn’t do anything clever. However I get lots of good feedback from customers. It is simple to navigate, the info is clear, it gives lots of info and what gets the most praise from customers is it gives prices.

    So my advise to a speciality retail business would be invest your time and dollars in a simple but expansive web presence. I am trying to grow like a rash over the internet in my field. Thro paid listing, self education in search marketing and plugging away at web site content and blog content.

    Hope this helps someone

    #1019761
    akagrp
    Member
    • Total posts: 315
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    Steve_Minshall, post: 23514 wrote:
    For my busines (motor accessories retail) I learnt the following:

    1) Yellow pages didn’t work. Small ads get lost behind the big ads. This cost me $8k to learn. Colour does not make a difference this cost me $12k to learn. Going big gives you more traffic but not enough to recover the $25k this took me to learn.

    2) YP on-line, is ok, is pretty cheap but doesn’t light any fires.

    3) The little banner ads at the top of the page on YP on-line didn’t work for me. This cost me $2-$3k to learn, Can’t remember exact figure.

    4) Crude flyers printed in black and white on orange paper announcing the new shop did work to get things going.

    5) Glossy flyers a few years later did not work. I don’t know if this is because they didn’t have the interest of a new shop or because people are now sick of letter box drops as the big stores have hammered this so hard for the last few years.

    6) Local newspaper didn’t work for me. People tell me you need to advertise continuously for this to work but after $600 and zero responses I didn’t want to try.

    What has worked is web and shop front.

    I have put quite a lot of effort into learning about the web and search marketing. If you enter my most important 2 searches in Google “roof racks sydney” and “tow bars sydney” I will often appear 3 times on the visible portion of your screen on page one. In position 1 or 2 in the organic listing, somewhere prominent in the paid listings (position varies) and also in the local business map listing. This is pretty cool but my expense that has paid off has been in paying for listings and learning about search marketing.

    In the last year I have also gotten into blogs. It cost nothing other than time and I usually do it while watching trash TV. An example of how this is successful is, I write a blog on fitting a tow bar to a VW Golf. If you enter VW Golf tow bar into google this will appear on page 1. I am now Australia’s expert on VW Golf tow bars because no-one else has written a blog about it. This one blog that probably took me an episode of Underbelly to create now brings in a steady stream of work and enquiries and also builds on my web presence. And this is just one vehicle.

    My current strategy is just to produce as much volume of info as possible. It gives me a real buzz when I find out that either my web site or blogg is being used as a reference source in an autos or outdoor leisure forum. Also I quite often find my own images being used in googles image search results which also lets you know your search engine optimisation is working.

    My web site is a funny one. Developers hate it. It is the wrong colour, it has bits of old Frontpage scattered thro it, it use old style formating, some of the borders don’t render properly in Firefox and it doesn’t do anything clever. However I get lots of good feedback from customers. It is simple to navigate, the info is clear, it gives lots of info and what gets the most praise from customers is it gives prices.

    So my advise to a speciality retail business would be invest your time and dollars in a simple but expansive web presence. I am trying to grow like a rash over the internet in my field. Thro paid listing, self education in search marketing and plugging away at web site content and blog content.

    Hope this helps someone

    Dear Steven

    Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us at flying solo and I would love with your consent to use extracts in my article with full details and ref to you are your site. Reading your reply was like seeing my marketing mistakes, as we went down the YP path 12 years, what was strange for us though it worked for the first 2 years but not after that.

    PS I like your site gets to the point not like many sites that have pages and pages of copy.

    Again Thank you and to all the other flying solo members you have part take thus far, hopefully we can give a strighter path to success for new business then having to go through the zig zag path many of us went through.

    #1019762
    FletcherTax
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    • Total posts: 347
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    Steve

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, costs and times involved with each strategy!

    So glad you confirmed my thinking on Yellow Pages – it clearly has lost its marketing influence.

    #1019763
    Chris Bates
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    • Total posts: 966
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    Yes YP has lost a lot of it’s marketing influence. The Internet is where it’s at now days! YP use is down 55% vs Internet use being up 95%.

    Flyers & Letterbox did nothing for me. $600 thrown away, not one sale from it.

    Second biggest waste of money for me has been on TrueLocal premium listing. Never had a call from it, and constantly being sent crap from their “Service Seeking” site wanting more money from me.

    AdWords have been my biggest breadwinner.

    #1019764
    Steve_Minshall
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    • Total posts: 518
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    akagrp, post: 23516 wrote:
    Dear Steven

    Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us at flying solo and I would love with your consent to use extracts in my article with full details and ref to you are your site. Reading your reply was like seeing my marketing mistakes, as we went down the YP path 12 years, what was strange for us though it worked for the first 2 years but not after that.

    PS I like your site gets to the point not like many sites that have pages and pages of copy.

    Again Thank you and to all the other flying solo members you have part take thus far, hopefully we can give a strighter path to success for new business then having to go through the zig zag path many of us went through.

    Your welcome, feel free to use what ever you like.
    I would stress before Sensis send the lawyers round that this was true for me in my business and I have no idea how effective this medium is in other industries/locations. However, they did cost me a huge amount of money when I could ill afford it, so ya bo sucks to them.

    What I love about paid search is that you are paying for results and not exposure. If no one clicks on your ad you don’t pay, so your costs are directly proportional to your traffic. With print media your ad is out there but you’ve already spent your money whether it works or not. And with Yellow pages you can start paying up to 6 months before the add even appears.

    Look forward to the article.

    Steve

    #1019765
    VideoTraining
    Member
    • Total posts: 101
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    Dear Steve, I wish I had spoken to you 2 months ago!

    I have just noted down 7 tips from your article! I didn’t expect to get that much detail when I asked the question.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write this down/type this up!

    Kindest regards,

    Tony Morris
    http://www.DVDcoach.com
    Online Computer Training Made Easy

    #1019766
    bradzo
    Member
    • Total posts: 335
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    Steve

    Thanks a million mate!

    2 points really stuck in my eyeballs:

    Crude flyers printed in black and white on orange paper announcing the new shop did work to get things going.

    and

    What I love about paid search is that you are paying for results and not exposure. If no one clicks on your ad you don’t pay, so your costs are directly proportional to your traffic.

    Far out.

    These two things are next on my marketing agenda.

    And I’ll send you a Xmas card with a $250,000 scratchie! :)

    (That’s all I can afford at the moment….)
    :)

    #1019767
    Sbezzy
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Thanks Steve, Your posting was very informative and helpful.

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