Mark is an entrepreneur and investor on ABC's Shark Tank. He's the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and is the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In his recent interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, Mark talked a lot about the mistakes many new entrepreneurs make when they think they've found a profitable business idea. Here's his business advice to those who want to start a business:
While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
It’s one of the oldest and most proven ways to make money – buy low, sell high. The buy low part comes from searching garage sales, estate sales, and even thrift stores to find items that are in good condition (“gently used”) but selling well below what they would if they were brand-new. In this way, you might be able to acquire an item for $5, and later sell it for $50.
If you love what you’re doing and it’s something you want to improve in continually, then you can have a more secure footing in your chosen business. Keep updating yourself with the latest in your online business, stay connected with your audience, expand your product offerings, and give the best customer service that you can, and it will set you apart from the others in your niche.
Using Fiverr is a great way to pick up work. Once you have signed up you can advertise your services. Fiver allows you to create your own gigs, whether you are offering web design, digital marketing, writing, or something else. You can choose how much you want to charge (it can be more than a fiver) and people will then contact you if they are interested in working with you. Fiverr will not only help you get experience if you are just starting off as a freelancer, but it will also help you earn some extra cash.
This may sound cliché, but my honest advice is to go for it when considering starting a new business venture, despite the fear it may not work out. One needs to adopt the mindset that the whole journey is a big experiment and that “failure” is not an option, because ultimately it is learning and growth that we will get. Focusing on the rewards instead of the fear is the real key to success. - Noor Hibbert, This Is Your Dream LTD
The position of your ad is determined by several factors that give your ad a score based on the quality of your ads and how much you are willing to pay per click. Even if other brands are competing for the same keyword as you are, it is possible to rank above them and pay less per click, but Google must see your ads as highly relevant in order for this to happen.
Reed McManigle: At CTTEC we deal primarily with inventor teams of faculty and PhD students, and inventions that have resulted from (perhaps years) of research funding. With this starting point, it's easy for the inventors to be convinced that the science/technology is the key driver of success, instead of the actual drivers of finding a real, sizable problem to address; building and managing a team; developing and executing a go-to-market strategy, etc.
If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!
"Instead of praying an audience (or customers) will find you, get in front of people in your space. Start a blog, podcast or create video content. Take advantage of social media. Attend in-person events. One way to make "putting yourself out there" easier is by making an effort to help others. (Sounds counterintuitive, I know!) On the individual level, maybe it's by making an introduction. For a larger audience, perhaps it's by writing an actionable blog post. However, by being helpful you'll make a lasting impression."
Different online income streams to begin your online business could be ebooks and online courses, niche websites, membership programs, software development, consultation programs and packaging existing content to sell as a bundle. Ducker says “It all comes down to knowing who you’re helping, what their problems are, and most importantly – creating a solution to a problem that they will happily part with a little hard earned cash for.”
As we kick off a brand new year and everyone heads back to work, we have tried to find a way to fill up those commuting hours once again. So we put together our list of the best digital marketing blogs that we think are informative, entertaining, and essential to the marketing community. Some light reading to help the time pass on the train. So take a look at one (or all) of them, and see if any of your favorites made the list.
The quote above comes from a ConversionXL article by Tommy Walker titled How To Calculate & Increase Customer Lifetime Value. Walker states that many businesses focus on transactional customer value, and in doing so forget to invest in the post-conversion experience. He recommends determining customer lifetime value and improving customer experience by offering a better post-purchase experience. Walker says Internet marketers should view every customer interaction as an opportunity to improve loyalty, find ways to build habits around your product, make it easy for customers to connect and “incorporate customer feedback to improve everything from user experience to product features & design.”
Entrepreneurship is a challenging but rewarding path to take and you have highlighted some great tips here. I agree with your point that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to work smarter, not harder. I believe that working smarter is all about hiring the right team and delegating responsibility. Think about it this way. Today’s entrepreneurs are working with the ‘Millennial’ generation, those born after 1980 and before 2000. These people are digital natives who have very different ideas around what they look for in their leaders, compared to the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation. For example,‘Millennials’ look for their leaders to be strategic thinkers, inspirational and have strong interpersonal skills. Millennial’s will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so entrepreneurs really need to tap into their younger employees and involve them in company decisions.
It also doesn’t take much to get started with this type of business. Set up your blog, shoot those videos, advertise on Facebook, and build an audience. With 3.2 billion people or 40% of the global population as internet users, there’s no better reason to take advantage of these figures when you sell your informational products. Going online is indeed the way to go!
As well as selling your eBooks, Amazon can also create paperback copies of your book. CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, will help you self-publish your book. A relatively straightforward process, you must upload your work to CreateSpace and submit it for review. Your book will then be displayed on Amazon, and printed on demand and shipped by CreateSpace when purchased. And you can collect up to 70% royalties for each book sold.
CMU has great and well recognized strengths in these areas, which sometimes overshadows the great but less recognized strengths we have in energy, materials, chemistry, medical devices, healthcare IT, etc. As mentioned above, many of these sectors need more time and money to get to a first customer, which makes it more difficult for a researcher to be a 'scrappy entrepreneur' on his/her own. We try to help them find outside, experienced entrepreneurs to partner with to form a scrappy entrepreneurial *team*.
A systems approach segments your goals into different areas of your life. This goes beyond your average goal setting because it aligns an area where you want to get something done with the value that will be realized when it's accomplished. For example, my systems approach includes a project system, skills system, health and wellness system, home maintenance system and organization system.
9. Post online video. Video is still a little cutting-edge for some, but the benefits can’t be understated. Online video is the wave of the future, and every business needs to have something on YouTube, Metacafe, etc. If you’re concerned about expense here, keep in mind there are some low-budget options that won’t damage your brand while still providing concrete benefits.
The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What should budding entrepreneurs know about building a business?” is written by Michael Cole, co-founder and CEO of Picniic.
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.
If you're at all scarcity-minded, it's important to understand how much abundance exists today. Considering that virtually every brick-and-mortar store has made the transition to an online business, there's certainly no shortage of competition. But there's also plenty of so-called blue ocean. While most might make it out to seem like Amazon is the only company reaping the benefits of the ecommerce boom here, the growth is widespread and across every single sector in business.
No matter which way you do it, it’s passive income—money you earn while you sleep because you put these products up for sale on your website and a customer can buy and download them any time of day or night, automatically. All you have to do is check the sales periodically to see what topics or types of products are selling best so that you can make more of those.
There are numerous printing companies that will print your designs onto not just T-shirts, but also hoodies, hats, posters, cushions, bags, and phone cases, to name a few items. These businesses also offer fulfillment services. This means that you promote the merchandise on your own site and once you sell a product the printing company will not only print your design but also send the item directly to the buyer. So all you have to do is concentrate on the marketing and selling of your products, and the fulfillment company will take care of the rest.
Wall says to start with an easily understandable privacy agreement in plain English, instead of official legally binding jargon that readers will glaze over. Make sure the information is made clear to mobile users as well, and any other platform in which you capture information. Finally, your company is responsible for safeguarding all user data that you collect. This means using the information in the limited parameters your user agreement stated, and keeping your client data private.
If you're interested in online marketing, setup email software and create a lead magnet that you can use in your sales funnel. Then, build up that list. It's often said that you can expect to earn about $1 per subscriber per month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, that means you can earn roughly around $10,000 per month. You will need to deliver value and not pitch them on every email, but it is a very achievable goal in a short period.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.