You know what’s really sexy?
Big user numbers. Big engagement numbers. Big markets. Big press stories.
In theory, if you line these all up, you’ll soon be looking at big profits. And, we all know that when it comes to profits, size definitely matters.
The problem is that going big or going home is terrible advice. Here’s why:
Size is Relative
What is “big” exactly? It’s a relative term that relies on comparison.
Should you shoot to be the biggest company in the city? Your state?Are you only successful if you’re the market leader?Do you need to be the biggest company in the world??
The truth is that small and medium-sized companies are successful every day. They make a lot of money, provide employment, and make their founders wealthy, even if you never hear about them on Twitter.
Jason Lemkin recently advised founders to shoot for an order of magnitude bigger. Success is really...
‘Tis the season for accelerator graduation. As programs come to an end, Demo Days are popping up everywhere, proudly displaying the companies they’ve built in the last 3 months.
With the influx of new startups entering the ecosystem, you have asked yourself if any of it really matters. Will any of these companies accomplish their goals or make even marginal profits.
Startups are cool. And glamorous. And super sexy. In 2014, everyone wants to “start up” and create the next (insert hot company here).
The problem, of course, is that startups are leeches.
Startups Take Resources
The process of starting up is difficult and time consuming. Most early stage startups have budgets of $0 and can’t afford the basic services needed to get started.
So, law firms and accounting firms donate services. Mentors donate time and expertise. Accelerator programs risk time, expertise, and capital on...
Perhaps the most exciting phase of a business is right at the beginning. You’ve uncovered your great idea, you’ve done the initial research, and you’ve started talking to potential customers. You know what you want to build.
For many non-technical founders, the building phase can feel like a brick wall. You don’t know how to code, and you may not even really know how to explain to a developer what you need.
With this limited knowledge, new entrepreneurs start looking for a “technical cofounder” or perhaps just a freelance developer to do the initial work.
Both of those choices have benefits, but they also come with lots of downsides. Another option to consider is a development shop (like, say, DevDigital). Perhaps we’re a little biased, but here are 4 big reasons a dev shop might be the best option for you.
Finding good programmers is hard.
It’s amazing how non-technical...
Have you ever thought you’d like to be an entrepreneur, but you just can’t come up with the right idea? Maybe you’ve got an idea but aren’t sure if it’s viable. Or maybe you feel completely stuck, unable to come up with any idea at all.
The truth is, ideas aren’t the hard part. If you know where to look and start building your habits around ideas, you’ll soon find you have so many you can’t possibly keep up with them all. That’s always a good place to be!
Solve Your Own Problems
One of the easiest ways to come up with ideas is to solve your own problems. No one knows your business or your life better than you do. Think about the obstacles you face every day and how you already work around them. Is there a better, more efficient way? Chances are good if you have this problem, other people do too.
Intrapreneurship is perfect for these kinds of ideas. Many, many companies have been...
We talked last week about the importance of content marketing, no matter what industry you’re in. Content marketing can attract an audience, and once you have an audience, promoting your business is that much easier.
“But,” you may be asking, “where is all this content coming from exactly?”
Chances are good if you aren’t a professional writer or English professor, writing loads of content to attract an audience isn’t top on your priority list. But, you can’t argue with the numbers. Inbound marketing efforts like content marketing produce 54% more leads than traditional outbound strategies.
One of the hardest things about writing is just getting started. It can seem impossible to come up with enough things to write about. Once you get started, though, you might be surprised at just how quickly you start generating ideas.
When you get stuck, consider these 3 tips for finding new. ...
If you know anything about websites, you've heard the term 'responsive web design.' It's the number one trend in site design in the last 2 years, and you'll be hard pressed to find a designer not using it.
If you're not familiar with responsive web design, it's pretty simple. Basically, it just means that a website's pages reformat themselves to fit whatever device they're being read on.
With the explosion of mobile and tablets, everyone is browsing the Internet on the go, and if you want to increase exposure, your website has to be accessible and coherent across all those platforms.
Here are just a few benefits of responsive web design:
Improves User Experience
Think about the last time you visited a website on your phone that was not built with responsive web design. You'll know them because of the constant zooming in and out and screen adjusting you have to do to read the...
By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about content marketing. Everyone’s talking about it, and everyone’s experimenting with its potential.
But, what exactly is content marketing, and is it really right for your business?
Content Marketing 101
Content marketing is simply using relevant and valuable content to attract and educate your potential audience. Thanks to the wealth of free information on the Internet, consumers no longer have to spend a fortune to learn a new skill or pick up a few tips. Businesses capitalize on that by offering free information that hooks an audience and makes them more receptive to future offers.
Yeah, it sounds a little like a bait and switch, but good content marketers provide real value to consumers. Your audience can actually learn something from your content, and you generate sales leads.
Content Marketing: A Brief History
Recently a friend told me about a group of men he had been hanging out with.
“I’m the youngest by at least 20 years,” he said. “And they’re all successful, run multiple businesses each. The talk is crazy: politics, religion, business. And if you didn’t know they were friends, you would think a fist fight was always about to break out.”
“They get together regularly?” I asked.
“Every day.” I was stunned. Every. Day?!
I don’t even see my own business partners every day, and we’re still in the honeymoon phase where we like each other.
Yet this group of men--yes, all men, that’s another topic--take time away from their businesses every day just to hang out.
They’ve learned the lesson of relationships, and rather than hurting them, this time together actually helps all of them.
We Do Business With People We Know
You’re familiar with the typical networking event: people standing around with...
If you’re in business in 2014, you should have a blog.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Yes, it takes time to write good blog posts, and it can sometimes be hard to clearly see the ROI. But, like networking, blogging is something that seems pointless at first, then pays big dividends over time.
Whether you’re an electrician or a high tech startup, blogging provides numerous benefits to your company.
Blogging Increases SEO
SEO is a fancy way of saying your website is more visible to Google. If Google knows where you are, you’re more likely to come up in search results for your keywords. Ranking on the first page of Google will significantly increase traffic to your website, which will in turn increase business.
You might be thinking that a simple website explaining your business is enough. Why do you need a blog, exactly?
The Google search bots like having new pages to visit. Every new...
“You’re willing to give up good on the off-chance of finding great.”
Someone said this to me recently, and the most confusing thing about the statement was that it was said in an accusing way.
Isn’t that true of everyone?
Turns out that it’s not. Most people are willing to settle for good out of fear that they will never achieve great. That’s how the status quo is built in the first place.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are uniquely wired to seek out new possibilities. We’re able to see possibilities where others miss them, and we’re willing to give up good on the off-chance that we’ll find great.
But, mostly, we’re people who learn to embrace the fear.
It’s Always Gonna Be Scary
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say a billion more times: entrepreneurship is hard. It’s like life on steroids.
You’re building something from nothing, and you’re lucky if you can convince people you’re not...