Posts Tagged ‘The Art of the Start’

Start Internet Business with Tips from Guy Kawasaki

October 26th, 2009

Learning how to start an Internet Business doesn’t have to be complicated. The secret, Guy Kawasaki tips, ‘Starting a new online business or taking an existing business online can seem intimidating or overwhelming, but like everything else, if you make a plan and take it step by step, you’ll be up and running in no time.’

In his book, "The Art of the Start", he says not knowing where and how to begin is a dilemma shared by entrepreneurs everywhere… but what does it take to turn an idea into action?

Whether you are thinking of starting an Internet business or a church group, "The Art of the Start" will provide you with everything you need to know from raising money to fostering a community. Here’s a review of the major book headings.

The Art of Starting

There are five important things any online entrepreneur must accomplish:

  1. Make Meaning. The best reason to start a business is to make meaning. Meaning is not about money, fame or power. Instead, meaning is about making the world a better place, increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong and preventing good from ending.
  2. Make Mantra. Instead of a mission statement, take your meaning and make your own mantra. A mantra is defined as a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantations such as an invocation of god or a magic spell. Examples of mantras include Disney’s “Fun family entertainment”, and Nike’s “Authentic athletic performance.” They focus you.
  3. Get Going. Start creating your product or service and commence delivering to your customers. Forget about writing long business plans or creating complicated financial projections. Instead build your prototype and launch your website.
  4. Define Your Business Model. Define your customers and their needs. Come up with a sales mechanism that will earn you more money than what you are spending.
  5. Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks) . Compile a list of the milestones you need to meet, assumptions that are built into your business model, and the tasks you need to accomplish to create your organization.

The Art of Positioning

With the right positioning, you should be able to see clearly why the organization was started, why it should be patronized by customers, and why good people should choose to work for the organization.

Before you begin dwelling into the art of positioning, you must first answer the question, “What do you do?” You must be able to provide an answer that not only seizes the high ground but shows exactly how your organization differs from its competitors. It is only then that you can communicate this powerful message to your chosen market.

Seize the High Ground. Good positioning must have the following qualities:

* Positive.
* Customer-centric.
* Empowering to your employees.
* Self-explanatory.
* Targets the intended customer.
* Must show the core competencies of your organization.
* Relevant to your core competencies and to the core needs of your customers.
* Long-lasting.
* Different from your competitors.

Other Positioning Tips:

* Position your product or service in the most personal manner you can.
* You must choose a remarkable name for your organization, product or service.
* Use plain words that are easy to understand when describing what your company can do for your customers. Avoid technical or insider jargon.
* Offer concrete points instead of mere overused adjectives when distinguishing your products to competitors. Instead of calling your system safe, say that your system has never been hacked.

The Art of Pitching

For an entrepreneur, pitching is almost as important as breathing. Not only is pitching a great tool for raising money, it is essential for reaching agreements. Needless to say, agreements are common to any entrepreneur’s daily life.

Here are some tips to help you make a perfect pitch:

  1. Explain Yourself in the First Minute. Every single time you make your pitch, take in mind that your audience is waiting for you to answer one question: “What does your organization do?” The next time you make a pitch, make sure that you answer that question in the very first minute.
  2. Answer the Little Man. Picture a little man sitting on your shoulder the next time you are giving a presentation. Imagine the little man whispering, “So what?” in your ear every time you make a point. Always answer the little man’s question. To make it even better, right after you answer the so-what question, move into “For instance…” and provide a real-world use or scenario.
  3. Know Your Audience. Do your research before any meeting starts. Find out who you would be pitching to and learn what’s important to your audience. You must also visit the organization’s website and gather core information about the people you would be speaking to.
  4. Pitch Constantly. The best way to achieve familiarity is to keep doing your pitch over and over again. Try out your pitch in front of your employees, relatives and friends.

The Art of Bootstrapping

Most people are surprised to learn that industry giants Microsoft and eBay are two companies that started with a bootstrap model. A bootstrappable business model has:

* Low up-front capital requirements.
* Short (under a month) sales cycles.
* Short (under a month) payment terms.
* Recurring revenue.
* Word of mouth advertising.

Bootstrapping might mean passing up profitable sales that may take a long time to collect or stretching your payments for everything you buy. This might mean a decline in “paper” profits but for a bootstrapper, paper profits are not as important as cash flow management.

If you are bootstrapping, you obviously are not sitting on a pile of money. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your product or service to the market immediately. When using this philosophy, you are opting to fix the problems of your product later rather than now.

The good news is, with this method, you will receive immediate cash flow and feedback from the real world. Unfortunately, this method might also tarnish your image if there are quality problems.

It is not easy to make this decision. If you feel that you would allow the people you love to use the product or service as it is right now, then it might be correct to ship it. If you are running out of money, it might also be advisable to ship the product and deal with the consequences later.

Bootstrapping Tips

  1. Focus on Function, Not Form. Do not focus on form when it comes to spending money. If you need proper accounting, you don’t need to hire a big name firm. You also don’t need to buy expensive stuff… just functional.
  2. Go Direct. Take the opportunity to sell directly to your customers. Only use resellers once you have ensured that your product and service is bug-free. Remember, you have to establish your product on your own.
  3. Position against the Leader. As a bootstrapper, positioning against the market leader or going against accepted ways of doing things might be the smartest thing to do.
  4. Understaff and Outsource. Overstaffing can cause you a multitude of problems. It is better to understaff and outsource. Do not outsource research and development, marketing and sales. Instead, outsource your routine management functions.
  5. Sweat the Big stuff. Save on office space, furniture, computers, and office equipment. However, make sure you spend enough on product development, sales, billing and collection.
  6. Execute. The failure to execute can be disastrous to a bootstrapper. To be able to execute, you must be able to set and communicate goals, measure progress, have a point of accountability, follow through until an issue is done or irrelevant, heed reality.

The Art of Partnering

Although good partnering can increase cash flow, accelerate revenue and reduce costs, a bad partnership can very well mean the other way around. Some tips that can help you master the art of partnering:

  1. Partner to accelerate your entry into a new area, open up new distribution channels, speed up product development and reduce your costs.
  2. Define Deliverables and Objectives. These include additional revenues, reduced costs, new products and services, new customers, new markets, etc.
  3. Cut Win-Win Deals. Both partners have to win. Do not enter into win-lose partnerships.
  4. Wait to Legislate. Don’t ask for legal advice too early. Legal experts will always give you more reasons not to go through the deal. Agree on business terms on your own before you bring in your lawyers.
  5. Put an “Out” Clause in the Deal. The assurance that both parties won’t be trapped into a partnership that is not working actually promotes longevity.

The Art of Branding

In Internet business you would first be branding YOU. People buy from YOU. Guy Kawasaki refers to this as proselytization, which is the art of converting others to your belief or doctrine.

For online start-ups, proselytization is the core of branding. You must be able to create something contagious that would make people enthusiastic and eager to try your product or service. You must be able to make other people spread the word around.

The secret to branding is aligning with a product or service that is already gold or enhancing your product and service until it becomes gold. You must be able to create or find products and services that are contagious. Contagious products and services are:

* Cool.
* Effective.
* Distinctive.
* Disruptive.
* Emotive.
* Deep.
* Indulgent.
* Supported.

Branding Tips

  1. Recruit Evangelists. Evangelists are people who believe in you and what you do. Take advantage of the customers who wish to help you and your business. Assign them tasks and expect them to get done. Provide them the tools they need to evangelize.
  2. Foster a Community. Identify and recruit customers who are enthusiastic about what you do. Hire someone whose sole task is to foster a community. Integrate the presence of your community in all your sales and marketing tools. Allow members to use your building for their events and conferences.
  3. Achieve Humanness. Target the young and don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself. Feature your customers and help the underprivileged.
  4. Focus on Publicity. To attract publicity, create something grand and get them into the hands of people. Make friends even with reporters from publications you have never heard of. Additionally, make sure you maintain good relations with the press all year round.

The Art of Rainmaking

A rainmaker is a person who generates large quantities of business. The first step of rainmaking in a start-up business is to get the very first version of the product or service out to the market. After you do this, you must observe where your product or service will sell the most.

The second step of rainmaking is to be able to sell the product or service well. Remember, as a start-up, people are not aware of your products and services. You must overcome resistance.

Here are some tips you can use to master the art of rainmaking:

* Pick the right lead generation method .
* Find the key influencer. Ignore titles. They really don’t mean much.
* Be nice to secretaries and administrative aids.
* Make your prospect talk. This way, they’ll be able to tell you what you need to do to close the deal.
* Ask customers to test drive your products and services.
* Give your customers a slow and easy adoption curve.
* Do not be fazed when you are rejected.

The Art of Being a Mensch

Mensch is a Yiddish term for an ethical and admirable person. In some cultures, it is considered the highest form of praise. To be a mensh, you must help people, do what’s right and contribute to society.

Here are some tips on becoming a mensch:

* Help people who can not help you back.
* Observe the spirit of agreements, pay for what you get and focus on what is important.
* Help society by giving money, time, expertise and emotional support.

This then is the wisdom of Guy Kawasaki on starting any business especially Internet business to earn additional income If you are new or in a job, click here for help.

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