Monthly Archives: February 2008

Make Self Promotion a Habit

Every day you need to do something, anything towards your goals.  Make it a quest to never miss even one day.  My goal is to add at least two pieces of content to the web each day.  It can be a video, a blog, a new section on one of my web pages or a new marketing program for one of my companies.  But put something online, every day.  I usually do at least three things each day to make up for the days I do less but even if you only did one thing each day at the end of the year you would have 365 things online, all of these things building your image, and pushing you one step closer to success.

The Secrets to Better Marketing

For the last week or so I have been thinking a lot about the idea of graphic design, and the image your company gives to the world.  What is clear is that SO MUCH of what is out there simply does not work and is very bad, there is plenty of room for improvement.

One thing is that the world has changed and people are hit with much more, but better targeted advertising.  But because there is so much more, so many people ignore it, so you really need to get right to the point.  I can not figure out what they are selling on at least half of the online ads that I see.  If you are a small company you don’t have the time to do this huge ad campaign where you spend a ton of time talking about something that is unrelated to your product.   Just simply tell people what you do, and what make you DIFFERENT from your competition.

The different thing is key, open up any phone book and almost all of the ads say the same things.  Like under plumbing they all have basically the same list of what they fix.  As a small business with a limited budget you need to look at what your competition is doing and basically say we do everything they do plus this and this that they don’t.  Focus on the differences.  Never say things that can’t be proved, or are total cliché like “Fastest Service” “Friendliest techs” or “Cheapest Prices”, everyone has heard this 1000’s of times and they just don’t get it.  You need to PROVE it.  Say “We are at your house in 20 minutes after you call” or “Our hourly rate is $45 while the average of our competition is $85”.  This will bring people to you.  If you don’t have any differences then maybe you need to change your business so you do.

If you are starting a company it is important to pick a name that is EASY for people to understand what you are doing.  Our new company we are in the process of making is called World Sales Team, because we are a team of sales people that will be located all over the world.  You chance at success is MUCH higher with a good name.  Also think about the future, you don’t want to be called a regional name if you plan to grow larger.  In most cases you also don’t want to have your personal name in the company name, it causes problems if you want to start over, or sell the company.  Also someone may have the same name and work for your competitor and that can cause issues.  Before you  name your new company make sure you can get the domain name, because people often look for you online.

Just as important as a name you want a good slogan, probably show your major benefit or your major difference.  If you make a product that has packaging you also need to be very clear and direct.  When you item is on the shelf you will only have a second or two to get someone attention and they will be far away, so make your text large, bold and to the point.

So I wrote all of this because I have been thinking about how to make my web sites more effective.  What I have seen that seems to work VERY well for the companies that use it is to create a video, talking about the company or the product.  I have seen VERY few companies actually do this, but every one that has is doing much better than their still counterparts.  To this effect I am learning video editing.  So far I am very bad at it, but I have just created some new videos and posted then on my youtube.

The next thing is that most web sites are either too much stuff or too little stuff.  I think the best website is one that has only a small amount of stuff, but that all the details are there somewhere, in an organized easy to find way.  That is what I have tried to do with my Emerald Computers website.  I don’t think I am there yet but it is getting better.  One of my biggest peeves is when I find something that I am interested in and the companies web site has almost no information.  I then search Google or somewhere and half the time I find negative stuff about that company, and they just lost my sale.  Please, if you want to make money, keep people there, tell them the whole story, let them go as deep as they want to.  Also put photos on the site, of people using your product.  I too need to follow this one much more.   If you have enough active customers then consider creating a forum for your customers to interact.

So here are my resolutions, make things much more to the point.  Have a clean website, but have more info there somewhere, remember content is king.  Put video online.  Put more graphics online.

I hope this helps you, please leave a comment.

What's the Big Idea

There is a show that is on every weeknight on CNBC, it is called the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.  If you have not seen this show and you are at all interested in being an Entrepreneur then you are really missing out.  This show is full of concepts and ideas about how to successful, how to start your business and how to make that business successful.  Look for it.

The flow of investment capital and how to keep it active

Well here is a quick mental exercise. I am going to think about, and share with you, my thoughts about investment money.

Well the main areas of investment I see are:

  • Real Estate (Commercial and Residential Property)(I am not counting owner occupied housing because that is not primarily an investment.)
  • Securities (Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Futures)
  • Private Equity (Direct investment in private companies)
  • Metals and Jewels (Large amounts of money are kept in Gold, Silver and other precious metals)
  • Cash (Yes many people keep money in cash, CD’s and deposit accounts.)
  • International Investing (All of these areas but outside of the US)

Now, because the total amount of money is VERY QUICKLY increasing, the actual value of a dollar must be going down. This is evident by looking at the price of the dollar verses most any investment. You could have invested in most any are for the last 5 years and had a positive outcome vs. the dollar. Over 90% of this money is owned by less than 3% of the population. The total size of all of this investment money is well in excess of 70 TRILLION dollars. That is more money than most people can even imagine.

One important concept that I have noticed is the fact that money shushes around, from one investment type to another. In the late 1990’s the stock market was all the rage, and most other areas of investment were growing slower than normal, most investment money went there so the values went sky high. Then the hype popped in 2000-2001, and people started taking their money out of stocks, the people who left early took most of the profits.

From 2002 until 2006 the hype was all about Real Estate, as a whole the US made over 6 TRILLION dollars investing in real estate. That is about $40,000 for EVERY adult in the United States, and this number does NOT count the house you live in, only investment properties. By the start of 2007 people made a ton of money and started to see an end to the run-up in prices of Real Estate, so they started cashing out. Again the people who did it first made the most money.

Now this money STILL is out there. Where is it going? The easiest way to find this out is to look at what is going up in value. Metals is one huge area that has seem price spikes from 2007 until now. Another area is Private Equity. Most people who made this huge money qualify to invest in Private Equity and they have done so. They have brought companies private, they have started new companies.

Another area that has seen a huge increase in investment is the INTERNATIONAL segment. New cities are being built all over the world. The rate of investment in much of the world is on record pace.

Because of the vast size of stocks, and the fond memories many investors have, much of the money has returned to stock market. But many people who made a ton of money in Real Estate are looking to return to that market also.

So where should you invest??? The key is to move into the segment first and leave first, but it is hard to predict what will happen. For example I think metals were HOT but they are now near the top, and as we have seen when this happens there often is a fall. A lot of money has gone back to the stock market and more will follow, so there will still be a few years to make money in that area. Real Estate has taken a huge hit but should come up later, the returns will not be huge but at least there will be returns. So the two areas I see, where I would invest my money is in Private Equity and in International. In much of the world the Real Estate boom is just starting.

The best thing would be to start a company in a fast growing nation, and take advantage of the growth. This is hard so the next best thing would be to invest, using Private Equity, in a US company that does a good deal of business internationally.

When we stated Capital Active, this is exactly what we thought about, the fact that there is a huge amount of Capital out there, and that it needs to be kept moving around, kept active doing different things at different times.

Tell me what you think, please leave a comment to this blog, tell me if you agree or disagree.

People with Millions

Well I have been doing some reading and some of it mentioned stats about millionaires.  This has been something that I have been thinking a lot about, simply because I will soon be a millionaire, in fact it seems quite easy when you follow the steps.

There are only 9.5 million millionaires in the world. (In Dollars) To put that in perspective that is 3 millionaires for every 2000 people on this planet.  These millionaires are worth a total of $37.2 trillion dollars.  That is an average of    1.9 million of these folks are in the United States.  That means that in the US 2 people out of every 300 are millionaires.  Half of all millionaires in the US are retired.

Only 1% of millionaires are worth over $30 million, but of these super millionaires 65% of them are in the United States.  Millionaires are rare, but for the people who really want to be a millionaire it is something that can be done with ease.  You simply need a millionaire mindset, the drive and focus to achieve it then the idea that will make you your money.

95% of the people in the US do not have a millionaire mindset, and will never become one unless they win the lottery or something like that.  The other 5% know what to do, but most of them will never be able to do it because they can not harness the drive or focus because life gets in the way.

It seems that the easiest way to become a self made millionaire is to think of a system, that is easy to reproduce, and allows you to get small amounts of money from many people.  The most common way to do this is to sell a product or service, making a small amount of money from many people.  The same thing applies to people who sell books, or sports players who make their money from the team when they sell tickets and products. The system is your distribution system, you have to make the system in such a way that you can be removed from the system and it still works.  Once you have a system that works without you then you can grow it bigger, as long as you are part of the system, you will always hold the system back, because you have limited time and energy.

For me I have ideas for a few such systems, the only thing is the money required to launch these ideas, so until I have enough I work hard at making the systems not need money, or using my personal efforts to make money to fund these systems some day.

Many others become millionaires by being super executives at huge companies, or by investing the small sums they had in real estate or stocks.  These methods so account for many millionaires also but not everyone can be a high level executive, and many people don’t have the ability to save and invest, this is why making a system is the easiest way.

Because I have the millionaire mindset I am always aware when I meet millionaires, and for them being as rare as they are, they seem to be everywhere.  Many of my best customers are millionaires, many people I know and find interesting are millionaires.  Of the 100 people I have spent the most time with in the last 3 months at least 15 of them are millionaires.  When I am in Asia, I am often surrounded by the top .01% of society.

Any thoughts, then please reply.   Forward this on if you know someone else who may like it.