It was just announced that Elon Musk is now the richest man in the world. How did he infamously go from post-Paypal brokeness to this?! The idea is simple, and I break it down in this video.
At 34, Frank Wang has turned his dream of flying robots into the world’s biggest drone company–and an expected $4.5 billion fortune. Now, as the market for his devices explodes, his old colleague is trying to take him down.
Fascinating article about Frank Wang Tao, how he grew DJI into an amazing company, and how he got wrapped up in the concerns over drones.
This is a business article – learn from the best!
Recently I’ve noticed a significant increase in traffic here to philsmy.com. It seems there are a lot of people interested in what I have to say about BannersBroker (and interested in Banners Broker I guess!).
One of the places I am getting a lot of traffic from is ‘The Motley Fool’ message boards. This is nice as I’ve been a Fool member for year! You can see that thread here: http://boards.fool.co.uk/banners-broker-12595908.aspx?sort=whole
Again, if you have any personal experience as a publisher in the banner’s broker network I’d love to here it. Please comment here or send me a message.
I’ve talked a lot now about the getting the idea. One thing you have to look at to be successful is how other people became successful.
In generic terms – find someone or some business you really admire (for the right reason – because it interests you AND it made money, not just because it made money). See how they progressed. How the company started. What mistakes they made, what early successes they stumbled across.
After doing this with a few businesses you’ll start to see a pattern.
- Start small
- Work hard
- Look for sympathetic partners – be choosy!
- Don’t outsource core components – learn them yourselves
- Build credibility & reputation
- Be flexible
Those are the same for every successful business I know – big or small!
That should do it for the series on developing a business idea. If you want to chat, feel free to post comments – I’d love the feedback!
Don’t go into business thinking you know exactly what that business is going to do. The fact is that once you start trading and getting feedback from customers and seeing how your sector really operates odds are you will see signs of where you’d best fit.
Don’t ignore signs to change
Go where the market leads you – within reason of course. You may start a greeting card company, and then find that people really want local photos and content. Go with it. Odds are your ideas at the start were formed by little practical experience. Once you start getting orders in, look for patterns. See where you are making money that maybe costs you less (selling cheaper items or selling few big ticket items with great mark up). Focus on those areas.
Cash Flow Is More Important Than Your Mother
The best businesses can stand on their own two feet, at a small level, fairly early on. Venture Capitalists will like businesses that got a long way on bootstrapping (read: your money). Don’t go for big investment too early. The longer you go, and prove you can stay afloat, the more your company is worth.
Now, this step may appear to be NOT a start-up step, but something for later on. It is, in a way, but, the thing I want to get across is that from the start you have to be flexible. Don’t stick to your original idea if it is being proven to be flawed.
Following up on my last post – about there being many countries in the world – you should also remember that there are many languages. Just take a look at this:
There are 6,800 known languages spoken in the 200 countries of the world. 2,261 have writing systems (the others are only spoken) and about 300 are represented by on-line dictionaries
So – don’t think that your target market has to be in English. Even if you live in America remember that a huge section of the population speaks a language OTHER than English as either their first or second language.
I think that bears repeating:
In America remember that a huge section of the population speaks a language OTHER than English as either their first or second language.
1 in 15 in America doesn’t speak ANY (or very limited) English. There are loads of stats I could throw your way, but basically, don’t think you need to do a site in English, even in America.
But, take a gander at these numbers:
Top 10 Languages On The Web
- English – 479mil
- Chinese – 384mil
- Spanish – 137mil
- Japanese – 96mil
- French – 79mil
- Portuguese – 73mil
- German – 65mil
- Arabic – 50mil
- Russian – 45mil
- Korean – 37mil
I think those are some pretty impressive numbers. And I can tell you from personal experience that the kinds of information that you can find on the web in English is sadly lacking even in the other top 10 languages.
Try looking up affiliate programs in a language other than English. Or Print on Demand. Or anything! Even with these staggering numbers (the top 10 represent 1.4 billion people) remember that those top 10 languages have 4.5 billion speakers! In other words, even in those languages, not even a third of them are online.
I hope you see what I am getting at.
If you string together my last post and this one it becomes – to me – clear. Learn the lessons of online business and development from the English speaking Americans. And apply it to other languages and locations.
Because remember this: your goal is to create a business you love and to make an income and a lifestyle. And, if you are a market leader in your country a larger company from a larger country may come along and snap you up when you get big enough to register on the radar.
The internet, and internet businesses, are decidedly America-centric. But, as most of us (i.e. the vast majority of the world’s population that doesn’t live in America) know that there is a whole world out there.
Don’t Forget About the Rest of the World!
The best thing about American businesses is that you can ‘adopt’ a whole raft of business ideas and localise them to wherever you live. America is undeniably ahead in its adoption of eMedia, eCommerce and all kinds of e-Things. But – the rest of the world will follow. Eventually.
And that means a great opportunity for you. Find a business – in the area of something you love – that is going like gangbusters in America and see if that can be adopted to where you are. Odds are that it can or something like it can.
Don’t worry about creating something that the whole world will love and use. And forget about creating something for America if you don’t live there. You live… somewhere! Make something for your local area – of even your country.
Again, as an example, this is what I did with FilmAmora. I got frustrated at hearing how my US friends had this great service (NetFlix) where they could just order any movie online and the DVD (i.e legit, high quality, all the extras like commentary tracks, etc) got delivered right to their door.
So I started my own.
There are things that are different about Spain, so it took some tweaking – localisation – to make it work. But it did.
And you can do the same. Get your inspiration from big US eBrands. See how they started out, what their good first steps were and what their early mistakes were. Learn from them, imitate them, develop and localise them.
Some of you have asked ‘where’s the content?’. Well, I am almost ready to start posting the weekly blogposts that cover part one – “Choosing a line of Business”.
I know some of you out there want to be in business but don’t know what to do. Over the course of a few posts I’ll delve into what I think are the keys (they’re not secrets!) to creating a business that lasts and will make money.
Speaking out against Hype
I am not a proponent of these ‘passive income’, ‘internet marketing’ ideas and websites. I think you can probably count on one (maybe both) hands the people that have really made money with these things. And do you want to know HOW they made money (shhh – here IS the big secret) they made money by selling their business ideas to other people. i.e. their business is selling you things to get you into business. So the only advice they can really offer is to sell on their ideas (affiliate marketing) or start your own internet business consultancy.
But at the end of the line someone, somewhere has to actually do work! Never forget that. If you can show me someone, apart from a lottery winner, who made a lot of money with no work I’d like to hear about it.
Anyway, rant over.
Nothing to buy
What I am trying to get across is that I am not here to sell you something. Truth is I literally don’t have anything to sell! No ebooks, no affiliates programs, etc etc (though if you live in Spain I strongly recommend signing up for FilmAmora.com – Spain’s leading mail order DVD rental company!)
I have a proven background in business – from the bottom up. I’ve been a grunt and now I am the CEO of a successful company. I hope that through that I can help you follow your dreams and start a company and make it a success.
Oh – and I am not in the USA! There is a lack of info out here on doing things outside of the world’s greatest temple to consumer culture.
So – stay tuned. Content starts soon!
Welcome to my new blog.
What I am going to try and do on here is stick to a basic theme of setting up and running a small business. Both virtually (i.e. online) and the logistics and practicalities of running a real business.
My backdrop for doing this will primarily be the development and evolution of FilmAmora.com. FilmAmora is Spain’s premier mail-order DVD rental website. (think Netflix if you live in America or LoveFilm if you live in Northern Europe). This is a new concept to Spain and I’ll go through the trials and tribulations I had in creating, developing and marketing the business.
Along the way I hope to have some guests (through postings or interviews) that will shed some light on the process.
As we are based in Spain some of the practical information may only apply to people who’s business is also here, but, I would think that certainly a lot of the same paperwork is needed in Europe and to a lesser degree elsewhere. But, as paperwork will not be the focus of this blog (god knows I have enough of that outside this blog!) then hopefully you’ll find the rest of the info applicable no matter where you are.
Welcome and I hope I can be of assistance.