If you and your business are already big users of SaaS based tech then you’ll know exactly what that means and how you’re using it. If so, then you certainly won’t need to read this article. If at the other extreme you think you’re not using Software as a Service at all yet, you’re almost certainly wrong about that. At the moment Dropbox, just for example, is rapidly heading towards a billion individual active users globally, with most of them still on ‘freemium’ access. STOP STORING FILES ON YOUR DESKTOP. Given the stellar SaaS advantages, small business and corporate-based paid premium Dropbox usage is sky-rocketing. So the odds are that you are already, at the very least, using this particular iteration of SaaS very regularly. If your business or start-up enterprise is to prosper, then one key essential is to understand the benefits and costs of the numerous SaaS offerings and lever these to your best advantage.
How much time should you be sending on this?
Chances are that regardless of whether you are selling products, services or personal experiences, your business is based largely on your own and your team’s communication and people skills. So the question is, what proportion of your time should you be spending on managing your IT structures when this isn’t your core business, your passion or your skill set? The answer is obviously, as little as possible. And this is where SaaS comes in.
If you decide to go largely stand-alone or ‘on-premises’ with your IT management then you are committing a significant proportion of your available time and resources to maintaining the currency of applications; creating adequate, retrievable and shareable data; and ultimately taking on the burden of servers, storage and network sharing capabilities. That means you won’t have the time you need to develop your real business – or else you’ll need to hire a specialist in-house IT person or small team, which even if viable isn’t cost effective.
There are intermediate options such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which comes in at the network sharing stage and provides the external servers and storage. However, it is generally much better to commit from the outset to fuller scale SaaS, which externalises all applications and data management. This enables you to concentrate on core business and to be free of software access constraints so that with no downloaded applications to manage and keep updated you can work from virtually any computer or device in the world, along with other members of your team. The cloud application services, managed by a third-party provider, are run directly through the internet web browser and don’t rely on any downloads or installations by you at all. That means that ‘on the road’ functionality becomes exactly the same as ‘on premises’ functionality for you and every team member.
What are the main advantages?
So, the major advantage of using SaaS is that it frees you to devote your time to what you are really passionate about and trying to achieve in your venture. It’s a great way to launch e-commerce with no software or server issues, no need to buy expensive downloaded software programs, no problems with access from mobile devices, and unlimited capacity for real-time data and document sharing with team members.
SaaS takes on the management of virtualization, in which a local workstation operates exactly as if it was using an installed application without this actually being the case. Additionally it enables users to remotely access their own personalised desktops from any device in virtually any location. Hardware virtualization ultimately enables an off-site third party processor to behave as if was many different individual processors working on the same hardware from team members’ own locations. The advantages include greater efficiency and lower costs as team members can access the company’s networked information from anywhere, embracing the increasingly expected (because cost minimising) BYOD approach.
What about the cost?
The costs of using SaaS are generally very manageable with the key advantage that levels of service access, data storage limits and the like, can be adjusted at any time. SaaS is commonly used to deliver business applications such as accounting programs, customer records software including management of orders or bookings and, for larger businesses, HR management software. Automated multilingual versions of documents can be included. There is obviously much lower up-front cost, as you are essentially renting rather than owning the asset, virtually immediate set-up and access as the applications are already fully configured in the cloud, and there are automatic updates and easily managed scalability, with plan upgrades (or capacity downgrades) adjustable on demand. This flexibility is a great advantage and there is essentially no significant hardware, software or server depreciation to be factored in.
Are there any disadvantages?
There are really very few disadvantages of SaaS. The initially understandable concerns around data security breaches are not really well-founded, as the enormous success of cloud-based accountancy provision such as Xero attests. However, the dependency of SaaS on uninterrupted fast internet connectivity, plus the potentially lower speeds compared to on-premise user applications can cause some occasional headaches.
When you are ready to choose your SaaS provider, then as with any contract it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’. As with everything, it’s easy to enter into a provision agreement but it can be much harder to exit it. In particular, carefully check the provisions for exporting your data to another destination of your direction if you leave that provider – and ensure that the export will be in a standard format which will enable it to port over to another SaaS provider.
Migrating data can be very costly in terms of time and money. That’s why it’s a good idea to move your own business data to a SaaS provider from the very outset or as early as possible. There is no definitive list of pre-eminent SaaS providers, partly because most of them specialise in a particular market segment. Request Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from a few providers and carefully cross-reference them, as well as verifying the vendors’ reputations and their customer reviews. Try to make contact with a couple of their clients directly and find out what they have to say about their experience of service reliability and technical assistance. Compare pricing plans and remember that if a provider’s prices and the promises seem too good to be true – then they almost certainly are!
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Thomas, the owner and operator of The Australian Seller, a site dedicated to helping people sell on Amazon.
In the podcast, our Growth Manager Holly O’Connor explains how an Amazon seller can value their business and shares some tips on how to get your store ready to sell. Holly also shares some insights on how the seasonality of products can affect your sale price and what categories of businesses are most popular to buyers on Flippa.
Check out the podcast here!
As the entrepreneurs’ marketplace, we pride ourselves on making it easy to buy and sell websites, apps, and domain names. But even we realize that being a serial entrepreneur is tough and demanding work. Sometimes we all just need to chill out and watch some TV. Instead of wasting time looking for the right show to watch, we put together the following list of the top tv shows for entrepreneurs. We hope you enjoy this year’s list as much as we do!
1. The Profit
Shark Tank airs on HBO (Image Source: CNBC)
The Profit centers around entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, as he invests money into failing businesses with the hopes of turning them around. His price? Equity. However, Lemonis doesn’t just invest money, he invests a significant amount of his time, during which he provides ample direction and consultation to the owners of the business. Some owners take his advice and succeed, while others are too stuck in their ways and are destined for failure. Either way, this is one tv show for entrepreneurs that you can’t afford to miss.
Season 4 of The Profit premieres August 23rd on CNBC at 10 PM ET.
2. Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley airs on HBO (Image Source: Wikimedia)
What’s life like in tech capital of the world? Find out in this HBO original series from following the fictional startup Pied Piper and their struggles to become the next big tech company. Director Mike Judge does an excellent job illustrating the workings of a Silicon Valley startup, making use of this eclectic backdrop to create an engaging and funny TV show. Silicon Valley cast includes many recognizable actors such as Zach Woods from The Office and Veep, TJ Miller from Deadpool, and many more!
Silicon Valley just finished its third season on HBO and can be found online with HBO GO.
3. Shark Tank
No list of top TV show for entrepreneurs would be complete without Shark Tank. First launched in 2009 as a spinoff to Dragons’ Den, Shark Tank quickly exploded in popularity, making even non entrepreneurs excited about VC funding. The show follows a panel of high net-worth individuals who are all self-made millionaires (and billionaires). The panel typically includes Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Canadian entrepreneur Kevin “Mr Wonderful” O’Leary, founder of fashion giant Fubu and investor Damon John, “The Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, and owner of Herjavec Securities and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Robert Herjavec.
The new season of Shark Tank premieres September 23rd on ABC at 9|8c
What happens when you take the top minds and have them work alongside some of the most successful CEO’s? You get the TV show Techstars! This relatively unknown show follows a tech incubator focused on accelerating the growth of new startups by providing the guidance and capital they need to succeed. Companies that have passed through the TechStars incubator have gone on to earn more than $2.3 billion, making this show all the more exciting.
Tech stars can be found online on Bloomberg TV.
5. Dragons’ Den
Dragons’ Den airs on CBC (Image Source: CBC)
The Canadian equivalent of Shark Tank, Dragons’ Den is a reality TV show which follows entrepreneurs seeking funding/investments for their businesses. These entrepreneurs pitch to a group of wealthy investors including former police officer turned venture capitalist and owner of Boston Pizza, Jim Treliving, among others.
You can watch every episode of Dragons’ Den online at cbc.ca
Currently in its third season, Ballers is a new HBO original series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a former NFL superstar turned sports agent who is struggling to start a life after football. Johnson’s character exhibits incredible sales skills throughout the series, routinely stepping in to save the day when things look bleak. If you’re wondering what it is like to be an entrepreneur in a high-stakes, fast-paced environment, this is one show you can’t miss!
Watch Ballers every Sunday at 10 PM on HBO.
7. Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss airs on CBS (Image Source: CBS)
What happens when CEO’s go undercover and pretend to be new entry-level employees at their own company? Find out on Undercover Boss! This Emmy award winning TV show provides a unique perspective, which allows top executives to quickly identify problems within their own company.
Watch Undercover Boss every Friday at 8PM on CBS.
8. Nathan For You
Nathan For You airs on Comedy Central (Image Source: Fastcocreate)
A comical docu-reality TV show, Nathan For You makes our list because it is not only hilarious, but it also provides unique solutions to challenges faced by entrepreneurs. The show follows, Nathan Fielder, a renowned Canadian comedian and business consultant, as he seeks to help struggling businesses. Fielder does an excellent job profiling the businesses owned by his clients, while providing them with “useful” tips and tricks to get them ahead of the competition. Nathan has guest starred on a variety of shows, including The Simpsons, Drunk History, and Bob’s Burgers.
The show has been renewed for a 4th season, and you can (and should) binge watch all episodes on ComedyCentral.com.
An engaging drama surrounding a fictional company Empire Entertainment, this show provides a thrilling setting with constant plot twists and turns. Follow the main character, Lucious Lyon, a hip-hop icon and CEO of Empire Entertainment, as he struggles to maintain control of his company while his family tries desperately to take it away from him.
Catch up on all episodes here before season 3 premieres on Fox September 21st.
10. Mad Men
All seasons of Mad Men can be found on Netflix (Image Source: Google Play)
Following Madison Avenue’s top (fictional) marketing firm in the 1960’s, the show does a great job of highlighting power dynamics as well as how the advertising and marketing industries operates. The plot alone will keep you hooked, but the true intrigue of the film is the constant twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.
Unfortunately, the show is no-longer producing new episodes, but all seven seasons are available on Netflix.
11. Restaurant Startup
If you’ve ever thought of starting your own restaurant you will want to check out Restaurant Startup. The show centers around crazy entrepreneurs pitching their restaurant ideas to a panel of investors. Find out what it takes to be a startup restaurant owner in this fantastic TV show for entrepreneurs where only the wackiest and most inventive chefs get ahead.
Restaurant Startup can be found on CNBC.
12. Celebrity Apprentice
Politics aside, there’s a reason why Celebrity Apprentice is in its 15th season! Now re-branded as The New Celebrity Apprentice, this next season will follow new host Arnold Schwarzenegger as he takes the reigns while being advised by celebrities like Warren Buffet and Jessica Alba.
The new season will begin airing January 2, 2017 on NBC. In the meantime, don’t forget to catch up on prior seasons here!
13. Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper airs on HGTV (Image Source: HGTV).
Follow Chip and Joanna Gaines as they help guide home-buyers in to buying a ‘fixer upper’ home and then going in for the remodel. Before being picked up by HGTV, these entrepreneurs provided innovative home remodeling services and they quickly became experts in their craft. Now you can watch them lead the way and use their passion, skills, and business sense to turn a run-down house into dream home.
Season 4 of Fixer Upper airs this fall, and seasons 1-3 are available online.
Stream Narcos on Netflix (Image Source: Fool)
When you hear “entrepreneur” your first thought most likely isn’t “Colombian drug kingpin.” That said, the reason for it being among the best shows for entrepreneurs is simple: despite its seedy undertones, there is a strong business element to the show that cannot be denied. Follow Pablo Escobar as a businessman selling imported electronics, as he seizes a new (albeit illegal) business opportunity dealing cocaine, and goes on to become the wealthiest criminal in history with a known net worth in excess of $30 billion.
Narcos is available on Netflix, where season 2 is set to begin airing September 2nd.
15. Beyond The Tank
Beyond The Tank airs on ABC (Image Source: Wikipedia)
We know what happens on Shark Tank, but what happens when you check up with these businesses 6 months later? Was siding with Mr. Wonderful the right decision? Is there lingering regrets that a shark like Daymond John didn’t invest? Get these answers and more, and find out what happened to your favorite businesses in Beyond The Tank.
You can watch Beyond The Tank on ABC.com.
Did we miss something? Comment below with your favorite TV show for entrepreneurs!
So you have a brilliant idea for a company. As fast as inspiration may have struck, you’re likely just as quickly deflated by the laundry list of to-do’s to get your baby launched. But what if launching a startup didn’t have to be so labor intensive? What if you could if you could literally go from conception to live in a month, a week, or even 20 lightning fast minutes? The key here is to reconstruct your idea of what it takes to get a business off the ground. Sure, you can raise funds, hire a team, code your vision from scratch, and do things the old-fashioned way. Or you can take a queue from some very innovative folks and utilize existing technologies to bring your vision to the world.
Need a little inspiration? Keep reading. In the time it takes you to finish this article, your next startup could be live.
Case Study: Product Hunt
Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover started with the first fundamental necessity for an uber fast startup; a simple idea. He wanted to create a community of product specialists to share information about new and exciting goods. Rather than build the community from the ground up, which require a ridiculous amount of code, Ryan opted to use existing tools instead.
In just 20 minutes time, he set up a group on link-sharing tool LinkyDink. He now has over 4,000 active users who voraciously consume his product suggestions each week. Understanding he had a hit on his hands, he has sinced pressed forward with a website, and expanded Product Hunt’s reach considerably.
Don’t Reinvent the Internet
The lesson here is also simple: utilize the myriad of sites, tools, and platforms that brilliant folks have already gone through the trouble of creating. It’s amazing how many companies spend scads of time and money building tools that already exist. Focus on what makes your idea unique, and vow to only spend time building and fine-tuning that specific attribute.
Efficiency Tools That Don’t Break the Bank
To further your inspiration, we’ve listed a few crucial tools that entrepreneurs without big budgets should definitely have in their arsenal. These may not be solely responsible for launching your new big idea, but they will help you get things off the ground without needing to raise a single penny.
1) Write a Wow-Worthy Business Plan in a Snap
Enloop is a snazzy tool that helps budding business owners create beautiful business plans. This program walks folks through the entire process, including financial forecasts and all the gory details. The “free and easy” model has limited features for a single business plan, and this is all you need to get things going.
2) Reach Your Audience with MailChimp
MailChimp, a well-known and much loved email sending tool, is free for folks who only send a handful of emails each month. This is essential for getting your newsletters off the ground – you don’t have to pay for their fabulous feature set until you’ve hit the big time and are sending up a storm. Email is still a crucial way to keep your audience engaged, and you can trigger lots of revenue generators through them too. There are other services like Campaign Monitor, but Mailchimp is free for users with lists under a certain number.
3) Find the Help you Need on Odesk
Sites like Odesk are essential for entrepreneurs who can’t afford to build permanent teams. Odesk is a community of freelancers around the world; you’ll find someone for just about any role you need to fill. You can hire folks by project or on an ongoing basis, and the community feedback system helps to minimize the interview process.
4) Make Things Pretty with Gimp
Photoshop is an expensive, feature-intensive design tool for artsy types. For the rest of us, there’s Gimp. Gimp has just the right amount of features you’ll need to polish up images for your design perfectly. Best of all, it’s free.
5) Visual Project Management
You likely don’t have time for intensive project management tools that require a full-time manager just to maintain. If this is the case, fall in love with Trello (we even use it here at Flippa.) Trello makes managing the details of a project easy-peasy, and it’s extremely intuitive and visual. It only has a handful of features, but that’s just perfect for a team moving at light speed.
Or You Could Just Go Shopping
Don’t forget that the fastest way to launch a new business could be a virtual stroll through Flippa’s marketplace. If you have a desire to launch an ecommerce store, as an example, it’s incredibly wise to see if there’s a store out there for sale that reflects your passion. By choosing this route, you’re live the moment you close the deal; or at least very close to it. All you need to do is fine tune and kick into marketing mode.
Regardless of which route you choose, the lesson is clear; startups don’t have to take years to launch anymore. Every idea has an expedited road to execution. If you have a shoestring budget and a penchant for impatience, let those factors work in your favor. You can always go big when the profits start rolling in. Just get your idea out there; your public is waiting.
Thanks to Craig for the photo
Most bloggers are obsessed with conversion rates. They monitor their analytics, continually adjust copy and fiddle with design in a bid to convert more of their readers into email subscribers.
I’ve never really been one of those people. I happily floated through the first two and a half years of my blogging life without concerning myself too much about conversion rates. I just enjoyed what I did.
But a few months ago, I made a conscious decision to make my blog better integrated. I made some key decisions about the purpose of the blog and how it could best help people. These decisions led to a total re-launch with a new design, manifesto, and community forums.
But more importantly for the purposes of this post, my decisions led to an enormous leap forward both in terms of email conversions and overall engagement. Read on to discover how.
It was early summer when I finally decided that I wanted to re-design my blog, Leaving Work Behind. I had big aspirations for the site but I felt that the current design didn’t reflect where I wanted it to be and my message wasn’t well presented.
I wanted people to hit my site and immediately know what it was all about, but that wasn’t happening. Furthermore, I decided that my number one priority was to get people to sign up by email.
I had deliberated about this in the past, but I came to the decision that the best way that I can help people is by email. As a blogger, it’s the only way I can send people prescribed information in a suitable order. So that was the decision that I made: I was going to put email front and center.
Beyond that, I wanted to give people further opportunities to engage through social media, the forums, and comments. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to do this.
Once I’d figured out what I wanted, I started designing. That’s the right way round to do things. Don’t start designing until you know exactly what you want to achieve, not just in terms of aesthetics, but also in regards to the overall purpose of your site. It doesn’t make any sense to stumble blindly into things. Instead, you should identify your goals and work to align your design decisions with those priorities.
I launched my newly-redesigned site on November 4th. The impact was immediate.
I was getting great feedback from my readers in the comments section, but that’s not all. My email subscriptions had taken a huge leap as well. It hasn’t slowed down much since.
In the ten days leading up to the launch I attracted just 39 new email subscribers. In the ten days after, I attracted 195, which is an increase of 500%.
This wasn’t due to a huge spike in traffic. In fact, the re-launch didn’t attract an inordinate amount of new visitors. While traffic in that period did increase by 44%, the net email conversion rate increase still increased by a factor of 350%.
But that’s not all. The community forums got off to a great start and is going strong so far. One of my fears is that the forum would fall flat, but that has not been the case (touch wood!).
Furthermore, commenting has been as regular as ever and my Facebook and Twitter accounts have continued to grow at a healthy rate, even though I focus less on promoting them in the new design.
So how did I make this all happen? Let’s take a closer look at the key elements of my design (and content) that brought around this result.
In my opinion, one of the keys to the new design’s success is the color scheme. Take a look:
So, what’s going on here? There are two accent colors: blue and green. Their roles are well-defined: blue is used to attract attention, green is used for calls to action.
The aim is to pull people’s eyes to specific parts of the page, then draw their attention even closer to the bright green calls to action.
You will notice that the colors are used relatively sparingly throughout the design; only in the places that I most want people to explore:
- The feature box
- My About page
- My information product and resources page
- Other email signup forms
Email Signup Opportunities
Speaking of email signups, as I’ve already said, increasing email subscribers was the major focus of my new design. I wanted to see what I could do to increase my email conversion rate, and it turns out that I succeeded in boosting it considerably.
Here are the areas where visitors are given an opportunity to sign up:
- The homepage feature box
- The sidebar
- The footer
- Within posts and pages
- When commenting
- When they try to leave the site (using the excellent OptinMonster plugin)
That seems like a lot at first glance and and it is! But, so long as you’re not being obnoxious and spammy about it, I think that it is hard to under-emphasize email.
In fact, I plan to do even more work to highlight my email signups. Here are some additional areas that I am planning on incorporating signups in:
- Post footers (I’m currently still ironing out the kinks on this)
- The community homepage
- Within the community registration process
I have made it almost impossible for any visitor to come to the site without seeing at least one or two email subscription opportunities. Basically, you can’t go far without being invited to subscribe. However, I try to make it as non-invasive as possible. I try to keep that balance between encouraging people to sign up but not pissing them off.
My usage of OptinMonster is a good example of this. Most pop up plugins serve up their pop up when you first hit the page, which I find infuriating. But I use OptinMonster so that the pop up only appears when people go to leave the page (i.e. when they move the cursor outside of the browser window). This means that they won’t get rudely interrupted by a pop up while they’re exploring a page on my site. This plugin has been an excellent contributor to my email list so far, converting at 1.35% alone. I’ll be sure to split test it to improve that conversion rate.
Tying It All Together
I’ve already said that email subscriptions were my number one priority with the new design. However, I couldn’t ignore the likes of social media, nor do I want to discourage people from joining the forums.
With that in mind, once I have secured an email subscriber, the next thing I want to do is give them the opportunity to join the Leaving Work Behind community in other areas.
First, when people have subscribed, they are redirected to this page, complete with clear social media calls to action. Beyond simply orienting recently signed up readers, this page carries the potential to multiply my readership by encouraging social media engagement.
Moving on, the second email autoresponder they get asks them to like Leaving Work Behind on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and join the forums.
The third email includes links to all three again. Remember that people are unpredictable. Just because someone didn’t engage with me on social media after the first try doesn’t mean that they won’t do so if prompted again. Some people are wary, careless, or just plain busy, which is why it works for me to reach out a second time.
But that’s not all. I also utilize an awesome WordPress plugin to redirect first-time commenters to this page, within which they are given another opportunity to join the forums or follow me on social media. It makes sense to do this, since commenters are more engaged than your average reader.
The Art of Prioritization
I think that I have managed to create a website that encourages email subscriptions, but doesn’t do so in an overbearing manner. It also manages to promote other means of following, but only when doing so does not overshadow my main objective. I centered my strategy on my goals, and I remembered that my readers are people, too.
So far, the results have been highly encouraging and I am delighted with the outcome.
There are, no doubt, ways in which I can improve upon what I’ve done and I’ll certainly be looking to do so in the future. Few people (or websites) are perfect, so I do my best to always be on the look out for improvements.
With that in mind, I’d love to get your feedback in the comments section. What do you think about the new design and its efficacy? Do you have any suggestions for improvement? Let us know in the comments section below!
PS. Did you know we currently have 50 % off domain listings? Start your auction right now.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson
Every web entrepreneur loves John Lee Dumas—or at least that’s how it seems to us.
John’s EntrepreneurOnFire.com blog hosts a seven-day-a-week podcast, in which he personally interviews entrepreneurs and experts from all over the web. He also publishes a blog, produces ebooks and other resources, and manages the passionate, inspired and inspiring Fire Nation Elite community.
It’s exhausting just to think about! What the heck is his secret? This week, I got the chance to find out in a quick Q&A session with the man himself.
John, you’ve interviewed more than 300 entrepreneurs. You produce a weekly podcast, you’ve created a dedicated EntrepreneurOnFire app, and you also create ebooks and other resources for your followers. Where on Earth do you find the time?!
I am an extremely efficient person, and I’m a big believer in the idea that “the task will expand to the time allotted”. Therefore, I allot my time wisely and make the most of what I’ve got!
An example is my batching method for the podcast. With a seven-day-a-week podcast, some might think that I’m literally on the line with a new Entrepreneur every single day recording one more episode. Truth be told, I have about 30 episodes scheduled out in LibSyn right now. That’s because every Monday I do eight interviews, starting at 8am, and ending at 5pm.
I then spend the rest of my Monday night editing every one of those episodes. Come Tuesday, my week is free of the “episode portion” of the business so I can concentrate on the other things you’ve mentioned like ebooks, social media, Fire Nation Elite (my elite mastermind group) and other resources.
Wow, that really is efficient! I know you also have a team, which must help with that too. Can you tell us a bit about them and what they do?
I currently have one Virtual Assistant working for me from the Philippines, who I found through Chris Ducker’s VirtualStaffFinder. She’s awesome. I pretty much delegate anything to her that is a repetitive task. So, she does a lot of the scheduling for our social media posts, helps me create the skeleton for my show notes pages, and creates things like the pretty links for every guest’s page on the site.
I also have a partner in the business, Kate Erickson, who is the Content and Community Manager for EntrepreneurOnFire. She writes our blog, creates all of our content for the website (our giveaways, for example), manages our marketing campaigns/CRM and is the lead on Fire Nation Elite, our mastermind group. She’s also my girlfriend, so finding her was pretty easy!
Aha! Well, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty smooth-running team there. I’m getting the impression that process is really important to your ability to get things done, but also to the quality of your output. Is that true?
Yes, it’s absolutely important in terms of getting everything done. Without the batching of the interviews, for example, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that I do.
But just because I batch doesn’t mean I slack on quality—that’s number one for me.
I’ve ensured that I have the best possible set up with the best possible audio, and I do every edit myself. Quality is very important to me. The process supports my goals in that it affords me the time during the rest of the week to get other important stuff done for the business, like creating resources and products for my audience.
Well, let’s talk about audience. Your business is pretty heavily niche-focused. How important do you feel it is to have deep experience within one niche in your success?
Niching is so important—it’s required. If you don’t know exactly who you’re speaking to, then you’re speaking to no one.
I think that dedicating yourself to becoming better at what you do every day is the most important thing—always be ready to learn. When I started EntrepreneurOnFire I didn’t know how to conduct an interview. I didn’t even know how to record a podcast. It was through my relentless dedication to, and passion for the process that both interviewing and podcasting have become skills of mine.
So I think it’s more about the depth of your skill (knowing exactly what you want to be known for, and dominating that) rather than breadth.
Wow, it’s difficult to believe that you started out without knowing how to interview people, or how to create a podcast. What’s been your biggest challenge in growing your business to the point it’s at now?
I think for me, the biggest challenge is maintaining quality while continuing to scale. I mentioned earlier than quality is very, very important to me, and so it’s definitely been a challenge to continue to bring myself back to that when there are opportunities all around me that I could go after. I will not go after those opportunities at the cost of quality.
I’ve overcome that by hiring amazing people to help me. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without their help.
That’s a great point. Is there any other advice you’d give to someone building a web business?
Just start. You can’t let fear and doubt keep you from following your passions. It doesn’t matter if your product or your website or your podcast isn’t perfect—you have to get it out there. You can correct course, pivot, improve along the way, but if you never start, then you’ll get nowhere.
Want to read more about how amazing people manage to get so much done? Read our interview with affiliate extraordinaire Rae Hoffman.