From being your own marketing department to being your own accountant or IT department an entrepreneur can sometimes need to perform a wide range of tasks to get their fledgling businesses up and running. One oft overlooked factor in being a successful entrepreneur, however, is being a great leader. There is only so far you can go being a "one-man (or woman) show." Eventually, if you want to grow, you will need to begin hiring staff and passing off some of the many hats you are called to wear.
is a list of 6 of the most important leadership skills for entrepreneurs to
1. Selective blindness
Every day will bring most entrepreneurs a greater number of crises and urgent situations than any one person is capable of handling in a day. Too often, the instinct is to bounce from crisis to crisis constantly putting out fires. In doing so, however, larger and sometimes more crucial growth issues are not addressed. Being a great leader involves the ability to choose the most important matter and devote your full attention to it by becoming selectively blind and deaf to everything else.
Having integrity does not always mean taking the high road or acting honestly or fairly. While those might be desirable qualities in a leader, having integrity simply means being consistent and doing what you say you are going to do. It means that people know what to expect from you and can count on it day in and day out. You may not show up to the office until noon or be 10 minutes late to every meeting you ever attend, but whatever you do, do it consistently and don't say you are going to do something unless you are going to do it.
There is a reason that cars have both a gas pedal and a brake pedal. It is often the nature of entrepreneurs to be all gas all the time. They often have to develop the skill of knowing when to put on the brakes, or even when to allow someone else to put the brakes on. In business, moving too quickly can be every bit as deadly as moving too slowly. It is generally the nature of entrepreneurs to be able to move quickly, which means the ability to move slowly and cautiously, is one that must sometimes be carefully developed and cultivated.
The best leaders never stop learning. Continuing to learn, however, depends on the willingness to accept that you don't yet know it all and you still have much to learn, no matter what stage of life you are in. Entrepreneurs - rocket driver - business opportunity can help you develop the critical business skills you need at every stage of development for your business.
5. Ability to deal well with failure
While qualities like decisiveness, open-mindedness or a willingness to try new things might be admirable and even essential qualities in a leader, ultimately any number of decisions are going to result in failure - particularly if you are open to trying new things. If you deal with failures by passing the buck or shifting the blame, you will quickly find the people around you hesitant to offer ideas or suggestions or take responsibility for implementing new changes. Ultimately, the best leaders develop a "buck stops here" attitude and will take the largest portion of responsibility for failure upon themselves. This requires, however, that leaders themselves know how to deal with failure and take it in stride.
Too often, leaders fail to adequately train a replacement for themselves out of fear that their trainee will one day replace them. Great leaders, however, look forward to the day when a trainee can competently replace them. Most often, people are either builders or managers. Builders are most happy when they are building something new and managers are most happy when they are managing something someone else has built. For many entrepreneurs, running a business that is already successful is not nearly as fulfilling as getting that business up and running in the first place. Mentoring someone who eventually takes over running the business they made successful frees them up to tackle new projects, build new businesses or even revamp businesses that were once successful but are now struggling.
Entrepreneurs! Rocket Driver is one of the best business opportunities around. We give you all of the tools, support, training and everything else that you need to build a successful business in the mobile industry!
Give us a call today and let us help you! 212-548-4433 ext 1
A car salesperson sells cars, a chef sells food but a web developer does NOT
sell websites! - A web developer sells the process of creating websites!. This
key difference is more than a play on words, it’s an objective fact of reality
that everyone selling web development services needs to understand, let us
Where you a car salesman you can show your prospect the car, they can sit down, test drive it, they can get a sense of what it will be like to own it and your job is get them to fall in love WITH THE CAR. If you were a chef, you could entice your prospects with the aroma of your food, offer them a free sample and let them read about your abilities in in the latest Michilen review, but you are a consultant selling web development, you can’t do those things, so what can you do?
The first thing you must do is to realize what it is that you actually are selling –the promise of a good outcome. Your kind of sales is analogous to a surgeon, lawyer or baseball player – you are selling your prospect on your ability to deliver the “big win” that they desperately want and need. Sales of this type are much more closely associated with the salesperson than any other type or kind of sales and require a different approach than other forms of sales. It’s perfectly logical if you think about it, how many times in your life have you gone car shopping and bought a car simply because you liked the salesperson? Probably never, because you knew what make and model of car you wanted long before you drove up to the car lot – this is especially true today. The same can be said for food, you knew before you walking into an Italian restaurant for example, that you A: were hungry and B: were in the mood for Italian food – how many times has your waiter or waitress had to sell you on ordering food?.
With web development your prospects are 100% in the dark about what they want, what they need or-most of the time- that they even need anything at all. Add to this the fact that the website doesn’t exist at the time of the sale – they are sold, literally, on the construction of the web site!. Your prospects don’t know who you are, what fair prices are, what matters, what doesn’t – they are as in the dark about websites as they are about neurosurgery or tax litigation, they know nothing. In sales situations where people know that they know nothing, they revert to instincts and life experience, they begin to ask themselves questions like: “How much do I trust this salesperson?” “Does this salesperson know what they are talking about?” “Does this person sound competent?” “Does this person sound confident?” “Can this person get the job done?” - they make their decision based upon YOU.
All of this adds up to the fact that when you are selling web development to people you are acting as a consultant and not a salesperson at all, so lets clear up some confusion about these terms. A lot of confusion exists when the term ‘consultant’ is thrown into the sales arena, a lot of people immediately think ‘consultative selling’ or ‘selling consultatively’ or ‘relationship selling’ - all kinds of mumbo jumbo exists, total nonsense, we all are guilty of having minds polluted to one degree or another from 50+ years of overly complex explanations of what are ultimately simple concepts.
Salespeople “sell” things
Consultants “consult” upon things
What does that mean? Well, it’s pretty simple.
If you visit a salesperson and tell them you have problem X Y or Z they are going to tell you that their product will correct X Y or Z and spend their time explaining its features and benefits, ultimately trying to close you on making the decision to buy.
If you visit a consultant and tell them you have a problem, they are going to ask you a lot of questions-some broad, some specific- and ultimately give you their expert opinion on what should be done, they may present you with several options or scenarios, but they are going to tell you what you need – flatly and matter of factly.
Another great example is a doctor. When you visit a doctor, they ask whats wrong, run tests and ultimately prescribe a treatment – they don’t try to sell you on a given medication, they order it. Yes, you are free to reject the doctors expert it advice and it is true that many doctors will try to convince you take treatments, but the difference between the doctors consultative approach and the salespersons is obvious.
One thing consultants are not however are educators. A lot of people are under the false assumption that to be a consultant is to be an educator of prospects – this is more true for salespeople than it is for consultants. A doctor never tries to teach her patient medicine, a lawyer doesn’t try to teach his patient law, a surgeon will never talk scalpels with their prospective patients – they say as much as need be and nothing more.
Being a consultant in the web development industry is no different than being a legal consultant or a medical doctor, it is about listening to what your prospects say, analyzing your prospects needs and applying a solution intelligently.
Some of the practices of good web development consultants:
1. Always have a plan for your prospects, never ask them what they ‘want’ always tell them what they ‘need’
2. Never let your prospects guide procedure, always inform them of what is going to happen, never let them inform you.
3. Never show prospects designs and ask which one they like, show them designs and tell them which one you feel would work best.
4. Never show prospects competitors and say ‘we need to do what they are doing’ - always show prospects competitors and say ‘we can do better than this’
5. Ask and documents 10x the information you need, more notes are much better than not enough!
6. Always maintain a professional demeanor, dress for success, speak concisely and intelligently and make respect your goal always
7. Maintain adequate contact, but never chase your prospects or your clients – have meeting, demand clients attend them, if they don’t, fee them for it – your doctor fees you for blowing him/her off, your lawyer does the same, why not you? If your clients ding you for time, ding them for money!
8. Make sure from the beginning of all relationships, your prospects understand how serious web development is, make them treat it with the respect it deserves.
9. Always operate with contracts, never leave the door open to litigation, accusation or liability of any kind.
10. Always conduct thorough research, invest time in knowing your prospects and their businesses and watch more of them turn into clients and stay clients.
If you follow these ten pieces of advice and practice the common sense of behaving in a professional way, you stand a much better chance at success in this industry.
Always remember, you set your own worth in this business, so take our advice and set the bar high.
How to avoid lemons
The first step in avoiding lemon clients is to stop (or not even start) the blame game. By ‘blame game’ we mean the common reaction that most have to getting their first (or first 10) bad clients. Most will blame a degraded society, a poor economy, poor marketing, bad sales, a bad geographic location or other stuff. We are here to tell those people to STOP!, it’s none of those things, it’s your own fault.
Yes, lemon clients are the fault of the company who has them – and bad luck, a little bit. Lemon clients are usually the product of piss poor policies, they can be screened away, contractually obligated away, warded off and walled out MUCH easier than they can be dealt with. When a company suffers a spate of lemons, they need to spend some time doing some serious self analysis – not crying and blaming others.
Top 10 ways to avoid lemons
Let’s go over the top 10 ways to avoid lemons in the development and digital marketing arena. This top ten may also apply to other industries, but it’s primarily directed at ours.
1. Contractual Bulletproofing
Don’t want endless edits? Put a number in writing.
Don’t want endless phonecalls? Spell it out in the contract
Don’t want to get scammed? Put your terms to paper!
Putting EVERYTHING in writing BEFORE you take someones money and REQUIRING them to sign that document in order to proceed is GOLD. If you are operating without an agreement, you are crazy. Contrary to popular belief, most contracts that are humanly readable and clear will suffice in the eyes of the law – should it ever get that far. We are not suggesting you don’t get an attorney (you absolutely should) but to use the lack of an attorney as an excuse for why you operate with absolutely no agreement in place is equally insane. A basic agreement, even if it isn’t written by a hot shot lawyer, will serve to spell out the deal you have with your client and gives you an important point of reference for when they step out of bounds.
The bottom line: Always have an agreement and always spell out the deals you ink with your clients.
2. Manage Expectations
Perhaps the most overlooked way to avoid lemon clients is the management of expectations.
If you analyze the scenarios under which lemon clients present themselves, a huge percentage of the time the root cause is false expectations being created either by the client themselves, the salesperson or the company – so don’t do it. Always make sure your clients understand what they are getting, when and to what degree.
To define this further, we mean features of services, number of edits, latitude of technology – everything, whatever it is, make sure the clients understand what to expect – ideally, before they are even clients.
3. Common Sense – In Marketing
If there is one thing everyone can agree on
it has to be that lemon clients are something we all hate dealing with. Lemon
clients sap time, profit and even lower morale at our businesses, all of which
is not only negative in the short term, but can have lasting consequences. What
this all adds up is that it’s incumbent upon all of us to avoid lemons, but
how?, we’ll show you!.
Shortly in this article we are going to cover a few simple strategies you can employ to drop your rate of lemons to nearly zero. However, before we start spouting our lemon-aid, we need to cover the types of lemons we’re talking about.
In digital marketing and development in general, lemon clients present with some very specific and identifiable forms.
The forms of lemon client’s include (but are not limited to) the following:
1. Never-ending Project Clients
These are the clients that want to edit, edit, edit and edit some more – but not pay for any of it, their love of change becomes your pain – directly.
2. The Nothing-is-right Clients
For these type lf lemons nothing you do is ever good enough, from the quality of graphics to the way you place text, it not only needs to be changed, but its bad and its your fault.
3. The Absentee Clients
These are clients that sign the ink, pay, then disappear – for weeks and even months. These clients act as if having the project commence was an afterthought of theirs and not a very important one. One day however, down the road, they do return and expect everything done in the blink of an eye – ouch.
4. The Needy Clients
Needy clients can be the worst, these are the clients that call-call-call they call day and night and want to ‘discuss’ everything, for them, the tiniest detail is worthy of a one hour conversation.
5. The Broke Jokes
This type of client is very common and perhaps the most frustrating (infuriating?) because they want the world but won’t or can’t pay for an ounce of it. These clients will fight you financially on everything while on the other hand demanding everything.
6. The Scammers
These are the clients that get you to deliver a finished product and make you feel the deal is over, then demand a full or partial refund – while they keep the work, nice!.
7. The Dysfunctionals
These are the clients that can’t send you a Jpeg file, they don’t know what a zip file is, that argue that the site should be built in macromedia flash – and other crazy stuff. Now, to be fully honest, these clients take on many forms, the only common denominator is a cocktail of stupidity, ignorance and often (unfortunately) confidence.
Just 7? Why not 500?
These are the seven most common types of lemon clients, there are more, we are sure that other development companies have secret hierarchical trees that break down lemon clients into many assorted sub-types and levels – we don’t, we just have 7, but, these days, we have more like zero.
Continued in part 2….
Regardless of the cost, you can complete a sale's deal if you totally understand the needs of your prospective buyer and if you offer quality products. It doesn't mean that your prospect will keep a blind eye on the price label.
Since all buyers are human, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you if they enquire and haggle about the price because everyone wants the best deal. The rule of thumb you should always follow is to let your potential customer know the price beforehand. This will help you shift out those who cannot purchase and help you to identify those with enough money to make a purchase.
When the sale is in progress, it is your duty to gather all the relevant facts that can enable you put forth your prepositions and the rate of return you expect from your product. What you must not allow to happen is a shocked customer when they see the price sticker at the conclusion of the sale. The inevitable consequence of that is bubbling frustration because both parties have already invested effort and time in the process.
Below are tips about how
to address the cost of your service or product with three different types of
typical buyers: the influencer, the decision maker, and the champion.
Although the champion might be on your side, he/she will be of little value if they lack any pull. It is important for them to understand the company dealings so that while representing you, they can make the decision maker and the influencer appreciate his/her point of view.
A well-coached champion brings an atmosphere of trust, and therefore, he/she is better placed to clinch a winning deal in the battle for prices in by asking the following questions:
The influencer could be the individual giving the decision maker advice or they could be responsible for managing the RFP. It is essential to know what they personally invest in your solution because they can also be champions.
Find out why they may complain about the price to understand where their concerns originate. The reason is that that the influencer has the ability to change the mind of the decision maker. To the influencer, ask the following questions about why they reject the price so that you can determine the real issues.
The Decision Maker
The decision maker comes in at the last stages when the price is firmly stated. State the price and shut up to weigh their reactions. If the decision maker seems undecided, don't rush for the discount, but you can offer freebies to get the contract signed.
Consult with the manager of sales if their no progress, but the price shouldn't count now if you engaged the prospect well. You can resolve the issues around the price in this ways.
Before explaining why being the cheapest guy (or gal) around
is a bad idea in the web dev world, let us clearly differentiate something.
When we write about low prices being bad, we are not talking about teaser
rates, discounts, low introductory pricing, give aways or any kind of marketing
or sales technique one might employ to entice business. When we discuss the bad
side of low pricing, we’re discussing the clients...
The people who will jump ship and go with one web developer over another based on price alone are a unique kettle of fish. These are not value shoppers, these are not the price conscious, nor are they the coupon-crowd, these are the know-nothing crowd – and you had better be careful. Wow, way to group a bunch of people together and prejudge them huh? Well, let us give you an analogy that will clarify.
Imagine a man (or woman) who has a toothache decides to shop for a dentist not based upon professionalism or track record, but upon price. He or she visits a dentist and learns it will cost a bit to repair said tooth, on the way out the door a creepy looking man approaches with a pair of pliers and offers to pull the tooth for the price of a bottle of rum.
Now, ask yourself, what should this person do? A: Run really fast or B: Go with the creepy guy, at least he’s cheap!?
Now I know, you are probably grinning, but this funny analogy truly is directly analogous to the business owner who entrusts their brand, reputation, future earnings not to mention passwords and other sensitive data to a company based purely on price. The fact is, these type of shoppers are ignorant and see the price and not the value of the service.
Now, a strong argument could be made that if you educate such shoppers, they will change their tune and suddenly wake-up, however experience has taught us that this isn’t the case. Shoppers who ardently pursue low prices in the web development arena have already gotten quotes from numerous professionals – to compare – and you can bet your bottom dollar that each and every one of them tried their best to educate them – and failed. The fact is, the prospect who is price shopping and comparing different companies in an effort to find the cheapest is likely very entrenched in their opinion that price is all that matters and you wont change this.
Another thing experience has taught us is that there is an inverse correlation between the amount a client pays and the difficulty of working with them. The clients who fight for low prices are also often those who will fight for the most work for it – a double edged sword.
So here we have clients who generally hold the entrenched opinion that ‘all development is the same’ whom want to pay the least, while also expect the most. This is the worst kind of client situation anyone in development could find themselves in.
Generally speaking good clients are those who understand there is truth to the old saying “you get what you pay for”. Good clients will scrutinize details, they will ask engaging questions, they will worry about how much BENEFIT a service will bring to them BEFORE worrying about its cost. Cost is a real consideration for everyone, but generally speaking, even a 150% price difference is not large enough to change someones mind when the cost of the service is minimal compared to its value. Trying to win by being the cheapest works in commodities, where qualitative difference matters very little, but it doesn’t work in professional services – and never, ever will.
Guerrilla is a French word and it means a small force taking
on a large force, in the context of business it means, essentially, how to
market without a big (or any) budget. There are many ways entrepreneurs can
market themselves without a huge budget and we’re going to explore just a few
here and try to shed some light on them, and hopefully give you some useful
By far the easiest way to Guerrilla market is locally. At a local level you have access to businesses, organizations and people who can help you to grow your presence and engage with prospects. What a lot of resellers are not aware of is just how easy it is to do.
The first thing you need to realize is that all around are businesses that serve other businesses and most importantly – have databases of their clients. If you play your cards right with just one of these businesses, you can wind up benefiting tremendously from that data. Here are a few ways to do it:
A question that often gets posed to us at Rocket Driver is
who is the ideal candidate to become a partner with us, while there is no
single answer, I’d like to address just one group who seem to ask that question
a lot – the people who are looking to work from home.
Let’s face it, starting a business with a whole pile of venture capital, an office and employees from day 1 is by and large an antiquated and academic concept of business – most businesses start small and grow, by small I mean they start from peoples garages, hobby shops and – you guess it, their homes. Having said that, it makes it perfectly normal to start a business from home and if you are starting a business from home, is there a more perfect business than the one of reselling digital marketing solutions? More precisely, websites.
I would argue that unique skills, talents or circumstances not withstanding, there is no more perfect business to launch from your home than the business of selling websites – why?
Let’s go through my reasoning:
1. It’s low overhead & Low investment
Everything you need to start a website sales business (besides the nominal business setup fees) you already own already – you have a PC? Check!, you have the internet? Check! You own a mobile phone? Check! Can you open and edit text documents? Check!
2. It requires little travel (or none at all)
With many types of business you have to invest enormous time traveling locally or nationally and that means time behind the wheel, away from family adding costs, stress and pressure. With website sales you can sit on the couch making calls and conduct demonstrations of your technology from the comfort of your Laptop, PC or even Tablet or Phone – there is little or no travel necessary, it’s optional.
3. You can start part time
With many kinds of business it is an all-or-nothing proposition, you either invest 120 hours a week at it or zero hours – no middle ground – that is not so for digital marketing services where you can start and run your business according to your own time table, spend 5 hours one week, 20 the next and 10 the next. Due to the low overhead costs and lack of pressure, you have ongoing and infinite flexibility – this matters because the lack of flexibility in most businesses alone is a major barrier for many people.
4. You can scale without risk
Want to take on 5 clients? How about 10? how about 100? whatever you decide to do, you have the ability to scale without taking on major debt, liability or risk. For many types of business scaling up means risking losing everything because of the need to roll the dice each time a new location is opened, branch office is opened or employee is hired – not with this business, since development is being done by someone else (us) you can scale without worry.
5. You don’t need partners
Many times would-be entrepreneurs want partners and find them out of a desire to build a business with someone else and it works out just fine, however for many others this isn’t the case. Many unfortunately partner out of the necessity to share financial responsibilities early on in developing their companies only to find down the road that the person they partnered with was not a good choice – ending their business in ruin.
This is not the case with website sales, the cost of entry is affordable and the liability so low that almost anyone can launch on their own and sustain their business indefinitely, negating the need for partners.
6. You can pause at any time
The great thing about website sales is that you are under no pressure to constantly sell, this isn’t a business with a massive overhead to carry, so you are free to pause the business at anytime and take a vacation, take a break or focus on something else – it won’t go away, its not going to fall apart, you have the ability to start anytime you want.
7. You can get out clean
With a lot of businesses, going into them all things smell like roses and this leads to unrealistic optimism, debts are taken on to carry the load of the business, contracts are signed, leases are signed, clients are signed up for multi-year contracts – all of which become major liabilities if the business does not succeed. With website sales this is not the case, since there is no minimal commitment and minimal investment and minimal overhead, its very easy to decide to do something else and even sell client contracts to other businesses – no mess to clean up.