StartupNation.com is one of my favorite reads and one of the regular sites that I frequent for news and ideas when it comes to helping small and emerging businesses, like my own. They are sporting a new look that makes it easier to read and keep up with the latest topics on my iPad.
Sections I enjoy are Getting More Sales, Leverage Business Technology and the general spirit of entrepreneurship that StartupNation.com promotes. You'll never get rich working for someone else, so start and build your business around something you love to do and take the advice of other business owners that have traveled the same roads.
A little insight might just make the difference between being successful or making a costly mistake.
Time to get back to business. Hope everyone had a great holiday and is ready to work. The two times a year that I take a deeper look at business trends and economic forecasts are at the end of the year and at the end of 2nd quarter. End of the year is more a reflective time for some reason, like after the game. End of 2nd quarter is like taking inventory during half time while there's still time to change the results before year end, mid game.
No one that runs their own business, or is directly responsible for one, can ever really take their mid off the game. Sure you might go on vacation and spend time with your family, but you just can't help thinking about what you have going on. Sometimes it helps to get disconnected, a fresh perspective, see from a different angle and get some rest, but successful people rarely take their eye off the ball if ever. You love what you do and you know your competition is constantly grinding. So while relaxing, I try to take a closer look at what my competition is doing right and measure what's working for me.
One of the things I do at these two points is look at the big picture. Reading through economic forecasts for different industries and countries can give you great insight to why your efforts aren't measuring up to predictions or worse, the numbers are climbing up and you have no idea why. According to The World Economic Forum, Forbes and The Balance to name a few, the economic outlook for the US is strong and set for steady growth.
No matter what business you're in, investing in yourself is never a bad choice. Educate yourself, educate your people and increase the advertising budget. Hope you are off to a great year, game on.
As we approach the 4th quarter of fiscal year 2015, and soon to be at the midway point of this decade, I started to look at the predictions and indicators for internet growth by year 2020. Sounds futurist the year 2020 and I think we are starting to enter into the steeper slope of the curve now. In 2010 the internet had 1.7 billion users, today it has a little over 3.1 billion and by 2020 it should be at 5 billion. Check out the stats by country here on InternetWorldStats.com.
Forecasting the future of the internet is that hard to predict just look at what we do and ask yourself are we going to be doing any less of it. Twenty-five great points are listed in this article on Marketing in 2020 by Jeff Beer of FastCompany.com. By looking at marketing we can see the direction society is taking by observing the force trying to get in-front of the mass. Some key points I took away were virtual reality is reality, brand transparency and through technology it's about to get really personal.
Don't forget to consider the growth of the machine usage with the Internet of Things IoT. Both machine and human usage almost double in the next 5 years!
There's a revolution in technology going on and for as many businesses that get it, many intelligent organizations still just do not. I get a few offers, most of them low, on different domain names every month and one of the questions I was asked by a potential purchaser was, how do I arrive at a price?
It's a fair question and to put an answer to it, here's the rationale behind the numbers. First, like real estate domain names are virtual property, but with several valuable added dimensions. Domains are the way customers find your business, remember your location and spread the news about your products. It's your business address for all practical purposes. Ninety percent of the people you do business with will never visit your business at it's physical location, but they'll all check your website, which is by way of your domain name.
Names that have more traffic or are capable of generating more traffic with short memorable names are worth more and their market demand is more. Like having a shop on main street vs. opening up a business on a rural road. A good memorable name that suits your business or product lines brings customers and helps them find their way back to you. Most company names are picked without the customer in mind or without any marketing considerations, just a name that means something to the organization on a somewhat emotional level. You can spend millions branding a odd name or bring the brand to your door with a descriptive name. And with domain names, you can have several or hundreds of names to drive traffic to your business.
The method, internet media. Consider the pro's and cons of different advertising media. There's print, TV, radio and internet. Print, I throw it out. It's garbage that comes with my printed mail. I haven't bought a newspaper in over 10 years at least and the last time I think I looked at a magazine, I was either in a doctors office or on a plane. Forget print, it's over. The postal service is nostalgic and I'd be willing to bet 100 percent privatized within 10 years. TV, I watch movies for the most part or change the channel during the commercials. Watching the Atlanta Falcons beat the Aint's in the season opener, I saw a couple of ads, but couldn't tell you what they were today. I'm moving in the direction of subscription TV like Netflix and Hulu. I'm not alone. Radio, okay you get ads in front of me while driving more often then I care to say. Occasionally, I am too lazy to load a playlist from my phone or all the stations that I have programmed in are in sync with their commercial's timed together. Traffic reports get me to tune in, but the rest of the noise I could do without. I get about half of percent of anything useful from radio news. The tone and rate of speech only ramps up tension. I'm working on weaseling out listening to main stream radio all together. Half the time I enjoy just listening to silence.
The internet has main access to get in-front of my eyes. I am on the net at home, at work, even while visiting a store in the mall I might be checking prices of a competitor on my phone. I have discretionary income and I move quickly. Like a lot of your customers, I have much to manage and like in the real world, I have to be street smart online and as nimble as a forest creature to find the best deals. I validate a business I am going to use based on the domain they have, how their website looks, works and if they have a phone number on their contact page. Usually I like a second opinion, options or it's just the way to complete due diligence by checking a few other sites. How I find that second, third or fourth site through search or by their domain name directly is potentially a company I'll be working with. CEO's of those companies are the CEO's that are likely to make their 17 percent growth targets and are the ones that get their bonuses. They're the one that get it. I price domain names comparable to other media even when that media is less effective.
30 seconds on Atlanta TV during prime time will cost you 30k and your money is gone just that fast. Most industry magazine ads will cost you upwards of 1200 per month for a four color, 1/2 to full page ad and you don't even know if anyone is reading it. Your domain name is yours perpetually. The internet is even more revolutionary as the phone system was when it came into being some 120 years ago and as fast as technology grows, the internet is not going to be replaced anytime soon. With a great domain name you look like the authority in your industry. Most clients will never see your office, I can't stress enough how important your online presence is. Technology is the only industry that has had double digit growth since the 70's and looks to be booming for the rest of man's existence. The slope of the curve is about to go vertical.
The short, memorable, brand-able, desirable names, and what other similar domains have sold for, makes for the price range listed. We encourage you to make offers on our domains and other available names. The cost, effectiveness and value is continually rising.
Domain name values are rising for several key reasons:
First, they provide unprecedented advertising abilities and can reach out to new clients and interact with them 24X7 where no other media can't even compete.
Secondly, absolute creditability. People judge your domain name, your url, your address, this is how they find you and get to know you. How well your site looks and works is also a factor, I hope that is obvious. Don't lose the fish at the dock. But, if your domain name is off center, or has extra words, hyphens, number, all these make it weaker and harder to do business with your organization. Look at how you view and surf, how fast are you gone and less likely to put a credit card up when these two key points are off? 77 percent are gone in less than half a second.
Domain names are like real estate, they're virtual real estate, but the difference is domain names rarely and infrequently come back on the market. Once sold, they are gone. If they do come up for sale, it's usually in the aftermath of a merger and for 100X what it last sold for. Like real estate, inventory is low and depleting. The pool of good names is drying up at an accelerating rate.
Get the .com extension or you'll be giving business to it. Maybe a .org depending on what your business is, and a .us maybe a good thing 10 years from now, but get the best .com names while you can. For the all the reasons above, and most prominently, domain names are the most powerful advertising mechanism in place for the next 20 years.
Prices are going up. Open to offers, take a look here.
Blockchain technology can be boiled down to an accounting ledger built on a network of servers. There's a detailed article and infographic included on Recode.net that will give you an overview of how any why this financial technology will shape more than just crypto currency transactions in the future.
Blockchain technology is developing very quickly into an established transaction method and disrupting the financial services industry.
Read more about blockchain technology Recode.
I have been talking about flying cars being the wave of the future. What will follow is highrises with parking for personal drones. Looks like Miami will be the first US city with a highrise built for parking personal aircraft at the Paramount World Center. As our population increases along with technology, so will new emerging opportunities for all aspects of this new mode of transportation. The future certainly involves every aspect of flying vehicles, from battery technology, to new condos, supermarket parking and heavy on the construction industry to retool it all. This shift in transportation could be the global industry that boosts the the whole world's economy as every country accommodates it's growing population and employment issues.
Theses are exciting times we are living in. Take a look at the video and article Bob Wiley wrote on the MiamiHerald.com.