Starting And Running A Business

75860c1351ea050f844be8d12caba365?s=47 jeremybise
January 02, 2012

Starting And Running A Business

Brandon McBride at Virginia Highlands Community College invited us to speak to a group of students on our experience at starting and running a business. Here is the presentation.

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jeremybise

January 02, 2012
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Transcript

  1. A Geek's Perspective On Starting & Running A Business

  2. Who We Are I'm Jeremy Bise Co-founder of ThoseGeeks Website

    design and hosting Focus on small business and non-profits (B2B) Started the business in 2003 We've designed over 60 sites We host over 150 sites
  3. A Journey

  4. With lots of ...

  5. The Beginning Two co-workers decided we could make some money

    by combining skills It was just a hobby/side-thing to make some extra money After about a year, we some saw potential and formed a real business Partners both had real jobs -- Jeremy in school; Clint working
  6. Today I am a full-time Geek Clint is in Afghanistan

  7. Tomorrow ...

  8. Thinking About Starting A Business Make sure you love doing

    it
  9. Thinking About Starting A Business Make sure you love doing

    it Figure out how you're going to be different
  10. Thinking About Starting A Business Make sure you love doing

    it Figure out how you're going to be different Ensure you can commit -- time and money
  11. Thinking About Starting A Business Make sure you love doing

    it Figure out how you're going to be different Ensure you can commit -- time and money Be prepared to work hard and be patient
  12. Thinking About Starting A Business Make sure you love doing

    it Figure out how you're going to be different Ensure you can commit -- time and money Be prepared to work hard and be patient Understand the tax consequences
  13. Starting The Business Get your #!@t together Support of family,

    friends, partners Find somebody to learn from What are you going to call it? How are you going to get your name out there? (biz cards, website, collateral) I don't believe in formal business plans. I do believe in thinking things through and putting them into action. A lot of what business is -- experimentation. I do believe in numbers to tell whether those experiments worked.
  14. Starting The Business Get your #!@t together Choose an entity

    Read up on the different kinds and choose the best one for you: Sole Proprietor Partnership Corporation Limited Liability Company Each has different tax consequences as well as state and federal requirements The Virginia Department of Business Assistance has a great rundown of entities and step-by-step instructions: http://www.vdba.virginia.gov/
  15. Starting The Business Get your #!@t together Choose an entity

    Equip yourself Business requires more than just providing a product or service: Accounting (do it yourself or hire a bookkeeper?) Marketing (printed materials, social networking, website) Learn stuff (lots of free workshops by VDBA and SBDC)
  16. Commit To Learning Industries and customer expectations change Find publications,

    blogs, and monitor news sources to stay on top (Google Reader is your friend -- http://www.google.com/reader) If your business doesn't change it will die
  17. Ways To Grow Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE

    BEST
  18. Ways To Grow Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE

    BEST Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging)
  19. Ways To Grow Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE

    BEST Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging) Outbound Marketing -- direct mail, ads, etc.
  20. Ways To Grow Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE

    BEST Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging) Outbound Marketing -- direct mail, ads, etc. Partnerships -- find complimentary businesses and something out
  21. Provide Proof That You Rock GET TESTIMONIALS AND BUILD A

    PORTFOLIO OF YOUR SUCCESS Showcase that success
  22. Customer Service Listen more than you talk

  23. Customer Service Listen more than you talk The customer is

    not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, "no" is appropriate.
  24. Customer Service Listen more than you talk The customer is

    not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, "no" is appropriate. "Why" goes a long way -- teach them something
  25. Customer Service Listen more than you talk The customer is

    not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, "no" is appropriate. "Why" goes a long way -- teach them something Keeping a customer is a lot easier (and cheaper) than getting a new one. Retention!
  26. Day To Day CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Keep up with

    what's said, pending deals, and what you need to do on a daily basis. http://www.highrisehq.com http://www.batchbook.com http://www.zoho.com
  27. Day To Day Accounting / Invoicing If you don't keep

    records, Uncle Sam will be upset. http://www.freshbooks.com http://www.getharvest.com http://www.xero.com http://www.quickbooks.com
  28. The Secret There is no secret. If there were a

    recipe for success, businesses would not fail -- and most do. Listen, be the best at what you do, and evolve.
  29. Questions? Jeremy Bise jeremy.bise@thosegeeks.com www.thosegeeks.com http://twitter.com/thosegeeks http://twitter.com/jeremybise http://linkedin.com/in/jeremybise