Category Archives: Entrepreneur

Looking for a good Web Host

Just like the title says, everyone is always looking for a good web host. In fact, webhosting might be the most bothersome activity for most small businesses.

You see, when you are a large company, you can afford to hire your own professionals who can do all the evaluation for you. Or if you are even bigger, you don’t even really need to bother, because you will likely be working with another large, reputable company to do your webhosting for you.

It is the small business who needs to go through the rigours of searching for a good web host. Well, one way to lighten the load is to go to a good review site that does a decent review of web hosts. They will help you to rate the hosts and rank them according to a set of criteria.

If you are new to all this, it might be good to read simply webhosting buying guide.

But in the end, it is you, the business owner who needs to make that final decision.

Work Life Balance vs Work Life Integration

Good leaders need to understand the concepts of work life balance and work life integration.

Originally, as part of staff welfare, the theory was that you needed to provide a sense of balance between their work and their “normal” lives. The most interesting implication of this is that there is an immediate dicotomy of work vs life. One is the friend, the other the enemy.

The irony then is that instead of creating happier staff, there is now a built in expectation that work is “bad” and we need to “balance” it against the “good stuff” which is found in other parts of our lives. Wow! How is THAT for motivation?

Seriously, the underlying assumption therefore becomes that everyone dislikes coming to work. Work is the necessary evil and so on and so forth.

That is like saying, eating is a waste of time, therefore…
Continue reading Work Life Balance vs Work Life Integration

Small Business Startup – Hostgator Coupon

For many small business startups, cost savings are important. So, I would like to share with you this Hostgator coupon in case you are considering getting a web hosting plan.

In case you did not know, this blog is hosted on Hostgator and I have been really happy with the service. The best thing that I liked was the responsiveness of the online chat help. Anytime you click on it, someone is bound to be on to speak with you. Without a big IT department and highly qualified staff, this is a really good option for me to manage my hosting.

Anyway, for the New Year, they sent a coupon code that would give you a 20% discount. Hope this will be useful for you: hgnews12. When you sign up for your Hostgator hosting account, type in this code to get the discount.

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy new year, may 2010 bring you close to your dreams.

How to Start a Freelance Writing Business

How much do you want to have a freelance writing business?

Do you know how tough it can get along the way?

Laura has taken her many years of experience and put them all into a wonderful eBook. Now, you can have a mentor and a guide who will take you through the process of starting your own freelance writing business. Not only that, but all the valuable experience and knowledge that has taken her years to learn, is all yours within hours [reading]. So, do go take a look at Laura’s How To Start A Freelance Writing Business immediately!

Zero Dollar Marketing – does it exist?

This is like Atlantis. Everyone has heard of it, but no one seems to be able to find it.

I really want to clarify something. You see, I have been hearing many people speak of Zero Cost Marketing; and that is so very wrong. By all the laws of nature and of commerce, how can there ever be anything of value for free? There is no such thing as Zero Cost Marketing.

Having said that, you must also know that there is such a thing as Zero Dollar Marketing. You see, it is possible to get things done without spending a single cent. How is this different from Zero Cost?

Your time, your staff’s time, talents and efforts – these are all “costs”. To get anything done, you need to spend time and effort. You might not need to spend dollars. In that sense, it is possible to have Zero Dollar Marketing, but certainly not zero cost marketing.

Why is this interesting?

As more and more corporations move towards greater accountability, Marketing Metrics have become more important. Measuring the returns on your marketing efforts is the new cool. You can no longer hide behind the “… it won an award” thing to justify your campaigns.

More and more, managers and business owners look at performance. They try to measure what is spent vs what results are generated. Simply put, an ROI model that divides results by marketing dollars spent will look fantastic when the dollars are very low. And as you Maths teacher would tell you, it will “tend to infinity as it approaches zero”.

Zero Dollar Marketing is even more important today because:

  • Marketing is now more accountable than ever before for solid returns
  • Marketing is under more pressure than ever before during this economic downturn
  • Marketers need to demonstrate positive contribution
  • Companies and businesses need to save every dollar they can

Do you or your company employ Zero Dollar Marketing techniques?

Product Innovation: Get Out of The Box

Anyone who has ever done product management, product marketing or just tried to create their own product or services will understand the problem.

When people are used to doing something in a certain way, it is hard to change. It took almost 50 years for the Telephone to become accepted and used. When the PC first replaced the type writer, jokes of putting white-out on monitor screens abound.

Now, the problem is not just about people adapting to the product. Sometimes, in the product creation process, the creators themselves are stuck in a known paradigm. Then, it becomes a problem that grows in complexity. Why?

Within a fixed and known environment, there are rules and assumptions. Trying to do something different not only affects the thing that you are attempting to change, but will affect all the supporting elements surrounding it. It is hard to explain, but let me try to use this example of flying cars.

For many years, ever since the invention of aeroplanes, there have been dreams that one day, there will be a flying car. So, designers have been trying to create just such a product. Cars with capabilities of an aeroplane, to fly. Aeroplanes with the capability of cars, to be driven on roads. Some created a helicopter modification.

You see, these creators are now stuck in the following boxes: car, flying, aeroplanes, helicopter.

What happens next is predictable. Aviation rules need to be explored. Traffic jams are bad, but at least, we can wait it out. Aerial traffic jams would be disastrous, even if the flying cars could hover. In fact, now, we can have “traffic accidents” in all three dimensions. The entire concept is mired in a lot of other issues

This is what I was talking about when you try to innovate a product. By creating a product innovation, you turn the entire eco-system upside down. Nothing that supports the proper functioning of the system (road transportation) will work because a fundamental has been changed.

One method of breaking out of the box is to take a daring step and be “silly”. For example, all the innovation so far have been focused on the car – to make it fly. Frankly, that is no longer a challenge. Personal flying is already possible. Small tiny personal planes. But they do not “replace” the car in the way envisioned. So, to get out of the box, let us imagine that we now innovate… the road.

How about that? Change the concept of “air traffic lanes” and make them literal?

My simple take: road with electro-magnetic fields, cars with corresponding capbilities and you get floating cars. Multi-tier the roads, adapt the concepts of on-ramp and off-ramps and you can have a much more complex “road” system. Car parks of course will have to adop similar changes.

Of course, this is a silly idea as it will entail billions of dollars. But it is possible.

My point is, sometimes, solutions outside the box are dismissed because people take one look at it and say:

1. That is silly
2. That looks like a railroad (or whatever is equivalent in each scenario)
3. That is not as good a solution

But mostly, we are trapped in our own little boxes. So, want to be the next Alex Bell, Bill Gates or the Wright Brothers… then dare to be “silly”.

Have a fantastic new year in 2009!

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