Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Buy Domains From A Third Party Domain Owner

One of the first things that we do when we consider a new business is to book a domain.

Unfortunately, after billions of domains have been purchased over the years, its not very easy for anyone to get a domain name that easily fits in to your requirements. Most common names have already been registered and have been used.

So what should you do if the domain name of your preference has already been booked. This article by Morgan Linton gives you a good idea of how to acquire such domains.

View story at Medium.com

In short,

1) identify the domain owner.

2) Find out if it is for sale.

3) Determine a price

4)Reach out to the domain owner.

Be prepared to be asked completely ridiculous (according to you) prices. This article goes into great detail how to tackle various issues that come up when you try to buy a domain.

 

Hope this helps.

Towards Greater Profits Every Day,

Deep Janardhanan

Director, International School Of Success

http://ischoolOfSuccess.com 

Why Customers Leave – And How to Prevent It

 

Here is an awesome post by Lincoln Murphy from Sixteen Ventures regarding the difference between “happy” customers and “successful” customers.

Read it till the end.  Don’t miss out the comments.

http://customerthink.com/why-happy-customers-leave/

Also check out this post on the subject on this blog…

How to Not Drive Away Your Customers

Your’s in Greater Profits Every Day,

DJ

Is Your Startup Set Up To Fail?

We’ve all heard it often enough. 95% of all small businesses fail within the first 5 years. The problem is that all the knowledgeable sources never mention why they fail.

 Having dealt with numerous clients over a long period of time and having averted failure many times over, I decided to take a whack at this question. I will try to deal with this question over several posts.

So, Why Do Small Businesses Fail?

 The first and major reason for failure is that the business was created for the wrong reasons. There should be one and only one reason any business is created. That there is a need in the marketplace and this business provides the solution.

Here are a few reasons I see why entrepreneurs start their own business.

  1.  They’ve been fired, downsized, laid-off or otherwise made redundant from their work.
  2. They had a fight with their boss and think that working for oneself would be better.
  3. They are working way too hard at their job and think that working for oneself would be easier.
  4. They know they have a marketable skill and friends say they should make a business out of it.
  5. They see someone else making money and decide they want to do the same thing.
  6. They see an establishment going out of business and think they can do better.
  7. They start a business to save on taxes.
  8. They retired from a job and need a new source of income.
  9. They have a hobby that they want to make money from.
  10. They invented a better mousetrap and think the world will beat a path to their door.

By no means do I imply that your business is certainly doomed to fail; if you’ve done your homework before starting your business.

 Identify your market before you start your business.

Better still – Identify your market before you identify your product!

Most people first come up with a doohickey which they try to sell. This is a great mistake made by many rookie entrepreneurs. To be able to sell something to a market, you need to know the market intimately. You need to know their likes, dislikes, the jargon they are familiar with and the dominant emotions in their minds. You need to identify the current conversation going on in the market and know exactly what it is they are concerned with. In short you need to uderstand that market inside-out.

Many entrepreneurs I know and respect don’t put their money in things they cannot understand. Case in Point is Warren Buffet. He decided to stay out of the dot com fantasy since he had no understanding of the market. And we can safely say that he came out of the Dot Com Bust without a scratch.

 Start your business only when you find a need that you can solve in the market.

Go out and find the most pressing need in your market. Ask questions to your consumers. Find not only what they need, but also whether they are willing to pay money for it. The more pressing the need the more likely that you will succeed.

You are passionate about the solution.

After you fulfill the first two criteria, the most important need is for you to be passionate about your product or service.  If you are shy or unsure about it, stay out of business. If you are hesitant to ask your mom to buy it, dont get in to the business.

Crunch The Numbers :

There are many costs for running a business, some seen, many more unseen.  Make sure you work with an experienced accountant who can give you a good picture of what to expect.

Watch Out For Your Customers :

You need to be passionate about serving your customers. Read my article about doing right by your customers. 

Takeaway:

The most prominent reason why most small businesses fail is that those businesses were not based on a real problem/solution equation in the market.

More On The Subject :
 

Local SEO And Advertising Opportunities For Small Business

In addition to optimizing for the major search engines, there is another way you can improve your visibility. Submit your website to all the local search engines! Here is a list of a few local search engines that you might consider.

  •  Yelp
  • Superpages
  • City Search
  • Urban Spoon and OpenTable (for restaurants)
  • Yellow Pages
  • Angie’s List
  • Express Update USA (formally infoUSA)
  • Yahoo Local
  • Trip Advisor
  • Merchant Circle
  • Dex Knows
  • Insider Pages
  • Localeze
  • Shop City
  • Judy’s Book
  • Yellow Bot
  • Kudzo

 

  •  Blogs
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • FourSquare
  • Google+
  • Slideshare
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr

 

Top 50 US Citation Listings

Naming Your Business For Profit (And fun)

The idea for this post came from this very funny entry by Paprika Furstenburg about how to pronounce L’Occitane En Provence.  Want the answer? View the very funny video that goes with the post!

So, how do you name your business ?

Actually naming a business is so sophisticated that there is an entire industry that does just that.  They charge hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to come up with a name that is guaranteed to perform; well sort of  guaranteed!  If you are one of those that have millions just waiting to be doled out, keep clicking.

 And if you are not one of those,  lets take a crack at it together, shall we?

I’ll try to categorize how we can approach naming a business. This will give you an outline for how to come up with a list of possibilities for a name.

Before we begin, lets list the attributes we’d like our business name to have. Of course , any name you choose will almost never have all the following attributes. The best name therefore, will have most of these attributes.

  1. It may be catchy eg.rapidfire.com.
  2. It may be memorable eg. InsuranceCompaniesAreStupid.com.
  3. It may be repeatable eg.amazon.com, buy.com, geiko.com; (but not blekko.com )
  4. It refers to the solution to the problem your service solves eg. FixThatPainForever.com
  5. It must evoke a kindly emotion, nostalgia, longing etc. eg. belindasdownhomecooking.com
  6. It may describe what your business does for your customer. eg. GordonsJewelers.com
  7. It must invoke visions of excellence. eg. greatClips.com
  8. It must create a feeling of satisfaction/happiness eg. Ilovecandystore.com
  9. It must be easy to spell. This one’s a doozy. Many websites lose business just because they picked a very lengthy name difficult to spell.  eg. Encyclopaedia.com
  10. It may point to your service being a luxury. eg. hoteldeluxeportland.com
  11.  It must have only positive connotations for all your customer groups.
  12. It may have geographical connotations. eg. richmondMarketing.com
  13. It may have timely or seasonal meanings. allthingschristmas.com
  14. It may evoke images of exotic places. eg. L’occitane
  15. It may refer to a price limit eg. under10grandautos.com.
  16. It may refer to a relative price factor eg. bargain, cheap, thrifty etc.
  17. It may use slang/jargon known only to your niche market. eg. asp.net
  18. It may form a complete word using the domain as well as subdomains. eg. delic.io.us
  19. It may refer to your industry Eg. automobilemag.com
  20. It may refer to a hobby/craft or art. Eg. enthusiastsauto.com
  21. It may be just plain funny sounding. Eg. Google, newegg
  22. It may use irreverence; hence likeable. Eg. Unruly, Maverick.
  23. It may use celebrity references. eg. CatsThatLookLikeHitler.com
  24. It may use adjectives such as great, lovely, amazing,mastery,ultimate etc.
  25. It may use verbs such as buy, cometo, goto , go, see, own etc.
  26. It may use suffixes or prefixes such as -matic , -ability etc.
  27. It must be available as a .com/.net/.biz/.co  domain name.

If you see some others that I’ve missed, please comment below. I’ll add them to the list. This list  can be used as a checklist for the next time you need to come up with a business name.

About the author:

Deep Janardhanan is an accomplished writer, marketer and copywriter in the Richmond,Va area. He specializes in working with small businesses and professionals to strategically market your business for maximum coverage using a limited budget. You can reach him at deep@nobleriver.com

Your Customers Are Not Idiots

Today’s post is a continuation on making your customers feel special.  Another way  of making their experience better is by letting them decide how much and how often they want to deal with you and to decide how to reward you for that experience.

I was vacationing at South Beach, Miami with my family over the Christmas weekend. The weather was good, the people were friendly, the beach was awesome. It was a perfect weekend; well almost! 

I say almost, because twice a day for every day I was there,  I was robbed! I dont mean robbed at gun point, but it made me feel the same.  Whenever we stepped into a restaurant to eat, we felt like we were being robbed. Here is why!

Every restaurant in South Beach seems to have developed a sense of entitlement, and a thick skin to boot. As soon as you are done with the overpriced and often bland fare, you are presented with the check. And here’s where the real robbery starts.

They calculate your tip at over 18% to 30% and then add it to your tab. You are then presented with a check with the overly exhorbitant tip already added in. 

 Its as if their customers dont have the ability to calculate the tips themselves.  They dont realize that us customers  are not idiots. We do have the freedom and ability to judge the quality of your service and your food; then decide if you deserve a tip!

[There were times I’ve been treated poorly in restaurants! We all have. The service was non-existent and the food was poor. But still, I’ve never come out of a restaurant without paying a tip! ]

 So, when you force me to pay you a tip, no matter what, I feel imposed upon.   And when you spring it upon me; at the end of my meal, I feel trapped. You never want your customer to feel trapped. ( Just look up the forums for any telecom company and you will know what I mean. )

On top of this, they provide you with space to put in an additional tip. I can’t imagine why anyone want to do that after being treated so cavalierly.

So, if you were considering doing this; be warned! It may seem that you make more money by forcing your customers to pay a certain percentage as tips. But it is not making them feel special.  Its not making their experience great.

A few companies that have learnt this secret are active in the publication industry. They offer to send you the product with ” Don’t send money now”. They make you feel completely in control of whether you want to keep the product or return it.

And like every multi-billion dollar publisher knows, this tactic is a winner! Every time you put your customer in charge, you come out a winner!

Happy marketing,

Towards Greater Profits Every Day,

Deep J.

How to Make your Customer Feel Special

If there is one thing that puts some marketers head and shoulders above others , is that  they know how to treat their customers right. All other factors being equal, a customer not only remembers you, but also feels inclined to give you more business if you have made him or her feel special.

Unfortunately, making your customer feeling special is not as simple as it sounds for most people. A lot of small businesses give up the fight because they never know how to treat a customer.

The number one thing to remember is that your customer does not come to you for your product or a service. He comes to you with the expectation of being treated fairly; while he satisfies his need.

So your job is to not only make sure you treat her fairly, but also to make sure that she goes away feeling special. But its not so easy to do this. What makes you feel special is different from the next guy. So you need to find ways of dealing with each customer in his own way.

Having said that, there are ways you could make your customers feel special.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Make sure your establishment is always neat and clean.
  2. Make it easy for me to find what I am looking for. I dont want to spend half a day trying to learn your sorting system.
  3. Have some light music playing at your retail establishment. If your customers are into rock music, then rock is apt too.
  4. Always have enough help available to serve your customers.
  5. Rearranging the shelves is secondary to serving your customer. Don’t make me wait at the counter while your other staff member does inventory.
  6. Get that mess in Isle 2 cleaned up immediately. I dont want to slip and break a leg.
  7. Send me a thank you note once in a while. You can send me an offer, but be subtle about it. Dont send me another offer and call it a Thank you letter.
  8. If you want me to feel really special, send me a personalized offer; and let me know that its personalized just for me.
  9.  Use humor. Make fun of yourselves. People like those who dont act all stuck up.  I like to deal with someone  who is fun.
  10. Show clearly that you are a mom and pop; not a nameless corporation.  I like to deal with someone like you. In fact, I prefer to work with smaller businesses if you can treat me right.
  11.   For Goodness sake, Put Up A Website! I dont want to drive half way across town to your shop, only to learn that you dont open Mondays!

 

An Awesome Article re Google+ on Mashable.com

An awesome article re Google+ on mashable.com

Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook.

In the Internet world, nothing is constant. Even Facebook will go out of fashion some day or the other. And when it does, you and I will be chatting up with friends and customers on Google+.

Might as well start laying the groundwork now! Here is a very detailed guide on getting started.

Enjoy.

Deep Janardhanan