Category: Advisor Garage

Quick favor!

Andrew here, I’ll be giving more updates in just a little bit, but first I need to ask you a favor.
I am very close to finishing my course work for “Funding Academy”. I’ve been working on this for the past eighteen months and will be releasing the product early next month, but before I do, I have to ask you a couple of really quick questions. Can you help me out?
You can answer the questions here and get a little more detail on Funding Academy here.
Thanks,
Andrew
PS – Help with a Super Quick Question

Flixor: Stay Tuned!

I wish I could tell you all about Flixor but I’m not allowed to today.  What I can say is that Flixor is a very cool up and coming company focused on tools that have both consumer appeal but also the potential to revolutionize the advertising industry.  I recommend you go to http://www.Flixor.com, bookmark it and watch as this company moves from stealth to a very compelling young company. If you are a potential angel – reach out and I’ll forward on your contacts – you won’t be disappointed…

Andrew
Founder – Advisor Garage
http://www.AdvisorGarage.com/Community

read more | digg story

Tumpang: One to Watch!

As never before the ability of online networks has the potential to shape the world.  Tumpang is preparing to take advantage of this dynamic by offering people who come together online the ability to put their joint purchasing power to work. 

The Tumpang model is interesting.  Manufacturers are asked to discount their products if Tumpang can guarantee a group purchase of a certain quantity of items.  Then, within their site, they offer the items for sale at the discounted price providing enough people agree to purchase the item at the discounted rate.  As individuals the customers may not be able to get these ‘bulk’ discount prices – as an online mini-purchasing group, they suddenly have more power.

Tumpang is currently focused on the Chinese market…but are making moves to go international.  There are two obvious challenges at this point:

Products are often country specific so although they have international plans, this may not translate well for the mini-groups.  Will a German purchaser be interested in a kettle for the Malaysian market? See my point?

Most of the products on the site at this point seem relatively low quality i.e. Tumpang does not seem to be striking deals with Apple, Panasonic etc but rather more unknown brands. However, as their purchasing power and traction increases this should give them more negotiation strength with the bigger, more popular manufacturers.

So, Tumpang is one to watch.  This crowd purchasing approach could create another shift in online purchasing.

Andrew
Founder -Advisor Garage
http://www.AdvisorGarage.com/community

read more | digg story

Overcoming Isolation as a Home Business Owner

As a home business owner, you will be faced with many obstacles. One of the most unexpected challenges for many home business owners is the feeling of isolation. New and seasoned home business owners encounter feelings of being isolated from the rest of the world, and even loneliness, at some point during their careers. The quiet home office is certainly a change from a populated office space at previous jobs.

Owning and operating a small business from home has many advantages, but working in an office with others has the social aspect that a home office lacks. This social aspect is a double-edged sword; most home business owners chose to work from home based on office politics or the independence that comes from going solo. Like it or not, co-workers, colleagues, and supervisors did keep you company at your old job.

How can you fight these feelings when your home office is quiet and you’ve been working alone for hours on end? The key is to feel as though you are part of society while not being distracted. There should be a balance between interruptions and total solitude. There are a few ways that you can feel as though you’re not the Lone Ranger while remaining productive.

Turn On the Radio or Television

Depending on your level of distraction and whether you are taking telephone calls, you could turn on the radio or television to keep you company. Light classical music works wonders, and some people find that having background noise helps cure loneliness. Other people find they get caught up in what is on television or are distracted by music.

Take the Dog (or Cat) to Work

The family dog or cat will definitely keep you company. Dogs are great, because you can also take them out for a walk to get some fresh air. Cats are perfect, as they are usually not distracting and need little attention to be content. If you have no pets, it may be a good time to consider getting one, simply for the companionship they provide. Unlike humans, pets do not require conversation to be companions.

Arrange Business Lunches

Arranging business lunches with clients and colleagues is a great way to network, build relationships, and socialize. Pleasant afternoon coffee outings and lunches with clients will also lead to quality word of mouth advertising. Many professional associations, including local Chambers of Commerce, have weekly or monthly business lunches. These are wonderful resources for new business and to simply get out and meet people in your community.

Join an Online Home Business Forum

There are forums online where home business owners from around the world gather to socialize and share ideas. These are a wonderful way to interact with others with little pressure to keep up a long conversation. Beware the vacuum of the Internet – hours can seem like minutes. Online communities such as Girls with Goals are huge distractions for many people; yet when visited in moderation, they are excellent a great source of human interaction.

Pick Up the Phone for Human Contact

If you are feeling isolated, call one of your clients to “touch base”. Maintaining contact with clients is always welcome; keeping open lines of communication allows you to better understand their needs while you are maintaining a positive presence.

Perhaps your line of business requires cold calling for sales or business leads. When you are feeling lonely, there is no better time to cold call potential customers and pitch your business.

You can plan a predetermined amount of time in your day for personal calls with friends and family. These calls will help you to feel as though you are still part of society even though you are working alone. Friends and family will usually be supportive and help you to remain positive during tough times. It is important to set a time limit, otherwise you may find time slipping away from your business matters.

Remember: You Are Not Alone

Every home business owner has the occasional day when they feel isolated, lonely, and even depressed because they miss daily interaction with co-workers. After hours and hours of being alone in a home office, a trip to the grocery store or dry cleaners can seem like a treat. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are thousands of people, working frantically in their home offices who also feel isolated from time to time. Focus on your work, maintain a healthy lifestyle away from the home office, and follow these pointers. You’ll feel much better during your busy day.

__________________________

Erin Hurry
Girls with Goals
“Our Goal is Your Success”

read more | digg story

Word of Mouth Marketing

If you’re trying to market a product on a limited budget, you know what a challenge it can be. Why not harness the power of word of mouth marketing? Word of mouth marketing is one of the best forms of free advertising available to the cash strapped marketer.

To make word of mouth marketing work for your business, you must have a good product at a reasonable price. If customers are impressed with the value your product offers, they’ll enthusiastically spread the word to their friends and family. This is free advertising at its best! Here’s how to put the power of word of marketing to work for your business:

Girls with Goals Steps

1. When you sell a product, give your customers extra business cards or flyers to give to their friends and family. People love to share new discoveries with their acquaintances. Make it easy for them by giving them some of your sales literature.

2. Take brochures and business cards with you wherever you go. Pin them up on bulletin boards, put them into fish bowls at restaurants, and hand them to people you meet throughout the day. This is a quick and easy way to market your business. It’s a great form of free advertising.

3. Tell everyone you know what you do for a living. It’s said that every person you meet knows over 200 other people. By telling one person what you do, you’re reaching a large universe of potential customers. Use word of mouth marketing to spread the word.

4. If you get feedback from a particularly satisfied customer, ask if you can use their comments as a testimonial in your next brochure. Jot down their comments as well as their name and address. Before publishing their comments ask for their written permission by mail. After receiving their written permission, add their testimonial to your marketing brochure when you next update it.

5. Offer your customer a future discount for each person they refer to you. When your customer’s name is mentioned as a referral source, keep track of it in a notebook so you’ll remember to give that customer a discount on their next purchase from you.

6. When a customer buys a product from you, give them a coupon for a 10% discount on their next purchase. At the same time, give them several extra coupons to give to friends and family. People love discounts and will express their gratitude by giving you free advertising.

7. Always over deliver! Give your customers such amazing service that they can’t wait to tell their friends. Truly good customer service is rare these days. Go the extra mile and watch your sales skyrocket!

Isn’t it time for you to harness the power of word of mouth marketing to promote your own product or business? It’s a great form of free advertising. Give it a try and prepare for some great results.

read more | digg story

It’s Our Movie: A $500K Virtual Investment

Itsourmovie.com 

I can’t tell you how much I love this business concept!  I’m not 110% convinced about the capability to make significant amounts of investor revenues but frankly…that’s just not the point of this neat new business.  So, let me tell you about “It’s Your Movie”.  The basic idea is for the online community to fund, audition and vote for characters in a movie called “The Flirting Club”.  It’s a complete mashup of a number of popular ideas…think “The Producers meets American Idol” and you are some of the way there!

Business Model:

  • Members of the public can buy a ’stake’ in the movie of $10, $100, $100.  What’s not clear on the site is what stakeholders get for their stake although the site does say the higher the stake the more ’say’ in the movie.
  • Advertising is another revenue stream for “Its Our Movie” although as the site currently has a 4,000,000 Alexa ranking the revenue is likely to minimal at this point.
  • Movie Rights and Sale:  I could find no reference to movie rights or sale as it relates to stakeholders but it is a new business so that may appear in their FAQs.

Some Core Functionality/Elements:

  • Auditioning:  To audition for a part, members download the script, choose a character and video themselves. After uploading the Audition to http://www.youtube.com / http://www.metacafe.com / http://www.dailymotion.com the code is then re-pasted within the “Its Our Movie” Website so the community can review and vote on the auditions
  • Characters: A summary of each character is included in the site and video auditions can be added against each character
  • Voting: Members can vote on a 1-10 scale for each audition.  They will also be adding the ability for people to vote via text message/SMS
  • Photos/Videos: Photos and videos of each person auditioning
  • Member blogs
  • Member forums (Is this a Drupal site with a skin? Hummm)

Likes:
Sometimes new business are not about money…OK, rarely new businesses are not about money because money is oxygen for startups but in this case, its about the excitement of being involved in creating a movie. Doesn’t EVERYONE want to be involved in creating a movie? Even if it’s a bad movie for goodness sake.  Now here’s a little prediction, as momentum grows for this new site then it won’t be long before Simon Cowell and the rest get wind of it.  Before you can say “Teletubbies” I’m guessing that this process may move from the web to other mediums.  When that happens then this could become a significant opportunity for the founders.  If I was a stakeholder, I’d be looking for some reassurances that I’m buying a tiny piece of that potential success. 

Dislikes/Suggestions:

  • Be explicit about what stakeholders are getting!  It’s great that you’ve raised $100K but if you want to hit the $1M target then I would outline what those folks were getting…really clearly! 
  • My understanding is that the Director is Alex Jovy. Is it THE Alex Jovy that received an Oscar-nomination for his film Holiday Romance who also went on to produce and direct the thriller Sorted starring Matthew Rhys and Jason Donovan? If so, let us know people! At the moment it looks like some obscure guys idea that is absolutely exciting but we need to know it’s legitimate and this isn’t paying for someone’s extended vacation in the South of Spain.

Additional Opportunities:

  • Plug this into the TV machine and turn it into a show.

My Virtual Investment:
With my virtual $1M, I would personally stake a virtual $500K providing someone gave me virtual percentages of the revenue.

http://www.itsourmovie.com/

Interested in other articles about Its Our Movie?

Andrew – Founder
http://www.AdvisorGarage.com/community

read more | digg story

Add Facebook, Twitter or Top Blogs from TechCrunch and Much More to ***Your My AdvisorGarage***

New Free Service Just Launched!  Your MyAdvisor Garage gives you the ability to create your own personalized summary of the Advisor Garage site, other sites via RSS feeds and add ‘droplets’ such as Top Tech Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and much more. The new MyAdvisor Garage service duplicates the functionality of tools like MyYahoo! and Google’s personalized homepage.  So you can select the blogs, content, feeds and additional services that interests you and create your own tools and content within your MyAdvisor Garage page within Advisor Garage.
Give it a whirl, its on the left side of your page.  Let us know what you think and if there’s any way we can make it more valuable for you.
See an example: http://www.advisorgarage.com/community/mysite/andrew

read more | digg story