A Geek's Perspective On Starting & Running A Business
Who We Are <ul><li>I'm Jeremy Bise </li></ul><ul><li>Co-founder of ThoseGeeks </li></ul><ul><li>Website design and hosting...
A Journey
With lots of ...
The Beginning <ul><li>Two co-workers decided we could make some money by combining skills </li></ul><ul><li>It was just a ...
Today <ul><li>I am a full-time Geek </li></ul><ul><li>Clint is in Afghanistan </li></ul>
Tomorrow ...
Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul>
Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be...
Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be...
Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be...
Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be...
Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul>Support of family, friends, partners Find somebody to learn...
Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul><ul><li>Choose an entity </li></ul>Read up on the different...
Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul><ul><li>Choose an entity </li></ul><ul><li>Equip yourself <...
Commit To Learning <ul><li>Industries and customer expectations change </li></ul><ul><li>Find publications, blogs, and mon...
Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul>
Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search eng...
Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search eng...
Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search eng...
Provide Proof That You Rock <ul><li>GET TESTIMONIALS AND BUILD A PORTFOLIO OF YOUR SUCCESS </li></ul><ul><li>Showcase that...
Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul>
Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend so...
Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend so...
Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend so...
Day To Day <ul><li>CRM (Customer Relationship Management) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with what's said, pending deals, and w...
Day To Day <ul><li>Accounting / Invoicing </li></ul><ul><li>If you don't keep records, Uncle Sam will be upset. </li></ul>...
The Secret <ul><li>There is no secret. </li></ul><ul><li>If there were a recipe for success, businesses would not fail -- ...
Questions? <ul><li>Jeremy Bise </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.thosegeeks.com </li></ul><ul><li>ht...
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A Geek's Perspective on Starting & Running A Business

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Transcript of "A Geek's Perspective on Starting & Running A Business"

  1. 1. A Geek's Perspective On Starting & Running A Business
  2. 2. Who We Are <ul><li>I'm Jeremy Bise </li></ul><ul><li>Co-founder of ThoseGeeks </li></ul><ul><li>Website design and hosting </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on small business  </li></ul><ul><li>and non-profits (B2B) </li></ul><ul><li>Started the business in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>We've designed over 60  </li></ul><ul><li>Sites </li></ul><ul><li>We host over 150 sites </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Journey
  4. 4. With lots of ...
  5. 5. The Beginning <ul><li>Two co-workers decided we could make some money by combining skills </li></ul><ul><li>It was just a hobby/side-thing to make some extra money </li></ul><ul><li>After about a year, we some saw potential and formed a real business </li></ul><ul><li>Partners both had real jobs -- Jeremy in school; Clint working </li></ul>
  6. 6. Today <ul><li>I am a full-time Geek </li></ul><ul><li>Clint is in Afghanistan </li></ul>
  7. 7. Tomorrow ...
  8. 8. Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul>
  9. 9. Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be different </li></ul>
  10. 10. Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be different </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you can commit -- time and money </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be different </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you can commit -- time and money </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to work hard and be patient </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thinking About Starting A Business <ul><li>Make sure you love doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how you're going to be different </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you can commit -- time and money </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to work hard and be patient </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the tax consequences </li></ul>
  13. 13. Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul>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. 14. Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul><ul><li>Choose an entity </li></ul>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. 15. Starting The Business <ul><li>Get your #!@t together </li></ul><ul><li>Choose an entity </li></ul><ul><li>Equip yourself </li></ul>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. 16. Commit To Learning <ul><li>Industries and customer expectations change </li></ul><ul><li>Find publications, blogs, and monitor news sources to stay on top (Google Reader is your friend -- http://www.google.com/reader) </li></ul><ul><li>If your business doesn't change it will die </li></ul>
  17. 17. Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul>
  18. 18. Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging) </li></ul><ul><li>Outbound Marketing -- direct mail, ads, etc. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Ways To Grow <ul><li>Referrals / Word Of Mouth -- THE BEST </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound Marketing -- social media, search engines, being an expert (blogging) </li></ul><ul><li>Outbound Marketing -- direct mail, ads, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships -- find complimentary businesses and something out </li></ul>
  21. 21. Provide Proof That You Rock <ul><li>GET TESTIMONIALS AND BUILD A PORTFOLIO OF YOUR SUCCESS </li></ul><ul><li>Showcase that success </li></ul>
  22. 22. Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul>
  23. 23. Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, &quot;no&quot; is appropriate. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, &quot;no&quot; is appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Why&quot; goes a long way -- teach them something </li></ul>
  25. 25. Customer Service <ul><li>Listen more than you talk </li></ul><ul><li>The customer is not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, &quot;no&quot; is appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Why&quot; goes a long way -- teach them something </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping a customer is a lot easier (and cheaper) than getting a new one.  Retention! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Day To Day <ul><li>CRM (Customer Relationship Management) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with what's said, pending deals, and what you need to do on a daily basis. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.highrisehq.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.batchbook.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.zoho.com </li></ul>
  27. 27. Day To Day <ul><li>Accounting / Invoicing </li></ul><ul><li>If you don't keep records, Uncle Sam will be upset. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.freshbooks.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.getharvest.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.xero.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.quickbooks.com </li></ul>
  28. 28. The Secret <ul><li>There is no secret. </li></ul><ul><li>If there were a recipe for success, businesses would not fail -- and most do. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen, be the best at what you do, and evolve. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Questions? <ul><li>Jeremy Bise </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.thosegeeks.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/thosegeeks </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/jeremybise </li></ul><ul><li>http://linkedin.com/in/jeremybise </li></ul>

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