Category Archives: Business advice

Growth Hacking Experiments – Having a process and using simple free tools

paths to growth

This week on growth hacking experiments we are looking at brainstorming and prioritising your experiments. The aim here is to brain dump all the experiments you want to run that will help your bottom line (ie increase the money in your pocket).

If you have ever been inspired by a case study and then realised the tools they use are expensive then check this out…Tools to get you started to experiment

  • To measure and test you need to use – Pipefy.com – Free
  • To get facebook traffic at low cost set your budget to £20 maximum per campaign
  • To build your landing pages and test headlines Thrive Themes – $90 every quarter or Unbounce – Free for 30 days

Bonus …not necessary, but is cool
To create a signature to guarantee your offer – http://www.onlinesignature.in/ – Free

Run your experiment for £20! Now let’s get into the session

joint ventures pros and cons

Joint Ventures – The Bad Signs, The Pros & Cons & The Checklist

joint ventures pros and cons

Forming a joint venture (JV) can be a quick and very effective mechanism for strategic growth. Such unions can enable fast access to new skills, technologies, markets and a plethora of other benefits.  I am probably the first one in the room to say joining forces by forming a joint venture partnership brings many opportunities. However, joint ventures can also result in loss of productivity and traction without clarity, compromise and congruency.

[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-normal-blue”]Productivity is never an accident. It’s the result of a commitment to focused effort – Paul J. Meyer[/Tweet]

So here goes…

The 8 signs a joint venture partnership is going wrong

1. The customer experience has reduced in quality

Sky and Openreach is a recent example from my own personal experiences. One of the service level agreements between Sky and BT Openreach is that they respond to messages within 4 hours. Now when it comes to installation problems this can become problematic especially if the customer is unable to speak to them directly. When an installation is originally supposed to take a couple of hours and takes 5 weeks and counting you have to wonder whether their processes actually work (true story bro).  Plus from a financial point of view the profit per customer activation is also affected causing further financial implications for both parties, not to mention relationship management.

2. One partner holds all the power as they control the finances

Meaning one partner may not get paid on time for the value that they bring. At times, they are left wondering whether to go and work for a fast food joint because you would get paid more for it and get paid on time.

3. Your opinion is being ignored by your joint venture partner

So you have a meeting, agree on some outcomes and then the next day they do what they want anyway.

4. Your boundaries are being challenged

When you have expressed your communication preference very clearly and stated clear boundaries but they are being ignored there is a blatant lack of disrespect going on. You have set your moat and fence but every other minute it is being overtaken, how long will this go on?

[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others. William Hazlitt via @tryxavietime[/Tweet]

5.You are more tired than when you was working alone

You know when a joint venture isn’t working when…the work in unevenly yoked aka one partner is doing more while the other is, doing very little.

6.You start to ignore your JV calls?

When you ignore their calls, hoping they go away because frankly my dear you just don’t give a damn, this is an example of unhappy partner, unhappy life syndrome.

7. Your joint venture is not goal aligned and you do not have the same drivers/motivators

You see your partner telling more than a few porkies when it comes to business meetings

8. Your joint venture partner isn’t reliable

Previously Boohoo’s delivery partner Hermes would not deliver on time.  So Boohoo create processes to counteract any negative reactions to this unreliability ie. they use Twitter to handle enquiries

boohoo joint venture

Pros and Cons of a Joint Venture

Pros- Reasons for Entering Into a Joint Venture

  • Access to knowledge and resources such as capital, staff and technology
  • Access to new opportunities such as new markets or greater distribution reach
  • Shared exposure to risks, financial responsibility and workload
  • Strengths and weaknesses of each partner complements the other partner
  • Entering related businesses that previously presented high barriers to entry

CON - Reasons against Joint Ventures

  • Unequal contribution of the partners in knowledge, resources or investments
  • Unclear communication of objectives of the joint venture strategy
  • Lack of communication of the accountabilities of each partner resulting in an unsuccessful execution of the joint venture agreement
  • Difficulty in integrating operations of the two companies due to differences in work culture and management styles
  • Lack of leadership from the partners at the outset of the joint venture may lead to less productivity with no one taking the reigns or responsibility

 

Joint Venture Checklist

Questions you need to make sure you can answer before you sign on that dotted line!

    1. Have you set out the objectives of the joint venture?

      [Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible – Tony Robbins [/Tweet]

    2. . Have you clarified your hedgehog concept?

hedgehog concept jim collins

3. Are you on the same page, so you know what you deliver e.g Have you crafted your what do you do spiel?

Book yourself solid approach:

joint venture clarity

Unlock The 13 Other joint Venture Checklist Items!

Enter your details below to instantly
reveal the ultimate joint venture checklist 

 

4. Have you agreed on your you hedgehog concept?

5. How much cash is each party investing into this venture?

6. Are any existing contracts of either to be taken over by the joint venture?

7. Who/what does each partner actually delivers / will deliver?

8. Are there any assets that will be bought into this joint venture (JV)? List them

9. Will any external funding be needed? And who will it be raised from, who will borrow it, who will guarantee it

10. Who gets what out? e.g. sharing of revenue profits or losses, sharing of capital gains or losses

11. Is there any payment to be made to either other than as share of profits, eg for ongoing services, will the participants be operating a ‘salary/dividend split’ – ie taking their month by month requirements by way of low salary, balance as dividends?  What, otherwise, will be the policy in relation to dividends – to what extent is it intended to distribute / retain surplus profits?

12.  Who takes responsibilities for day to day running, in all relevant areas of activity?

  • Who is responsible for tactical decision making (day to day)?

  • Who is responsible for strategic decision making (longer term policies)?

  • What things can only happen if both parties agree?

  • What will happen if you can’t reach agreement on some major issue – ie deadlock?

  • 13. Is there yet any written:

    • business plan?
    • marketing plan?
    • cashflow projection?

14. Is there an ‘exit strategy’? If so, what is it – which of the following most closely hits the mark?

lifestyle business – ie simply intended to be run by and to provide an ongoing source of work and income for the proprietors, no clear vision for the long-term future?

A core object of the venture is to create an asset with a view to sale or flotation in 5 years?

  • Which aspects of the above do you feel most important at present? Which aspects concern you most?  (NB each of you may have a different view here, the question is asked to help you both understand where each of other is coming from)

Read the Joint Venture Success guide

 

So what do you do when a joint venture goes wrong?

 

1. Joint ventures are going to have some conflict…

You are probably approaching the same problem through different angles. Understand that the argument isn’t important as much as the outcome you want to achieve in order progress both of you forward.

2.Remember the reason why you initially entered into a joint venture

The reason you are on a joint venture in the first place is to lighten your burden and share the risk of a mutually beneficial deal. Make sure that you have a list of things to do upfront and split it between you and your partner as equally as possible.

You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree Click to Tweet

3. Set yourself realistic goals

Then set a time frame on things so the JV achieves key milestones.  State clear tangible outcomes with a specific timeframe by creating a joint venture agreement form.

In conclusion remember that building a SUCCESSFUL joint venture strategy can be challenging, can take time, commitment and effort from BOTH parties involved. 

Website Traffic & Conversion

5 S’s To Help With Website Traffic & Conversion

5's to help with website conversion

 

Website Traffic & Conversion

You want website traffic and you want it to convert, but with all the noise, the question is how?  In episode #3 XavieTime growth hacking podcast you will learn:

  • Why Security isn’t just for the front door of your site
  • Why you need to be aware of the stage your visitors are at
  • Speed has much more to do with UX then you thought
  • Why I keep going on about Smarketing
  • How you can use social proof to gain other people’s tribes

 

The resources mentioned in this podcast

GTmetrix.com

social media return on investment

7 Steps to increase your social media success through drivers, data and delegation

 

social media return on investment

 

You already know social media is extensively well-connected. You already know it is supposed to benefit your business by ensuring your communication with a wide network of individuals online. But did you know that you can redefine what success looks like for you by using drivers, data and delegation? Listen to this week’s podcast to find out how!

Social media is great for awareness, and pools are great for holding water. Click to Tweet

No doubt managing social media can also is a day job in itself.   You get so lost in its activities that it becomes hard to measure your return on investment, or the commercial benefits of your social involvement and interaction online.

As with all marketing strategies, it is crucial to evaluate and examine the return you are getting for all your  efforts and time spent communicating and network with your targeted consumer audience online.  In this article, we will discuss some of the basic key tips that will help you effectively measuring your social media success. By following the steps  increase your returns on your social media involvement and interaction.

DRIVERS – Let’s explore the why

social media success

Social Media Success Step #1

Set clearly defined and realistic goals that will best serve you and your promotional activities.

Then actually measure them:

Some would argue that it is extremely vital and crucial to ensure that your social media activities are well-integrated into your marketing strategy and campaigns, and effectively promote your product or services to bring about maximum business advantages.  But the first crucial step is finding out what drives and motivates you so you are consistent with your goals. Listen to the podcast above to find out if you are more of a questioner, upholder, obligor or rebel.

Even though social media is an instrument of your extensive marketing campaign, it is indeed the most effective as it targets a large, global audience. In order to see social media success with obtaining your goals it is essential to:

  • Set clearly defined aims and realistic goals (Smarketing approved data that align with business goals)
  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve (Reseach – collating persona data for pain points)
  • Find out who your targeted audience is (Research – your ideal customer using your red rope policy )
  • Find out where are you most likely to target them on the World Wide Web (Monitoring & connecting dots with past data)

You could use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and an array of other social media applications.  Choosing the right ones will help you in measuring your success in attracting the attention of your consumers by the number of followers, lead conversions, re-tweets, likes, comments etc.

If your posts and news updates are getting regular attention of your targeted consumers, you will know that you are succeeding in your efforts, and if not, you will be able to identify your mistakes and then, focus on eliminating all errors in the future. Continuously trying is the only road that leads to perfection, your social media skills will also improve and enhance as you re-double your social interaction efforts, and set up harder goals to achieve through social media communication.

Make sure to make effective note of which interactions, posts and comments lead to potential sales, and make sure you increase such interactions to enhance your promotion efforts, and in turn, your sales and revenues.

Social Media Success Step #2

Employ the effective use of Social media measuring tools:

There is a wide variety of social media management tools that assist you in effectively and accurately measuring all facets of your interaction and involvement on social media, from measuring your likes, click-through stats, retweets, followers, post shares and various other facilitating tools, you can effective monitor all aspects of your activities on social media.

Some of the popular and widely trending social media measuring tools include, Facebook metrics, Twitter search, Technorati, Monitor This, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer, Sprout Social and Meltwater Buzz among many others that allow you to evaluate and examine your social media success with the help of statistics, consumer reviews and much more. Find the way that makes your job easier to do but measure the return so you know where to put your time.

DATA – Let’s explore the different ways we can use the data from social media

Social media success step #3

Effectively track all your leads that may lead to possible customers and sales generation:

Make sure you diligently and meticulously track the sources of all your leads.  And in cases where the source is vague or unclear, ask the potential consumer where he found out about your product or service so that you can concentrate and focus more energies on that channel.

A highly effective, simple and easy way to track all your leads is to include a field where you ask your customers how they found out about you. You can also track the traffic generated on your websites from other social media sites, analytics or by using Chrome extensions  like SimiliarWeb.

Tracking and making comparisons between the various leads and their sources will allow you to effectively measure your followers, and determine which social media page is most effective in targeting your customers. Plus you will find out which channel needs more work to garner success and generate sales.

Social media success step #4

Maintain a strict measure of your spending on your Customer service*:

It is always advised to check your spending on your customer services over the social media versus other marketing and promotional channels such as phone, email or one-one interactions. This way you can determine and evaluate the success and benefits reaped in terms ROI.

Social media is indeed the least expensive, fairly cheap and simplest forum to promote your product without any possible risks to your investment, as there isn’t much investment to begin with! All social media requires is time, patience and constant promotion.

*Customer service starts as soon as someone interacts with your organisation, they should be treated like a customer

Social media success step #5

Evaluate and examine your brand image and product/services reviews:

Social media allows a great way for businesses to not only promote their brands and products, but also to evaluate and receive an instant review and response of the consumers online.

Using effective monitor tools, for instance Twitter, Facebook and Meltwater Buzz, allows you to examine and evaluate the reviews of the consumers through the posts that mention your brand, and you can interpret through these posts how the consumers thinks, feels and acts where your brand is concerned.

Facebook contains extensively and widely used pages, groups and forums dedicated to food, clothing, fashion and other products and services.  Consumers gather together into tribes  to share their experienceand inform other consumers about the various negative and positive aspects they came across certain brands. Such pages and groups are highly effective in giving you an idea about how your brand is being perceived, and why it is being liked or disliked.

Social media success step #6

Checking for mentions by influential consumers or industry experts who may influence the buying decisions of other potential consumers:

If your brand is being mentioned by an influential celebrity, industry experts and other widely celebrated individuals who are trusted on their expert production evaluations and followed on their brand adoptions, you are definitely putting the right effort and time into social media!

If you find your content being re-posted, re-tweeted or shared by the industry experts and brand influencers, you must know that countless other consumers will also find your content and product useful and attractive. Make sure you target these industry experts effectively, a mention from them will lead to greater sales, enhanced consumer population and in turn, greater revenues! Now that is social media success!

 

DELEGATION – Let’s explore the ways we can delegate to get more things done

 

Social Media success

Social media success step #7

Measure and regulate the time that you have spent on social media:

It is essential to measure how much time you spend promoting your product and interacting with consumers over the social media.  For instance, if you spend hours on social media and get no clicks to content then you have to ask yourself is this worth my time?

It is highly effective and time-efficient to schedule at least 20% of your tweets and posts. This ensures that your targeted consumers are able to see your posts at all the peak times of interaction. This will save you a great deal of time and effort. 80% should be used to form genuine relationships where you engage with followers and add value to conversations that are in your niche!

I hope that added value to your social media success strategy.  Please let me know what’s worked for you in the comments below.