Why Salesmanship Is an Essential Skill in Founding a Business

The mention of salesmanship may evoke a shallow idea of taking a product to market and persuading the buyer to settle for it. That’s only the basic understanding of the concept. However, if you get the better understanding of what salesmanship entails then you easily start to understand why this is the one essential skill that founders really need to learn.

  1. Salesmanship entails creating a narrative that succeeds in making an audience instantly understand and connect with the values of a company other than just introduce the product or service in focus.
  1. A salesman actually proceeds to deliver that narrative to various people.
  2. Ultimately he or she closes a sale, essentially from the narrative delivered.

It’s from the efforts of a salesperson and delivery of the company narrative that the business earns engagement and acquires market. As such, selling is critically important to multiple stages of the growth of a company.

Is the CEO work any different? Here are some key areas where salesmanship will be essential in the work of a CEO.

Hiring initial team

As a fonder, the only solid thing you have is a great idea. In most cases, it’s not as great to anyone else but you. It takes some salesmanship to make other people see this idea in the same lens as you and actually get to share your vision.

It takes the same quality to convince persons with the rare skills your start-up needs, who already have well-paid jobs to actually give up their current jobs and join you.

Raising capital

Except for lenders like FAM that do not attach a lot of bottlenecks to their financial services, it takes quite some persuasion to get a micro loan from banks and other traditional lenders to finance a start-up.

Actual selling

Whatever your business model is, you are seeking to have someone somewhere to pay you money for it.

There may not be a problem in the long run as you’ll be having a team of well-trained sales force to run this process. You may alternatively develop a complex system which allows people to manage their spending on your platform if you are offering an entirely self-service product.

However, before you get that far, there are the days of starting up where you have to run all the footwork by yourself. It will be you to figure out exactly who your buyer is and how to make them actually buy your offering.

Apply These 6 Secret Techniques to Improve Content Writing


So, you write well and are willing to make a career in content writing? But you should remember one thing, writing contents for businesses and e-commerce websites is completely different from writing a story or something similar. If you are interested in joining the league of content writers, then you must learn the following tricks. Remember, there is no dearth of writing-related jobs, but in order to make your mark, you need to learn the techniques.

  1. The first technique is to learn how to write an interesting piece of article. Do thorough research; go through the “about us” section of a number of web-based companies to gain firsthand knowledge of how content is produced. There are a number of sites which provides tips on how to write English typical for writing about web-based products and goods. You should have a good sense of grammar and spelling, without which your writing will fall flat.
  2. The writing tone of the content you will be producing must be conversational. This will intrigue the reader to read about your content. They will feel as if you are conversing with them on a personal level. And this is where the success of a content writer lies. Don’t use bland phrases or jargons which can make your writing too difficult to understand.
  3. A good content writer is characterized by the substance contained in his/her content. So research as much as possible regarding how to include factual and numerical data in your content. You need to know the differences in writing styles of product reviews, technical writings or simple blog posts and learn how to make them more and more informative.
  4. Learn to produce original contents. Rehashed and refreshed writing is a big “No-No” in the world of content writing. Remember, you are helping in the marketing of a product and your writing only will tell about its uniqueness. If it is something which the customers have heard before, then the entire content marketing strategy will fail.
  5. Knowledge about website templates like WordPress is a must for the newbie content writers. You must learn how to insert media, video and other similar files in your writing and publish them on the web templates. You must know a bit about Dropbox, OneNote which will help you to win over your client’s trust.
  6. Final and the most important, you shall always deliver your work on time. This is one of the requirements which will help you in the long run. Learn to produce your content within the scheduled time, but you must remember not to compromise on the quality of the writing in haste.


Creating Business Idea

The start of the year is a great time to gear up to start a business. But, of course, you first need to figure out a winning concept. Here are eight techniques from Key and other experts that could help get your creative juices flowing:

Ask yourself, “What’s next?”
Successful business ideas are often ahead of the curve. Think about trends and technologies on the horizon and how you might move into those areas, says Sergio Monsalve, partner at Norwest Venture Partners, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital group. He suggests, for example, thinking about innovations related to the living room and home entertainment systems now that companies like Apple are developing new television technologies. “What can that mean in terms of new ways to live in your house and be entertained?” he says.

Look for new niches.
Your business idea doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what some of the big players in an industry are missing and figure out if you can fill the gaps, Key says. In 2003, for instance, he started the company Hot Picks, now based in San Jose, Calif., after realizing the major brands in the guitar pick industry weren’t offering collectible novelty picks. Key designed a skull-shaped pick that filled an empty niche and was sold in 1,000 stores, including Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven. “The big guys leave a tremendous amount of opportunity on the table,” he says.


Find a category lacking recent innovations.
When coming up with ideas, Key likes to identify markets that haven’t had many recent innovations. For example, when he realized there were few new developments in the product information label business, he created Spinformation, a label consisting of two layers—a top layer that rotates with open panels through which you can see, and a bottom label that you can read by spinning the top layer over it. Companies needing to fit more information about a medication, for example, could use the extra label space for the details.


Talk to shoppers.
To come up with an idea that meets people’s needs, there’s no better way than by talking to shoppers. If you are interested in mountain bikes, hang out in the aisles of sports and bike shops and ask customers what they wish they could find in the marketplace. If you’re interested in developing an e-commerce business, consider sending an online survey to potential customers to learn about their needs and interests.

Play the mix and match game.
Walk up and down the aisles of a drug, hardware or toy store combining two products across the aisle from each other into one, Key says. That should spark quite a few ideas, but be prepared for most of them to be bad. “You will come up with all these horrible ideas, and every once in a while you will find some brilliant idea out there,” he says.

Mistakes in Online Business

Waiting too long to launch a product/service

Some people simply talk themselves out of creating a product because they’re afraid no one will buy it. They don’t want to fail after putting in so much time creating content.

Whatever the reason, this is a fatal trap. If you’re building a business, you need to address the biggest risk head-on. The biggest risk you’ll face as a business is in creating something no one will pay for.

Plus, you need practice at building and launching products. Your first one might not be all that good. The sooner you put something out there, the closer you get to sustainable revenue.

Solving an unimportant problem

Businesses fail all the time because they try to solve a problem nobody really cares about. If you put your product or idea out there and nobody buys it, there’s a good chance you should look for a more important problem, not a bigger audience.

Not really listening to customers

How do you know if the problem you solve is important enough?

Listen to your customers. Really listen to them.

Don’t just listen to the customers who provide validation. Listen to the ones who ask for refunds or buy your product but don’t use it. Listen to the people who tell you they won’t buy, and find out why.

Don’t just pay lip service to your customers. You don’t have all the answers, they do. There’s a reason why “the customer is always right,” because without customers you don’t have a business.

Spending too much time thinking and not enough doing

If your ratio of thinking-to-doing is anything less than 80% doing, think again do more.

As Chase likes to say, entrepreneurs have two modes, CEO mode and worker-bee mode. In a one-person business, you have to be both.

Strategy for Online Business

You will need to do things in a certain way to maximize your chances to succeed. This “certain way” is what we call strategy, from the general business attitude to specific approaches.

1. Fail Often

Good judgment come form experience but experience come from bad judgment, Not entirely true, I know, but enough to make you think. Don’t be afraid to fail. Kill all your “brilliant” ideas by making them real first. 99.99% of the genial ideas don’t survive after you make them real. 99.99% is a big number. Prepare to fail for 99.99% of your time. The 0.01% is really worth.

2. Fast Is The New Slow

If you really want a piece of the online cake you have to think super fast. If you think fast, you’re slow. Technology is evolving at such a rate that you can almost hear it growing. The adoption of the phenomenon is the fastest in the whole humankind history. You’re doing business during a revolution. And, usually, during revolutions they get rid of the old / slow stuff pretty fast (think head chopping and you’ll have an idea).

3. If You Don’t Blog, You Don’t Exist

The old days of anonymous business presence on the Internet are over. You need an identity. Preferably, your own identity. And the easiest way to establish, maintain and promote an identity is having a blog. Blogging has become an internal part of the online business process, much like a domain name: without it, you don’t really exist.

4. Be Informed

Stay on top of the news but filter the information. Being informed is a balanced attitude. Don’t rush to become a hype whore, praising every single “next boom” idea, but don’t get too skeptical also. Watching the trends in the online business can be a business in itself, though you need a really good filter and a cold judgement in order to take only what’s really useful for you or your business niche.

5. Social Media Works

It might be overrated lately, I agree, but social media really works. As an observer of the online phenomenon in the last ten years I can tell you for sure that this IS a revolution. Much slower than it’s perceived or presented, but there is a real shift from consuming information to interacting in larger communities. Social media is a place where you really want to be if you want to do business on the internet.

6. Praise Your Success

I really don’t see any reason whatsoever you shouldn’t be proud of what you did. If you’re successful, let the world know. Being shy will not help you here. You’re acting on a field so crowded with information that even your own identity is difficult to persist, if you don’t actively work at it. Just because your clients know your name that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re perceived as an expert in your niche.

Online Business Project

This is what you are actually doing, the results of your activities. Most of the time, those will be websites with various degrees of complexity. Creating, managing and improving services is the core of your online business.

1. A Brilliant Idea Is Worth Nothing

I can have 100 brilliant ideas per minute. And I’m not joking. I know a guy who can have his brilliant ideas in his sleep. Guess what: he’s not an entrepreneur. An idea without action worth nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Focus on your immediate resources to make something plausible working as fast as you can rather than waiting for something allegedly brilliant to grow by itself. It never happened and it will never happen.

2. You Sell Processes, Not Products

In the online business, what you are selling is not a product, nor even a service. It’s a process. You sell an entire experience, regardless of your niche. From a personal blog up to a link directory, what you are offering is not atomically identified as one single product or service but as a unique process. Is this unique combination which creates the value behind the business, not the parts. Look at the whole experience, not only at the most visible pieces of the puzzle.

3. If They Copy You, You’re Good

One of the most accurate proofs that you’re doing a great job, is your clone trend. If your site / product gets cloned, you are in for something. If you’re not cloned at all, something must be wrong. Many young entrepreneur have this fear of not being copied. In fact, being copied is the only surefire sign that you’re good. Of course, you WILL have to deal with all the legal hassles of content theft or copyright infringement, that’s for sure, and I’m not advising in any way to ignore that. I’m just telling you this is a sign of success and should be treated like this.

4. Don’t Look For Traffic, Look For Trends

One of the most present obsession among online entrepreneurs is related to traffic. How much traffic I could generate with this project? In my opinion, traffic is overrated. At the speed of the Internet, traffic is becoming really volatile, users are bombed with loads of information each hour, so rough numbers are not a reliable way to judge your product impact. Instead of numbers of visitors, look for trends: how fast is the site growing / slowing down? Think in percentages, not in thousands of users.

5. The Network Effect

If you want to launch an online business, think twice. It may be worth to launch 5 online businesses at the same time and link them in a network. Maybe your flagship idea will consume most of your focus and resources, but having 2-3 satellite websites / projects orbiting the main product will have a bigger impact. Not to mention the learning advantage: you will incorporate much more knowledge from a network, than from a single product.

6. If You Don’t Like It, It Usually Won’t Work

If you don’t like your idea, but you “feel” it will generate lots of money, usually it will won’t work. It might generate lots of money, if it exploits some market uncovered niche, but without your enthusiasm fuel, it won’t be there for long. It will be extinct faster than a passion fueled idea. A good project must give you the thrills, not the only the money as empty numbers.

7. Fall In Love With Your Project

If you experience familiar sensations, like chills and butterflies in the stomach, whenever you’re thinking at your project, that’s a sign you’re falling in love with it. No, it’s not awkward. No, you don’t have to block those feelings. Let them express and treat your project like you would treat your beloved half. I’m not joking.

8. Measure, Measure, Measure

Always use all the available metrics to see where you are with your project. Don’t be fooled by your imagination nor let those wishful thinking episodes get in your way. Measure your impact. Watch your money, trends, team, partners and see what’s happening. Keep your eyes opened and be ready to cut if things are not looking as you would expect. Better sooner than later.

Launching New Product

Here are 8 steps any company can follow to increase their odds of growth and transformation through a new product launch:

1. Address head-on the number one reason for failure. You can’t fake it if an innovation has no clear or compelling relevance to people’s lives. Companies often refuse to acknowledge a new product or service idea serves no strongly identified customer need, and they try to retrofit their marketing to compensate. Start by identifying a relevant, resonant role you could play in people’s lives. Then develop offerings and experiences that deliver it in a peremptory way.

2. Focus on the most critical rule of thumb for growth today—customer acquisition. Get as many quality customers—even light, occasional users—as quickly as possible. More customers mean more sales, share, and with that, conversion to loyal, heavy users. In addition, new customers have a key attribute that every marketer should leverage—word of mouth.

3. Face what you must really accomplish through Facebook. Nielsen reveals that the number one reason a Facebook user “likes” a brand is to receive a discount or special offer.

4. Think faster. With the impatience of bosses and investors today, you can’t just obsess about how to quickly add quality customers. You also have to obsess about how to add them faster than anyone else in your category. Growing a customer base quickly is unlikely to come from building an e-commerce site and expecting people to find it only through search and blogs and Facebook. Getting lots of new customers quickly requires some sort of mass reach.

5. Don’t be fooled by the hype. Contrary to the buzz about the power of social media and apps, adding TV to the media mix still proves to be the most effective way to jump-start growth.

6. For maximum ROI, perfect your mix. It’s a waste of time to debate whether TV or Facebook delivers it best. It’s more important to identify the ROI of the media mix that advances people through the purchase funnel—what medium best engages to drive a consumer to deeper engagement in another medium, and then habituates engagement or converts the interaction to a sale. Identify the mix that leads to the best conversion rate and then work continuously to improve it.

7. Map your measurement. Many marketers say they know the media or touchpoint path their consumer takes on their way to purchase—until asked to map it visually. Plotting the path takes a chart with a horizontal axis of touchpoints, and a vertical axis with the steps and stages of the buying process. Identifying the elements of each axis and then tracking the order and incidence of each forces marketers to confront what they know and don’t know, like: What is the entry point into people’s lives for a new category or product? Where and when can one maximize reach? Where are people falling off the path to purchase? What message is best at each touchpoint to move a person to the next stage of their decision-making? The ultimate benefit of mapping is identifying the mix of touchpoints and messages that drive the best conversion rate. It’s almost never one medium or message but a mix that, with the right analytics, can always be improved and optimized.

8. Prepare yourself: Your launch never ends. Marketers must face that their launch will be forever in beta, a state of continuous improvement that prevents the brand from losing momentum, or worse, stalling out. Studies confirm that marketers who assume their launch is over, who pull back, who stop innovating, or who let share of voice fall below their market share, do not fare well.


Idea to Production

Whether you want to produce and market your invention yourself or license it to another company, the only way to make money from your invention and to guarantee that no one will steal your idea is to file a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Document It

Simply having an “idea” is worthless–you need to have proof of when you came up with the invention ideas. Write down everything you can think of that relates to your invention, from what it is and how it works to how you’ll make and market it.

This is the first step to patenting your idea and keeping it from being stolen. You’ve probably heard about the “poor man’s patent”–writing your idea down and mailing it to yourself in a sealed envelope so you have dated proof of your invention’s conception.

This is unreliable and unlikely to hold up in court. Write your idea down in an inventor’s journal and have it signed by a witness. This journal will become your bible throughout the patent process.

Research It

You will need to research your idea from a legal and business standpoint. Before you file a patent, you should:

Complete an initial patent search. Before you hire a patent attorney or agent, complete a rudimentary search for free at www.uspto.govto make sure no one else has patented your idea. You should also complete a non-patent “prior art” search. If you find any sort of artwork or design related to your idea, you cannot patent it–regardless of whether a prior patent has been filed.

Research your market. SMore than 95 percent of all patents never make money for the inventor. Before you invest too much time and money into patenting your invention, do some preliminary research of your target market. Is this something people will actually buy? Once you know there’s a market, make sure your product can be manufactured and distributed at a low enough cost so that your retail price is reasonable.

Make a Prototype

A prototype is a model of your invention that puts into practice all of the things you have written in your inventor’s journal. This will demonstrate the design of your invention when you present it to potential lenders and licensees. Do not file a patent before you have made a prototype. You will almost always discover a flaw in your original design or think of a new feature you would like to add. If you patent your idea before you work out these kinks, it will be too late to include them in the patent and you will risk losing the patent rights of the new design to someone else.


Budgeting Plan

Every successful business needs a budget, and here are step for budgeting plan.
It’s a basic tenet of business – before you can make money you have to figure out how to spend it. Drafting a budget is a key way to help you turn your dreams for business success into reality. Using this vital tool, you can track cash on hand, business expenses, and now much revenue you need to keep your business growing or at least afloat. By committing these numbers to paper, your chances of succeeding with your business are helped by anticipating future needs, spending, profits and cash flow. It also may let you spot problems before they mushroom, so that you can switch gears.

Tally Your Income Sources

The first element of a good business budget is figuring out how much money you bring in on a monthly basis.

Start with your sales figures first (which you can easily get using the Profit & Loss report in FreshBooks), and then go further by adding other income sources you use to run your business.

Determine Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are expenses that are charged the same price each month. As you can imagine, incorporating these is by far the easiest part of creating your business budget.

Review your past bank statements or FreshBooks reports. You’ll easily be able to spot your fixed bills and the total amount they cost you each month.

Include Variable Expenses

Items that don’t have a fixed price tag each month are called variable costs.

Many of these purchases can actually be scaled up or down depending on the state of your business, using your monthly profit. Your profit each month will be determined by the earnings you’re left with after paying all your costs.

So, if your business does better than you forecasted, you can use the extra funds to increase variable spending enabling you grow faster.

Predict One-Time Spends

A great perk of creating a budget is now you will be able to factor in one-time purchases better than ever before. While some of these items may come up unexpectedly, like the purchase of a laptop to replace the one that crashed, others can be budgeted for months in advance, like that business retreat you’ve been eyeing, to protect your business from financial burden.

Pull It All Together

The first four steps of this post detail the elements of a good business budget, so the last step is simply pulling it all together.



Steps to Launch New Online Product

E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing is a fantastic way to provide specialized content to people with whom you’ve already built relationships. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. This will help to nurture and reward your existing relationships and continue building on the trust you’ve already earned.

Additionally, you may set up an e-mail drip campaign that sends messages on a regular schedule at timed intervals to keep your product or service top-of-mind with your customers, and also to keep the sales funnel flowing.

Online Advertising

Tools such as Google AdWords (and other pay-per-click services) can boost awareness and funnel parties directly to your product. Online advertising allows you to get in front of a specific audience but with wide reach.

Social Networks

When your product is ready to go, inform your current customers and brand enthusiasts by updating your existing social networks. Whether you have a presence on one of the well-known platforms and/or another niche social network, craft catered messages for each. But, don’t just post to any of these social networks and walk away. There are many tools available to help youmanage multiple social network profiles, keep the information up-to-date and continue to communicate with your connections, while providing the social proof needed for people to buy.

Naturally, these networks are filled with potential for people to share your information. For this reason, make sure you provide valuable content. Try different mediums for discussing your new product, such as videos, podcasts, photos and/or live chats. Many people are now getting their news, or topics of interest, from social networks and e-mail sharing, so this is a perfect place to get your product information in front of an audience that has already been “sold” on your business.


If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare or Gowalla to further your marketing gusto. By closing the gap between online marketing platforms and a physical store, you are encouraging sales through different channels and fully connecting the buying experience. Offer special deals for your business’ mayors, and promotions for your best customers; this kind of strategy goes a long way in creating a lot of buzz for your new product.