Singapore TechCEOs

5 Steps Singapore TechCEOs Should Take to Scale Business

Given it’s strategic advantage of location, Gov support, eco-systems and access to technology – why do TechCEOs in Singapore struggle to expand their business?

 

Here is a clue. It has nothing to do with what you are doing right now.

 

We find a lot of Singapore TechCEOs get stuck at $3-$4 million revenue mark. They linger there for a very long time. It has everything do with NOT having a clear revenue strategy and framework to process information and take decisions.

 

We have come across many Singapore mid sized tech firms who demonstrate excellent delivery, have an impressive customer retention rate, and has been in business for over 4 to 7 years. At the same time, when it comes to growing revenues consistently, TechCEOs struggle and always at logger head with marketing and sales teams causing discord and missed revenue goals.

 

Every tech firm needs a foundation to build on, figurative “pillars” that hold up the rest of the business and help you grow. By remembering your roots, though, it’s always easier to cut through those shiny distractions and keep your growth goals in mind.

 

Here we’ve listed the five pillars that every TechCEO should have in place in order to facilitate growth in your tech firm:

Challenge #1 – Understanding who you are and why you matter?

What are the reasons you started your tech business?

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Communicate a message

Sales, Scale And Your Company Valuation

Sales and scale are important factors in determining a tech firm’s valuation. 

 

Though it’s difficult to get this right, it should definitely be on top of your agenda to increase valuation. Organic revenue growth can act as an indication of a well-conceived value proposition and effective go-to-market strategy. Scale, on the other hand, provides the tech firm with an increased ability to achieve a higher profit to revenue ratio.

 

The combination of sales and scale will equate to a higher EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue.

 

From a buyer’s perspective, a successful organic sales track-record creates a level of confidence that organic revenue growth will continue to increase. Scale provides the buyer with a platform which will allow them to realise synergies and efficiency. Combined, sales and scale play an integral part in driving the multiples a buyer is willing to pay. Moreover, sales and scale will help increase the base EBITDA to which the multiples are to be applied.

 

Sales

When forming a strategy on the most effective way to increase sales, buyers usually start reviewing the Tech firm’s value proposition. Aside from the value proposition, there are four key components to increasing sales within a Tech firm model; sales talent, go-to-market strategy, compensation and ongoing service.

 

1. Sales Talent

The first to check is right business development talent. The second step is continued development of sales talent. Business is in a constant state of flux. As such, the sales arm of a Tech firm should remain abreast to new developments that could impact the Tech firm and the industries in which they serve. Development of the sales team shouldn’t solely be the responsibility of the Tech firm.

 

You should get them trained and coached on a regular basis by experts who can inculcate both capabilities and skills. Sales enablement should be part of your development agenda.

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6 Steps Mid Size Tech Companies Can Take to 2X Revenues Within 12 Months

Over past 3 months, we studied 78 small and mid sized tech companies in South East Asia and and this is what we found out.

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Branding your tech

Why You Should Brand Your Tech Business?

Most technopreneurs generally start out by focusing on what they’re good at and what they can sell. This is good and a must. Without an MVP you are not going anywhere.

But once your business gets to a $500K or even better $1M per annum mark, you will need a good brand strategy.

If you don’t have a brand, then you just have a service or product without a real vision or identity. It is often commoditised in a noisy marketplace. Unless you are an AirBnB or an Uber!

You’re pretty much just selling stuff. (And you feel like your services are more than just stuff, right?) Without creating a brand strategy, your business has nothing to guide it on a path towards long-term impact and success.

So what exactly is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy encompasses the characteristics, attributes, personality, and core essence of a business. It’s what helps your business make an impact and build a culture and following beyond your services.

You might be asking, do I need a brand for a $1M business?

Not everyone thinks of starting with a brand strategy when they first launch into business, but having the right strategy in place will make building your business, attracting clients, and positioning your services so much easier.

A brand strategy consists of a number of elements such as your voice, style, promise, message, story, values, vision, identity, and target audience.

Most technopreneurs tend to skip over everything and jump straight to their identity and target audience. However, the other, sometimes-less-tangible elements of your brand play a large part in shaping how your target audience perceives you, connects with you, and feels about becoming your potential client. As all of these emotions are crucial when it comes to building a brand, don’t overlook these other important branding elements.

An effective brand strategy is essentially your guide to influencing your target audience’s opinion of who you are, what you’re about, why they should care, and how you can help them.

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Growth Technoprenuer

Grow Your Tech Business With One Simple Mindset Shift

Recently, I notice a lot of technopreneurs who glamorize the many roles they play in a company. It’s something that evokes feelings of pride and honor in them.

“I have so many roles.”

“I’m responsible for the sales, marketing, accounting, and the client work.”

“I’m executing it all.”

If your main goal is the “freedom to create big impact, value and succeed”, is this the most efficient way to be handling your tech business?

The ability to possess a more lucrative high-value tech business AND more personal time.

If this resonates with you, then I’ll affirm that taking on more roles is not the way to go.

As a matter of fact, the #1 operating principle in my business is to fire myself.

The fewer roles I play, the more I can act as the owner of the business instead of playing the role of the employee.

The majority of technopreneurs have not really processed this. They become attached to their business and tend to believe that the business and themselves are synonymous.

In reality, playing the role of the owner is the main ingredient in creating real asset value in their business.

For the sake of practicality, you’re probably playing a myriad of roles today. You might be playing the roles that handle selling, marketing, financing, billing, client work etc. 

To fire yourself efficiently, it is necessary to find opportunities for other people to fulfill the roles you have been playing.

Not long ago, I held a Tech Business Seminar where I organize a chart displaying what a tech business looks like. Every responsibility of the firm is listed alongside the name of the person responsible for it – similar to roles in a company such as a CEO, COO, VP of Marketing, VP of sales, etc.

This is applicable to every tech business.

Regardless if you’re a solopreneur with limited to no staff or a tech firm with over a hundred people, the organizational structure is tantamount. However, a technopreneur in a smaller firm might face the challenge of playing more roles in their business compared to one in a larger firm.

Let’s say your name is listed next to all the responsibilities. You play the role of the owner, CEO, VP of finance, and VP of Sales and Marketing. It’s all displayed in front of you. Seeing it visually represented helps you see which tasks you can get others to take on, thereby reducing the number of roles you play.

Here’s what I’d like you to do: List out all the tasks you are responsible for in your business at this moment and question, “ Can I fire myself from that task?”.

Seeing it visually represented allows you to have a clearer picture of who has what responsibility in your business. Thereby allowing you to delegate many of your roles to other people.

In our coaching program, we utilize a process called Delegation Liberation. It helps technopreneurs figure out the most efficient way to delegate tasks so that the result is done to highest quality standards. It gives you the freedom to relieve yourself from the responsibilities associated with the operations sector of your business.

I highly recommend technopreneurs to think along these lines.

How can you play the role of the owner instead of an employee?

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Authority

Why Build Authority Positioning in Your Niche?

Ok, you have built a kickass cloud management, optimization platform. Or you have just built an AI widget with APIs that can connect with gazillion apps.

Now, who knows you in the cloud or AI industry?

Have you established your presence at least in your target market?

If you are not systematically and methodically establishing yourself as an authority, at least in your target market, you are ignoring the true power behind the marketplace. This is the axiom behind authority marketing.

As a technopreneur, if your firm is not able to sharply differentiate itself from others around you, you are just another company in the mix.

But if you do, then you are on your way to becoming an authority in your niche or chosen field.

An authority has all the knowledge stored away. An authority who disperses his or her knowledge in a way that people rely on and seek is a celebrity.

Authority positioning affords your business to leverage its experience to gain an elevated expert status within the specialized confines of their industry. You become an educator and advocate for the success of those who rely on you;

then, your audience can find (and trust) you.

 

Fast-Tracking Your Authority

Strategies used to optimize your position as an expert celebrity include highlighting local (or regional) press, writing books and other authoritative and informative materials, and distributing your writing so that it becomes widely available.

You must provide your target audience with so much content and proof, showing that you understand and empathize with their needs, so that you are the only choice in their minds. This could be done by being interviewed on podcasts your target audience listens to, or even starting your own podcast so you can open huge doors of opportunity for your business by interviewing influencers in your industry.

For example, one of my clients, for whom I’ve helped position a youtube strategy, has told me that their youtube is now syndicated on different platforms, increasing its exposure. My client also uses the platform to approach prospects with the ask to interview them, opening the door for future conversations about my client’s expert services.

 

Think about this: If you were looking for a Digital firm to help your business get closer to cosmetics users who are predominantly teenage girls, how would you make your decision?

With the first Digital company, you meet them at your local tech group and think they pretty friendly, at least from what you can see in early morning networking meetings!

With the second Digital firm, you notice they were recently featured in your local chamber of commerce retail summit, wrote a popular ebook on how to structure user experience (UX) for omnichannel retail consumers and has a weekly podcast you listen to about recent developments in retail technology.

Who would you choose?

Both may do a fabulous job, but we are all so busy that we tend to make decisions based on who seems to be the most qualified, and this is tied to visibility. In fact, the accountant who has established himself as an authority has vastly improved his “perceived value” in the marketplace.

 

Placement And Positioning

In the real world of business, I have found that respect comes not from media savviness but from the ability to make your knowledge into something useful for others. The primary way business owners can generate widespread respect for their authority is through understanding the technology and methods they work with and generating solutions from them.

Being able to generate and distribute applications for what you know will garner substantial unassailable value.

Authoritative entrepreneurs must display not only a tolerance but a thirst for change. When others are unsure of their response to change, the authoritative business owner must maintain a consistent viewpoint that portrays a protocol in place to allow change to be integrated into the business.

Look for ways to document your knowledge. It may be recording your thoughts with your phone about a specific problem you recently solved for a client. Guess what you can do with that?

Transcribe the recording and repurpose it into a blog post, your next email update to your clients, a social media post — the list goes on! See how easy this can be? But the first step is getting started and deciding to keep it up, even if it’s only once a month!

Remember: Building your authority should be your No. 1 priority.

Marketing Automation

Why You Need Marketing Automation To Grow Your Tech Business?

It makes perfect sense to use “human” or “manual” marketing with – your top 20-30 accounts. In theory, this frees you up from the time vampires who are sucking your time away with marketing that probably won’t have a good return on investment.

But, what about the rest of your clients and prospects from various other sources? How do you nurture your relationships with them? This is where we turn to the other method of marketing. We’ll use automation to market to the rest of our list.

We start by thinking about the people on our list as our “flock”. We need to move beyond seeing clients simply as contacts and start seeing them as relationships that need nurturing. These are relationships that we are responsible for.

Why? Because these are the relationships that will bring us the most business. These people will help us, by us helping them.

When some technopreneurs market to their contacts, they can “burn the list”. This is basically sending out a bunch of useless garbage to your contacts, causing them to not want to hear from you. To leave the list.

We want to get away from this model by creating a consistently valuable experience for your flock so that they can be guided by you when they face a problem that you can help them with.

Think: when you send your flock some marketing, are you helping educate them? Are you building relationships by sharing in personal things about you? If neither of those are true, then reassess the marketing campaign.

You’re helping to shepherd them to a good solution whenever a solution that you offer is there. If you’re not the right solution, that means helping them find the right solution.

Twenty years ago you could get by without automated marketing simply because nobody had it. Today, with all of the things people can give their attention to (let’s call those distractions), it’s impossible to be effective at marketing without using both people and automation.

Why do you need both manual and automated marketing? Let’s take a look at what each one looks like if used on its own.

Read More

8 Tech Firm Marketing Activities To Do Every Day

Technology firms marketing is now an umbrella term that encompasses a whole bunch of actions. It’s important to note that the “run-of-the-mill” marketing activities that work for any old business aren’t necessarily going to be the best fit for technology firms, however. What’s more, some technology firm marketing activities are going to be more worthwhile than others depending on your immediate goals.

Before You Get Started: Assess Your Tech Firm’s Objectives

Technology firm marketing should be executed based on what you’re trying to get the prospective client to do next.

Do they need to know simply that your business exists, or why you’re the best tech business in your domain area for them? You could even be at the point where you need the client to officially agree to working together. Here are quick summaries of common tech firm marketing objectives that technopreneurs face all the time:

  • Building Authority: Make sure prospects know you are different from other tech firms next door by presenting your point of view on both your domain area and common client issues.
  • Establishing Trust: Allow prospective clients to get to know your personal tech brand by making an introduction and revealing your personality and values.
  • Demonstrating Capabilities: Help clients realize your specialty tech areas and reassure them that you truly solve problems for your clients, in their business.
  • Asking for Referrals: Keep the business coming by asking your established, ideal clients to introduce you to other people just like them.

Depending on the maturity of your tech firm marketing strategy, you may be in a position where you need to work on all of these things at once, or just focus on a couple of areas in particular. For each of these objectives, there are some ideal marketing activities (that you can do every day, of course) that will strengthen your overall chances of success.

 

Tech Firm Marketing Activities for Meeting Your Business Objectives

Building Authority

authority-law-firm-marketing.jpg

Publish Regularly

If you want to prospective clients to identify you as the tech “expert of choice,” you’ll need to show off a little. Write down your point of view on hot technology and domain issues of the day and transfer that to a digital medium. It’s a great idea to get a blog started on your tech firm’s website, but even if you don’t have one, using LinkedIn Publishing tools is a great way to broadcast your tech business knowledge.

If writing for tech firm marketing isn’t your strong suit, try finding your voice by reading tech journals and blogs. You will get an idea.

Give prospective clients that have agreed to communications links that go directly to your resources. That way, you have more control over whether you’re reaching the right people instead of hoping that they’ll stumble across you. Just be sure to keep your contacts organized by the practice areas and topics that are most applicable to their needs.

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Why Technoprenuers should focus on creating business value?

‘By now, we all know about the “merger of equals,” where Cloudera is acquiring Hortonworks to form the big ‘big data’ technology company. The deal signifies that the Hadoop market could no longer sustain two big competitors. Hadoop has been synonymous with big data for years, but the market — and customer needs — have moved on.

Companies of all sizes are increasing their adoption of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud services at the expense of on-premises infrastructure and software. This is a no-brainer.

So what’s the lesson for technopreneurs in here?

While it is good to build your technology practices (with changing trends and times), it is far more important to solve customer problems and create business value.

At the end of day, selling to your customer means conveying what they value, not how cool your tech is

For starters let’s define what both business and technical value look like?

 

Technical value: This is the value built into the technical implementation of whatever solution you offer by the engineers in your organization. The complexity of solutions and advanced technology add value. Simpler implementations and common technology reduce the value. 

 

Business value: This is the value extracted from your solution by the customer to run their business. This is the WHY of your whole solution – why the customer would want to use it in the first place. Usually, this value can be measured in terms of revenue, growth, reduction of complexity in business systems, saving of time and simpler transactions – things that help your customer improve their business

 

Most Technopreneurs I meet are either a technical CEO who have a scientific or engineering bent themselves. Although they’re obviously aware of the need to win customers and grow the business, sometimes the temptation of a big juicy technical problem to solve with a stable of engineers is just too much.

I’ve seen many business leaders go from a state of boredom to full-on orgasmic glee in an instant when I ask about the latest thing they are working on.

Typical ‘shiny new object syndrome’.

When developing and selling value for your customers, use the constraints and rules of creative disciplines like writing and creativity to satisfy the engineering mindset of solving problems while at the same time tapping into the human and business needs of the customer.

Solve business problems. Leverage technology. But don’t get married to it.

Good luck.

 

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.  Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.  Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3   Join our Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action and grow. Best Wishes.

Segment

Why It’s Easy To Get 80% Share In a Niche Segment?

Peter Theil in his book ‘Zero to One’ wrote, “It’s much better to be the last mover—that is, to make the last great development in a specific market and enjoy years or even decades of monopoly profits. The way to do that is to dominate a small niche and scale up from there, toward your ambitious long-term vision”

Do you get what he is trying to say?

It is actually easy to get 80% market share in a niche than go broad competing with everyone.

Don’t you like that situation for your business?

When you think about markets like fast food, technology or business, what are the first names that come to mind? McDonald’s? Apple? Trump? Probably. The seconds — or the rest — simply don’t even exist.

The point is there are only one or two names that will leap to mind in any category.

They own the category. They are the category. 

And that’s where you want to be with your technology business.

If you are in the $500K to $2M in annual revenue, you better focus on a niche and scale. It’s far easier to do this than to compete with IBM, Infosys and Accenture!

But how can you get to be first?

The answer to being first is not to simply “become visible”.

Any joker with a webcam and a YouTube account can become visible and get millions of hits and comments. They may even get picked up on the evening news and have their 15 minutes of fame.

But so what?

You want to be visible in a way that is trusted, sought after, highly paid, in demand and authoritative.

Your aim is to be visible with authority. So visibility isn’t enough.

But you have another, even bigger problem. The bitter truth is that most markets are really crowded. The leader in any category has often been established for years, if not decades and will be difficult to replace.

That’s the situation most of us find ourselves in.

But I have a simple solution.

Why not simply redefine the marketplace you’re in altogether? Invent a new category altogether that you can dominate and be Number One?

 

 

Here are tips on how to go about creating your Market of One:

1. Know your word (your category).

You should have one word that describes your category or niche. At most you should have four to five words that communicate one concept.

In the technology industry, it can be for example ‘we solve complex analytics problem in Oil & Gas’. Or it can be ‘we take team collaboration in the financial industry to orbit level’.

If this positioning already exists, unfortunately, someone is already number one in all of that category.

So you have to pick a smaller box to own. How about “team collaboration in Fintech space for companies under 10M in revenue’?” That’s definitely a smaller box, right? Who’s selling “team collaboration technology for early Fintech companies”?

Can’t think of anyone? Perfect. Your word shouldn’t bring anyone else to mind.

There’s your opportunity to be number one.

2. Know 8 other words (your positioning).

So you’ve defined your category. Now it’s time to define your positioning.

Jay Conner Levinson wrote a great book called Guerilla Marketing. Where he delivers one compelling truth: if you can’t put your position into 8 words or less, you don’t have one.

Ouch, right? But it’s true.

You might not want to put your position in 8 words. You might be afraid that 8 words will narrow your position too much. That you’ll get pigeonholed. But that pigeonhole is EXACTLY where you want to be.

A pigeonhole will clarify exactly your point of difference and help you stand out.

 

3. Own your box

Let me share a weird theory with you.

Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes, had this idea that your mind is filled with a finite number of little boxes that get all filled up. For something new to come in, something else has to leave.

Imagine your prospects’ minds are like that.

They have all these little boxes and one thought or person or company owns each box.

You want your category and your positioning to own one of those little boxes.

You don’t need the entire mind — you just need one little box that is 100% yours.

And then you’ll be Number One.

And as Number One, guess what? You just won.

So go create your Market of One and start getting all the privileges — from more clients to more cash — that a leader inevitably enjoys.

 

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.  Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.  Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3   Join our Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action and grow. Best Wishes.