100 Ideas in 10 Mins

100 Growth Ideas In 10 Minutes

Last week, I with a bunch of technoprenuers from Malaysia, India, Singapore and Philipines. They were all hungry and eager to grow their business.

 

I moderated a 45 minutes session on various growth strategies, tactics and ideas that are relevant in current times. So I decided to do something different and not just talk to “at them” the entire time.

 

What I did was warm them up with some ‘possibility thinking’ then I showed them the business model to scale their tech business while working less than half the time. They liked that a lot.

 

I shared some of the things we implemented at few of our clients and they all liked it a lot. The next bit blew me away.

 

They were already on round tables, so I made time to do an exercise. At most sessions the participant note taking is not great and a lot is forgotten soon after the speech is over. Well, I wanted to do something about that.

 

With 10 minutes to go, I got each table (15 in total) to nominate a note taker and then I gave them 10 minutes to brainstorm ideas to get their firms to brain storm ideas to accelerate revenue and improve margins within next 12 months.

 

The energy in the room was amazing. Once the time was up, I had all the note takers take a snap and load the pic into the conference WhatsApp group.

 

What you’re about to read is the culled and consolidated list of everyone’s efforts. 100 strategies (or tactics) generated in 10 minutes flat.

 

I am sure you have implemented some of them and I am sure there are many more you could implement. We are mid way through the year. Some of these might be the ideas list you need to take your firm to the next level.

 

Below is the consolidated list from your peers. I particularly like no. 94. Enjoy!

1. Add higher number of type A clients
2. Productise services and sell IP
3. Increase billable hours somehow

4. Eliminate the BS in your business!
5. Price high – value based pricing
6. Elevate conversations with clients
7. System / Procedures documented
8. Document client goals
9. Product development system
10. Own (and know) the numbers
11. Make the hard decisions
12. Take risks
13. Health, not hygiene
14. Minimum client # more revenue per client
15. Business clients only
16. Don’t apply discounts
17. Headcount mix needed – hard look at resourcing
18. Put all clients on customer success survey routine
19. Higher billing rate & higher utilisation
20. Purchase a firm (easy to grow inorganic)
21. Services – Amplify value proposition
22. Add additional products to clients service packages
23. Get rid of poor performing (unreasonable) clients
24. Increase pricing by 25% plus
26. Niche market & specialise
27. Create an association
28. Write a book – become a thought leader
29. Maximise Technology for efficiencies
30. Everything in cloud
31. Delegate everything partner does
32. Distributed Team (Don’t pay rent)
33. Client events / webinars
34. Accept that people are going to say no
35. Right people in the team
36. Learn how to value our IP
37. Don’t be shy
38. Separate the sales role and the process role
39. The right sales and marketing tools
40. Don’t assume you cannot get more revenue from clients
41. Review overhead costs
42. Branding
43. Right Incentives = KPIs
44. Elevate and Delegate
45. Compulsory Minimum Service Offers for clients
46. KPI number of client meetings
47. CEOs don’t do the actual work
48. $2-$3 m per founder in clients
49. Systemise + delegate
50. Free management time (Less client work)
51. Review product offering
52. Deal with people you like
53. Deliver on service offerings
54. Downgrade office & reduce costs
55. Hire slow + fire quick
56. More efficient processes
57. More staff generate new business
58. Levels of engagement
59. Service Leverage
60. Focus on goals
61. Measurable Outcomes
62. Back yourself more
63. Less distraction
64. All Founder/Directors aligned
65. Improve social networking/markets
66. Leads – Lead Generation Marketing + Appointment setting
67. Free up time for more sales and client engagement
68. Tweak Organisational structure
69. Leverage wages/time with people
70. Social media presence
71. Team Buy In
72. A Team Players only – get rid of the rest
73. Industry Specific – get a niche
74. Increase billing rate dramatically (add more value)
75. Responsive website to drive demand
76. Fixed Fees for everything
77. Strategic Partnerships
78. Professional Development program – all team
79. Expand our market region
80. Sack bottom 10%
81. Visit clients, every quarter
92. Reviewing Systems
93. Develop Marketing Strategy & Measure it
94. Hire Mag Rajasekaran
95. Relevant people doing relevant tasks
96. Believe it’s achievable
97. Embrace change/price
98. Encourage Innovative Culture
99. Fixed Contracts for all clients/pricing upfront
100. Cut expenses everywhere

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.

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Market of One

Selling To Market of One

In any tech market these days, there’s really first place, second place, maybe third and then the rest.​

Who wants to be rest?

When you think about markets such as fast food, consumer, tech or business, what are the first names that come to your mind? McDonald, Uber, Apple, Microsoft? 

The seconds, thirds and the rest simply don’t exist.​​


​If you are the rest, it is so darn difficult to get attention, attract prospects and get them interested in what you do.​​​​​

Ideally, you want to create your own kingdom and own it. Don’t you?

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 business. But how can you get to be first?

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

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10reasonsGrowth

10 Reasons Why Technoprenuers Don’t Grow Revenues?

Most of you got into tech business because of the “promise”.  

Promise to earn an income. You want to create money freedom for yourself and your families. The second promise is to create an impact. You want to grow, create impact for your clients and make a bigger difference in the world. The third promise is independence. Freedom to innovate without restrictions.

Yet, despite your best efforts, majority of technoprenuers I run into aren’t achieving all three of these goals. In fact, many of them are struggling to grow, tired or both. 

So, why is this the case for so many technoprenuers like you? 

 



1. Lack of clarity – technoprenuers are good in creating technical value. Not all are good in monetising and growing business to next level. This includes creating a revenue strategy that defines clear goals, markets, sales, marketing and talent. 

For example, lacking clarity in choosing the right market, kind of customers you have to pursue, right offering, deal size, go to market and resources to needed to get there can accelerate or derails your growth plans. When you lack certainty of direction in your business it causes you to be hesitant to take action on big decisions that will give you big results.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you have a well defined revenue strategy for your company? Does it fit into one page?

 

2. Poor execution – Translating strategy to execution needs both a process and discipline. Technoprenuers are usually impatient, try too many things and slip up on execution. Many companies have deployed brilliant strategies and still missed their number. This is due to poor execution. Companies who fall into this category will likely survive, but will find growth difficult. The execution of well defined strategy is where the magic happens.

 

Self reflecting question:Do you have an execution plan with clear actions, roles and responsibilities and target dates?

 

3. Passive marketing –  If prospects don’t know you exist, they can’t give you business. Most technoprenuers aren’t savvy in marketing themselves or their company. At best, your marketing is too passive or patchy. We have found that most technoprenuers have no clear marketing strategy at all, or at least none that they could articulate. They reported that while they might enjoy the occasional success, essentially they’re relying on luck more than anything else.

A feeble attempt to hire someone to “do social media” for the company is not a marketing strategy. Putting some content on website or in Linkedin is the easy part, getting anyone to read that content is what takes skill. When your content doesn’t do anything to attract readers, get their attention and drive traffic – you do not have a marketing strategy at all.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you have a well thought out marketing strategy?



4. Unreliable sales process – Technoprenuers rely too much on partners, joint ventures and other quick routes to get sales. They don’t realise that having organic sales capability increases your company valuation. Lack of a predictable demand generation and sales process results in prospects stalling or dropping out. Most of them don’t realise that their sales process is dead or does not exist.

The best tech companies today don’t use a sales process to sell.  They use a buying process to understand and match themselves to the customer. Understanding this helps them deploy specific actions and activities.  These help pull the customer through their buying process.  They help strengthen compelling events. And help prioritise the customer’s problem and use your solution exclusively to solve it.

 

Self reflecting question: Is your sales processes aligned to your customer’s buying needs? 



5. Unscalable model –  Technoprenuers get stuck with the same business model that worked for them in the past years. They haven’t revisited or changed revenue model to suit current times. For example, SAP shops are selling time & material hours or projects. Legacy shops managed services. Product companies selling on prem slapped with services.

What you don’t realise as a technopreneur is that if your business is primarily dependent upon you and your efforts, by definition, your business can’t scale. Also if your business model has a linear relationship between revenue and cost, it’s hard to scale because scaling requires a lower cost per unit of acquisition.

One of the mistakes a lot of tech business owners make on this subject is that they think in absolutes—in other words, they use binary thinking—either you’re scalable or you’re not. Irrespective of the size of your business, do know that it is possible to take your current business model and make it more scalable.

 

Self reflecting question: How scalable is your current business? Is there a linear relationship between revenue and cost?


6. Stale Talent – Technoprenuers are stuck with wrong set of people who might not be the right fit for the role. In early stages, you need misfits and in the growth stage you need builders and scalers. Some argue that talent is 50% of the business success equation. The other 50%, of course, is performance conditions. No matter the ratio, your people are key to hitting your number.

There are 3 errors technoprenuers make in hiring.

  • Hire someone with wrong competencies.
  • Hiring people but not communicating and tracking accountability.
  • Compensation is not in alignment to what you want to achieve.

Making a mistake here sets you back by years. Many technoprenuers have burnt a lot of cash, time and have also fallen prey to cynicism.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you know who to hire, how to make them accountable and how to set compensation?

  

7. Lack of measurement – What does not get measured does not get managed. Usually, technoprenuers run their business with this formula. Acquire new customers, retain your customers and grow your customers. Sounds easy. Yet it is so difficult to unpack without proper measures. Most technoprenuers are not even on top of their sales pipeline!

If you do not have a way of measuring your lead flows, deals, sales cycle length, deal size, conversion rates, new vs repeat business – you are already in red flag area. You will be overwhelmed and will not know what and how to control in your selling function.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you know what to and how to measure, in sales, to take control of your revenue growth?

 

8. Lack of patience – Passion and patience go hand in hand. Living in line with your passion will probably require that you go slower than you might want to. It will definitely mean that you say no more than you say yes. Being patient and yet methodical will go a long way in taking you forward.

Technoprenuers often try too many things, when something does not work, and end up spreading it too thin. They don’t give enough time to work on one thing to reach a goal before getting onto another. This attitude often derail any progress made.

 

Self reflecting question: Have your tried sticking to one thing and giving it time and energy to succeed? How often are you distracted from your path?

 

9. Hit refresh – After tasting a bit of success in the first few years, technoprenuers struggle to change their ways and be more in sync with the current environment and business situation. They struggle with this question. w“Is change possible?” and “How can I be effective in creating change?”.

They fail to realise that the key to creating change is to acknowledge that every behaviour has a ‘frame of mind’, constructed of values, beliefs, identity and intention, and unless this is addressed your mind will act like a gyroscope bringing your behaviours back to this frame. The cost of this ‘stuck’ behaviour is not just in dollars but confusion in your company, amongst employees, who are paralysed by lack of communication and cohesion at the top.

 

Self reflecting question: Are you stuck in a fixed mindset patterns influenced by old beliefs, past failure and misplaced intentions?

 

10. Lack of Self Leadership quotient – Let’s first define Self Leadership. Self-leadership is about taking responsibility, get as much information and use your autonomy to make decisions to take purposeful action. Self-leadership empowers people to adapt to the current circumstances whilst maintaining a strategic focus towards the larger goal. 

Often times I find technoprenuers who have stopped growing have succumbed to the environment (board, investors, employees and market situation) and sub-consciously stopped taking responsibility for their current situation. Without this you lose the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviour and
get in your own way of reaching your goals and aspirations.

Self reflecting question: How do you perceive, feel and understand your current situation in business? 

 

 

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.

3 Unusual Ways to Standout and Win

Last week, had coffee with a technopreneur in Singapore. What he said blew me away!

After getting to know about his business, the past 6 years of his roller-coaster life as an entrepreneur, motivations to start a business in his 40s after quitting a well-paid job in an MNC – casually asked him this question.

“What is your definition of success and failure? And why now?”

After digging his head down for a few minutes, he looked me in the eye and said this.

My definition of hell is to reach the end of my life and coming face to face with the person you might have been!

I just want to go with no regrets in my heart. So here I am.

In his world, there are no costs or losses.

Just investments.

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