A few months ago, a solo software developer told me that he had decided to “grow his business”. Toward that end, he decided to hire two full-time developers. A few months later, he excitedly reported to me that was already on track to double his annual sales numbers. Then I asked: “Okay, but… didn’t you nearly triple your costs?” His reply: “Oh, crap.” What is growth? Let’s talk about what it means to grow a software development business: Hiring more employees is not growth. Renting a bigger office is not growth. Landing a gigantic client is not growth. Increasing your annual revenue is not growth. So what is growth? In my opinion, there’s only one true measure of growth for self-employed software developers: Growth is increasing your profits. Profit is the only meaningful measure of business growth. Everything else is at best a leading indicator, and at worst a vanity metric. Think about it…. If you don’t increase your profits, how will you ever make more money and/or work less than you do now? What is profit? In the simplest terms, profit is the amount of money left over after you subtract your costs from your revenue. If you bill […]
Recently a friend’s son and I were elbow-rubbing with the Hipsters at Roberta’s – one of Brooklyn’s busiest and most delectable pizza restaurants. I was encouraging him to break down the barriers and pursue his passion. In this case, lutherie – the building of acoustic guitars. His resistance was one I’ve heard people lament before – “I’m not good at sales.” Without skipping the proverbial beat I shot back “Do you love building guitars?” “Yep.” “Do you love talking about building guitars?” “Yes!” First tip– “Talk about what you love and the money will follow” All too often I hear people imply that a prerequisite of being a good salesperson that they need to convince people to give them money for their product – whether it be guitars or custom software. Bah! Convincing is not part of being a salesperson. Instead, focus on why you are talking about what you do or offer. The important part isn’t the transaction – it is the love of what you do. Tell people what you do, why you do it, and the rest of the pieces (including the money) will follow. “Two Ears, One Mouth” Maybe it’s my Eastern European heritage but I […]
Want to attract more ideal clients? Join Elusive Moose and learn how to attract your ideal clients and eliminate common consulting challenges by developing your own powerful positioning statement from mobile consultant and business coach, Jonathan Stark, Providence, RI. One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Find Your Moose conference video series. Along with our conference videos, members have access to our Expert Interview video series and our exclusive Moose Guides. Members also receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose 2016 conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.
Interested in better marketing by telling your story? In order to market your business, you can do something remarkable, know someone remarkable, or tell a good story. Join Elusive Moose now to learn why and how story selling matters for your business from marketing expert Craig Motlong, Creative Director at Williams Helde, Seattle, WA. One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Find Your Moose conference video series. Along with our conference videos, members have access to our Expert Interview video series and our exclusive Moose Guides. Members also receive discounts on our live events like the upcoming Find Your Moose 2016 conference, September 7 & 8 in Chicago.
Lead generation is critical for any consultant to keep working. If you’re not generating leads, even during the busy times, at some point in the future you will inevitably run out of stuff to do and have to scramble to get work in the door. This is particularly relevant when you’re ready to grow your business by hiring subcontractors or employees and suddenly have more than one mouth to feed. On this episode of the podcast, Jason welcomes Philip Morgan, a lead generation specialist, who has created an awesome tool to help you decide the lead generation techniques you should try and who offers programs to help you get started.
In this expert interview, Molly talks with Adam Aronson. Aronson is the owner and primary salesperson at FullCity Consulting. He has built a very successful custom software consulting company using a sales strategy that goes beyond the typical sales process. It includes building a vast network of trusted partners and selling with confidence by believing 100% in the company’s offerings. Check out the full video (with an Elusive Moose membership) to learn more about Aronson’s approach to sales including: Tapping into an ever-growing business network to find leads Building the kind of relationships that lead to referrals Selling the true value of services to build lasting partnerships One of the benefits of an Elusive Moose membership (less than $17/month) is exclusive access to our Expert Interviews video series where we tap into our vast network of colleagues and experts to learn from their experience through personal stories, tips, and techniques. These interviews are informative and inspiring as our guests have faced and overcome many of the same challenges you face each day. Along with Expert Interviews, Elusive Moose members can experience the best sessions from our Find Your Moose conferences through our conference video series, explore techniques, processes, and methodologies through our exclusive Moose Guides, and receive […]
In the words of Jonathan Stark, value pricing is “fixed bid on steroids”. Jonathan is a mobile consultant who helps consumer brands thrive in the post-PC era. He is the author of three books on mobile and web development and a business coach helping other consultants transform their businesses using Value Pricing. He has been interviewed by national media outlets MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal and can be heard on numerous podcasts every week. On this episode, Jonathan and Jason discuss Value Pricing, a method of pricing consulting work that he has used successfully for the past ten years.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Jason is joined by special guest Roger Jacques, a long time software and web consultant and owner of Tek-Connect, a web development firm based in San Mateo, CA. Jason and Roger explore their project discovery processes and discuss some of the nuances of different approaches to this critical part of a consulting project.
I have always liked symbols. Breaking things down into simple visual representations appeals to me and I find that the process of creating logos has really helped me further define the mission and vision of what I’m trying to accomplish. Your logo may be the first line of communication with prospective clients or potential employees so it needs to say what you want it to say. Everything matters–the colors, the style, the font, etc. Who is your target audience? Big corporations or small businesses? What is the vibe of your company? Ultra-professional or really casual? Is there a particular industry that you’re targeting? Is there a particular lifestyle that you’re marketing to and do you and your visuals reflect the same values as that lifestyle? Answering these kinds of questions will not only help you create your logo and the symbology around your company, it will also help you refine your overall messaging and should inform and be informed by your culture. I’m not a designer, so over the years as I’ve taken on new initiatives and started my own companies, I have recruited the help of designers to coach me through the process of creating logos. I believe in […]
How to handle requests for discounts Dear Molly, “Hi! I’m a big fan! Can you waive your fees?” I know this isn’t an apples to apples question but I’m just running this by you because as a small business owner in a resort town (I’m a chef and own a restaurant and hotel) I’m constantly getting requests for discounts, charity contributions, and the “Hey I’m a friend of the owner, can I have a free chocolate stout mousse?” I’m just wondering how you handle those requests? Service is everything in my business but margins are thin and I need some good ways to handle the constant requests without upsetting possible customers or breaking the bank. Sincerely, James, Summer Kitchen Café Dear James, This is a very timely question because I’ve been refining my own language to help my potential customers understand which of my services come with a price tag and which services I might do gratis. I have been very clear about what I am and am not willing to discount with my consulting work, but not with my recruiting services, referral services, or coaching. If I’m not clear, how can I expect my clients to be clear? For […]