HOW TO PITCH A WEB START UP TO A VC AND THE 10 QUESTIONS THEY WILL ASK

17 12 2009

I remember reading a quote from Wil Schroter “Pitch everyone, all of the time”.  If that isn’t the answer to the million dollar question.  When creating these ideas remember the Art of building a business.  Create something that will make an already good idea better, right a wrong, or will add to the quality of life.

Right now investors are looking for the next best thing, and you never know who may be in the room.   I have met a many a investor via Skype and Facebook.  One thing you will find is that when they give you the downside of your “astronomically mind boggling” business idea they are really trying to help you along.  If you have a box or cute little bag write them on a small card, jot down the strategy or how it will make the investors money then file it away until you are ready to use it.

Here are 10 of the questions most asked:

1.  So tell us about your business?

This is the opening to the inevitable “elevator pitch”.  Please don’t spit on the VC while trying to get as much out of your mouth as you possibly can.  A business plan overview is good enough. Grab their interest.

2.  What is going to stop the “Big Boys” from copying you or smashing you like a bug?

Remember they have more money, and a broader reach.  Never say “Nothing” or  “Nobody is doing what we do”.  There is always competition.  Say something like:

  • We can move more quickly
  • The “Big Boys” have to much to manage and can’t take the time to innovate the needed changes.
  • Or the famous, they would be better off acquiring us than copying us

3.  Why are you raising the money you want to raise?

This is very important.  It is very important that you do your homework here.  Never give conservative numbers.  Be ready to explain them and how you arrived at them.

4.  What are your benchmarks for the money and how far will this get you?

“6 months past launch when we expect to be cash flow positive”.  You gauge this by looking at it this way, how long would this money last you if you had zero revenue.

5.  Who are your customers?

Try to get testimonials. Remember Google Ad Planner.

6. What is your marketing strategy?

This is critical to your success, so plan for it now.

7. What are you coding in?

Hello, this is your company please know this.

8.  Are you handling the technological infrastructure for scaling?

Who is your support.  When consumers rush in will your servers hold up.

9.  Who are the members on your team?

Have some resumes.  And please have a decent web presence.

10.  What is the ROI on this venture?

Give an approximate date or period of time for ROI, figure in unforeseen occurrences.  (Over deliver and under promise.)

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MOBILE DOMINATION ARE YOU READY YET!

16 10 2009

Those that know the “Diva of Development” know that I am a big supporter of mobile marketing and advertising, my niche’ if you would say.  My quest in business is to help small and large brand business to develop an online presence on the web, this is an excellent time to break into mobile advertising.

With the release of the new 3GS Smartphones Sprint has already put everyone on notice about the release of a 4G Smartphone that will load fast and accommodate video and those snazzy flash programs equipped in most non mobile ready websites.

Google the guru of search engines has done something pretty amazing in preparation for this new terrain in advertising such as create “ANDROID” which is an operating system that they provide to any manufacture in business for free.  The manufacture will save 30-40% in conversions and those savings can be passed on to the consumer.

Now the “Diva” knows that some will argue that you can maintain your .com and have your site optimized for mobile browsing, this is true and smwhosting.com can do this for you as well.  But as a brand advertiser there will only be two main platforms that are heavily patronized by the consumer to get your products in front of, the standard desktop or laptop PC and your mobile device and a .mobi will distinguish which of the two avenues you have chosen.  A dot mobi also distinguishes how your content will be viewed mobile ready website are particular to the device they are viewed on check on www.espn.com vs www.espn.mobi.

According to Kimberly Smith of Marketing Profs, mobile marketing provides fewer barriers to entry, a growing user consent, unmistakable immediacy, tremendous targeting capabilities, measurable data, response tracking for traditional media, and killer response rates which is perhaps it’s novelty of the platform or the sense of a more personal interaction.  Mobile marketing is generating ‘frightening good” results and much better than online marketing according to Joy Liuzzo, director of marketing and mobile research for digital marketing research firm InsightExpress.

My next post will show how this platform can “reach the hard to reach”:  See how elusive markets can be won over when mobile marketing is employed to reach them on their own terms.





MOBILE PROPERTY

8 10 2009

Sad to say I am the eternal head in a book junkie, a middle-aged nerd, a nightmare.  When I post to my blogs I tend to become a tad emotional about a subject I may have researched to death.  I consume books and data like a beat up old clunker consumes gas.  Which is probably my obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) kicking in ensuring that I deliver to my readers information that is correct and has been validated.  Understanding that I live practically everywhere on the net you would have thought that I would have discovered this little jewel of information years ago.  But to my credit the Internet is still a baby and has so much more to offer it’s users.

Mobile Web Domain Flipping

I have discovered Domain Flipping and Parking, I would not have believed in it myself but get this I made almost $1000 for a .mobi I paid only $16.49 for, that is intellectual property flipping at it’s best.  The secret to this very lucrative game is finding a name that will generate traffic have it hosted, parked or forwarded to a page or blog with your google adsense words or your affiliate links listed on it and watch it generate a healthy income for you.  You can purchase a domain name at www.smwhosting.com , you can also get these names appraised at www.smwhosting.com they have an appraisal service that you can pay a small monthly fee to access.  Speaking as a real property owner this is like buying real estate in the late 60’s, you just listen for or keep abreast of best areas in your town (in virtual land that is the internet buzz words, you can find these at www.alexa.com ).   Grab a like minded domain name post your adsense and affiliate links on the page, use www.bit.ly.com to shorten your url to your page, then blog, tweet, and facebook  the site location you can also invest in a PPC campaign (pay per click campaign) through google, msn, or yahoo, create a call to action.  And like a business you have now basically opened a mall of information to your constituents the shops (affiliates) that chose to be in your mall must sell what your mall feels will generate the likely traffic that the name attracts.

Example: You would not purchase a domain name such as www.property.com and list affiliate links on your page for baby clothes!

What is a .mobi

With the induction of mobile technology 4th generation (4G) Smartphones have now hit the market.  These phones are mobile mini internet browsers with which, much like the .com era,  have now given business a new advertising medium.  A .mobi extension is more coveted than .com, simply because more people peruse their phones at any given time than the internet and it moves with the consumer.  Speaking of property.com new mobile ready baby sister, www.property.mobi sold for a whopping $200,000 (virtual real estate at its best), would you believe www.NFL.com is valued at $1,100,000 incredible and yes I have already check www.NFL.mobi has already been snapped up.  Two mobile ready website owners that get it are www.bofa.mobi and www.espn.mobi.   Now is the time to purchase these names and flip them one such site that I have seen that is very inexpensive to purchase these names at is www.smwhosting.com their niche is marketing to the mobile savvy business that wants to be on the forefront of this new advertising medium.  With the purchase of a domain name you receive free hosting, a mobile ready website, email, email forwarding and masking, and a blogcast not bad for $10.99(.com) and $16.49 (.mobi) a year all you need to bring is content.  REMEMBER THE BROADER THE NAME OR “BRAND” THE BETTER THE VALUE.