What one activity, if done daily, would drive your business forward the most?

I am thinking of putting together a sort of Accountability Challenge (free, non-commercial) where we support each other to advance our businesses by carving out daily time to work on the most important work.

It would most likely be 1 month long. I've done other 1-month challenges that worked really well to jumpstart my progress.

I am interested to apply this technique to business also and would like some input to come up with themes and also see if this is of interest to anyone.

My question: Is the concept of a 1-month accountability challenge interesting to you and if so, what one activity, if done daily (or say 3x / week) would drive your #1 project forward the most?

E.g.

  • Write blog posts

  • Post helpful answers on Quora on topics in my industry

  • Make cold calls to [insert your target audience]

Just some examples of possible answers. What's yours?

Would it be in bad taste to ask for help from customers?

Hello long time lurker first time poster. I own a very small coffee roasting business which has been completely self funded, no loans, no help in starting up, nothing. Maybe not too smart but that's just how things worked out. Up till now everything has been pretty straight forward, roast coffee, go to farmers markets, go to craft shows, easy. Now I am having to expand (more orders, larger shows, wholesale, and quality issues) the only downside is that in order to expand I have to buy a larger coffee roaster. Right now my profit margin is fairly low I'm not losing money but at the same time I'm not gaining enough to be able to jump into a new machine. Now on to my question, I've been tossing around how to fund a new machine, so far I have family that is interested, theres always a bank or personal loan, I've also thought about and have worked on a kickstarter or indigogo campaign, and or basically asking for money at the various events we do.

Would it be in bad taste to basically ask for money at various events we do? My thought is it would basically be an add on or donation thing, where people can either tatch on a buck or two onto their purchase or donate directly. Of course there would be information and about us etc. just like an kickstarter or indigogo it would just be in person instead of online. Any input would be awesome!

Tl;dr I want to ask people for money to help expand my business, like an in person kickstarter or indigogo.

PSA: Avoid Paladin POS at all costs!!!

We've had nothing but problems with this company since we began using them, (we're on our 4th credit card machine in less than two years). Today i receive a call from them telling me that our credit card machine (which has a chip reader slot) would not be able to read chip cards due to faulty software on their end. As a result they are offering a "special upgrade" path which would cost me $780 to upgrade to a machine that has software that would be able to run the chip reader.

We bought the credit card machine with the EMV slot with the understanding that in the near future we would be provided with a software update allowing us to use the chip reader. Now it seems like Paladin failed and are passing the cost of that failure to their customers. Avoid this company if you don't enjoy a good headache.

I have a question about buying a company vehicle tax deductions/depreciation

I own a small mosquito abatement company in Virginia. (Independent, not a franchise) I am strictly word of mouth and my customer base has gone from 26 to 46 revolving customers in 2 months; I'll likely be at 60 by labor day. I have a full time job during the day and share mosquitos from 5pm until dark Monday-Friday and weekends.

In an effort to save time, I purchased some new equipment and my SUV is no longer ideal in regards to this new equipment. I need to purchase a work truck. Since I am only generating revenue between April-October, I cannot justify buying anything new ish.

Is it a better decision to finance a $4500 truck across 3 years? Or would it be better to finance an $8000 truck across 5 years?

Maybe someone can explain this Section 179 thing to me in layman's terms.

Thanks in advance

Starting a service based business to hopefully grow into sales and service. Am I covering all of my bases?

Hi all,

I consider myself fortunate enough to be in this position. Likely within the next 3 months the ball will get rolling and the business will, at the very latest, be in operation for the beginning of 2018.

I will be servicing local equipment used in both residential and commercial applications. Below are some things I need to get in line and was hoping for some feedback.

  • I've talked to a few big brands and by attending a short training on the product and a small stock order of parts (about $2k total), I will be listed as a service channel on their official website, mind you there are many companies already listed. This will also open me to be used by them for warranty work which they will pay out on.
  • I will need a service vehicle, I am thinking a Ford Transit Connect. Option 1 is buy a new vehicle with a $10k deposit and pay about $250-$300 per month, sale price estimates around $17k to $20k. Second option is buy a used vehicle for around $10k to $12k. Upside to buying a new one is I can take care of it from day 1, with downsides of the higher cost and the fact that I have to add the shelving for my tools. Upside to buying a new one is the lower cost and the fact that I can find cars with the shelving I want already installed, but the downside is the mileage and the unknown service component.
  • Decals/ car wraps?
  • When it comes to tools, I will get a decent mechanics tool set and some key electrical tools. Specialty tools I'll buy on an as need basis.
  • I will need to get a million dollar liability insurance as minimum for the commercial customers. Last quote I got was around $220 a month for this.
  • Starting budget of $200 a month for Adwords to push specifically the emergency repair side of the business. I admit this is new to me but one service call will cover the cost.
  • It's contemplated that my first 3-4 months will be focused on reaching out to businesses in my market and offering my services with some revenue coming in from emergency repair calls.
  • Once things get a little stable, revenue will be coming in from various sources.
  • Emergency repairs
  • Maintenance contracts
  • Corrective maintenance
  • Sales of product / parts
  • Up selling of some additional higher cost / higher margin services

Is there anything I should take into account? Any advice on the points mentioned above? Do you have any questions so you can offer better Advice?

Thanks to all that take the time to read this.

Note: I had posted this late last night but decided to erase it and repost to try and get more visibility from the day crowd.

Why You Should Treat Your Marketing Content Seriously

If you’ve ever worked at a startup, you’ll understand how tough it is and very far from the chilled hipster environment that most people imagine. I’ve been working at a startup for over a year now and just starting the get a gist of it. From my experience, I found content marketing to be the main focus to help grow the business and generate interested leads. Posting the right content at the right time needs a good strategy and a team of professionals behind you.
It’s hard to find the right people to work with, especially to build a team that would share the same vision as you. Sometimes I find it difficult to follow the schedule and fall out from the routine. The thing that keeps me moving forward is seeing the results, testing and analysing new things. Some days I feel like no strategy is working out and that I need to start from 0 again – then I look for inspiration from successful entrepreneurs (there’re always people who have faced the same struggles and overcame them).
I’ve had an opportunity to speak to Yam Regev about content, marketing and entrepreneurship. Yam is a co-founder of Zest, a platform for sharing marketing content. I hope that you’ll find this interview interesting and learn something.