Your New Website Says “Under Construction” or “Coming Soon”? 3 Reasons That’s A Disaster

I love purchasing a new website address, don’t you?

(A website address is also known as a “domain name”, or a “url”)

I’ve purchased about 60 website addresses over the last few years. For clients, friends, and for myself.

I get the same rush of adrenaline every time I do it.

It’s so exciting because it’s much an amazing opportunity.

The opportunity is that you can write a message and expose that message to the whole world!

Wow!

Your vision for your amazing website content starts to form in your head even before your purchased the website address.

And when you’ve made the purchase things start to get real.

You realise that it’s quite a big job to translate your vision into a website with images, text and code.

Here’s where you slow down a bit and think to yourself “Well, we better get something up there!”

How about a “coming soon” sign to start with?

Sound good?

NO!

3 Reasons Not To Put “Coming Soon” Anywhere On Your Website

1. Because Visitors Assume You’re Lying

  • When you say “coming soon”, visitors to your website think “liar!”
  • It’s not your fault. They have been burnt many times by that promise so that’s why they don’t believe you this time
  • In fact, that’s why spelling mistakes, small errors, and stale blog content can be so damaging to your brand – all these things remove credibility and trust
  • What chance have you got of making a sale later if you start by destroying your credibility and your audiences trust right at the start of the relationship?

2. Because You’ve Missed An Opportunity To Say Something Useful

  • Imagine if you spent one hour and wrote a short list of bullet points to explain what you do and how you can help your audience
  • Imagine if you included your phone numbers and email address
  • Imagine if the design of your website was quite rough, and certainly not even close to your vision for it in the near future
  • Do you think that visitors would appreciate this instead of a site with zero content and just a cheesy “coming soon” or “under construction” sign?
  • Yes. Yes they would. So make that. Do it yourself, or spend a couple of hundred bucks getting a half decent one-page website as your starting point

3. Because Google Won’t Send You Free Visitors

  • Did you know that Google isn’t a search engine? It’s actually a connector.
  • Google connects people who are searching for answers to questions, with website that have those answers
  • All you need to get free visitors from Google is a one page website that answers a few simple questions, and has a few links pointing to this website from other websites
  • A page with “coming soon” isn’t going to do it. But a website with the elements I described above will.

Need Help?

Talk to a friend of mine, Steve Turner, he builds websites. Call him on (07) 575 8799.

9 Companies, 90 Days, Worth $9 Million

Last week I went down to Wellington to the Lightning Labs demo day.

Lightning Labs is New Zealands first (and only) business accelerator.

For a bit of background, read my article about Lighting Labs that I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

90 days ago these 9 companies were worth zip, nada, nothing. And now they are worth about $1 Million dollars each.

How cool is that?

The 6 Elements That The Best Presentations Had In Common

  1. Each company was introduced by a passionate and experienced business person who had been a mentor
  2. The presentations were presented by passionate and energetic CEO’s
  3. The slides were simple, clear and did not distract, they kept the focus on the presenter
  4. First, they identified the problem/the pain and therefore, the opportunity
  5. Next, they presented their solution
  6. Last, they established credibility and made us sure they were the right team, with the right connections to make this happen

The 9 Companies From Lightning Labs

(In order of my favourite to least favourite)

1. Publons.com

“Publons is a platform for crowd-sourced peer-review of academic articles, where academics build reputation for their contributions.  It provides an alternative to the extremely slow, expensive, and closed status quo that hasn’t changed in 300 years.”

My Notes:

  • Amazing that they’ve taken on a system that has been in place for 300 years, broken it in half, and re-invented it for today
  • Nice they already have agreement for trials with a few major US based journal companies
  • Very promising. This was my favourite business idea of the day

2. eXpander.co.nz

“A cloud-based tracking and analytics platform that gives manufacturers a weapon to fight back against counterfeits, while connecting them to consumers and procuring valuable data in emerging markets.”

My Notes:

  • By 2015 there will be US$2 Trillion worth of counterfeit products on the streets. Wow.
  • The plan is to issue a unique QR code for every single individual product on every shelf in the world with for 10-15c each
  • Imagine a product being copied, and that duplicated QR code being scanned 10 times on the same day, the manufacturer would get GPS location of where these counterfeit goods are!
  • Certainly a huge global problem they are tackling here, and a interesting solution they are proposing

3. LearnKo.com

“LearnKo delivers online learning programs to English language organisations in Asia. We do this by harnessing the talent of Australasian tutors and delivering this via an online classroom to English language organisations.”

My Notes:

  • They really hammered the problem home by explaining that there are a billion people in Asian wanting to learn English and that the vast majority of english tutors have very poor english skills themselves!

4. WipVideos.com

“WIP is a beautifully simple video workflow platform that lets you watch, share and comment on your work-in-progress videos, so you get better feedback faster.”

My Notes:

  • They’ve already built the software and they already have clients!

5. KidsGoMobile.com

“KidsGoMobile are developing a software service to help parents teach their children to become responsible users of their first smartphone. This tool will notify parents if their child engages in potentially risky activity on their phone and gives them tips on how to resolve it.”

My Notes:

  • Interesting that a parent can’t hope to screen 1800 monthly text messages so it’s clear they need help
  • + I’m a bit shocked that it’s common for 8 year olds to get their first smart phone these days

6. questo.co.nz

“Questo is using game mechanics in real world activities to increase family engagement for organisations.”

My Notes:

  • For example, an Aquarium could use this service to create a treasure hunt for family’s who bring their ipads with them

7. promoki.com

“Promoki is a a social media gaming platform for photo and video contests.”

My Notes:

  • “The best advertising doesn’t feel like advertising”
  • It’s interesting that the act of asking and collecting responses is where the benefits to the brand are, not in the chosen winner, or the use of that winner in promotions, it’s those brand fans that are immersing themselves into the brand to create a piece of work

8. adeez.co

“Adeez provides a specialist mobile marketing solution which enables brands and marketing agencies to improve their ROI with mobile campaigns.”

My Notes:

  • It’s seems they are setting up themselves as a middleman between brands and advertising networks like Google Adwords… doesn’t that make them just another agency?

9. Teamisto.com

“Teamisto is changing the way sports clubs raise money by generating new streams of sponsorship revenue.”

My Notes:

  • … actually, I didn’t really understand this one

How to Create Start Up Companies Worth A Million Dollars Each In Just 90 Days

Did you meet Laura Rietel (and Nick Churchouse from Lightning Labs) on Thursday 2 May 2013?

If not, you missed a great night!

Laura shared her experience with Business Accelerators.

I loved her presentation style. No slides. Just a few notes, lots of stories, and lots of questions.

Casual and friendly, it felt less like a seminar and more like a chat with an wise friend.

If you didn’t already know, Business Accelerators like Lightning Labs in Wellington have 90 days to turn ideas worth zero into companies worth millions!

So if these accelerators take 90 days, what does everyone do for the other 275 days of the year?

Recover!

90 day business acceleration programmes are a very intense period for everybody:

  1. The participants who give up their lives, jobs, and family time for 90 days to be there
  2. The organisers who put in 12 hour, or 18 hour, or 20 hour days to ensure the teams have everything they need
  3. The mentors who pour in their expertise and knowledge (for free)
  4. The investors who pour in the money before day zero (when the companies are worth zero), on the hope that on day 90 they’ll be worth millions

It was interesting to hear how the top business accelerator in the world, TechStars, tried to cram 2 programmes into a single year and burnt out every stakeholder group involved.

If they can’t do it, no one can, so don’t even try.

Why Are Business Accelerators So Awesome?

  • Because you compress 2 years of business growth and learning into 90 days
  • Because a fast failure is a good thing
  • Pivots make you stronger (75% of teams pivot), but “spivots”, when you spin around and around make you dizzy
  • The value comes from the mentors advice and how you react to “mentor whiplash”, when you get conflicting advice. It’s up to you to extract what you can and make your decision
  • Mentors sometimes become investors, and sometimes the CEO!
  • The 5 most important factors: Team, Team, Team, Market, Idea
  • The best team have worked together for years
  • Teams are either 2 or 3 co-founders. Solo entrepreneurs don’t get in (unless they can find a co-founder before all the fun starts)
  • You can’t be the coder/tech and run the startup too. You can only wear one of those hats
  • You must be coachable. Don’t be precious. Don’t be defensive
  • It’s bloody hard work. You need support from your family
  • The hottest categories at the moment: Mobile, Cloud, Fashion, Education, Middleware

Who Pays? Who Gets Paid?

  • 50% funded by the Government for writing programmes, salaries for operations team, fixed costs and infrastructure
  • 50% funded by an Angel Investor Fund. In return the Angels get:
    • 6% stake in each accelerated company
    • Due diligence
    • The fast tracked, pressure cooker startup phase
  • Each participant gets $6000 to help them survive the 90 day period financially

Before You Create An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City…

  1. It must be led by entrepreneurs
  2. Take a long term view (20 years)
  3. Be inclusive. Embrace weirdness. Attract creativeness

Want to come to seminars like this?

You can subscribe to my email list and I’ll let you know about the next one: http://eepurl.com/pCoPX

Worried Someone Will Steal Your Awesome Idea? 7 Possible Reactions When You Share Your Idea

New ideas are exciting!

Sometimes great ideas wake you in the middle of the night (and at the time you are sure you’ll remember them so you don’t bother writing them down… oops).

Sometimes great ideas happen to you when you are alone (like in the shower, or in the car), and it’s so annoying that there isn’t someone right there you can tell it to.

Your new idea might be an invention, a solution to a problem, a decision, or an idea for a new business.

Do you ever find yourself hesitating before you share the idea with someone, because you are worried that they will steal it?

Well, let’s check how often that actually happens.

7 Possible Reactions When You Share Your Awesome Idea

  1. 43% of people you tell will be bored or just don’t care
    • Don’t be offended, they still love you, just not this idea
  2. 24% of people will see something you don’t see in the idea, and provide you with another idea to help you shape your one
    • This is the best possible reaction because now you’ve got something better than your initial idea
  3. 12% of people will point out that your idea is not new and where to find it already in existence
    • This is a great outcome, because you can either decide what your point of difference will be or put it aside and dream up a new idea
  4. 9% of people will spread your idea to more people
    • This is also a great outcome because you’ll benefit from this list of possible responses being repeated
  5. 7% of people will tell you why your idea sucks
    • That’s ok, because it’s good to get a reality check. You can ignore their criticism and plow on, or dump the idea and move on
  6. 5% of people will be inspired and offer their help to get you started
    • That’s a great result because 2 heads are better than 1
  7. 0% of people will steal it and set up in competition to you
    • Yes, that’s right, zero. The worry that someone will steal your idea is an illusion. And even if they do steal it, that’s the biggest compliment in the world

So, what do you think about this?

Have your say in the comments below.

(As always, these statistics are made up for dramatic purposes 🙂