Mike WienickEntrepreneur. Ops Exec. Advisor. Angel Investor.
Bio

Senior Executive and Entrepreneur with 4 successful exits. Angel Investor and Start Up Advisor. Operations expert specializing in growth (both sales and marketing), people management, change management, and product development. Named Portland's Best Boss in 2011. Currently VP of Operations at Consumer Acquisition, Founder and GM MW Consulting, and Advisor Elevada. Formerly Founder and President of CurvedLine, COO, SwellPath; EVP, Reply!; President QualitySmith.



Recent Answers


Can you alter the post to bring in better traffic? Can you add a form to better qualify traffic and maybe capture email addresses?

Could you add ads to that one post and get some revenue?

If there are a ton of links to that post it could impact your overall rankings - not by much, but it is possible. I alway say there is no such thing as bad traffic, so why not try to turn this into a net positive. I'm happy to discuss further in a call. Best of luck!


Lots and lots of best practices for SEO. I'd start with keyword research to determine what keywords you need to rank for to effectively sell your product or service. A good starting place for a novice is https://moz.com/learn/seo. If you don't want to learn it might make more sense to hire someone to help you.

I'm happy to go deeper in a phone call. Best of luck.


It's worth noting I'm not a lawyer (I advise you to check in with one) but have played a major role in 4 acquisitions.

I would have the contract read that your client pays the success fees, seems a bit odd to have the acquiring company pay the success fees. Let them negotiate with the acquiring company on covering it, but contractually have them responsible.

If the above is not an option make sure the assignment clause in you contract with your clients reads correctly.

That said keep in mind that a lot of acquisitions are not whole business entity acquisitions - meaning in a lot of cases it is really an asset sale. By only purchasing assets the acquiring company can protect itself from litigation and debts. If it is an asset purchase they may be able to get out of paying you - again this is why I would push for the success fees to be paid by your client.


I'd personally give them a cut of the sales for the first 12 months.

I'd also look to gamify sales. There's a bunch of existing software out there like Bunchball, Hoopla, greatify, etc.

I'm happy to chat if you want to go deeper.


The most obvious answer is SalesForce's app exchange. Most CRM platforms have similar marketplaces so even if you don't integrate with SalesForce those would be a great starting point.

After the marketplaces I would look to partner with sales consulting firms. There are a lot of sales operations firms and individuals out there, develop a partnership system where these firms a trained on your plugin and incentivized to sell the plugin to their clients.

Happy to chat if you want to go deeper on any of these points.

- mike


Good answers so far. I just want to focus on another point. I hope you are leveraging your background. I would play up your VP at Goldman Sachs experience. Along with that, if you're not already doing this - start with a focus on the finance vertical. That's where your connections and background can be leveraged best.

By starting with a focus on finance or in a very particular area of finance your firm should stand out.


A couple of quick notes to add on top of some good answers:

1. Have you done any blogging / writing around the concept? If so make sure you have google analytics on your site and you have demographics functionality turned on. You will get some good high level demographic info on who is interested in your product.

2. Work up 1 - 3 personas of people you think will like the product look at gender, geo location, income, interests, careers, etc. of these personas. Find individuals or groups of people that fit into each persona and give them a survey. You may want to go to meet up groups or other gatherings that fit personas and speak to them. Offer to buy them coffee or sponsor your own coffee gather and use it as a consumer research group.


A high level / quick answer

- write your idea out, understand what the plan is. What will your company do? How will you make money? What will be your approximate costs? The plan will change over time but have clear view.

- create a corporate entity like a llc to protect yourself (check with a lawyer and accountant) to make sure you form the right corporate entity for your business, you'll also have to start a company bank account, and register for a federal tax id)

- register a domain via a domain registrar like name.com

- choose a host to host your website and platform/ technology to create

I could give you much more specifics over the phone. Would love to learn about your business and help you get started. Sign up for a call with me if you're interested.

- mike


If your looking for financing and not wanting to give up equity you could try to get venture debt. Check out Hercules http://www.htgc.com/ and their competitors these companies can provide big loans.

Be ready to provide a lot of info on your company and your financial health.

Be aware these companies exist to make money so make sure you end up with payments you can handle.

You'll also have loan covenants which will outline certain financial performance metric you'll need to hit. If you miss covenants your loan terms will change for the worse and it can even end up with bank taking control of your company. Obviously a worst case scenario, but you need to be aware and make sure you are very comfortable with the covenants you agree to.

- mike


This isn't very unusual or creative, but really go down every path you can to connect with someone who works there. It's the best way to get your resume past the initial gatekeepers.

Some ideas:
- Are you connected to anyone at the Startup on LinkedIn - invite them out to coffee

-Does any alumni from your college or High School work there reach out and introduce yourself

-Is anyone from the company speaking at any local events or meet ups go and introduce yourself.

Good luck!


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