15+ years management and specialist experience from banking, mortgage industry and insurance in analytical roles in Finance, Marketing and Personal Lines. Currently working with strategy, sales, business development, project and people management as partner and partowner of Ecsact A/S - a small analytics consultancy.
1. Start by focusing on the business problem, you want to solve, and how you want to implement the solution.
2. Don't be scared by the buzzwords (i.e. "If you don't use AI, you will be out of business in five years). Sometimes a standard report is fine.
3. Although you should start small by solving existing pains, be curious, and understand the potential for large scale solutions. Understand enough of the technology, that you understand the scale and type of problems that can be solved. But don't do this until you are done with 1. and 2.
Good question and good luck with it! If you are interested in further dialogue, feel free to schedule a call.
Other providers like you answer online questions (f.ex. Quora), maintain blogs, participate in online fora (Linkedin, etc.) with the purpose of increasing visibility of their newsletter offering. Not in a "subscribe to my newsletter"-message, but just honest Q&A with a link to their newsletter in their bio.
Just promoted a seminar on Linkedin from my company page, and it gave 30 new followers of our company. Not subscriptions, mind you, but visibility must be key here, linking to a landing page, where you explain the value you create - perhaps with testimonials from your trusted subscribers.
I have worked with a number of AI tools - both webbased and locally installed tools - and have a background in mathematics/statistics. So I am familiar with this space.
My suggestion is first and foremost focus on the use case - forget that it is an AI tool. If your tool provides value, and solves problems for your customers, they will come no matter the underlying technology.
When you say "web driven", I assume that this is some kind of subscription model, and you don't expect to sell anything face to face? Again, I would focus on use case (we solve problems), value creation (how much do we save or make?), ease of use (just upload this file and watch the magic happen), cloud installation (no need for own maintenance or local data scientists to maintain models).
In the AI-space, your competitors are often internal employees - data scientists, statisticians, etc., and they are familiar with their own tools. So find out, who is your target segment in the businesses. Most likely a data scientist would tell you, that "I could build that myself". But what about following maintenance cost, depending on individuals, etc. So do you target to data scientists or business users? Often successful projects happen in collaboration; one can not live without the other.
With regards to your focus on the US I am curious, why you focus there. Is that where you are located physically? Or there you see the most likely target customers? Since you are web driven SaaS, couldn't you go anywhere?
I hope this helps. Feel free to schedule a call, if I can help you further with this.
You have to think about how to differentiate yourself better. Stating SSAS and SSIS does not do that, and it does not explain the value, you create.
Selling Data Warehouses is often a hard sell, as it usually is expensive, and the customer does not understand the value, you create; management always get their answers even it means some poor controller has to work late to transform a csv-dump from somewhere into actionable knowledge.
Define the business problems, you solve; what are your use cases? And sexify your delivery by doing mockups in a nice frontend tool. Businesses buy from the looks of your output - not from the design of your data model (unless you sell to IT people). And try to combine your technologies into products, that companies buy off the shelf. Again - you’re selling the output, and people don’t want to understand the technology, if they can avoid it. (Unlike IT, where they will ask about maintenance, scalability, etc. So make sure you cover that too).
To get started, do some maintenance work with existing applications on a consulting basis to understand customer needs and make a bit of money.
Good luck! Feel free to set up a call, if you want to discuss things further.
You could go many different ways with this remembering that your fee should be high enough to make you money, but low enough to not bother your subscribers (and also not way off the market).
You could take your yearly maintenance fee, and divide it by 12. Then you have a monthly subscription fee. Then you have them on the monthly subscription model, and can sell up from there on added services.
If that doesn't create you enough revenue to actually make money, you need to formulate a relaunch model altogether. You create a new packaging of your service, a new pricing scheme, that will work for new business. And then you try to get as many subscribers as possible to the new model telling them about all the new good services, they didn't have before motivating the higher price. If they don't move with you, they don't value the new services high enough. Again - the new model should be competitive also.
Again there are multiple ways to go with this. If you want further dialogue on it, feel free to give me a call.
In my business, positive bottom line equals bonus for everybody. Percentage of salary to employees - same for all, up to three months salary. That is simple and works well, and is aligned with overall goals. And it is easy to report where we are. We don't have sales targets, which we maybe should have.
Depending on your business type that may not be feasible for you-startups don't make money initially. But building on your idea, hitting targets is important. Both growth and quality. People will behave as they are measured and challenging targets will help you create a sense of urgency instead of entitlement. (However, increase risk of suboptimization).
I think hitting sales targets, finishing projects on time and budget combined with NPS for both sales and project process should be enough. You don't need many targets, but use them all the time, talk about them with your team, incl. what you are trying to achieve. KPI's are no substitute for leadership; your team needs to know what your intent is.
One way of showing your commitment to quality could be to collect NPS yourself through customer interviews. That would also inspire new ideas, and give you better market knowledge. Given the size of your team that should be feasible.
Good luck. Should you want to talk more to someone with a business of similar size, feel free to give me a call.
Start off with what you have written: Identify his message and mission. From what you write it sounds like his speaking presence is the way to go with this; maybe filming live presentations and selling them off as web/video. Or you could help him ghostwrite a book, and publish it yourselves on Amazon. Or he could become known in a youth program or some other type of charity, summercamps about baseball or something similar.
With regards to message and mission, you could go in different directions with this, although they should most likely circle around one of these themes:
- How he has transformed the MLB-experience into life lessons
- How MLB has helped him become a different person (“Ugly duckling”-theme):
- War stories from the dugout/lockerroom.
A few ideas could be:
- Life story: How did he become and MLB-player? So few become that at any level – what took him all the way? Physical gifts? Persistence? Grit from his childhood? Everybody loves a life story like that.
- What has the MLB-experience taught him about life? Which tools from his career has helped him after retiring?
- How do you maximize the chances to succeed in the big leagues? A How to-story for minor leaguers and college players to follow.
- How to learn to hit a baseball? Document how his mind works. For the interested, that would be fascinating if told correctly.
I think if you start off with 3-4 themes like these, he could become a motivational speaker.
You could also limit this to pure MLB-war-stories, which would probably lower the volume of followers, but it would be a dedicated group. Then the themes could be more specialized also, f.ex.:
- How I won the Silverslugger.
- How I became a great hitter.
- The numbers revolution in baseball – a view from the hitters box. (His view of statistics and its impact on modern baseball).
Good luck with your positioning. These are just ideas I came up with while writing this response. If you want more or want to discuss these further, feel free to set up a call.
No matter if you are creating a physical or webbased marketplace, the used car market is crowded. So you need to stand out.
So you need to explain exactly what value you are creating for the suppliers. Parameters could be:
- Convenience: Easy to set up a profile or deliver your car.
- Best price: You document that you will offer the best price
- Guarantee: You will take the car off their hands without any further discussion - they are free to go with money in their pocket, and you carry the risk.
- Best presentation of the car: Great location of the shop, best looking website, most traffic compared to competitors or some other KPI that would signal, that you will get them the most exposure.
- Referrals: People who trust you with regards to selling their car, will refer their friend, if you showed them a good experience. Pay for referrals from strategically chosed friends - f.ex. from mechanics, dealers of new cars, insurance companies or similar.
Those were just af few ideas to get you started. There are similar ideas for the buyer side. I will be happy to discuss both sides of your market in a call, if you want to set it up.
Good luck with your business!
In my experience, in most cases the financial model example you mention here, would need to be purpose built to capture the actual specifics of your business. It is hard to be generic as there always are some little specific element, you have to be able to handle.
I have lots of experience in building such spreadsheet models, to if you are looking for a template to use as a starting point or you want to get some hints on it, feel free to set up a call. I would be happy to help your understand your business case.
First off, you have to find out who would be willing to pay for this. All the information you describe here is already out there online, if you have the knowledge and the time to research it.
In my view, your segments should be found with people, who are too busy to build a schedule themselves, or don't know where to go and need inspiration on that. But is there a business case in building an audience, that would pay for that service? Traditionally travel agents get commissions from airlines and hotels, that they book with - would private customers be willing to pay for you? "Off-line-travel-agents" already exist.
I could see a business case for an "online-travel-agent", if you would make the bookings also. But that comes with a different responsibility as you would be closer to working as an actual tour operator, and handle when hotels have overbookes, flights cancelled, etc.
What you could consider doing could be building your own niche - trips to Spain, Greece, California, Northern Thailand, South Africa, whereever - and you become THE expert on that area. You would know everything - all sites, attractive accomodation, flights, means of transport, dangers and annoyances - and you build an online universe around that, but also do the bookings. Then you would get commissions from the different operators you would work with and be the source of knowledge about that.
Good luck with your business idea! If you would like to discuss this further, let's set up a call.