9 min read

Be Clever

Be Clever
Photo by Daniele Franchi / Unsplash

I think this is one of the most important things a startup can do – be clever. Most ideas and startups aren’t that interesting when you get down to it. They just try to take a slightly better approach to solving the same problem. It’s not that those companies end up becoming bad businesses either, but they’re missing that special something. The best startups tend to have something really clever in their early days that make people do a double take.

Airbnb? Let people turn their existing homes into a “hotel room” and extra income.

Zenefits? Give people free software in order to get the rights to health insurance.

Instacart? Deliver groceries on-demand by using existing retail as warehouses instead of building your own warehouse.

The list goes on and on, but many of the best startups end up doing something very clever to become a breakout hit. It’s the essence of what I define as “hacking”. I define hacking as making an existing system or stringing disparate existing systems together to produce a result it was never intended to do.

Clever ideas are often not scalable at all in the beginning. That’s why they’re clever and most people haven’t tried them in the past. They require a lot of elbow grease to make something work well in the beginning. Over time they can get scalable.

Clever ideas often end up being 10x improvements over existing services trying to solve a similar problem. The reason is that the incumbent is often stuck doing things the old way. They don’t get a chance to rethink how things should be done utilizing new tools and doing unconventional manners.

Lastly, I think Clever startups are also the toughest to raise money on in the beginning. Many people passed on AirBnB in the beginning. It was just such an conventional and hacked way to do things. It seemed like such a stretch from reality. The beauty is when you turn the seemingly impossible into reality and the consumer wins.

Businesses have always relied on various forms of advertising to promote themselves. It still holds true in the digital world we live in today. But the internet changes everything because today every business is a digital business or a dead business. When you looking for digital marketing services, have a good idea of what it is that you need before you choose a provider. You may not know how to achieve your goals, but you have a general idea of the direction you want to go. Promoting a website and a business can be done in more conventional ways such as brochures, mailers, magazines, radio, and other long-established media methods. If you require this kind of printing and advertising service, you might make a different choice than you would if you want only consulting and online digital marketing services.

I’ve always believed that advertising is the price you pay for being boring. This means you have to talk about yourself to get attention; not the other way around where people talk about you because you’re extraordinary.

This is what’s known as push marketing, where a business pushes messages to people. That was before. Today, there’s pull marketing. When searching for a Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency, don’t just go for just the portfolio and pricing. It’s important to focus on workplace culture, day to day interaction, service and mindset. This is what social media is all about, but some people and businesses are still stuck in the past. Prior to entering SEO full-time, in 2009, Chaz was the owner of a locksmith company. Due to the success of his website he began helping other local businesses in the early days of search. Chaz recently appeared on Business Innovators Radio, has spoken at LCT Live 2017 On google my business ranking factors for 2020 Factors, was on the Rocks Digital Local Search Day Expert Panel where he spoke about the future of local search, and is a local SEO contributor at Marketing Digest. In 2015, his company founded Web 2.0 Ranker and in 2016, The Digital Swarm, and recently launched the GMB management software, Local Viking which manages in excess of 70,000 GMB Listings.

Everyone knows what word of mouth is, the holy grail of marketing, but most don’t understand why it works better than pushing ones promotion to get attention. With that said, a friend of mine is making a strategic blunder for his business: focusing all of his marketing strategy on Facebook ads. He also need to invest in google ads and SEO0. Our core digital marketing service are explained in details on their respective service pages found under the ‘DOC’s practice menu.

Facebook ads are a great way to get leads, but also spend money. Similar to High Quality Backlinks, organizations and people get hooked on this type of promotion because an ad means immediate gratification to the provider, as you don’t have to do a lot of work to get “engagement”.

Instant gratification is why Google and Facebook have very dominant business models, which fuel the rest of their business. While they won’t say it publicly, they want their platform to be a business’ main promotion channel.

As a business leader, imagine focusing your sales strategy on the only face to face sales meetings; in a world that is now more digital. I’d say that is a strategy based on “hope”.

This is what my friend is doing.

He’s hoping a tweak here and there to an image and text will result in qualified leads. Those who’ve done Adwords before know this isn’t entirely true, it takes time to get right.

Remember: Business is not an exact science, it’s experimentation. Every strategy is a hypothesis that has to be tested.

Strategy is about deciding where and how to play. For a strategy to work, it has to embrace constraints. But some organizations take this to the limit and place all their eggs in one basket; this is a huge mistake.

There are people out there who don’t want to get out of their comfort zone, who want to rely on the quickest way to make money; without the hassle. Of course, this is a fallacy. Facebook ads should not be the only part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

There’s paid media and earned media. Your marketing strategy, both online and offline, should have a word of mouthpart which results in earned media, you reach this by writing good content. When you come to content writing it’s a tough and the boring task ever, while the internet marketers overcome that issue using the recommended content marketing tools e.g Semrush, SEOMagnifier. More importantly, don’t cling to the past. Understand that times have changed and you have to adapt; your business will die if you don’t.

Every entrepreneur wants to run a successful business, like harold matzner, but it can be hard to define what that means. Just keeping your doors open? Inventing the product that beats global warming? Becoming a millionaire? A billionaire? Some business owners jump in with no clear idea of what they’d consider a successful business, but achieving your dreams will be easier if you nail down exactly what they are.


Typical measures of business success include the growth of your company, the money it provides you or your ability to keep control of the business for yourself or your children. There’s no one standard because entrepreneurs don’t all enter business for the same reason. Choosing your own definition of a successful business is the best path to satisfaction.

Successful Business And Shareholders

For a publicly traded company, Harvard Business Review says, success is typically defined as maximizing shareholder value. People and organizations typically buy stock in your company expecting to make money off the investment. For many corporations, focusing on shareholder value is a perfectly satisfactory benchmark for whether you’re a successful business.

Entrepreneurs like and startups are in a different situation. You may have no owners besides yourself, your partners and a few investors. Your vision of a successful business undoubtedly includes everyone making money, but most entrepreneurs yearn for something more than just a good bottom line.

The problem for many entrepreneurs is that they can’t define exactly what that “something” is or how to get there. Suppose that “success” for you is producing the best quality products in the industry or having a healthy, diverse corporate culture. If you never express this to your management team, they may make compromises or adopt HR policies that grow the company but push it away from your definition of success.

Defining Success

One of the first things to get clear in your mind is whether your most important value is liquidity, growth or control. Prioritizing the growth of your business could be a matter of ambition, or that it increases the benefits you think you can bring to society. Liquidity allows you take money out of the company to finance your lifestyle, or to donate to charity. If control is your top priority, you should avoid steps that benefit the company at the cost of your control of the business.

Once you know what you want, think about the metrics you’ll use to measure it. There are lots of financial standards you can use to measure whether you’re a successful business, so narrow it down to a few relevant benchmarks. For instance, you can measure successful liquidity by how much cash you want from the company to finance the other parts of your life. If control is your priority, comparing debt to earnings can show if you risk losing control to your creditors.

There are other, personal aspects of entrepreneurship you should think about. Does success include passing your business on to your kids? How much do you want company operations to align with your personal values? Are there lines of business you’d have moral objections to entering, even if they were profitable? The better you understand your definition of a successful business, the better you can shape your policy to fit.

Modestads suggests you also think about what kind of successful work life would make you happy. One of the definitions for a winner in business is that they wake up excited that they’re doing a job they love. Even if the tasks for the day are challenging, the thought of tackling them should be energizing, not intimidating.

Making a Plan

No matter what your definition of success, Business News Daily says, the classic business tips about making your company a winner apply. Success takes hard work, persistence and planning. Once you’ve figured out what’s important to you, start drawing up a plan.

  • Set one-, five- and 10-year goals. Based on your definition of success, where do you want your business to be? How close will you be to achieving your vision?
  • Research your industry. How realistic are your goals in the context of your competitive environment? If you’re a small-town baker, becoming the tops in your local industry might be realistic. Knocking Disney or Microsoft off their perch is much less so.
  • Are your goals SMART — that is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed? If not, work to make them so. If your goals aren’t specific and measurable, for instance, it’ll be hard to tell if you’re achieving them or not.

Once you have a definition of success and a list of goals tied to them, think about the steps to achieve them. Delegate some of that work to your team. It’s quite possible there are parts of your plan that you can’t do yourself — tech work, say, or marketing — so share your vision with the people who have the skills. Divide up and assign the goals in whatever way makes the most sense for you and your company. Everyone at your business should be on board with your vision.

Movement and Measurement

Setting goals and determining your direction aren’t enough. To become a successful business owner, you have to check back regularly and see how you’re meeting whatever metrics you’ve set for your company. Any review process that works is good, so long as you apply it regularly. Look at whether you’ve met your goals, and whether you’ve met them on time. If you’ve fallen short, you need to know how far short, and where you went wrong. Once you know, course-correct.

One of the standard business tips is that you should review your long-range plans every year. Don’t just look at how well you’re doing on your goals, ask yourself if you still believe in them. Perhaps when you started your company, growth was your top priority, but now you’d like more liquidity so that you can enjoy your leisure time more. Perhaps greater experience shows you some of your ambitions simply aren’t attainable.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your goals if they no longer work for you. Sit down, repeat the goal planning progress and come up with a new agenda full of SMART goals that work for where you are now. Nobody but you gets to define your success, and you can change the definition if you choose.

If you’re still committed to your goals and your review shows you’re achieving them, take time for a celebration. Compliment and reward yourself, and do the same for your staff. Winning is something to take pride in, and acknowledging success helps give everyone energy as you head off for the next benchmark.