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By Kelly Miller 09 Jan, 2018

Risks can be as scary as the moat around a castle, but consider all the rewards of success waiting tithing. Everyone wants the success that comes from achieving their goals, yet they often shrink back from the path that will bring them rewards.

This is the path of the risk taker and its exciting as it is successful. It has been found that achieving any amount of success will depend on how comfortable the individual can become with taking risks and how they handle this delicate balance.

 

Why gains of success are only achieved with ventures of great risk

Being a risk-taker doesn't mean doing all the daring and dangerous things we see depicted on the YouTubes. The benefits for you will depend on the risks you take and how you approach them. Following are some aspects of successful risk taking to expect:


1. Uncertainty and Chan ge -- Taking a chance, by definition, is throwing yourself in the hands of the universe and accepting uncertainty. If you want to be successful, it is obviously because you are unhappy with your current state of affairs. By beginning to change your position in this situation, you increase your likelihood of escaping -- or finding that key you were missing.

2. Eliminate Risks / Ensure Nothing Changes -- simple as that. You can’t expect to do the same thing you’re doing now and get a different result tomorrow. Sure, the stability is comforting, but the ennui can kill you.

3. Join the Resistance -- the truth is most people have a fierce aversion to risks and danger. This places risk-takers, like you, in the minority. We have the advantage of quality over quantity and the benefit of standing out in the crowd.

4. Risk-takers are happier -- you will never have that nauseating feeling that accompanies thoughts beginning with “if I only had”. Even if you fail you will have the experience and perspective to make a better attempt next time.


Evaluating Risks for Greater Efficacy

Of course, there are risks, and then there is just being cocky. If you hope to be a wise risk-taker, you will need to understand how to properly evaluate your risks.

 

1. Examine all the Options -- Being brave is no about looking for trouble, it’s about knowing where your maximum effort and focus should be applied and seeing your efforts through to the end. Explore your options first.

2. Calculate your risks -- understand what the risks you take are going to cost and you and what they will require. The goal is not to go all out, but to take the risks that will give you the most benefit. Knowing your chances of success will help you separate the wise investments, from the foolhardy jaunts.

3.Take every Chance You Can -- you will greatly increase your chances of success by increasing the risks you take. No matter what you try you are looking at a 50/50 chance of success on a good day. That is not so good on only one attempt, but if you increase your risks you can greatly increase your chances of success.

 

Becoming a Risk-Taker

All this is the question, “are some people just predisposed to risks and others to soft couches and feather beds?” Could the underlying qualities of a risk taker be genetic or environmental? The truth is no one is really sure where that irritability that causes people to become less than satisfied with themselves and their world comes from and studies are still being done.

It is true that even those that begin taking risks can become put off by a few defeats and the answer is simple enough. Stop focusing on the payoffs and begin to consider the rewards that come from risk taking in itself. The more risks you take, the more comfortable you will become with the action.

There is also plenty of evidence that suggests you can change the way you think by simply pretending to think differently. The mind is a powerful thing and the simple decision to be happy with a situation you can’t change or determined to change a situation you want altered can set you on the path for success.

It follows the “fake it ‘till you make it” mentality and it has proven results. Think like a risk-taker, act like a risk-taker and soon you will find yourself making more risks and being the better for it. Does this mean that by this time next week you will be fearlessly risking life and limb, no. But by conditioning your mind to understand that risks are good thing, you will begin to change the way you see your challenges and opportunities.

 

The heart of a risk-taker can be one of your greatest allies in your entrepreneurial pursuits. You will find that everything you want and ream of lies right outside your comfort zone, so get out there and grab some. If you are looking for resources and advice along your way, visit our website at www.rocketdriver.com for info on our entrepreneurial partnership.

By Kelly Miller 20 Dec, 2017
 Corporate gifting provides an easy way to say thank you to customers and vendors. Planning the perfect gift takes a little work, but also can save you money, while showing customers how much you care.

Choosing the Right Company

Choose your gift vendor with care. Rather than the twelve days of Christmas, focus on the following twelve positive aspects of a corporate gift vendor.

 

1. Reputation and Trust

Check each company's Better Business Bureau profile. It should say accredited. Read reviews. Read complaints and the company responses. Check the company's history, length of time in business, their insurance status and their order fulfillment and shipping procedures. The last becomes especially important when dealing with perishable gifts.

 

2. Company Guarantee or Warranty

Research their guarantee or warranty. What occurs if they miss a delivery, items arrive damaged or food arrives spoiled? Do they provide a refund? Do they ship a replacement gift? The vendor you choose should provide a guarantee to protect you and your customers.

 

3. Gift Types and Samples

You find the highest quality gifts by trying them first. Most companies run a sample pen, clock, pencil, etc. with your company name on it as an example of their work. Food gifts provide a greater imperative for tasting. Remember that the gift will represent your company more than it will theirs.

 

4. Include no promotional inserts. This means nothing from your company nor the company that made the gift. The gift says thank you to your customers. It is not an advertising opportunity although it is a marketing item.

 

5. Volume discount

Since your shopping list includes your entire customer base, look for volume discounts. The more you purchase, the greater your discount. You might save money by buying more than you need. Keep the overage at your business to give out when new customers come in or onboard.

 

6. Scheduling and timed arrivals

Ensure that the vendor's shipping methods guarantee arrival during the business week, during business hours. This factor gains importance when you purchase food gifts.

 

7. Personalized customer service to you

Each vendor should offer telephone support. You should be able to phone them with questions or for information and speak with the owner or a sales representative.

 

8. Customer service for recipients

Check each vendor's customer service reputation. What support does the vendor provide for your customers who receive gifts? They should be able to easily reach someone with order issues.

 

9. Personalizing each shipment

Does the vendor allow you to insert a personal note or card with each package? Will they insert something (non-salesy) for you? Do you get to choose the wording and the cardstock?

 

10. Online gift lists

Companies that let you manage your gift list online make things easier for you. Once you find a quality vendor, it's smart to stick with them. Online management of your list means you can easily update it. Check their website security, too. It should use SSL to protect customer data. Also, check their privacy policy to ensure your customer list remains private. If it looks like they share data with anyone, nix that company. Always protect your customers.

 

11. Contract pricing

Use a company that offers contract pricing. That means the job quote you get at the outset is exactly what you pay in the end with no fees or riders added. Only using vendors that provide contract pricing ensures you don't get ripped off.

 

12. Shipment tracking and delivery reports

Gift vendors should provide delivery tracking information to you. You should also receive a shipment report that shows each gift shipped, the recipient and its status.

 

Choosing the Right Gift

Once you choose your gift vendor, it's time to shop. Use these tips to find a gift that hits the sweet spot of customer gratitude without it being "too much."

 

1. Say thank you in small ways.

Your gift should say thank you and show gratitude, but not seem like you're trying to buy their loyalty. Don't make gifts too expensive.

 

2. Choose something people use.

Pens or desk clocks make great corporate gifts. If it helps in their daily business, they'll use it often and think of your company every time.

 

3. Let customers know why you chose it for them. If you have gifts delivered, you'll need to include a note. This builds trust and shows you care about customers.

 

4. Be different.

Find a way to set yourself apart from others providing corporate gifts. You can time your gifts differently. Many businesses send Christmas gifts, but one chose Valentine’s Day for its corporate gifting. It sent a large box of chocolates to each business customer for employees and a smaller box to its owner.

 

5. Keep it legal.

Check federal, state, or local laws first. Legal restrictions exist on corporate gift giving. Certain industries cannot receive gifts, for example, the US military. Laws regulate gifts to medical staff, including doctors and nurses, who work with Medicare reimbursements.

 

Corporate gifting provides a way to thank your customers. By choosing a reputable vendor, you protect your company's reputation and your customers. Provide those who keep you in business with a gift that keeps giving all year-long or a tasty treat they won't forget.

By team 20 Nov, 2017

It is a widely understood truth among entrepreneurs that leadership is a relationship. And, as much as it is a relationship, this means priorities are important for it to function. This fact is especially true when it comes to sales floors and marketing teams. And, even though there are countless ways to whip a organization into shape, there are seven easy steps to take which can turn any sales team's numbers around. That is if they need to clean up their act. Intriguingly enough, these seven steps somewhat fly in the face of the old adage of "thinking big". And, they have the power to change mindsets. It's because anyone can do it, no matter what level they function on within a company.

Step one is to work backwards when figuring out quarterly, yearly and monthly expenses. This makes planning for the unexpected easier to do because you're using a Long view. It also breaks down the big numbers into smaller units and increments which are easier to manage and account for.

Along with using longevity in your vision, it is good to plan for ebbs and flows to go upward. Instead of forcing production in to double or even triple time for the short run, there needs to be a gradual gain in gains. This can mean starting with half of what a sales team needs and slowly turning up the heat in a good way. This method of motivation encourages growth and productivity without facilitating frustration among sales workers.

It's also important to understand that not every goal carries the same priority as another. In other words, there is a hierarchy and something of a sequence when it comes to meeting and setting sales targets. This allows for wiggle room when it comes to keeping priorities and productivity on track. It also builds report and understanding between team leaders and team members. This makes using coaching and communication techniques less combative and raises their effectiveness.

Perhaps, one of the most important aspects of designing and implementing steps for impressive sales standards is to understand it is an active thing. This means that there has to be more than just planning involved but a proactive follow through. An active mindset ensures that something is done when responsibilities are met as well as when they are not, so implementing a plan is not such a big deal.

Nothing goes better with a job well done as a result of active execution than a worthwhile incentive. And, an important part of mastering the art of the incentive is knowing that there is more than one kind. Of course, monetary or material rewards for performance goals met is always preferred. However, when resources are scarce, a simple company-wide recognition is a good supplement or compliment to cash and bonus prizes.

For sales projections and activity to aligned properly, there has to be some sort of record keeping. Anything else is simply good luck and good fortune coincidentally colliding. Keeping track of sales numbers when they are met or not is the best way to design a remedy for lack of revenue. Having sales team members track and record their own numbers is an effective way of holding them personally and professionally accountable for their performance. It is also an awesome method to point to work ethic, product and habit that is desired in the present which has been seen before in the past.

In the event that all of the previously mentioned steps yield desired results, there is one more step to take. This final step is really for a team or a member who really flourishes under the directions of the previous six steps. It entails stretching out all of the smaller expectations put together earlier. This tells a successful sales team member that they need to keep doing what they've learned to do. It is a very pragmatic method of telling someone to simply stay the course and keep up the good work.

A few good examples of these simple steps in action should illustrate their effectiveness and functionality. If a team member has issues getting to staff meetings on time, make it their priority to show up to at least one of these meetings a week. If another team member has issues with keeping track of their contacts, make it their mission to organize and keep in touch with their contacts at least once a week. When team members have difficulties giving effective presentations have them give smaller less important presentations at least once a week to build their confidence.

Once team members are reaching their sales expectations both personally and professionally on a individual level, it is time to bring it all together for team goals. One example of setting a team incentive is to give incentives only when the entire sales team meets a collective sales target. Another method to ensure productive sales team habits is to hold entrepreneurs accountable not just to a company standard but to one another as well. In other words compare the quality of an individual team member's leads against the sum of the whole. Little steps like these are the best way to bring i whole sales team's goals together.

By team 01 Nov, 2017

While enticing new and potential clients is vital, note that keeping the existing and established buyers satisfied and loyal is equally important. According to research, it will be more expensive to obtain new clients than keeping the existing ones. Therefore, ensure that you express some gratitude as you maintain a passive relationship with all your current customers. Here are some few ways in which you can show gratitude. 

• Teaching

• Thinking

• Implementing suggestions

• Spotlighting

• Providing insider information

 

Thanking

Note that every buyer will want to be recognized and valued. Ensure that you thank your clients for their endless support by either sending a personalized email, card or posting a thank you message or video on social media.

 

Teaching

Teaching your customers valuable information concerning the business and how they can benefit from your products and services is imperative. With the help of social media posts, whitepapers, webinars, and blogs, your buyers have the opportunity to learn more.

 

Spotlighting  

Strive to make your buyers feel superior by featuring them. One of the viable ways to in which business fulfill this is by changing their Facebook cover or profile photo to highlight their client of the month. You can do this through a quick tweet, a photo or in a featured article where you will spotlight one shopper at a time.

 

Implementing suggestions

Note that any buyer will feel appreciated when you implement their ideas. For instance, Starbucks lets its buyers present their response via their platform called My Starbucks Idea. This is where the organization collects new and innovative ideas from its clients. Other clients are allowed to vote for their preferred initiatives, and then the organization implements the most viable ideas. Another alternative is that you can put a suggestion box at the end of your company’s blog post for readers to post other subjects they would like to be covered. Make sure you provide blog posts on those topics in future.

 

Providing insider information

Make sure your clients get exceptional deals and information. Message your client database coupons or provide some information about the product or service that is coming soon via social media. The introduction of mobile apps has streamlined this procedure by letting users who have downloaded the application to get free credit or cash back rewards. 

It is evident that the buyer has reformed, and entrepreneurs must change with them. Note that the current buyer has the chance to enjoy unprecedented access to information and technology lets the buyers craft solutions on their own. Technology has played a key role in creating a rift between the buyer and seller. However, the good news is that entrepreneurs can leverage the following key traits to get back to their business.

 

Avoid seller-centric conducts

Note that the majority of sellers believed that they are client-focused. Nevertheless, the conducts of many of these sellers do not reflect this belief. According to recent research, B2B firms have a less than 50 percent of a client experience index rating. This means that the client is not feeling appreciated.

Ensure you become more client-centric by evading the compulsion to jump to the sale. You can begin with asking incisive questions such as what is your business objective this year or what are the obstacles are preventing you from meeting this objective. The discussion is meant to uncover various business requirements that get to core encounters.

 

Utilize consultative selling 

Make sure you learn about the challenges that your buyer is going through before introducing your product. This will give you the chance to internalize their pain points, and this is imperative since these business challenges are also obscure even to these buyers.

With the indulgent of the two stated and unidentified prerequisites, the seller has the opportunity to leverage the most persuasive information to get a solution. Note that the data distillation is vital in the current world of information overflow where only applicable data counts.

 

Lead with a plan

Outlining your plan early is vital. Business owners can validate the credibility by beginning with a well-articulated outline for the conversation. A systematized approach will prove that you have respect for your buyer’s time, and for this reason, you need to prepare a proper outline and know how to present it to your buyers.

 

Ask smart questions

As a successful seller, you must be well informed. This information must be acquired from the buyer, and you need to ask the right question. Given that the buyer tends to have limited time, it is important that you start asking critical questions firms. It is evident that questioning offers a platform to float ideas. Buyers will have an opportunity to entertain new concepts once the selling is framing the ideas as questions.

 

Call to action

In a business world, information and solutions are immeasurable, and analysis is scarce. Successful sellers validate their value by leading clients through the decision making process. With the help of these tips, sellers can partner with their clients to find the solution that suits their needs.

By team 10 Oct, 2017

Building websites is generally a fairly straight forward thing to do, at least from our (rocketdrivers) perspective:

1. Sit down with the client and figure out what they need.
2. Deliver them a plan of action (quote) that solves their problems.
3. Gather content, get usernames and passwords to various accounts.
4. Develop the website and go through the process of revisions.
5. Finish up the website, put it live and call it day.
6. Deal with periodic questions from the prospect.
7. Go back now and then to see if they want additions, make them if necessary, bill accordingly.

It’s really that simple, thats the normal course of development boiled down in 7 simple steps and that includes followup, so what exactly are development disasters and how can you avoid them.

Firstly, it’s important to define what exactly a development disaster is. We define development disasters as impasses in the normal flow of progression from sitting down with a prospect to dealing with additions to the web site down the road, some link in that chain of events is breaks and WHAM we have a development disaster.

Typical development disasters include prospects making a down payment and hating how the progression of the site going and deciding not to proceed and demanding money back. This is usually (90% of the time or more) caused by salespeople promising things that cannot be delivered and should never have been promised. These kind of broken promises include the inclusion of eCommerce where it wasn’t priced into the quote or the inclusion of self-hosting where it was impossible or the migration of content which could not be migrated - all sorts of things, in other words. The other 10% of the time, what causes prospects to change their minds are usually one of two things 1: The prospect is approached by another developer who promises to do things cheaper and better or 2: The prospect is themself a scammer and wants to negotiate either a cheaper price or is attempting to get the site for free. This covers roughly 100% of the ‘will not proceed’ group of development disasters. The only way to bulletproof against these sort of disasters is A: Have a solid as a rock contract and B: To always check what was promised to clients post-sale but before billing them to ensure they know EXACTLY what they are getting and if that isn’t the case - don’t bill them.

The second group of development disasters which commonly occur are clients whom, for one reason or another, do not take the development process seriously and refuse to do their part to move it along. This kind of disaster usually manifests itself in the form of clients not supplying either adequate content or insufficient amounts of content to complete development but also may include clients who fail to furnish usernames or passwords. Usually what happens is the client fails to do their part for large amounts of time - 60 to 90 days or more - and then suddenly emerges, demanding things be done very quickly - or else.

The only way to somewhat prevent and/or counter this is to make sure that your clients understand the seriousness of contracting you to do this work and understand that they will be billed in X amount of time regardless of whether the site is completed or not. Essentially - never broadcast yourself as being so easy going that you will take it on the proverbial chin from clients. Fine them for being late to the party and stick to your guns, they will respect you for it.

The third and final form of development failure that is commonly observed happens when clients alter the game plan mid game so to speak. These are situations where clients decide mid-development that they want to add pages, features or significantly alter the design of the site but are either unwilling or unable to pay for these changes. This is not a typical reason for development to fail - but it does happen, usually due to the fact someone the client respects has seen what is being done and has made comments about it either casting it in a negative light or remarking upon what is missing. These situations are difficult to remedy and almost impossible to predict, the only (somewhat) effectual way to (somewhat) avoid this kind of from happening is to let prospects know that after development has been completed, they can get separate quotes for additions or modifications and ask that they do not judge the site until it is completed.

These issues will all arise, development is, for all its technical requirements, both an art and a science. Learning to deal with clients is an important part of avoiding development disasters and always being proactive as opposed to reactive is definitely the way to go.

If you are a reseller or even someone doing development yourself, you will learn to instinctively be able to know if development is going to be easy or difficult with any given prospect. Sometimes it is advisable to skip turning a prospect into a client, over having to deal with a client whose development prove difficult or impossible to conclude.

As always, best of luck!

By team 20 Sep, 2017

There are many types of business pursued by entrepreneurs, most of which require large investments to open, others require a high degree of technical proficiency and numerous others require unique geographic or market conditions. Most types of businesses have one thing in common though - they require a great deal of time to see profitability, this however is not so with reselling IT services, particularly ours. 

One of the great things with reselling of digital marketing and related services is that most-if not all-of the technical challenges surrounding development and fulfillment are either heavily mitigated or simply don’t exist at all. Instead of developing services from scratch, resellers simply re-sell services from someone else whose job it is to do the heavy lifting. This alone makes reselling attractive and time saving, but there there is something much more important to keep in mind when considering a service for resale and that is service architecture.
 
Service architecture does not refer to the ‘services’ themselves in terms of quality, it isn’t a reference to the intrinsic value of the service to end-client at all. What service architecture refers to is the broader context, value and integration of services as something to be sold (or in this re-sold) by a (reseller) business. Basically: Services need to be good to sell, not just good to buy.
 
Websites are perhaps the best example and certainly an example we at Rocketdriver have a wealth of experience in furnishing to resellers. Websites have many considerations as a service offering from the resellers perspective, they present numerous questions, such as:

1. Development Process - The process of building the sites themselves, how time consuming is it? How difficult is it?
2. Platform - How easy will it be to maintain the sites and who can do it?
3. Integrations - what 3rd party integrations exist for the sites platform?
4. Security - what kind of security is there? Who maintains it?
5. Design - How will the finished sites look? Feel? Function?
6. Expandability - What does expansion look like? Can things like eCommerce be added later on?
7. Updates - What happens when new technologies emerge? Who updates the site and how?
8. Price - how much will these sites cost me and how much can I charge end-clients? Will this be cost effective?
9. Search - can the site be made SEO friendly? Who does SEO? How much?
10. Features - what features can be built into the site? What features are not included?

What determines web development’s viability as a resellable service ultimately is the quality, reliability, experience and overall industry intelligence of the white label development company offering it. Unfortunately not all white label companies are truly ‘white label’, many are simply small general purpose or web development companies located around the world that have decided to call themselves ‘white label’ and have very little experience fielding services that specifically designed for resale. The companies that do have experience fielding web design services designed for resale (Rocketdriver for example) have offerings that are clearly designed to be resold. 

The key to evaluation of whether a company is a dedicated white label developer that makes the grade or not is pretty simple - check out their service offering, look into their reputation online and consider who and what you need.

Resellers also need to always ask themselves a pretty simple question:

By team 15 Sep, 2017

When people see entrepreneurs they often think of them as being exceptionally bright, exceptionally intelligent or exceptionally gifted - the truth is, while they may be some or all of those things, what defines them isn’t some inherent genius - it’s common sense.

Common sense says that if you don’t know something you wish to know - you go and look it it up.

Common sense says that if you have a problem you want to solve - you should probably research or experiment to figure out how to solve it.

Common sense says that if you try - and fail - you are guaranteed to end in failure if you don’t try again.

No matter how smart a given entrepreneur is, if they do not have common sense practices they can and will fail miserably. This is what differentiates entrepreneurial thinking and practices from those of employees - the willingness and drive to to do all that can be done to solve problems.

You see, business can be boiled wont to a sequence of problems and solutions, that’s all it really is, ultimately. The first problem is a lack of money - need money? Get a job - get little money, start a business - get potentially a lot more money, this decision defines everything that comes afterward. What comes next are a sequence of problems, questions and challenges that must be overcome in order for success to be the end result - it’s that simple.

Problem solving in business is not, however, the standard type of problem solving that most people are used to, no, it’s creative problem solving, it’s solving problems that have no defined solutions, challenges that are open ended have no absolutes. This is the essence of business.

How can you become a better creative problem solver? - start listening to yourself and stop looking for answers from others - not even from us!

We all possess the ability to be better creative problem solvers than we think, without this in-born ability, we, as a species, would not exist. The truth is, reliance upon others for every small solution to every small problem, is a relatively new concept. For most of human history we had to hunt on our own, store our own food, plow our own fields and raise our own livestock - we had to do for ourselves or we starved and for this reason alone, you can rest assured you are capable of solving your own (relatively simple) problems.

Research

The first habit to cultivate is the habit of doing research, when you have a question - do you look for answers online before giving up? Do you sit still and freeze up (deer in the headlights style) or do you square up and face your problem?

Self Trust

Do you trust your own judgement? You must, you drive a car, you pay bills and you made it this far in life without going to prison, you have to recognize things like this in yourself and realize that you can and should trust yourself.

Trial and Error

Just because a solution you come up with doesn’t initially work, does not mean it’s a bad solution or that other solutions will fail just as poorly. A huge part of why entrepreneurs fail (when they fail) is because they simply gave up, they tried, they didn’t get immediate results, so they quit - don’t quit, don’t throw in the towel before the fights over!.

Staying Positive

Sometimes in business it can be difficult to stay positive, situations can arise that look grim, sometimes you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recognize it is normal to encounter circumstances like this, recognize that times change and situations evolve in ways you might have expected, don’t get negative, don’t let your environment dictate how you are.

Wise Advice & Bad Advice

If you seek counsel from people about your problems, recognize that just because someone has an opinion, does not make it wise or correct. It’s very common in business to hear the opinions of people who are money morning quartbacking by telling you what you should have done or what they would have done - ignore it. You are the one in business - not them - and your decisions carry weight - not theirs. If you go seeking advice someone about your problems, make sure that someone is someone who can offer you real, wise advice.

Being in business and being a creative problem solver are not easy things to be or to do, but they are also not impossible things either. In business you can and will be faced with innumerable situations where you are forced to make a choice and you will not know if its the right one until the results come in - and they may or may not be good results, don’t let this put you off and don’t beat yourself up for being wrong some of the time, keep going forward and ultimately you will succeed.

By team 11 Sep, 2017

Business can, in many ways, be boiled down into the efficient (or inefficient) conversion of raw time into money. No matter if you run a small business selling trinkets or a multinational conglomerate, the power you wield is the same – the power to spend time (yours and others) in an effort to accrue profit. This where we get the famous phrase ‘time is money’ - because it, literally, is true.

Our industry – digital marketing, is not at all immune to this truism, in fact, for those who resell digital marketing services the saying “time is money” is not just saying, but is also a practicality that led many to resell in the first place.

Unfortunately, just being a reseller isn’t enough to make one an efficient user of time at all and many resellers are the most profligate offenders when it comes to time waste, in fact, some are the worst.

The reason-we will argue, we think quite pursuasively-that so many resellers are so inefficient with their time is for primarily two interconnected reasons, perceived efficiency and ignorance of underlying services and processes.

Perceived Efficiency - Dangerous

Most resellers function with the idea in mind that their businesses are inherently efficient because they do not have to conduct actual development, understand underlying services or practice true project management. These half-true beliefs lull many into having a false sense of security surrounding their need to possess overall competence of what they are selling, who it applies to and how its delivered.

How this translates into inefficiency and time waste is that the resellers who feel they can ignore educating themselves on the services they sell end up paying the price. The price of service ignorance can be enormous, the way this ignorance manifests itself can range from the misapplication of services to procedural errors and even missing out on deals to competitors who are just – less ignorant.

Now, you may sit there, reading this and like many you may be thinking ‘this is just common sense!’, but that is our point, the people guilty of this have common sense!-and they still make this mistake all the time. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you know ‘enough’ about an industry, service or process when you’re a reseller, it’s only when it’s too late that this error shows itself.

The only preventative measure we know of is the one we preach to our partners every single day – study, train and never stop. Most white label companies are not businesses like ours that have real world experience selling the solutions that they furnish. Most white label resellers are not partners like ours, who have a company training them, their salespeople and furnishing them with all the resources necessary to succeed.

If you are are a reseller, make sure you understand your services, make sure you understand the processes that underscore them and make sure you go the extra mile educating everyone in your organization as much as possible about them as well.

Ultimately this is about saving time, because in this industry time is money, every day that ticks past that sales aren’t coming in the door is a day where growth is thwarted at your business.

To learn more about what it is we do and how we help resellers avoid wasting time, visit our main corporate site www.rocketdriver.com

By team 14 Aug, 2017
A lot of people hear ‘leader’ and they think of someone sending commanding orders to other people, they think of someone fearless, someone loud, someone who is even aggressive in some ways – but is this really the truth? We don’t think so. We think the average leader in our society is just a self motivated person who succeeded enough to be able to hire people to work for them.

The truth is, being a leader isn’t all that difficult, what’s difficult is finding the self motivation to work hard enough on our own to get to a point where we have succeeded enough to employ others to work for us – that’s the hard part. If you look for books that agree with this assertion you may not find many that do, but this is the conclusion we’ve drawn from many years in business.

How can we say ‘leadership’ is easy? Well, GOOD leadership may be hard but being a leader itself, is pretty darn simple – you just give people orders. Most ‘leaders’ in the business world are simply people using their employees to carry out functions they themselves could do – but cannot due to time or workload. They are not creatively inspiring people, they are not asking of others things they could not do themselves, they are merely relying on others to carry out functions that they already know 100% - that isn’t very complicated, is it? No, it isn’t. No, leadership in its basic form in business is generally not extremely complex, if it were, businesses wouldn’t work, the truth is anyone who understands their company and possesses decent people skills can become a leader if they create the pre-circumstances for it.

What is hard for many people is maintaining a self motivated and self driven business, finding the inner drive to keep going forward – alone, with no reassurances, with no coworkers, with no other voices but their own. Self motivation is something that is rare for a lot of reasons, but lets look at the chief culprit of a lack of self motivation: Society.

We live in a society where we are ruled from the day we are born, well into adulthood. By ‘we’ I mean just about every normal person regardless of race, gender, religion or even country of origin – its kind of part of ‘being human’ to be ruled by others.

We start as children ruled by parents then go to school and are ruled by teachers until about age 18, many will go on to college where they are ruled by more teachers, then we get jobs are ruled by bosses – we are never really expected to govern our own destinies are we? So how the hell, when we start businesses, do we suddenly adapt? Most don’t.

It is our contention that in order to be success the conditioning we have undergone for our entire formation as human beings must be recognized, understood and at least consciously confronted. Without recognizing that life is going to change in a huge way when we are suddenly going to work not as ‘a’ boss but as ‘the ruler’ of our destiny, how can we expect to succeed in making this change? We can’t.

If one looks at successful entrepreneurs one is struck by just HOW self motivated these people are. They seem to work tirelessly, endlessly, they don’t seem to stop, they typically blend their lives into their work, work into their lives, its as if work is FUN for them or maybe their life is WORK – the boundaries aren’t there, it’s madness. These typical entrepreneurs, they seem to care more about their work than they do their hobbies, the work seems to BE a hobby!. These typical entrepreneurs, they seem to love what they do more than anything – how can work be so fun?

Because for them its not work – duh!

When you truly rule your life and you begin to make money directly as a consequence of your own decisions, when you found a successful company, when you begin to succeed at what you do – it becomes a kind of a lifestyle. Most successful entrepreneurs, they take vacations, they know how to have fun, but their work IS THEIR PASSION . This is not unhealthy, this is not dysfunctional. The real truth is if you asked entrepreneurs, they would say its more dysfunctional to NOT live like they do.

Self motivation becomes natural when the perspective of the individual shifts from looking for a boss or leader to guide them and instead starts looking for work to do to build their business – because there is never any shortage of that.

This is part 1 of a series, part 2 will examine self motivational strategies.
By team 11 Aug, 2017

In the web development industry in general we are faced with the unique challenge of having to translate clients concepts and ideas of website design aesthetics into a workable reality, the client has to accept this reality and furthermore this reality has to be accepted by the clients customers or its all a failure. What so often happens in this design process is the clients want things done which run contrary to both logic and common sense and end up both looking terrible and even effecting functionality - this is not good.

Now, before I make my argument about art and design, I think it has to be said that about 90% of humanity possesses neither artistic flare nor design aesthetic training and an even slimmer margin of people can visualize or conceptualize why things wont work when things are explained to them. Add to the low number of people that have no talent for design the fact that a huge proportion of business owners (clients) are used to getting their way and have well developed ego’s which are easily offended and you have the perfect storm for a situation where the tail is truly wagging the dog in the development process.

What this really boils down to is trust, the client must trust their developer enough to take their hands off the steering wheel and allow the designers to take over and deliver a finished product. The key to gaining a clients trust in this matter is not to showcase style over substance - it isn’t a matter of superiority, it is a matter of design experience and that is not strictly an art - it’s a science. What I mean to say here is that clients can only trust a development company to handle the aesthetics when they know that it isn’t a matter of debate, when they know it’s a matter of design based upon factors beyond personal choice, when they know - in short - that it isn’t something that they should dictate or can do themselves.

Art vs Design

Now, debate will rage until the end of time as to what is more important in a product in terms of marketing - it’s form or its function, I am not here to debate either - it’s outside my realm of expertise, I’m not a philosopher, I’m a designer. As a person I am both an artist and a designer, I create art on cotton canvas and do my work on digital pixels; What I know from being both of these is that they are miles and miles apart yet conflated in the minds of most people - if the eyeball perceives it and likes it, it must be art! - WRONG!

When I sit down to develop a website, I am not sitting down with an open mind, creatively inspired, thinking of conveying a broad and deep message - not an ounce. I’m sitting down with a clear understanding of the box within which I am to work - the rules are laid out for me before I even begin. Widths, margins, load times, formats, color schema’s - it’s all there, burnt into my brain, 20 years of experience, reading, reports, analytics, data - all of it. What I am developing is something with a purpose - a visual composition designed to illicit very specific responses and uses. I place text to guide the human eye, I place graphics accordingly, I colorize the site to soften the blow to viewer or to sharpen it it up or to guide it. There are many, many technical considerations - how will this look mobile? how will it look on a retina display? how will it look on a UHDTV? how will it look in 5 years as it ages online? will this design be friendly to developers? - on and on and on these go. So we have the visual composition, the technical considerations and lastly we have the aesthetics - how does my gut tell me this looks? is it passable? is it trendy? does it fit its industry?. Design is a fusion of multiple disciplines forming one all of its own.

Contrast this with artwork which has no rules, which is guided by nothing or everything or something or a bunch of somethings - its open ended, anything goes or can go at least. Artwork is about expression, exposition, composition without rules applied to it, its free form and non-linear, a canvas can have anything on it.

Now, to go back to our clients, most of them understand what artwork is, but most do not understand what design is or what goes into it. They don’t understand pixels, they don’t understand different screen sizes, they don’t know what retina is, they don’t know what conversion rates are - they don’t know any of that and they probably never will, but what they do know is who the person is who sold them on getting a site done and if that person wasn’t wise enough to explain -enough- about the design process to get the client to trust in their expertise, shame on them.

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By Kelly Miller 09 Jan, 2018

Risks can be as scary as the moat around a castle, but consider all the rewards of success waiting tithing. Everyone wants the success that comes from achieving their goals, yet they often shrink back from the path that will bring them rewards.

This is the path of the risk taker and its exciting as it is successful. It has been found that achieving any amount of success will depend on how comfortable the individual can become with taking risks and how they handle this delicate balance.

 

Why gains of success are only achieved with ventures of great risk

Being a risk-taker doesn't mean doing all the daring and dangerous things we see depicted on the YouTubes. The benefits for you will depend on the risks you take and how you approach them. Following are some aspects of successful risk taking to expect:


1. Uncertainty and Chan ge -- Taking a chance, by definition, is throwing yourself in the hands of the universe and accepting uncertainty. If you want to be successful, it is obviously because you are unhappy with your current state of affairs. By beginning to change your position in this situation, you increase your likelihood of escaping -- or finding that key you were missing.

2. Eliminate Risks / Ensure Nothing Changes -- simple as that. You can’t expect to do the same thing you’re doing now and get a different result tomorrow. Sure, the stability is comforting, but the ennui can kill you.

3. Join the Resistance -- the truth is most people have a fierce aversion to risks and danger. This places risk-takers, like you, in the minority. We have the advantage of quality over quantity and the benefit of standing out in the crowd.

4. Risk-takers are happier -- you will never have that nauseating feeling that accompanies thoughts beginning with “if I only had”. Even if you fail you will have the experience and perspective to make a better attempt next time.


Evaluating Risks for Greater Efficacy

Of course, there are risks, and then there is just being cocky. If you hope to be a wise risk-taker, you will need to understand how to properly evaluate your risks.

 

1. Examine all the Options -- Being brave is no about looking for trouble, it’s about knowing where your maximum effort and focus should be applied and seeing your efforts through to the end. Explore your options first.

2. Calculate your risks -- understand what the risks you take are going to cost and you and what they will require. The goal is not to go all out, but to take the risks that will give you the most benefit. Knowing your chances of success will help you separate the wise investments, from the foolhardy jaunts.

3.Take every Chance You Can -- you will greatly increase your chances of success by increasing the risks you take. No matter what you try you are looking at a 50/50 chance of success on a good day. That is not so good on only one attempt, but if you increase your risks you can greatly increase your chances of success.

 

Becoming a Risk-Taker

All this is the question, “are some people just predisposed to risks and others to soft couches and feather beds?” Could the underlying qualities of a risk taker be genetic or environmental? The truth is no one is really sure where that irritability that causes people to become less than satisfied with themselves and their world comes from and studies are still being done.

It is true that even those that begin taking risks can become put off by a few defeats and the answer is simple enough. Stop focusing on the payoffs and begin to consider the rewards that come from risk taking in itself. The more risks you take, the more comfortable you will become with the action.

There is also plenty of evidence that suggests you can change the way you think by simply pretending to think differently. The mind is a powerful thing and the simple decision to be happy with a situation you can’t change or determined to change a situation you want altered can set you on the path for success.

It follows the “fake it ‘till you make it” mentality and it has proven results. Think like a risk-taker, act like a risk-taker and soon you will find yourself making more risks and being the better for it. Does this mean that by this time next week you will be fearlessly risking life and limb, no. But by conditioning your mind to understand that risks are good thing, you will begin to change the way you see your challenges and opportunities.

 

The heart of a risk-taker can be one of your greatest allies in your entrepreneurial pursuits. You will find that everything you want and ream of lies right outside your comfort zone, so get out there and grab some. If you are looking for resources and advice along your way, visit our website at www.rocketdriver.com for info on our entrepreneurial partnership.

By Kelly Miller 20 Dec, 2017
 Corporate gifting provides an easy way to say thank you to customers and vendors. Planning the perfect gift takes a little work, but also can save you money, while showing customers how much you care.

Choosing the Right Company

Choose your gift vendor with care. Rather than the twelve days of Christmas, focus on the following twelve positive aspects of a corporate gift vendor.

 

1. Reputation and Trust

Check each company's Better Business Bureau profile. It should say accredited. Read reviews. Read complaints and the company responses. Check the company's history, length of time in business, their insurance status and their order fulfillment and shipping procedures. The last becomes especially important when dealing with perishable gifts.

 

2. Company Guarantee or Warranty

Research their guarantee or warranty. What occurs if they miss a delivery, items arrive damaged or food arrives spoiled? Do they provide a refund? Do they ship a replacement gift? The vendor you choose should provide a guarantee to protect you and your customers.

 

3. Gift Types and Samples

You find the highest quality gifts by trying them first. Most companies run a sample pen, clock, pencil, etc. with your company name on it as an example of their work. Food gifts provide a greater imperative for tasting. Remember that the gift will represent your company more than it will theirs.

 

4. Include no promotional inserts. This means nothing from your company nor the company that made the gift. The gift says thank you to your customers. It is not an advertising opportunity although it is a marketing item.

 

5. Volume discount

Since your shopping list includes your entire customer base, look for volume discounts. The more you purchase, the greater your discount. You might save money by buying more than you need. Keep the overage at your business to give out when new customers come in or onboard.

 

6. Scheduling and timed arrivals

Ensure that the vendor's shipping methods guarantee arrival during the business week, during business hours. This factor gains importance when you purchase food gifts.

 

7. Personalized customer service to you

Each vendor should offer telephone support. You should be able to phone them with questions or for information and speak with the owner or a sales representative.

 

8. Customer service for recipients

Check each vendor's customer service reputation. What support does the vendor provide for your customers who receive gifts? They should be able to easily reach someone with order issues.

 

9. Personalizing each shipment

Does the vendor allow you to insert a personal note or card with each package? Will they insert something (non-salesy) for you? Do you get to choose the wording and the cardstock?

 

10. Online gift lists

Companies that let you manage your gift list online make things easier for you. Once you find a quality vendor, it's smart to stick with them. Online management of your list means you can easily update it. Check their website security, too. It should use SSL to protect customer data. Also, check their privacy policy to ensure your customer list remains private. If it looks like they share data with anyone, nix that company. Always protect your customers.

 

11. Contract pricing

Use a company that offers contract pricing. That means the job quote you get at the outset is exactly what you pay in the end with no fees or riders added. Only using vendors that provide contract pricing ensures you don't get ripped off.

 

12. Shipment tracking and delivery reports

Gift vendors should provide delivery tracking information to you. You should also receive a shipment report that shows each gift shipped, the recipient and its status.

 

Choosing the Right Gift

Once you choose your gift vendor, it's time to shop. Use these tips to find a gift that hits the sweet spot of customer gratitude without it being "too much."

 

1. Say thank you in small ways.

Your gift should say thank you and show gratitude, but not seem like you're trying to buy their loyalty. Don't make gifts too expensive.

 

2. Choose something people use.

Pens or desk clocks make great corporate gifts. If it helps in their daily business, they'll use it often and think of your company every time.

 

3. Let customers know why you chose it for them. If you have gifts delivered, you'll need to include a note. This builds trust and shows you care about customers.

 

4. Be different.

Find a way to set yourself apart from others providing corporate gifts. You can time your gifts differently. Many businesses send Christmas gifts, but one chose Valentine’s Day for its corporate gifting. It sent a large box of chocolates to each business customer for employees and a smaller box to its owner.

 

5. Keep it legal.

Check federal, state, or local laws first. Legal restrictions exist on corporate gift giving. Certain industries cannot receive gifts, for example, the US military. Laws regulate gifts to medical staff, including doctors and nurses, who work with Medicare reimbursements.

 

Corporate gifting provides a way to thank your customers. By choosing a reputable vendor, you protect your company's reputation and your customers. Provide those who keep you in business with a gift that keeps giving all year-long or a tasty treat they won't forget.

By team 20 Nov, 2017

It is a widely understood truth among entrepreneurs that leadership is a relationship. And, as much as it is a relationship, this means priorities are important for it to function. This fact is especially true when it comes to sales floors and marketing teams. And, even though there are countless ways to whip a organization into shape, there are seven easy steps to take which can turn any sales team's numbers around. That is if they need to clean up their act. Intriguingly enough, these seven steps somewhat fly in the face of the old adage of "thinking big". And, they have the power to change mindsets. It's because anyone can do it, no matter what level they function on within a company.

Step one is to work backwards when figuring out quarterly, yearly and monthly expenses. This makes planning for the unexpected easier to do because you're using a Long view. It also breaks down the big numbers into smaller units and increments which are easier to manage and account for.

Along with using longevity in your vision, it is good to plan for ebbs and flows to go upward. Instead of forcing production in to double or even triple time for the short run, there needs to be a gradual gain in gains. This can mean starting with half of what a sales team needs and slowly turning up the heat in a good way. This method of motivation encourages growth and productivity without facilitating frustration among sales workers.

It's also important to understand that not every goal carries the same priority as another. In other words, there is a hierarchy and something of a sequence when it comes to meeting and setting sales targets. This allows for wiggle room when it comes to keeping priorities and productivity on track. It also builds report and understanding between team leaders and team members. This makes using coaching and communication techniques less combative and raises their effectiveness.

Perhaps, one of the most important aspects of designing and implementing steps for impressive sales standards is to understand it is an active thing. This means that there has to be more than just planning involved but a proactive follow through. An active mindset ensures that something is done when responsibilities are met as well as when they are not, so implementing a plan is not such a big deal.

Nothing goes better with a job well done as a result of active execution than a worthwhile incentive. And, an important part of mastering the art of the incentive is knowing that there is more than one kind. Of course, monetary or material rewards for performance goals met is always preferred. However, when resources are scarce, a simple company-wide recognition is a good supplement or compliment to cash and bonus prizes.

For sales projections and activity to aligned properly, there has to be some sort of record keeping. Anything else is simply good luck and good fortune coincidentally colliding. Keeping track of sales numbers when they are met or not is the best way to design a remedy for lack of revenue. Having sales team members track and record their own numbers is an effective way of holding them personally and professionally accountable for their performance. It is also an awesome method to point to work ethic, product and habit that is desired in the present which has been seen before in the past.

In the event that all of the previously mentioned steps yield desired results, there is one more step to take. This final step is really for a team or a member who really flourishes under the directions of the previous six steps. It entails stretching out all of the smaller expectations put together earlier. This tells a successful sales team member that they need to keep doing what they've learned to do. It is a very pragmatic method of telling someone to simply stay the course and keep up the good work.

A few good examples of these simple steps in action should illustrate their effectiveness and functionality. If a team member has issues getting to staff meetings on time, make it their priority to show up to at least one of these meetings a week. If another team member has issues with keeping track of their contacts, make it their mission to organize and keep in touch with their contacts at least once a week. When team members have difficulties giving effective presentations have them give smaller less important presentations at least once a week to build their confidence.

Once team members are reaching their sales expectations both personally and professionally on a individual level, it is time to bring it all together for team goals. One example of setting a team incentive is to give incentives only when the entire sales team meets a collective sales target. Another method to ensure productive sales team habits is to hold entrepreneurs accountable not just to a company standard but to one another as well. In other words compare the quality of an individual team member's leads against the sum of the whole. Little steps like these are the best way to bring i whole sales team's goals together.

By team 01 Nov, 2017

While enticing new and potential clients is vital, note that keeping the existing and established buyers satisfied and loyal is equally important. According to research, it will be more expensive to obtain new clients than keeping the existing ones. Therefore, ensure that you express some gratitude as you maintain a passive relationship with all your current customers. Here are some few ways in which you can show gratitude. 

• Teaching

• Thinking

• Implementing suggestions

• Spotlighting

• Providing insider information

 

Thanking

Note that every buyer will want to be recognized and valued. Ensure that you thank your clients for their endless support by either sending a personalized email, card or posting a thank you message or video on social media.

 

Teaching

Teaching your customers valuable information concerning the business and how they can benefit from your products and services is imperative. With the help of social media posts, whitepapers, webinars, and blogs, your buyers have the opportunity to learn more.

 

Spotlighting  

Strive to make your buyers feel superior by featuring them. One of the viable ways to in which business fulfill this is by changing their Facebook cover or profile photo to highlight their client of the month. You can do this through a quick tweet, a photo or in a featured article where you will spotlight one shopper at a time.

 

Implementing suggestions

Note that any buyer will feel appreciated when you implement their ideas. For instance, Starbucks lets its buyers present their response via their platform called My Starbucks Idea. This is where the organization collects new and innovative ideas from its clients. Other clients are allowed to vote for their preferred initiatives, and then the organization implements the most viable ideas. Another alternative is that you can put a suggestion box at the end of your company’s blog post for readers to post other subjects they would like to be covered. Make sure you provide blog posts on those topics in future.

 

Providing insider information

Make sure your clients get exceptional deals and information. Message your client database coupons or provide some information about the product or service that is coming soon via social media. The introduction of mobile apps has streamlined this procedure by letting users who have downloaded the application to get free credit or cash back rewards. 

It is evident that the buyer has reformed, and entrepreneurs must change with them. Note that the current buyer has the chance to enjoy unprecedented access to information and technology lets the buyers craft solutions on their own. Technology has played a key role in creating a rift between the buyer and seller. However, the good news is that entrepreneurs can leverage the following key traits to get back to their business.

 

Avoid seller-centric conducts

Note that the majority of sellers believed that they are client-focused. Nevertheless, the conducts of many of these sellers do not reflect this belief. According to recent research, B2B firms have a less than 50 percent of a client experience index rating. This means that the client is not feeling appreciated.

Ensure you become more client-centric by evading the compulsion to jump to the sale. You can begin with asking incisive questions such as what is your business objective this year or what are the obstacles are preventing you from meeting this objective. The discussion is meant to uncover various business requirements that get to core encounters.

 

Utilize consultative selling 

Make sure you learn about the challenges that your buyer is going through before introducing your product. This will give you the chance to internalize their pain points, and this is imperative since these business challenges are also obscure even to these buyers.

With the indulgent of the two stated and unidentified prerequisites, the seller has the opportunity to leverage the most persuasive information to get a solution. Note that the data distillation is vital in the current world of information overflow where only applicable data counts.

 

Lead with a plan

Outlining your plan early is vital. Business owners can validate the credibility by beginning with a well-articulated outline for the conversation. A systematized approach will prove that you have respect for your buyer’s time, and for this reason, you need to prepare a proper outline and know how to present it to your buyers.

 

Ask smart questions

As a successful seller, you must be well informed. This information must be acquired from the buyer, and you need to ask the right question. Given that the buyer tends to have limited time, it is important that you start asking critical questions firms. It is evident that questioning offers a platform to float ideas. Buyers will have an opportunity to entertain new concepts once the selling is framing the ideas as questions.

 

Call to action

In a business world, information and solutions are immeasurable, and analysis is scarce. Successful sellers validate their value by leading clients through the decision making process. With the help of these tips, sellers can partner with their clients to find the solution that suits their needs.

By team 10 Oct, 2017

Building websites is generally a fairly straight forward thing to do, at least from our (rocketdrivers) perspective:

1. Sit down with the client and figure out what they need.
2. Deliver them a plan of action (quote) that solves their problems.
3. Gather content, get usernames and passwords to various accounts.
4. Develop the website and go through the process of revisions.
5. Finish up the website, put it live and call it day.
6. Deal with periodic questions from the prospect.
7. Go back now and then to see if they want additions, make them if necessary, bill accordingly.

It’s really that simple, thats the normal course of development boiled down in 7 simple steps and that includes followup, so what exactly are development disasters and how can you avoid them.

Firstly, it’s important to define what exactly a development disaster is. We define development disasters as impasses in the normal flow of progression from sitting down with a prospect to dealing with additions to the web site down the road, some link in that chain of events is breaks and WHAM we have a development disaster.

Typical development disasters include prospects making a down payment and hating how the progression of the site going and deciding not to proceed and demanding money back. This is usually (90% of the time or more) caused by salespeople promising things that cannot be delivered and should never have been promised. These kind of broken promises include the inclusion of eCommerce where it wasn’t priced into the quote or the inclusion of self-hosting where it was impossible or the migration of content which could not be migrated - all sorts of things, in other words. The other 10% of the time, what causes prospects to change their minds are usually one of two things 1: The prospect is approached by another developer who promises to do things cheaper and better or 2: The prospect is themself a scammer and wants to negotiate either a cheaper price or is attempting to get the site for free. This covers roughly 100% of the ‘will not proceed’ group of development disasters. The only way to bulletproof against these sort of disasters is A: Have a solid as a rock contract and B: To always check what was promised to clients post-sale but before billing them to ensure they know EXACTLY what they are getting and if that isn’t the case - don’t bill them.

The second group of development disasters which commonly occur are clients whom, for one reason or another, do not take the development process seriously and refuse to do their part to move it along. This kind of disaster usually manifests itself in the form of clients not supplying either adequate content or insufficient amounts of content to complete development but also may include clients who fail to furnish usernames or passwords. Usually what happens is the client fails to do their part for large amounts of time - 60 to 90 days or more - and then suddenly emerges, demanding things be done very quickly - or else.

The only way to somewhat prevent and/or counter this is to make sure that your clients understand the seriousness of contracting you to do this work and understand that they will be billed in X amount of time regardless of whether the site is completed or not. Essentially - never broadcast yourself as being so easy going that you will take it on the proverbial chin from clients. Fine them for being late to the party and stick to your guns, they will respect you for it.

The third and final form of development failure that is commonly observed happens when clients alter the game plan mid game so to speak. These are situations where clients decide mid-development that they want to add pages, features or significantly alter the design of the site but are either unwilling or unable to pay for these changes. This is not a typical reason for development to fail - but it does happen, usually due to the fact someone the client respects has seen what is being done and has made comments about it either casting it in a negative light or remarking upon what is missing. These situations are difficult to remedy and almost impossible to predict, the only (somewhat) effectual way to (somewhat) avoid this kind of from happening is to let prospects know that after development has been completed, they can get separate quotes for additions or modifications and ask that they do not judge the site until it is completed.

These issues will all arise, development is, for all its technical requirements, both an art and a science. Learning to deal with clients is an important part of avoiding development disasters and always being proactive as opposed to reactive is definitely the way to go.

If you are a reseller or even someone doing development yourself, you will learn to instinctively be able to know if development is going to be easy or difficult with any given prospect. Sometimes it is advisable to skip turning a prospect into a client, over having to deal with a client whose development prove difficult or impossible to conclude.

As always, best of luck!

By team 20 Sep, 2017

There are many types of business pursued by entrepreneurs, most of which require large investments to open, others require a high degree of technical proficiency and numerous others require unique geographic or market conditions. Most types of businesses have one thing in common though - they require a great deal of time to see profitability, this however is not so with reselling IT services, particularly ours. 

One of the great things with reselling of digital marketing and related services is that most-if not all-of the technical challenges surrounding development and fulfillment are either heavily mitigated or simply don’t exist at all. Instead of developing services from scratch, resellers simply re-sell services from someone else whose job it is to do the heavy lifting. This alone makes reselling attractive and time saving, but there there is something much more important to keep in mind when considering a service for resale and that is service architecture.
 
Service architecture does not refer to the ‘services’ themselves in terms of quality, it isn’t a reference to the intrinsic value of the service to end-client at all. What service architecture refers to is the broader context, value and integration of services as something to be sold (or in this re-sold) by a (reseller) business. Basically: Services need to be good to sell, not just good to buy.
 
Websites are perhaps the best example and certainly an example we at Rocketdriver have a wealth of experience in furnishing to resellers. Websites have many considerations as a service offering from the resellers perspective, they present numerous questions, such as:

1. Development Process - The process of building the sites themselves, how time consuming is it? How difficult is it?
2. Platform - How easy will it be to maintain the sites and who can do it?
3. Integrations - what 3rd party integrations exist for the sites platform?
4. Security - what kind of security is there? Who maintains it?
5. Design - How will the finished sites look? Feel? Function?
6. Expandability - What does expansion look like? Can things like eCommerce be added later on?
7. Updates - What happens when new technologies emerge? Who updates the site and how?
8. Price - how much will these sites cost me and how much can I charge end-clients? Will this be cost effective?
9. Search - can the site be made SEO friendly? Who does SEO? How much?
10. Features - what features can be built into the site? What features are not included?

What determines web development’s viability as a resellable service ultimately is the quality, reliability, experience and overall industry intelligence of the white label development company offering it. Unfortunately not all white label companies are truly ‘white label’, many are simply small general purpose or web development companies located around the world that have decided to call themselves ‘white label’ and have very little experience fielding services that specifically designed for resale. The companies that do have experience fielding web design services designed for resale (Rocketdriver for example) have offerings that are clearly designed to be resold. 

The key to evaluation of whether a company is a dedicated white label developer that makes the grade or not is pretty simple - check out their service offering, look into their reputation online and consider who and what you need.

Resellers also need to always ask themselves a pretty simple question:

By team 15 Sep, 2017

When people see entrepreneurs they often think of them as being exceptionally bright, exceptionally intelligent or exceptionally gifted - the truth is, while they may be some or all of those things, what defines them isn’t some inherent genius - it’s common sense.

Common sense says that if you don’t know something you wish to know - you go and look it it up.

Common sense says that if you have a problem you want to solve - you should probably research or experiment to figure out how to solve it.

Common sense says that if you try - and fail - you are guaranteed to end in failure if you don’t try again.

No matter how smart a given entrepreneur is, if they do not have common sense practices they can and will fail miserably. This is what differentiates entrepreneurial thinking and practices from those of employees - the willingness and drive to to do all that can be done to solve problems.

You see, business can be boiled wont to a sequence of problems and solutions, that’s all it really is, ultimately. The first problem is a lack of money - need money? Get a job - get little money, start a business - get potentially a lot more money, this decision defines everything that comes afterward. What comes next are a sequence of problems, questions and challenges that must be overcome in order for success to be the end result - it’s that simple.

Problem solving in business is not, however, the standard type of problem solving that most people are used to, no, it’s creative problem solving, it’s solving problems that have no defined solutions, challenges that are open ended have no absolutes. This is the essence of business.

How can you become a better creative problem solver? - start listening to yourself and stop looking for answers from others - not even from us!

We all possess the ability to be better creative problem solvers than we think, without this in-born ability, we, as a species, would not exist. The truth is, reliance upon others for every small solution to every small problem, is a relatively new concept. For most of human history we had to hunt on our own, store our own food, plow our own fields and raise our own livestock - we had to do for ourselves or we starved and for this reason alone, you can rest assured you are capable of solving your own (relatively simple) problems.

Research

The first habit to cultivate is the habit of doing research, when you have a question - do you look for answers online before giving up? Do you sit still and freeze up (deer in the headlights style) or do you square up and face your problem?

Self Trust

Do you trust your own judgement? You must, you drive a car, you pay bills and you made it this far in life without going to prison, you have to recognize things like this in yourself and realize that you can and should trust yourself.

Trial and Error

Just because a solution you come up with doesn’t initially work, does not mean it’s a bad solution or that other solutions will fail just as poorly. A huge part of why entrepreneurs fail (when they fail) is because they simply gave up, they tried, they didn’t get immediate results, so they quit - don’t quit, don’t throw in the towel before the fights over!.

Staying Positive

Sometimes in business it can be difficult to stay positive, situations can arise that look grim, sometimes you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recognize it is normal to encounter circumstances like this, recognize that times change and situations evolve in ways you might have expected, don’t get negative, don’t let your environment dictate how you are.

Wise Advice & Bad Advice

If you seek counsel from people about your problems, recognize that just because someone has an opinion, does not make it wise or correct. It’s very common in business to hear the opinions of people who are money morning quartbacking by telling you what you should have done or what they would have done - ignore it. You are the one in business - not them - and your decisions carry weight - not theirs. If you go seeking advice someone about your problems, make sure that someone is someone who can offer you real, wise advice.

Being in business and being a creative problem solver are not easy things to be or to do, but they are also not impossible things either. In business you can and will be faced with innumerable situations where you are forced to make a choice and you will not know if its the right one until the results come in - and they may or may not be good results, don’t let this put you off and don’t beat yourself up for being wrong some of the time, keep going forward and ultimately you will succeed.

By team 11 Sep, 2017

Business can, in many ways, be boiled down into the efficient (or inefficient) conversion of raw time into money. No matter if you run a small business selling trinkets or a multinational conglomerate, the power you wield is the same – the power to spend time (yours and others) in an effort to accrue profit. This where we get the famous phrase ‘time is money’ - because it, literally, is true.

Our industry – digital marketing, is not at all immune to this truism, in fact, for those who resell digital marketing services the saying “time is money” is not just saying, but is also a practicality that led many to resell in the first place.

Unfortunately, just being a reseller isn’t enough to make one an efficient user of time at all and many resellers are the most profligate offenders when it comes to time waste, in fact, some are the worst.

The reason-we will argue, we think quite pursuasively-that so many resellers are so inefficient with their time is for primarily two interconnected reasons, perceived efficiency and ignorance of underlying services and processes.

Perceived Efficiency - Dangerous

Most resellers function with the idea in mind that their businesses are inherently efficient because they do not have to conduct actual development, understand underlying services or practice true project management. These half-true beliefs lull many into having a false sense of security surrounding their need to possess overall competence of what they are selling, who it applies to and how its delivered.

How this translates into inefficiency and time waste is that the resellers who feel they can ignore educating themselves on the services they sell end up paying the price. The price of service ignorance can be enormous, the way this ignorance manifests itself can range from the misapplication of services to procedural errors and even missing out on deals to competitors who are just – less ignorant.

Now, you may sit there, reading this and like many you may be thinking ‘this is just common sense!’, but that is our point, the people guilty of this have common sense!-and they still make this mistake all the time. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you know ‘enough’ about an industry, service or process when you’re a reseller, it’s only when it’s too late that this error shows itself.

The only preventative measure we know of is the one we preach to our partners every single day – study, train and never stop. Most white label companies are not businesses like ours that have real world experience selling the solutions that they furnish. Most white label resellers are not partners like ours, who have a company training them, their salespeople and furnishing them with all the resources necessary to succeed.

If you are are a reseller, make sure you understand your services, make sure you understand the processes that underscore them and make sure you go the extra mile educating everyone in your organization as much as possible about them as well.

Ultimately this is about saving time, because in this industry time is money, every day that ticks past that sales aren’t coming in the door is a day where growth is thwarted at your business.

To learn more about what it is we do and how we help resellers avoid wasting time, visit our main corporate site www.rocketdriver.com

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