Start A Paid Newsletter Business – How To Make Money Writing Emails?

Let’s face it, most content on the web is rubbish. And that’s because there is so much stuff online, that each published article doesn’t make a lot of money. And if you can’t make money writing quality content, then why spend time doing it at all. It’s a horrible vicious circle.

When the internet started, it was about making information free for all and that was a great idea. But it did not mean that people had to work for free!

Paid newsletters solve 3 problems

Problem 1 – We don’t browse the web anymore to search for information. We open our phones and play around with a few apps. So getting people to read your article on your website is hard.

Solution : paid newsletters send the content directly to the readers email box. An email app that most people look at several times a day.

Problem 2 – When we read an article online our attention span is very low. We need to get straight to the point. Read diagonally if we can. And move onto the next bit of content as fast as possible. Good articles just don’t get the time they deserve.

Solution: as users pay for a newsletter they have carefully chosen, they will be much more focused and digest the content accordingly. The whole experience is a lot higher quality.

Problem 3 – Good writing takes time, and writers need to make enough money to live.

Solution: by making readers pay for your content, you will always receive money in exchange for your work. You’ll be able to spend more time writing, researching and making your articles brilliant and insightful.

How to start a paid newsletter?

1 – You can do it the hard way

Create your own website yourself or use a website builder like wordpress. And then add a mailing service like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign or GetResponse.

2 – The quick and easy way – use a newsletter platform like Substack.

Substack was created in 2017 and allows you to create a newsletter in literally seconds. It’s completely free to start and then you only pay a % of your paid subscriptions.

You have total control over how much you want to sell your subscription for (between $5 and $49) and in a few clicks you’re off. You’ll never have to worry about any technical aspects.

How much money can I make with a paid newsletter?

Paid newsletters is a big business! Even if you start small with a £5/month subscription and 1000 subscribers, that’s £60,000/year for just 1 or 2 emails/week.

TheHustle is a business newsletter that has 3 millions subscribers and makes about $50million/year.

The James Altucher newsletter is a finance and cryptocurrency newsletter and was sold for tens of millions of dollars to Agora.

On Substack, you can see a list of the best earning newsletters. Here are the top 5 paid publications and their estimated earnings.

  • 1st – The Dispatch ($200,000+ / month) : politics, policy and culture
  • 2nd – Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson ( $150,000/month)
  • 3rd – Reporting by Matt Taibbi ($150,000+/month)
  • 4th – Sinocism by Bill Bishop ($150,000+/month)
  • 5th – The Weekly Dish by Andrew Sullivan ($50,000+/month)

Can I make more?

Yes 😉 A paid newsletter is like a filtering system. The users that are paying for your content literally love your work, so give them more! Here are a few monetising best practices :

  • Offer them an upgrade for a premium newsletter for 10x the price
  • Offer a lifetime subscription for the price of 24 months
  • Include affiliate links in your newsletters
  • Create paid events around your theme
  • Create a paid community
  • Add talk to expert sessions and seminars

Have fun building your paid newsletter empire!!!

Dark Kitchen – How Much Money Can You really Make?

Update September 2020 – We initially wrote this article 3 months before any signs of coronavirus. The interest for dark kitchens was gaining traction since 2016 however Covid 19 forced millions of restaurants to work on some sort of delivery service. We have mapped out this booming market at the bottom of this article.

Dark kitchen, ghost kitchen, virtual kitchen.. so many names for what is basically a delivery only kitchen. The low setup cost compared to traditional restaurants has made this a growing trend for food business entrepreneurs. 

But you have to be careful here, starting a dark kitchen can mean 3 things:

Dark kitchen as a food brand

This is a real startup business. You create a new food menu and you then promote this menu on food delivery apps such as Deliveroo and Uber eats. As soon as an order is placed, your cloud kitchen makes the food and the delivery people deliver. 

That’s it! You do not need a front of house, high street rent prices and you don’t need to decorate your restaurant. This is about efficient food making and marketing.

Rebelfoods raised 125M$ this summer just to build dark kitchen brands. https://rebelfoods.co/

An extension to your existing restaurant

You already have a restaurant and you’d like to grow by getting into the food delivery business. Using your existing kitchen to cater for extra online orders can mess with your setup. It’s also not great having delivery people constantly walking in and out of your restaurant while clients are eating.

A virtual kitchen will enable you to make and deliver your restaurant’s food off site. It could also allow you to extend your brand and reach to other areas in town. 

Dark kitchen as a property investment

In this case, you lease or buy a warehouse. You then split the building into fully kitted professional kitchens and you then rent these kitchens out to food brands. These brands can be pure dark kitchens or extra space for restaurants. 

In the UK you’ll find:

Dark kitchens as a commercial property investment is big business. Foodstars is actually owned by CloudKitchen which is Travis Kalanick (the founder of Uber).. small world!

In London, prices are high. Renting a dark kitchen will cost you £3000/month + VAT on a 12 months contract.

Let’s do some quick maths:

Outgoings

£190 000/year: 4000 sqft warehouse in south London rent + business rates + maintenance. 

£275 000 in year 1: refurbishment for 15 kitchens (£15 000/kitchen) + shared area (£50 000)

_______

  • £465 000 in year 1
  • £190 000/year in year 2+

Revenu

£540 000/year: 15 kitchens x £3 000

Profit

  • Year 1: £75 000
  • Year 2: £350 000

Obviously, this is an estimation. There will be a churn rate. Not all kitchens will be full all the time and you’ll have issues. But that’s a very healthy return on investment even if half of the kitchens are empty…

You’d have to flip A LOT of burgers to make that kind of money…

And then there was 2020 – the year dark kitchens took off!

Today, restaurants are just not bringing in enough customers to survive and this trend is set to continue over the winter. Eating habits will be changed forever. This is especially true in city centres where remote working has killed the local trade in now deserted office areas.

So this is it, dark kitchens are not so dark anymore. I’ve got a feeling that a rebranding will happen with virtual kitchens or cloud kitchens becoming the new and less controversial “dark” word.

The whole food delivery ecosystem has been revamped over the last months with millions of funds being raised every month. Current players will need to adapt and new players will jump in to take advantage of this very exciting environment.

We’ve tried to map out the market below. This is an ever growing list, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to recommend a brand or business.

Hopefully this list will point you in the right direction if you’re looking to get into the dark kitchen space.

Dark Kitchen Investors

Dark kitchens are not restaurants, they feel more like startups and once you’re tested your concept, it is possible to grow really fast. A few seed investors are diving deep into this space.

  • Hoxton Ventures (investor)

Dark Kitchen Food Delivery

You probably know a few of these food delivery platforms already as being regular customers. These platforms will become your best friends, get to know them really well!

  • Supper London
  • Just Eat
  • Uber Eats
  • Deliveroo
  • Glovo
  • FoodHub

Dark Kitchen Software

A successful dark kitchen is about optimising every part of the food delivery process. And this starts with choosing the best software. Quite a few out there. We think Deliverect is pretty cool, but try 1 or 2 demos before you select your favorite.

  • Flipdish
  • RunMeal
  • Preoday
  • Deliverart
  • Orderlord
  • Orderswift
  • weungry
  • Deliverect
  • GloriaFood
  • Restaumatic
  • OrderingDirect
  • OrderYoYo
  • Weorder
  • ApperSt
  • BistroHub

Dark Kitchen To Rent

The good news for you, is there is a lot of commercial space available at the moment. And at pretty decent prices. The real choice is between building the kitchen yourself with a commercial lease or going with a fully setup service (like a kitchen co-working space) where you just have to walk in and start fulfilling orders.

  • Dephna
  • FoodStarsUK
  • TheCloudKitchenPeople
  • RunTheBox
  • PKL
  • Kitchen Republic
  • Kitchn’box
  • Cooccio
  • ReefKitchens
  • Kitopi
  • KarmaKitchen
  • Kitchen united
  • Mimic
  • CloudKitchens

Dark Kitchen Rent Classified

  • ShareDining
  • KItchen Torrent
  • Kitchup

Dark Kitchen equipment

  • Jongor

Delivery Only Brands

Creating a dark kitchen gives you the opportunity to develop several exciting food brands. If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll find below a selection of menus that are really crushing it.

  • Kbox
  • Instamaki
  • Taster
  • FoodCheri
  • Honestfood
  • Keatz
  • Poke the bear
  • LoveYourself
  • Frichti

Franchised Kitchens
weungry

Dark Kitchen Menu Consultants
EggSoldiers

5 most common dark kitchen mistakes

1 – Not understanding how delivery platforms work

Delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Ubereats are like search engines. And just as on Google, If you’re not in the first results, nobody will see you and nobody will buy from you. It may feel like you just add your menu and orders will start flowing in, but it’s worth spending the time to understand the algorithms and make sure your dark kitchen is on top of the list. 

2 – Poor inventory management

If you have great WE and sell hundreds of meals but you’re left with 50% waste, you’re dead! This is key! Make sure you have ingredient overlaps between your dishes. If you have several brands, you can even have dishes that overlap between brands (desserts and drinks are a great example). 

3 – Don’t have too many items on your menu

Don’t confuse your customers. Too many options will give your clients decision paralysis.  Focus on 5 – 10 menu items max. This will also help with your inventory management as you’ll also be able to work on items that provide the highest margins. 

4 – You don’t know what your clients want, they do!

I often hear entrepreneurs saying they have a brand new and awesome food concept that will be a massive hit. But they’re just guessing! They don’t really know what their potential clients are looking for. Remember to do your research and look at your competition. It’s often easier to put your twist on a type of food in high demand rather than inventing a completely new category. 

5 – Don’t forget alternative marketing

This is a big problem that we often see. Don’t rely 100% on delivery platforms. If they decide to drop you or to downgrade you, you’re dead. Quickly consider building your own branded acquisition process. A few easy marketing starts :

  • add a flyer to each order giving your clients a chance to sign up to your newsletter in exchange for a free dessert or one of your recipes. 
  • create a loyalty program offering something exchange for X number of orders
  • -show your social media account directly on your packaging and offer incentive to follow or like your content

Dark Kitchen Tips

Tip #1 – Make sure your food tastes good when it arrives!

If you run a restaurant, you can sometimes get away with average food by providing an exceptional service in a beautiful and exciting setting.

The thing is, in the dark kitchen business there is no decor to help you with the setting. And you don’t have much control over the efficiency of the delivery. The only thing you can really focus on is the food. And I’m not just talking about “Are we going to sell Burgers or Tacos?”, I’m talking about making sure that the food that leaves your kitchen is just as good when it arrives.

1 – Hot and cold food should be packed separately

This may seem obvious but there are countless mixed grill kitchens putting salad in their meat containers. Invest in different types of bags and boxes. Get your staff trained up to use insulated hot and cold bags. And make sure the containers are put in the bags in the correct order.

2 – Don’t spill the sauce!

The sauce is a very important part of a dish. It will often be the key ingredient to make those taste buds take off! The easy tip is, of course, to put the sauce in its own container. You don’t want those dreaded speedbumps to spoil the meal.

But also, how about adding instructions for your clients? Where should they put the sauce? Over the fish? Over the veggies? At the end, the client will do whatever they like, but you can build up the experience by guiding them towards the idea that you had for this dish when you created it.

3 – Choose the right packaging

Cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, polystyrene, foil.. so many options, so many shapes, choosing the perfect packaging for your dark kitchen is one of those early nightmares. This is a big big topic and we will dig into this subject in a separate article. But to start things off. Cardboard is better for branding (easier to print on) and is currently a lot more trendy. Styrofoam will keep your hot food hot but is easier to break and does not look so good. It’s often about compromise but also really defining what you want your user experience to be.

 

Tip #2 – How to take awesome food photos for your dark kitchen menu and website ?

1 – Shoot your food pics in natural light

If you illuminate your food with an artificial light you’ll probably add a horrible yellow colour to your photo. Make sure your kitchen is nice and bright (I know, it’s ironic for a dark kitchen ;-)) before you take your pic or even take your food outside for some real natural light. 

2 – Use shadows to your advantage

Be careful here. A badly used shadow can really dim down your picture. However, if you use a strong shadow as contrast to your plate or food box you’ll be highlighting the colours and freshness of your dish. Don’t be afraid, you’ll have to be all in on shadows or do nothing at all. 

If it’s too sunny to control the shadow you can use a photography reflector or even a white piece of paper can do the trick. 

3 – Backgrounds build character

The background that you choose for your pictures will need to match your branding. A dark background will add some attitude to your food, and a light background will bring freshness and cleanliness. It’s probably best to stick to dark or light, nothing in between.

4 – Big big food colours

Be bold with your colours. Whether you go for a light or dark background, make sure your food sticks out. This is also true for the food that will be delivered. Bring delight to your clients as soon as they open your food container.

5 –  Tell your food story

It’s tough. You are not there to sell your dark kitchen dish to your clients. Your photos have to do all the talking and make your customers really build a craving for your menu. Don’t hesitate to add objects to your pictures, or books, or even body parts like an arm or hand to give to your food a story.

 

18 New UK Business Ideas To Launch In 2020

There has never been a better time to launch a business! Every year we make a list of the top new business ideas to launch in the UK. You’ll see that some ideas are new and exciting, and some are not so new but as the trend keeps growing you should definitely not miss out.

1) Sell products on Amazon

Before you do anything, head over to Alibaba (https://www.alibaba.com/), find a product you like and have a go at negotiating with a supplier. This will be a key part of successfully selling products on Amazon, so make sure you’re comfortable with the hustle.

2) Write a blog

First build a website, then write about what you love and monetise your traffic. If you like writing, this could be the dream business to start. You’ll be surprised how many ways you can monetise a website.

3) Start a shipping company

Specialise in a mode of transportation (ocean, air, road, rail), a type of cargo or even a route from A to B. Negotiate wholesale rates with local suppliers and offer a great customer service. This a very profitable business to get into but it is highly stressful.

In depth guide: how to start a shipping company

4) Build a comparison website

We all need help buying products online. Build a website, review and compare products and get paid each time a client buys with affiliate links.

5) Open a dark kitchen

A dark kitchen is a delivery only food business. Whether you create your own food brand or rent out virtual kitchens to restaurants, dark kitchens are the biggest growing trend in the food industry right now. Find out how much money you can make when you start a dark kitchen.

6) Sell engraved dog tags

Dogs need to have a tag, it’s the law. Invest in an engraving machine (they start at £1000), order some tags on Alibaba and start promoting your service to dog lovers owners. Instagram is a great place to start!

7) Build websites for local businesses

Learn how to build websites with WordPress, create a clear offering and then start knocking on doors. There are tens of webdesign services you can offer from logo making, SEO content to fully working eCommerce websites.

8) Create an online course

The next business idea is about teaching. We are all experts! Find something that you know how to do really well. It can be anything from healthy eating and creating power points to finding the best series on Netflix. A then double down! Become THE expert in that field. Document your method with text, audio and video and sell it.

9) Build a travel activity website

There are tons of travel activity suppliers near you. They are all trying to sell their services in their corner of the internet. Bring them all together on your own travel activity website and receive commission each time somebody books an experience. You can learn how to build a travel website in our “make a website” section.

10) Launch a personalised gift business

Think about all the gifts given around Christmas and Birthdays and find a way to make them personal. People want their gifts to be special and demand for personalised products is growing every year.  Find your niche, launch your very own personalised gift business. Why not start selling on Etsy? This is one of our favourite business ideas.

11) Build a local business directory

It’s more and more confusing to find a local businesses online. Too many comparison sites, too many “get 5 quotes” offers. If you suddenly have run out of hot water and you’re looking for a plumber nearby now… you’re stuck. Build a online directory, sell advertising space to local businesses and use the funds to send them quality clients.

12) Open an Ebay shop

When you’re trying to sell a product online, 50% of the job is getting visitors to see your offer. Opening a shop on Ebay will give you access to a marketplace of millions of buyers from day one. You can also study sales volume from your competition to figure out the next market you should jump into! Ebay is quick and low risk.

13) Become an Instagram influencer

Build your following on instagram and sell promoted posts and sponsored messages. You can even build your own brand selling directly to your followers.

14) Start your own marketplace

Running your own online store is great but managing inventory can be a real nightmare. Build an online marketplace, get other sellers to add their products on your platform for free and take a cut each time a sale happens.

15) Open a clothing line

16) Sell second hand clothes

This business can be started really fast. Open your bedroom cupboard and look for any clothes you haven’t warn in a long time. Then head to Vinted or VestiaireCollective and start selling. Once you get the hang of it, it’s time to hit the charity shops and car boot sales to replenish your stock. This is another low risk business idea.

17) Sell used books on Ziffit (or Amazon)

The last activity in our business ideas list if about your old books! Yes, Ziffit and MusicMagpie will buy your old books. By scanning the bar code with their app you can find out how much each book is worth and then send them off in exchange for real money. You can go one step further by finding the most valuable books and then listing them on Amazon and Ebay. You may need to hold your stock of books for a while but if you’re patient you can get a return of x10 on their value.

18) Start a paid newsletter business

We love this idea at StartUpMag. Write awesome quality articles about things you are passionate about and get paid accordingly. That is every writer’s dream and it can make a lot of money with paid newsletters too!

How To Start A Business – The Ultimate Checklist

Starting your own business is the most time consuming, exciting, draining, rewarding, lonely, and social experience ever. You’re going to love your business. You’re going to absolutely hate it too. The thing is, you don’t really have a choice. You’re an entrepreneur. You feel it in your bones. You absolutely HAVE to make an impact on the world. So this is it, it’s time to start a new chapter in your life! It’s time to start a business.

1 – Find a business idea

There are a thousand different reasons to start a business:

  • You want to create a business because you feel something is missing
  • A business exists but it’s not been done correctly
  • You want to make a lot of money
  • You’re trying to scratch your own itch
  • Maybe you can see an opportunity in one market that has not been done in another
  • You want to be free
  • You’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your income…

The list is endless. And this leads to an even bigger list of possible business ideas.

If you haven’t quite defined your project just yet, no worries, simply jump over to our business idea guide to get some inspiration.

2 – Choose your business name

Finding a name for a business will keep entrepreneurs awake at night. The questions go round and round in your head. Is the name memorable enough? Does it address a large enough audience? I’m planning on growing fast, is the name international enough? Choosing a name for your business can be paralysing!

It’s also a great way to procrastinate and push back any real work that needs to be done to move your business forward 😉

You have 2 things to look at here: your company name and your product name.

Pick a company name fast

Your company name will typically be something like BusinessName Ltd. or XYZ Limited. It will be your registered business name with companies house and will be on all your legal documents. A business name does not have to have any marketing value. It does not have to be punchy. And you can change a business name very easily at any time during your business life for only £8.

2 things to check before you jump in with your registered business name:

Check if the company name is available:

UK company name availability checker

Check if the trademark is available:

UK trademark search

Your first product name

Your product name is different. This will be the brand known by your clients. And if you make the effort to get your product known, trusted, and ranked high on search engines, you do not want to suddenly go back to square one by changing the name.

The good thing is that one business can have several product names. So even though it’s important to get your product name right, it will not limit your development in the future.

Example:

Google is not a company name. It is one product of the company Alphabet inc.

Before choosing a name for your business, it’s probably a good idea to check if the domain name and social media accounts are available:

For domain name availability you can head to:

You can check if the social media accounts are available on:

NameChk

For business name and product name ideas:

Name generators

https://www.name-generator.org.uk/business/

https://namelix.com/

Brand names for sale:

BrandBucket

https://www.brandbucket.com/

3 – Register your business

Register your business with companies house and really start your business.

You have 3 options:

a) Follow the registration process on Gov.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/set-up-limited-company

b) Use a business registration service

https://www.yourcompanyformations.co.uk/

https://www.theformationscompany.com/

https://www.mintformations.co.uk/

https://www.companiesmadesimple.com/

c) Use an accountant

4 – Open A Business Bank Account

Setting up a business bank account can be quite daunting. The bank manager will ask a lot of questions about your project even if you don’t need to borrow any money and it can feel overwhelming. And quite often you just don’t know the answers.

We opened our business bank account with Tide.co. It’s an online bank launched in 2015 that makes this whole process a lot easier. 

They offer a great app that will take you step by step to a fully working business bank account. It’s business banking as it should be. Tide also automatically connects to accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.

5 – Make a website

If your business is not obviously related to the internet you may think that making a website should not be the 1st thing on your “start a business” todo list. However absolutely every business now has a digital element.

Searching the web before you buy has become key for any consumer. You need to have an online presence to get new clients, build a relationship with existing clients and make sure they come back again. Word of mouth and recommendations have gone digital.

And this is true whether you’re launching a restaurant or setting up pure online tech business.

If you were running a shoe shop, you’re probably not a builder or an professional interior designer, but I’m pretty sure that you know how to open the front door and put a shelf back up if it suddenly collapses

It’s the same with a website. Not only should you have a website, but you should know how to make your website and how to fix it.

In the past, building a website was difficult. You had to learn how to code, hire developers or work with an agency. Today, there are several tools available that will allow you to do absolutely everything yourself and without any coding knowledge.

Make a website with WordPress

We are very big fans of WordPress to build websites. There are other options available, but WordPress runs over 30% of all websites in the world, and it’s the cheapest way to create and maintain a strong online presence. It’s also a very transferable skill. Learning to make a website with WordPress will allow you to build any kind of website in the future. 

Learn to build a website by following our step by step guide: How to make a website?

Other ways of making a website

  • Use a website builder
  • Learn to code

Learn to code with StartupMag

Use an online platform: https://www.codecademy.com/

Find a coding bootcamp

  • Hire a developer

https://www.upwork.com/

  • Work with a web agency

https://business.yell.com/mobile-web-design/

6 – Make sure you’re reachable

Host Your Emails
  • G-Suite
  • Office 365
  • Cpanel Email

Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

Each social media account is a great opportunity to build a new shop front for your business. You do not have to be on all of them and you should definitely attack them one at a time. The scattered machine gun approach does not work with social media.

Whatever your business, your brand and name are important. Although jumping from one platform to the next is not recommended, it’s a good idea to open all the accounts with your name as soon as possible. Store the passwords somewhere safe and make your way back when you’re ready.

Facebook Page

Facebook has made strong progress with it’s user targeting. You can narrow down your client personas so much that it often converts better than Google Ads. For products, the Facebook marketplace will give you even more selling options and is becoming very popular. We now absolutely love advertising on this platform.

However before you start promoting your business, you’ll need to setup a facebook page.

How to set up a facebook page for your business

You’ll need 4 things:

  • Logo
  • Cover image
  • Description
  • Don’t forget to change your username

Instagram Account

Instagram is probably the quickest social media to get into for a business. More pictures, less words.

Linkedin Company Page

Linkedin has become overused by marketing people but it’s very underused by small businesses. It’s a great place to meet potential partners. And it’s often where VCs (and other investors) start when researching a new market, so it’s good to be there.

Twitter Account

Twitter is the last of the big 4. This social media is more interactive from the start where you are rapidly pushed towards following other tweeters. There is a lot of noise, but if you double down on your expertise you quickly gain followers for your business.

  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
Get a telephone number
  • Skype
  • Voipfone

7 – Create Content

Fix Your Logo
Create Text content
Get Stock images
Hire content creators

8 – Business Money

Business Bank Accounts
Insurance

What are you selling?

9 – Build Your Product

Plan it
Whiteboard it
Wireframe it
Design it
Code it

10 – Import Your Product

Sourcing suppliers

Sourcing a product from one market at a price (X), and then reselling it at a higher price (X+margin) in another market has been the basis of business for thousands of years.

Today, the web has bought markets closer together. And you do not need to travel to South East Asia anymore to find a factory that will build your product.

Alibaba is an online marketplace platform that links together buyers and wholesalers. You can browse through a catalogue of products and get in contact with agents or factories to buy in volume or create bespoke products.

Alibaba is the biggest wholesale marketplace at the moment, but there are alternatives including Naruvis an Indian equivalent. And like offline product sourcing, negotiating correctly will make or break your business

Shipping Costs

There are 2 parts to shipping:

– shipping/importing: getting the products to you, the business.

– shipping to customers: delivering your products to your final clients. This is a very costly part of the profit making equation.

As the cost of the raw materials goes down, the price of shipping can be more than the value of your actual product. So it’s key to get this part right.

Amazon FBA

You can skip the “shipping to customers” part by using a fulfilment center to send your products out to your clients. One of the most well known centers is Amazon FBA. In this case, your products will arrive in an Amazon FBA center fully packaged. As soon as an order is made, Amazon will use it’s massive infrastructure to automatically pick your product and send it out. 

By using a fulfilment center, you will only have to worry about sourcing and marketing your product. It’s a tool used by thousands of businesses.

There are however 3 downsides to using a fulfilment centre:

  • Extra cost: remember to crunch the numbers. There is a monthly minimum cost + a cost per order. It may not be for you with very low or very high volume. You’ll find more information here: https://services.amazon.co.uk/services/fulfilment-by-amazon/features-benefits.html
  • More organisation required: you’ll need to make sure your supplier is packing your products correctly. Each product will have to have barcode + further elements depending on the center.
  • Lack of quality control: you will not see your product before it’s sent out to your customer. It’s probably best to build a good relationship with your supplier before you go all in with FBA.

11 – Are You The Product?

Define your Offer
Sell Yourself

SELL

12 – Who Are Your Clients?

Busines Model Canvas
Value Proposition Canvas 
Customer Personas

13 – Get Ready For Your Clients

Landing Pages

Your website homepage should be good at directing generic users to different sections of your business. However, most users should not arrive on your homepage. 

Users generated by advertising such a Google Ads, SEO and PR should arrive on a landing page that has been setup and optimised for just for them.

The idea is that how you generate traffic pre-qualifies your visitors. By clicking on your ad, visitors are already giving you extra information about them. You will know what their intentions are. Analytics may even give you information about their gender or age. And keywords will give you a sense of how urgent this request is.

Creating landing pages for each of your traffic acquisition methods will help you generate more quality leads and get more sales. 

Click here to learn more about creating your perfect lead generating landing page.

Pixels and Analytics

If you’re looking to do any kind of optimisation with your online presence, you’ll need to track your visitors. Finding out where your traffic is coming from will allow you to make a direct link between source and conversion rates. And once you determine the most valuable traffic, you can put more effort into generating more of the same kind.

4 key tracking codes for your business:

Google Analytics

This free tool from Google will give you insights into how your clients experience your business.

  • Who is your audience: age, gender, location
  • Where are they coming from: Google, Facebook, PR, advertising, word of mouth
  • How are they interacting with your website: time on site, page/visitor, conversions, sales funnel

Add Google analytics to you website in 8 steps

Google Ads conversion code

Google Ads is the most powerful advertising platform in the world. You can show a product to buyers exactly when they want it. Not before, not after, exactly at the right time. But not all buyers search for products or services the same way, and you need to track that so you don’t waste money on random clicks. It is key that you set up your Google Ads conversion code as soon as possible. It’s even more important than Google Analytics as you are paying for each click.

Remarketing code

You very rarely sell to a client in 1 step.

A user wanting to buy a car, will 1st hear about a car brand on TV, visit a garage, talk to friends, start seeing their favourite car everywhere and then suddenly come across the perfect offer from the perfect salesperson and buy.

Remarketing allows you to build a similar sales funnel but this time 100% online. You can track users that have already visited your website and then remind them of your business with ads distributed throughout their web browsing.

You’ll need a minimum amount of traffic to be able to do real remarketing. Setting up your tags as early as possible is a great idea.

Facebook pixel

The Facebook pixel is very similar to the Google Ads conversion code. You need to track your visitors. You need to know what works and what doesn’t or you’re just throwing money out of the window. This is even more true with Facebook where ads are a lot more creative and reactions difficult to predict.

14 – Marketing: Go Get Your Clients

“If you build it, they will come” simply does not work!

If you don’t tell anybody about your business, nobody will know about it and nobody will buy from you. You have got to get your name out there! This is especially true with the growing number distractions online. 

There are lots of ways for your business to get seen. Some strategies are free and some have a price that you’ll have to include into your profit calculations. Even when a strategy is free, it will take time and your time is valuable, so in all cases you will have to start thinking about your client acquisition cost.

SEO

SEO is search engine optimisation. This is all about being found on Google (and Bing). On search engines you can paid listings (Google Ads) and free listings. SEO is optimising for free listings.

SEO has 2 parts: 

  • On-site SEO: working on your quality content, website structure and speed
  • Off-site SEO: making sure that other websites and web properties talk about you.

You’ll need to balance your time between content making and partner building. SEO can take time. However, the traffic is then free and often high quality.

Google Ads

Google Ads has been our favourite way of getting clients to a website since 2004. If working on SEO should get you into a free position on Google, Google Ads will get you or sure on the paid listing part of the search engine. 

With Google Ads, you will:

  • choose keywords related to your business
  • bid on these keywords
  • show you ad to users looking for these keywords
  • when a user clicks, he will be sent to your website or app
  • you only pay when a user clicks (PPC – pay per click)

The is one of the most powerful marketing platforms around. You’ll have full control and very strong tracking options. 

You’ll find our full guide to Google Ads here.

Facebook Ads

If Google Ads is about matching your ads to keywords showing strong buying intent, Facebook ads is more like magazine advertising where you will be showing ads to users that are interested in your products or services but may not yet be in buying mode.

It is also a PPC (pay per click) platform. You will only pay for each click towards your website. This time, clicks can be a lot cheaper than Google Ads, but you’ll need more of them to get a sale. Facebook Ads has made substantial progress in terms of user targeting. You’ll need to create buyer personas (decide who your clients are) before you start advertising. The setup is not as straightforward as Google Ads, but if you get it right, Facebook Ads can bring even more volume.

Also as Facebook is a lot more community based, you can also gain viral traction if users like and share your ads. Virality will bring a massive return on investment boost.

Instagram Ads
Bings Ads
Social Media
Growth Hacking

15 – Manage Clients

Stay on top of leads with a CRM

Top 14 CRMs – Full comparison

Nurture clients
Quote/Invoice clients
Accept payments

Top 9 Payment Solutions – Full comparison

Grow

16 – Build a team

Post job ads
  • Reed
  • Indeed
  • Work In Startups
On-board your team
  • Notion
  • Almanac
Manage projects together
  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Zoho Projects
  • Basecamp

17 – Sort out your admin

Find an accountant

Find legal advice

18 – Find Office Space

Co-Working Space
Private Office
Office Hunters

19 – Get Inspired

Books
Films/Documentaries
Podcasts

20 – Grow

Bootstrap your business
Raise funds
Sell your business

Optimise Your Amazon Product Titles In 5 Steps

1) Check where you are

For each listing search your seller rank

How to find it?
– Go to your product listing
– Scroll down to:

2) Grade your listing

This is a cool little tool to find out if you’re going in the right direction with your Amazon title optimisation:

Jungle Scout Grader

3) Keyword research

Use Google keyword planner to find our what buyers are looking for when they think about your product.

Link to Google keyword planner

4) Start optimising your Amazon product listing title

– Once you’ve made your keyword researched list, smartly insert the relevant keywords into your title and the rest of your product page. Remember to think about the user first > no keyword stuffing.
– Amazon allows you to use 250 characters for each title… use all of them
– First 5 words in your product title are the most important
– Write “and” instead of “&” unless it’s in the brand
– Write numbers as numerals, not words
– Units of measurements should be spelt out and not abbreviated
– Avoid putting prices, promotions, symbols in the title

Based on our estimates, a good title only impacts about 20% of a good Amazon product rank. If you want to dig deeper:

Ultimate guide to higher product ranking

5) Check your progress

It can take a few weeks for your seller rank to increase. Make a habit of noting your modifications and regularly checking your progress.

Amazon optimisation can get very time consuming. Developers have created third party software to help you a long the way. You’ll find a non-exhaustive comparison of Amazon software here</a

Sales Development Representative (SDR) – The New “it” Job In Startups?

Google trends definitely seems to think so. But what is a sales development representative?

Listen to this article for free by clicking on the SoundCloud widget below:

If you run to google, SDR stands for either special drawing rights, or software defined radio. So that’s definitely not it!

But there’s another meaning and it’s growing like crazy. An SDR is a job title and if you spend a bit of time around SAAS startups, that’s all you ever hear about. 

What is an SDR?

It’s all about converting clients. There used to be 2 types of client acquisition for software products: 

A – Outbound: you would call businesses to try and sell them your product

B – Inbound: a client calls you because he wants to buy your product.

The SAAS startup model has created a 3rd type which is somewhere in the middle. Their business acquisition funnel looks like this :

1 – Generate Leads > 2 – Nurture Leads > 3 – Convert Leads

Somebody showing interest in your product by filling in a form, or exchanging with your chatbot is generally considered a warm lead. And a warm lead is a great start, however the competition and the growing deficit of attention span has now made nurturing a lead more important than the initial contact. 

That’s where an SDR comes in! A sales development representative will contact a warm lead to educate this potential client with demos, webinars and general Q+A sessions. An SDR will need to be trained on the product to be able to answer mosts questions but they will also have a good level of empathy, always putting themselves in the clients shoes.

What’s the difference between a sales development representative and a business developer?

They sound similar, but a business developer will mainly be outgoing. Their job is to discover new markets and develop a portfolio of new relationships. It’s a very outbound position.

A sales development representative will mainly be inbound. They will not be hunting for new clients, but they will be making sure that potential clients understand how the product can work for them.

Why were SDRs not more popular before?

In the past, most software startups came out of Silicon Valley where the average salary for tech developers is over 150K$/year. That has driven up property prices and general living costs, so basing your growth on the number of salespeople that you can hire was not really a strategy. 

You had to use as much tech as possible to automate your client acquisition funnel. And if you didn’t, you wouldn’t get funded by that VC you wanted.

 

What’s changed?

Obviously, you don’t have to be in the Silicon Valley to launch a business anymore. And the advent of remote working now allows your tech team to be in Ukraine, your sales time to be in the UK, and your CEO can be in Los Angeles.

Remote working enables lower recruitment costs and more flexible contracts. So talking to a client to help them make a decision has now become a cost effective way of growing a business. It’s a new version of a technical sales and we will be seeing a lot more of these SDR jobs around. 

Actually, a new software category has already emerged to help you manage your remote SDRs. So we now have SDRs that sells software to help you manage SDRs.

Software That Will Make Your Data Actually Mean Something

The problem is data overload. Too much data messes with decision making and removing data makes decisions less precise. These tools will help you zoom-in and highlight key data insights.

NameWebsiteTypePriceConnectors
Tableauhttps://www.tableau.comData visualization12/monthFiles, databases, and Google’s products such as Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, Google Cloud SQL and Google Sheets
Data Studiohttps://datastudio.google.comData visualizationFreeAll google
Lookerhttps://looker.com/Data visualizationBespokeBespoke
Power Bihttps://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/Data visualization9.99Perfect for Excel
Improvadohttps://improvado.io/Send data automatically to Data visualizationBespokeMarketing sources

Co-Working Spaces In Battersea, London

Good enough for Apple, good enough for you? Located between Clapham Junction and its Power Station, Battersea is becoming an exciting hub to grow your business. It’s also where Apple is creating its massive new London HQ.

Co-WorkingWebsiteCommentsLocationPostcodeTypePrice Hot DeskPrice DedicaedPrivate desk (6 people)Contract LengthBrochureDistance Battersea
Le Bureauhttps://www.lebu.co.uk/Fantastic space. Lots of room for your business to grow. Magda, the manager, is awesome.BatterseaSW83HECo-working399/month449/month12 months
Idea Spacehttps://ideaspace.london/BatterseaSW115QLCo-working280/month400/month
Battersea Design Workshttps://www.batterseadesign.works/BatterseaSW113BNCo-working250/month360/month
Battersea Workshttps://www.batterseaworks.co.uk/enBatterseaCo-working150/month
Battersea Arts Centrehttps://www.bac.org.uk/content/45520/create_with_us/scratch_hub_coworkingQuirky space right in the middle of Battersea. Makes a relaxing change from the usual city coworking feel.BatterseaSW115TNCo-working215/month290/month3 or 1 monthhttps://www.bac.org.uk/attachments/files/228_Scratch_Hub_Info_Pack_June_2019.pdf
Battersea Studioshttp://www.battersea-studios.com/BatterseaSW83HECo-workingnanaLots of options12 months
The light Bulb (WorkSpace)https://www.workspace.co.uk/co-working/locations/club-workspace-cargo-worksWandsworthSW184GQCo-workingless than 30 min
Cargo Works (WorkSpace)https://www.workspace.co.uk/co-working/locations/club-workspace-cargo-worksNice space in great location, surprisingly empty. Sean, space manager, cool dude!WaterlooSE1 9PGCo-workingless than 30 min
China Works (WorkSpace)https://www.workspace.co.uk/co-working/locations/club-workspace-cargo-worksVauxhallSE17SJCo-workingless than 30 min
Kennington Park (WorkSpace)https://www.workspace.co.uk/co-working/locations/club-workspace-cargo-worksKinnington / OvalSW96DECo-workingless than 30 min
The Print Rooms (WorkSpace)https://www.workspace.co.uk/co-working/locations/club-workspace-cargo-worksBanksideSE10LHCo-workingless than 30 min
Hotel Elephanthttps://hotelelephant.co.uk/Elephant & CastleSE173ALCo-working260/month330/month1650/monthless than 30 min

Startup Accelerators in London

Startup accelerators are a great way to boost your business launch. They provide structure and accountability that can sometimes be missing when you’re running around like a headless chicken trying to get things off the ground. If you’re looking to raise funds you’ll find that founder due-diligence is key, and accelerators will make you a part of a startup ecosystem (with introductions) that will help you during this whole process.

NameWebsiteLocationApplication byType of AcceleratorInvestment / EquityApplication link
RocketSpacehttps://www.rocketspace.com/accelerators/startupsIslingtonOpen (no date)Nohttps://www.rocketspace.com/startup-services#
Technationhttps://technation.io/04/11Competitionhttps://technation.smapply.io/prog/rising_stars/
Founders Factoryhttps://foundersfactory.com/accelerator/W8 5EHOpenhttps://foundersfactorystartups.typeform.com/to/e4wXwj
Activatehttps://activate.co.uk/services/EalingOpenhttps://activate2.typeform.com/to/SfUsDH
Hatchhttps://hatchenterprise.org/SE17OpenSocial
Statezero Labshttps://statezerolabs.com/Kings CrossOpenBlockchain50000 no equity
Entrepreneurs Firsthttps://www.joinef.com/Open 1/12/2019https://activate2.typeform.com/to/SfUsDH
Oxygen Acceleratorhttp://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/Open21000e / 8%
Startup Bootcamphttps://www.startupbootcamp.org/accelerator/Closed
Techstarshttps://www.techstars.com/programs/london-program/Wayra/Closed
Fwd Londonhttp://ffwdlondon.com/N1C 4PFClosed
BathTub2BoardRoomhttps://www.bathtub2boardroom.com/workspaces_london/tech-city-tub/AngelNAOffice space
Accelerator Academyhttps://acceleratoracademy.com/Closed
Bethnal Green Ventureshttps://bethnalgreenventures.com/Bethnal GreenOpenSocial
Cylon Labhttps://cylonlab.com/HamersmithOpenCyber security
The Bakeryhttps://thebakery.com/E8 3GTOpenCorporate partnershttps://thebakery.com/corporate/#contact-us
Makerversityhttps://makerversity.org/makers-with-a-mission/WC2R 1LAOpenSocial
True Globalhttps://true.global/OpenRetail and consumer
Royal Academy Of Engineeringhttps://enterprisehub.raeng.org.uk/OpenEngineering60 000 no equity

Automatic Bidding – Google is just a dude looking for answers🤗

Google’s automatic bidding has bad rep. Most PPC experts will tell you that Google does everything it can to make money and that automatic bidding is one of its tactics.

Automatic bidding is an option in campaign settings where you tell Google to do whatever it wants as long as the maximum cost for each conversion is X.

The problem is that when you start your Google Ads account by choosing automatic bidding the results are often erratic. Your costs go up and down, and conclusions are quickly made: “Google is mean, Google Ads don’t work, you can’t trust Google!”.

But what if Google wasn’t mean? What if Google was just a friendly business consultant looking for a few answers?

What does a business consultant do?

If you contact a consultant to help drive more clients to your business, he will start by asking as many questions as possible to understand your current setup:

  • What do you do?
  • What value do you bring your clients?
  • Who are your clients?
  • How are you currently reaching your clients?
  • What does a conversation with a client look like?

And then the consultant will create a workshop with your team to help develop your answers. Progressively you will build a growth marketing plan to scale your business, and an execution plan to reach your goals in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of ressources.

As soon as the consultant leaves… results vary. Normal business life takes over and it’s not always easy to stay on top of the new strategies in place. But good consultants will follow up and offer tools to track progress. This is a trusted method to help businesses grow.

And for that, you will happily pay this consultant a hefty £XXX/day fee.

What does Google do with Automatic bidding?

Google may have the thinking power of thousands of consultants, is never tired and can work 24/7 without a coffee break but Google is NOT HUMAN and has absolutely NO EMPATHY.

  • Google will NOT go the extra mile to put itself in your shoes and understand your business if you don’t give any information.
  • Google will NOT interview your sales team to find out what are your clients’ most common complaints.
  • Google will NOT call your clients to find out what they are thinking about.
  • Google will NOT question you if you just give only give a vague idea of what you need.

And when Google doesn’t know something, it just guesses!

Guessing is what happens when you select automatic bidding early in your account setup and that’s why you are seeing turbulent movements on your campaigns. Google is trying to learn without absolutely no guidance from you.

Would you expect a consultant to do miracles if nobody took the time to answer his questions?

You now have 2 options:

1 – Choose automatic bidding from the start and expect high volatility during the data learning phase. It can be scary and costly, but Google is really good at guessing so you will get there in the end.

2 – Make the most of your new business consultant. Provide Google with a detailed map of your business (SKAG account structure) and give it data by driving quality traffic. Only then change your settings to automatic bidding so Google can use the analytical power of its 900 000 servers to grow your sales.