Blogger, thinker and all round nice guy Ben Rowe recently wrote a blog entry just for me. There was nothing in it for him, he just thought it would be nice to share his intellectual prowess for my benefit.
How it came about was pretty simple really. Ben wrote a great blog post on the importance of gaming and how it is starting to transcend currency. Within my comments on his post I spoke of how great it would be to think of a good gaming mechanic for rentoid. A few days later Ben wrote this blog post with some ideas on how to do exactly that. It’s the kind of commercial world I want to live in. An ethic where people do cool stuff for others without asking, and not expecting anything in return. The corollary is that a a return does invariably happen.
Firstly, an emotional return from doing good. Secondly, a collective return from building community. And sometimes a financial one from those who return the favour.
The question for startup entrepreneurs is this:
What are you doing to build your industry community help and promote others?
If you’re not doing much tomorrow night, and happen to be in Melbourne, I’m giving a little talk at the Hive.
I’ll be focusing on the non-web side of web businesses. It’s free to come and should be fun.
More details here.
I was fortunate enough to feature in a story on the ABC 7.30 report this week. The topic was on virtual offices and digital offshoring. My business rentoid got a nice little plug which is a bonus on a non-commercial channel. The opportunity arose from this newspaper article I was in on the topic in the Sydney Morning Herald. Which goes to show media exposure also has a compounding effect for your startup as well.
Although the story and offshoring in general has it’s detractors (unions love the status quo, unless it involves profit increases they want a share in). I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve worked with talented people in developing markets.
- My team get paid more than they’d get locally.
- I’ve helped team members get more work, and mentored them in building their own businesses.
- I like investing in developing markets because improves living standards.
It’s our job as entrepreneurs to create positive situations with tech innovations, and there’s no doubt in my mind having an overseas team does this, while building a business with beneficiaries locally (employees, revenue, community) as well.
Today I was out making sales calls in my local industrial area where there are a lot of different rental companies. Idea being to get these rental / hire companies using rentoid.com to generate extra business. The timing is good, because we have a zero cost entry platform and times are tough in the B to B arena.
But the thing that really matters is how I’ve been making the sales calls. Firstly, these guys are B to B, trades focused guys. renting mainly industrial equipment. The last thing they want to some tech / web geek give them bullshit about how the internet is going to save them…. So here’s what I’ve done instead:
- I haven’t shaved for 3 days – got a good beard growing. I’m wearing jeans and boots with a fairly standard zip up jumper. When I walk in I look like a customer, in fact I look like they do. I’m less threatening and this is obvious with the positive greetings I’m receiving.
- When I drop in (remember it’s a cold call) I say, ‘You know I live around the corner, I drive past here everyday and I’ve been meaning to drop in for ages. You know I’ve got web business which is all about rental companies…..” And I do live close enough to use this line. It is genuine.
- The F Bomb – Yep, I’m dropping this one big time – for one simple reason – they are. I’ll use whatever language they use. If they like swearing, so do I. I’m matching their culture in dress and language.
- I know their business. I don’t walk in and say ‘So tell me about your business’ – I do my homework before I turn up. Granted I know enough about the rental industry now to adapt to different segments pretty quick. I know what matters to them and get the conversation into that area quickly.
- I don’t try and sell anything on the first call. We do have a free entry to rentoid – but we also sell integrated web technologies. But I don’t try to sell anything. Just get them to like me in fact, I’m selling me. People buy things from people they like. Then they find a logical or business reason to justify their decision after they’ve already made it.
- I follow up with whatever I promise. Information, phone calls, data whatever they need. I try to show I’ll be a valuable resource.
- I get rejected too. It’s a numbers game, and each rejection is a lesson for honing my skills for the next call.
I’m learning heaps and I’m loving it.
Start up blog says – get out there and start selling.
We need 6 cool, creative, awesome, caring, rad, personable, environmentally conscious, nerdy, opinionated, courageous, funny, intelligent, political, financially sound people to come and share the new rentoid HQ office with us.
It is the coolest place in the world to work – and suits people who live in Melbourne and or have private helicopters to fly from their location (Sorry we don’t have a helipad) – but we do have the coolest digs, in Melbourne grooviest inner city suburb (Yarraville) which has super terrific office benefits including, but not limited to the following:
- Free pizza and Beers on Friday night
- Cone of silence meeting room
- Quite space & library
- Wifi & all your tech needs
- Cool cafes & restaurants on our door step
- Sleeper pods
- Access to our brains…
The cost if $150 a person for a long term commitment. Can’t beat it.
Send me a tweet here if you’re interested – Can’t imagine the space being available for long.
The next post on startup blog will talk more about this whole ‘free advertising’ on the internet stuff: In the interim, here’s the latest episode in rentoid.com free advertising. Which is pretty funny.
By the way, it took 15 minutes and zero dollars and was a great deal of fun after lunch. (and yes, I am on the bike)