"The account for gishteq.com has been cancelled as you requested."
It's now really time to say good-bye to an old friend.
Farewell gishteq.com I will miss you.
"The account for gishteq.com has been cancelled as you requested."
It's now really time to say good-bye to an old friend.
Farewell gishteq.com I will miss you.
Michael T. Bosworth
Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have unfortunately been forced to close down business. Good ol' GishTeq, see you later. All of it against my will.
("...I am afraid to admit it, but it is true," he cautioned me from the distance which was not that far away at all I thought afterwards.)
Six months ago it all seemed so hopeful, but now it is time to face facts and do something else. Perhaps even something more worthwhile this time around?
Could very well be, very well be.
(...and then that guy turned around, looked at me carefully, and then he said with that familiar hint of enthusiasm gleaming from his eyes, "I can't wait.")
Time now for me to take a break and catch my breath again.
Better luck next time...
In the meantime, I closed the old account and reopened gishteq.com on a clean environment so I can restart afresh and invigorated.
I still am waiting to nab the kiffin.com domain name, but that has already been taken by Mr. Gilbert. Maybe someday soon he will give it up.
I am working on a winning concept for my company. It is called the "three-pronged" approach, and I firmly believe that this idea has much potential for creating business in the short term.
The "three-pronged" approach is based on the following question:
"What prevents e-business from getting maximum benefit from their data?"
The way of answering this question involves the following three components:
Items one and two are covered by "professional services" and items two and three are covered by "advanced web products."
The whole system is supported by a framework upon which measurement leads to results and so-called "complete solutions" are defined and implemented through the proper analysis of these measured results.
According to the NetGenesis (SPSS) Glossary of terms:
"Churn measures how much of your customer base 'rolls over' during a given period of time. To calculate churn, divide the number of customers who attrite during the given time period by the total number of customers at the end of the time period."
You can then see how important it is to track the churn-rate and if it is becoming too great then you must do something about it or else.
Alright here we go. The more exposure the better.
So tell me then, can you find it?
In order to become a true blue future famous e-business consultancy company, one of the main tasks is to acquire as much exposure as possible. This is not always as easy as one might expect, but it can be done nonetheless.
Just hang in there and keep on trying.
So you can imagine how pleased I am today when my company was put up on the Mondosoft Partner Page.
Have a look for yourself if you do not believe me.
The room was jam-packed like an ocean of bobbing and staring heads, and there must have been around two hundred people present in that cramped and sweaty place. The spotlights were glaring down on me, and the television camera was recording every moment, every movement of my body, every facial expression I made, the sounds and facts of life. This was not my favorite activity, but since I had been invited nicely for the interview, I could not decline. He told me it would be a tremendous opportunity, opening all kinds of doors, a glimpse into the future.
I came anyway.
Every few months, the Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam organizes an information workshop for all those kind folks out there who have been wondering and thinking about starting their own businesses. Should I do it or not? What are the risks? How much will it cost? Is it worth it? These evenings of discussion are meant to be informative gatherings during which the basic ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship are revealed right in front of your eyes and explained in outlined format. The truth of the matter is slowly exposed, and you the innocent bystander are shown what such a career change actually entails.
The good and the bad and all the stuff inbetween. Are you still sure?
So anyway, along with the three other young and dynamic future-famous starters, those fine young men and myself, I was invited to attend the part where they interviewed recent starters -- just like myself. So that the public could see and hear first-hand what it all really involves. Look at those guys sitting up there. Maybe some day if I work really hard I can be just like them.
Not that I am what you would call the perfect example of a successful starter. Indeed not, for honestly with such a stagnation of potential customers lately and worrying dearly each and every day about having to quit my life-long endeavor two months from now, there I was sitting at the table up on the podium with a microphone in my hand. Strange how I thought I would be so very nervous. I wasn't and I was not not shaking in my boots at all. Perfectly still and perfectly calm, words of wisdom flowing freely from my mouth. Flowing into the air above the bobbing heads and away into outer space.
I wanted to be honest, not sound overly positive but also not come across as a negative worried person. Afterall, a "true" business person is undaunted by the frustrations of life and knows for sure that one day or other he will overcome each and every obstacle in his never-ending pursuit of success and happiness (and lots of money).
The interview lasted more than thirty-minutes. While I was kind of nervous in the beginning, towards the last couple of questions he posed to me, I was lubricated and extremely talkative. On the edge of tangents, I stretched my long and winding sentences. I felt like I was not really there. It was an almost out of the body experience where my mind and mouth were disjointed in time, sliced at all angle just like in some Cubist painting. I even tried to pull off a couple of witty jokes -- now who was I kidding?
All in all, I felt relieved when it was over with. I had done my duty, explained who I was and what it was like to start an own business. It was now time to take the tour of the mosque in the deep bowels of which this meeting had taken place. That spiritual wandering tour which I had used as an attractive reward for myself if I had made it through the grueling interview unscathed. And I had survived.
I walked past the droves of people pushing and shoving for information brochures and headed out the back door. At the end of the long hall was the place I had to take off my shoes.
Allah was waiting for me.
The day will be well spent I am sure. I will be traveling to good old Amsterdam for the whole day in my never-ending pursuit to meet fellow e-business visionaries. Three different meetings spread out evenly over the whole day. Should be fun, I hope.
While this activity of traveling around all over the place may not lead to fantastic results (or "any" results for that matter I am afraid), nonetheless I still find it very stimulating to meet new folks like me and exchange ideas with one another in an informal and rewarding way.
Nothing like honing your presentation skills, communicating and keeping your mind sharp through provocative and curious conversation.
And I say: something better start picking up within two months, otherwise I will be in big financial problems. Bummer.
Isn't life tough? Sharp mind and then ... what?
There are no limits to the infinite possibilities of technology, except for the unfortunate fact that so-called technology often does not match reality very well. This is what the technology gap is all about, and it is my job to bridge this gap the best I can.
Take for instance the following.
I am looking into the possibilities of extending my product portfolio by including the Quadstream technology. Yesterday, I had a long and interesting meeting with the developer and founder of this engaging, young-buck enterprise. At first glance, this offering looks impressive, and provides a definite plus for marketing your stuff better through the Internet.
Improving the user experience is one of the important aspects that all web site designers should keep in mind. This product allows the potential buyer to view and interact with a 3d model, thereby greatly increasing the chances that the customer will actually carry through purchase (conversion). At least that is how the argument goes. I think that it is a good start in the right direction.
But in the end, will this state-of-the-art product help bridge the gap? I believe it can if it is positioned properly in light of what the customer "really" needs.
In the meantime, I have to consider how such a technical thing can be marketed better, e.g. bridging the huge gap between the infinite possibilities of Internet technology and the actual requirements of potential customers.
Does it really extend my product portfolio? That's the million dollar question right now.
GishTeq extends its product portfolio by joining the partner reseller program of Gladior, the most successful Dutch company specializing in search engine optimization. Web site exposure is increased effectively, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the number of 'quality' visitors. Advanced optimization algorithms focus on search words and phrases on a per search engine basis.
More information can be found at the Gladior Product page.
Check out the news archive.
A couple weeks ago I placed an open advertisement (plea) in the Dutch Werk.nl web site for the unemployed folks who might be looking for my kind of work, e.g. e-business related activities. The volume of responses is unexpectedly huge, and I have been barely able to keep up with them all and still respond in a personal way. Here is the text I chose to use:
I'm looking for enthusiastic e-business visionaries who're ready to tackle the next phase in their careers.
If you are sick & tired of hanging around waiting forever with a WW-uitkering, unable to find work, then this might be right for you.
Take the challenge with me. Develop & fine-tune a product portfolio for e-business solutions. These tailor-made, total solutions are geared towards improving business processes of organizations wanting to sell products & services via Internet.
MISSION: to enable & facilitate e-business opportunities for service- & product-oriented organizations through measurement, analysis & process improvement.
As an upstart company I have NO FUNDS yet to hire. I'm open to discussing creative compensations with you. Bring in projects & financial rewards are aplenty.
Why sit around doing nothing when there is so much to do? Who knows what the future will bring!
Don't worry, mijn nederlands is goed genoeg.
Note: The use of the ampersand (&) in place of "and" was needed to get the length in characters below the maximum allowed. "WW-uitkering" is the Dutch unemployment compensation scheme. The phrase "mijn nederlands is goed genoeg" means "my Dutch is good enough" (so that I would not scare away the Dutch-only speaking folks who might not contact me because they were embarrassed about their English -- although most of the Dutch speak almost perfect English).
You see, right now I cannot really hire anyone, but I felt that there are so many creative and willing souls sitting out there bored stiff, that perhaps some would be interested in sharing my wonderful endeavors and helping me make a success out of it. Alot of people read over the part about me not having funds to pay a salary, even though it is capitalized (NO FUNDS). Wishful thinking I guess. So whenever someone emails me and/or calls the office, I make sure I repeat this clearly just in case, before continuing too far.
But there have been many people willing to talk and meet with me over lunch, even fairly high-caliber managers (believe it or not) who see some potential at least.
Well, it is alot better than just sitting around doing nothing and feeling sorry for yourself, don't you think?
Fresh from the press the latest exciting news.
GishTeq partners with Mondosoft as a recognized reseller and consultant for the state-of-the-art MondoSearch product line. This advanced search technology provides integrated site search, reporting and optimization for all web environments."
More information can be found at the MondoSearch Product page.
Check out the other historical events in the news archive.
Today marked yet another important milestone in the wonderful and unpredictable history of GishTeq.
This is what I did. I sent off my very first official offer for a web site rebuild and analysis prospect, and all for a really good deal (don't forget that my share remains a mere twenty-percent margin). I think I have been busy full-time the last couple of days just to produce two carefully thought out A4-pages of convincing text and prices in the most attractive form I could think up. Alot of work that's for sure. The quotation was higher than I had hoped and I am sure what the potential customer had expected. It does not compare well with the offers from the other competitors, but it is the best I could do -- without running around aimlessly and working hard for crumbs or for nothing or maybe even coming out in the red (shame on me).
I cannot compete with cheap solutions made by companies that hire Russian students when my unique added value is the quality and the reliability of the solution I stand by in an honest and down-to-earth way.
But will this attitude eventually sell and produce any money?
Okay so today I went off into the deep end and let go of a massive email campaign to improve the exposure of good old GishTeq. This morning I let loose around 200, and depending on the reactions to this bulk I will send off the other 950 soon afterwards. Perhaps maybe some of you fine readers and/or bloggers received the mailing also. Hope you liked it and didn't think right off that it was some kind of Spam attack.
My old friend Splog was quick to respond with compliments, and I really appreciate that so thanks.
If you just happened to miss out on this historic event, then I invite you to check out the mailing yourself: Had a serious look at your web site lately?
There are a number of momentous events in the life of a startup business which you should appreciate as much as you can when they come. Respect yourself for what it has become and even if there are no customers yet at least you have somehow managed it this far. The first momentous step is official registration in the Chamber of Commerce (which anyone can do really). The second is printing your first set of company cards and later handing them out to potential customers and/or partners. The third is the kick-off date for the official start. But there is more. You see, I am happy to announce that I have somehow managed to attain the big bad step called number four. My very first advertisement in the newspaper.
While doing the groceries this morning, I had to dash to the nearest news stand and purchase the morning edition of the Rijn en Gouwe, a local newspaper with a reading public of nearly 45 thousand. There must be one or two souls out there wanting some professional work. Certainly, I am very confident.
Now it is high time to make my way to step number five: my first (paying) customer. I hope this happens in the not too distant future. I have alot to offer, the finest quality, and at a very reasonable price!
I have been contemplating it now for some time, and after much rumination I have decided to place an advertisement in the local newspapers in order to make myself known and attract droves of rich and willing customers. The advertisement will be forty by forty centimeters and it will cost me € 90.90 for a single placement. I have a chosen a simple and straight-forward approach, and this is what it will look like:
Brengt uw website wat u ervan verwacht?
» Het kan nog beter! En... voor een redelijke prijs.
Professionele analyse, ontwerp en advies om
van uw Internet-site een booming business
Nieuwsgierig naar onze aanpak?
Bel 0182-536616 of mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For all you unfortunate souls out there who are unable to decipher all this gutteral Dutch drivel, I will attempt to translate it into readable English. Here goes:
Is your website doing what it's supposed to do?
» Make it work even better! And... for a decent price.
Professional analysis, design and advice can
make your Internet-site into a real
Curious how we do it?
Call 0182-536616 or mail email@example.com
I would say that there are probably few souls out there who can resist this declaration of my unbelievably professional services, guaranteed to improve your e-business beyond your wildest dreams. And all for a reasonable and solid price. When you have a good idea, it can bring you a long way, I think.
Well that's me alright. My first taste of future fame has now, now that I am officially listed as a certified consultant for the Webtrends product portfolio. If you cannot find me, I am way down at the bottom of the page at the end of the list. No matter, at least it is a start. Gotta start somewhere, right? Okay folks, it's high time for me to get up and running, so let's go.
They claim that a new business can get truly amazing results by using some emailing marketing scheme or other. In fact, on a daily basis I receive tons of these ridiculous emails myself. I totally disagree with this claim of so-called success. This maaner of selling is the quickest way not only to aggravate potential customers with what they see as nothing less than spam, but also to bring your company down as just another bogus and customer-unfriendly organization out to make a quick buck (euro).
Finally the second time around, I managed to pass the demanding certification test required to sell the fine Webtrends product line. In other words, the future-famous Gishteq company has been officially appointed "certified web analytics consultant" for the NetIQ Authorized Consultant Program.
Check it out for yourself and tell me what you think.
Boy, I am sure looking forward to my course today covering all the ins and outs of bookkeeping (the Dutch way). Not really. Some things just have to be done, and for any business this is basics that everyone needs to know in order to keep things up and running like they should. In addition, the course offers me a good excuse to get out of the house, meet new and exciting fellow starters, and fill my mind with various tid-bits of valuable information.
Alright, so the time gap since last year September since I was last employed and doing something useful in my life has become to large of a blank period. Meaning that my resume has to be updated to reflect the fact that I have not been bored stiff in the meantime but rather have been amazingly active, productive and energetic.
So this is what I added to the work experience section:
October 2002 - Now
Founder and Principal E-business Consultant
As owner and principal consultant of my own company called GishTeq, I have been providing independent consulting services to companies developing and deploying e-business solutions. Services include project management, web site analytics, business process improvement, as well as web design, implementation and deployment. All the services focus on leveraging the strengths of the best of all possible web products in order to maximize the effectiveness of the customer tailor-made solutions. Customers are middle to large organizations who sell and/or promote services and products through e-business, e.g. Internet and/or Intranet.
You can check it out for yourself by viewing my online resume firsthand if you are not sufficiently impressed or if you do not believe me or whatever. If you are sufficiently impressed and think there could be an interesting opportunity for me, please feel free to download this resumé (doc 58 kb).
After redoing it about a hundred times, I think I have finally got it down pat. My voice mail announcement that is. Not too artificial, not too closeup and personal, down-to-earth and straight-forward, a message which is attractive enough to invite (potential) customers to leave their name and telephone number so that I can call them back.
Thank you for calling Gishteq, your Internet and e-business enablers. We're sorry, but there is no one available right now to handle your call. Please leave your name and telephone number after the beep, in English or in Dutch, and we will contact you right away.
Trying to start your own business in the big bad world of commercialism means learning to build up trust with strangers with whom you plan to work and develop long-term relationships. This is quite similar to walking on unexplored ice because you are constantly on the guard for the thin sections which can crack and then collapse underneath you without the slightest warning whatsoever. At the same time, it is important to continue radiating a warm sense of unwavering confidence and not show that you are unsure about the potential partner with whom you have initiated a common sense let's speak openly type of dialog. How far are you willing to go? Go too far and you will get your head chopped off right at the neck. Go too short and you will lose momentum and fall to the wayside. Choosing the middle path does not work any more and will get you nowhere. Be dynamic, flexible, alert, on your guard, ready set go.
Of course as far as promotion is concerned, it would be nice to have a fancy company logo. With this in mind, I have been playing around with various ideas, one of which is the following:
Not that pretty and basically a humble attempt, but I will need the aid of a professional agency in order to have something really good tailor-made to the essence of what this so-called company is supposed to emanate.
Every true marketeer worth his salt knows all about the power of the four Ps. Or at least that is what they tell me. Here are the four Ps along with a short description just in case you do not already know what all this P stuff stands for (shame on you):
Just suppose that somehow, sometime, I were able to land a lucrative and challenging job position somewhere with an interesting international technology company. Should I even consider it?