Your Business Questions Answered

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. Today I am answering the internet, so the first question is:

What was your biggest challenge when you opened your own business?

There are a couple of challenges which I look at as contradictions, in a way. The first one is the fact that in order to acquire new clients there is some form of investment in doing that, and you may look at it like advertising.

In order to acquire a client, you need to spend money on ads. But when you’re first starting, and ongoing really, you’re dependent on the business for your salary, or to live basically.

So, on the one hand, the business needs to spend money on acquiring new clients. And the other you have to extract money from the business.

No one knows about you when you’re first starting. So it’s basically the time where if you haven’t had some sort of capital injection or venture capital. Then you’ve got the least amount of money and the least amount of recurring revenue than you ever will have.

And so, on the one hand, you need to spend money in the business in order to acquire new business. And on the other hand, you have to rely on the business for your living.

If you decide not to go down the route of advertising to save money when you’re first starting. Then it’s about your time. And your effort in order to acquire those clients. And again, it’s another contradiction. So you have to put time and effort into acquiring them. So your hard work, but when you do get a client you have to do the work in order to keep them.

So, whilst you’re trying to do the work in order to keep them happy and to get paid, you also have to think about putting time and effort into acquiring a client. That is the reason why I think it’s particularly challenging when you start when you first open your own business, is because you’ve got, sort of, a push-pull thing going on.

What are the key qualities you should look for when taking on a business partner?

I think that a tendency which tends to happen when people are either looking for a business partner or hiring employees is that you tend to hire people or look for business partners who are like you. What happens is that if you’ve got a load of strengths in business and you’ve also got some weaknesses, as everyone has, you tend to get people who have the same strengths as you and also the same weaknesses as you.

And what you need in a business partner is someone who has strengths where your weaknesses are. I got lucky with my business partner as we have different strengths and different weaknesses. But if you’re going to go into business with someone the worst thing you can do – at least if you’re talking about this particular question, maybe it’s much more important that you get on really well with them because you’re going to be in business with them for potentially decades – but if you’re just talking about strengths and weaknesses you really need to go into business with someone who has strengths where your weaknesses are.

Why do so many small businesses fail?

I think it’s because most people go into business because they can provide a particular service or they have access and knowledge about a particular product, but as I’ve said in previous podcasts when you become a business owner your job as a business owner is not to provide that service.

One of your responsibilities is to make sure that that service is delivered, but you could potentially hire someone to provide a service or hire someone to ensure that a product is to your standard and to the customer’s standard. But your main job as the business owner is to acquire clients and to ensure that your business has clients to pay for all the expenses that the business has.

Most people think that when they go into business that they have to be the doer of the thing which is if we take a small example if you’re an electrician and you’re in business they think that being an electrician is the business they’re in. Whereas the business you’re in is you have to be the getter of the customer, so you’re in the business of getting customers essentially not the electrician business because that’s potentially what an employee could do for you.

If you were to acquire those skills to be an electrician but you were unable to get a customer, then it’s of very little value. The value is in the customer because they give you the money and you could either hire someone or you could outsource it maybe for a cut of the job or something like that, and that’s your job as the business owner. So many small businesses fail because they don’t recognise as a business owner what their real job is.

Why do business people fly expensive business class if the goal of business is to minimise cost?

If I was to summarise this in one word, it would be incentives. The easiest analogy that I can give you for this is politicians are on a fixed salary. It’s not a great salary but it’s not a bad one either. The last time I checked I think politicians were on, like, £76,000 or something like that. There’s no bonus for them so that’s what they’ll be paid and nothing else, but if they have access to expenses, if they can get expenses, that’s essentially not quite the same but similar to a pay rise.

The more expenses that they can extract from the government then it’s, kind of like, the more money they can get. And if we take that back over to business. If you’re, let’s say, a higher up in a corporate company and your salary is a fixed amount and your bonus is, let’s say, tied to performance in some way, then you don’t have an incentive to minimise the expense for your business.

Really what you have is an incentive to get as many expenses as you can do. We’ll take this example with small business owners. If you gave small business owners the option of flying expensive business class or economy, they would fly as cheaply as they could do. Whereas if you take it to CEOs in big corporates and higher-ups in corporate companies, they don’t have the incentive to minimise expenses for the company.

They have an incentive to get as much money from it as possible, and so that’s the reason why those types of things exist, like private jets and first-class, that sort of thing, because they’re trying to extract as much value from the company as possible and really whether the company makes, let’s say 100 million or 500 million, it makes no difference to them. Really what matters to them is what they can get from it.

What are the businesses of the future?

I mentioned my business partner. He’s quite a futurist and he talks about electric cars a lot and how cars will be on a subscription basis in the future. There’s plenty of future-based businesses we could talk about, like VR and audio command, that sort of thing, but the value that you can get from this question is, there’s plenty of money in business to be made right now and there’s a principle which you can take to that business which is asking the question, what will my business look like in ten years?

And then you can use some of the resources from your current business to make it that way, or at least progress to make it that way. So, one business which I think doesn’t have much life in it is the translation business because I think that there will be some sort of app in our not too distant future where you talk into it and it’s accurate and it spits out the language that you want to speak in. 

I can talk into the app in English and it will spit it out in German, and so the concept of the translation business will slowly go away. But if you found that you wanted to be in the translation business right now, that shouldn’t stop you from getting into it because there’s plenty of money and plenty of opportunity for it right now and you can be in that business and you can also spend some of your time manufacturing or creating that app.

I know that there are some people who spend a lot of time in the future, but there is a flip side to that argument and that is you can make an awful lot of money from being in business right now rather than thinking about it in the future. And you can spend some of your time thinking about that question which is, how’s my business going to look in ten years? And you try and make that happen right now because that’s where all the progress is, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from taking action right now.

How can I get leads for my business?

Because it’s such a general question I’d put a definition in it. There are two types of leads. One is an unqualified lead and one is a qualified lead. Unqualified is basically you have the name and contact details of a particular person; they don’t know about you and they don’t know that they’re going to be contacted and there are different qualities of unqualified leads.

Some will be a good prospect and some won’t be a prospect at all. For example, I have a digital marketing agency and so I may have a need for, for example, accounting because I am a business owner. I could be an unqualified lead for an accountant, for example, but the fact that I’m not looking for an accountant right now and I don’t expect anyone to call me about that particular service, I’m an unqualified lead to anyone who is an accountant and they’re looking for business.

Now, a qualified lead might be, I am interested in hearing from someone about that and I already know about you and I know that you’re going to call. That’s the difference between a qualified and an unqualified lead. How you go about getting leads, the intent of the question is, how can I get leads in order to get sales for my business? And, that’s just, how do I do marketing?

There are plenty of ways to get leads, plenty of ways to do marketing for your business. Digital marketing is one way you can go about it, and it depends on what business you’re in, in terms of the most effective way that you will go about it, and also how much effort that you’re willing to put in.

If you were in a particular business, let’s say sales, sales calls would be better for you, just cold calling random businesses and doing that all day. That might be a legitimate way for you to get leads. Whereas we do a lot of Google Ads at Ethical Marketing Service, a very powerful way for businesses to get leads for their business.

That could also be a great avenue for you. If you don’t know of any previous data or previous examples for your business, the only way that you’re going to know is by testing the best ways. If you’re in business and you’re trying to determine the most effective ways to get leads for your business, you test and you do more of what works and you do less of what doesn’t.

I would go with what’s most probable first and then continue to test different types of platforms and different ways of getting business and do all of the ones that work simultaneously because you don’t want to be reliant upon one particular platform for your leads because if it goes away then you don’t have a business anymore. So, get busy, is my answer to that one.

What is the impact of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 to your business?

For our particular business, we had a temporary drop in revenue. The reason why I wanted to answer this question is because although we did have some people pausing because their business wasn’t operating, because we have a skill in marketing and also sales, the drop was temporary. 

If we had built up a business where it was difficult to get clients, and then all of a sudden we had a lot of clients pausing because their business wasn’t operating, then we would be in trouble because it wouldn’t be very easy to replace those customers.

But because we’re good at marketing and we can easily replace anyone that does pause it was really very temporary. So, it was a matter of maybe four to six weeks where we had a drop, and then in that time we had already replaced all of the revenue and now some of those clients are starting to come back – most of them in fact.

We’re doing better because we replaced all that business and some of it has come back, so we’ve actually grown through Covid-19 rather than the opposite, while some businesses are considerably suffering. The principle is that the skill that you need in business is that you need to be able to get clients, or you need to hire someone who can do that for you.

And if you have an ability to get clients – not easily but at will which is what we do – then it really doesn’t matter whether another second wave happens or another pandemic hits. You can replace that business and you can grow through external instances like Coronavirus.

What are the things to consider before starting a business on Amazon?

The immediate thing which jumped out to me with this question is the acquisition of the clients’ details. So, although Amazon is doing very well now, it doesn’t always mean that that’s the case.

If you build your business based on the success of Amazon and you don’t have any of your clients’ details, let’s say one of two instances; let’s say Amazon fails, for whatever reason, it means your business also fails, so you really have no control.

You have very little control over your future because it’s all dependent on Amazon. Secondly, if Amazon decides that it doesn’t want to do business with you anymore, let’s say it recognises that you’re doing well and it says, well we want to be in that business as well so we’re just not going to do business with that merchant.

Let’s say it finds some way that you’re not operating in the way that’s within their terms and conditions and you lose your ability to sell on Amazon, then you lose your business immediately.

Whereas if you use Amazon as a way to acquire clients and you have them on your customer list and you are able to communicate with your clients, it means that you’ve used that platform to build your business. And if Amazon goes away then you still have a business because you have all your clients and you can communicate with them, but you just need to replace that source of customers.

One of the phrases that I learned from Dan Kennedy is, the worst number in business is one. If you’re reliant on one place to acquire your customers or one source of revenue for your business, then you’re just one step away from being out of business. So, you need to essentially have as many ways that you can get clients as possible, and if there is, let’s say a business between you and your client, then you need to mitigate against that by acquiring their details and communicating with them outside that platform.

How can I start an e-commerce business?

The legality of that is you can just start an e-commerce business in the way that you can start any business. If you are referring to the tech, then Shopify is popular. I am a fan of WordPress just because it’s the most popular system to use to create your website, and I happen to think that WooCommerce is a great plugin for WordPress.

We’ve got the legality, the tech, and you want the product and the way to acquire clients. So presumably, if you’re talking about starting an e-commerce business you have some sort of product in mind.

If it’s the case that you don’t, then I’ve said in previous podcasts that if you were going to sell someone else’s product then you should approach people locally because I actually think that affiliate marketing where you do it online, where you sell other people’s products – maybe dropshipping is an exception to this – but there are lots of opportunities locally that you can source where you sell other people’s businesses.

And in fact, there are some people who go around, like, supermarkets and big stores, for example, and they buy stuff which is on, clearance prices which you can sell online for normal prices, and that’s one way that you can do it. The dropshipping I mentioned in a previous episode, I would do Oberlo if you’re going to do some sort of dropshipping.

Then the acquisition of clients, it, sort of, comes back to what I said about getting leads except in this instance you’ll be getting sales. So, you need to test the best platforms that are right for you if you’re going to drive traffic to an e-commerce site, and you can also use the platforms that already have a load of traffic, so places like Amazon and eBay.

There are some businesses which have basically taken off as a result of only being on a couple of those platforms. And eBay, for example, they actually do product listing ads through Google on your behalf, so not only do they have a load of people on their website, they’ll also advertise. So, if you’re going to start an e-commerce business, I would be on those platforms, but I would also test digital marketing to drive people to your website.

And I’d remember that you’re acquiring a client, you’re not just getting a sale. When someone buys from you that’s an opportunity to stay in touch with them, be of value, and then get a repeat sale.

What are good ways to attract clients for our business?

I’ve talked a lot about differentiation. It’s about what’s in it for them, it’s not about what’s in it for you. So, you attract people by being different, by doing more than other businesses in your market. I do a social strategy where I’m constantly putting out this type of content because I think that this content is valuable to my market, valuable to people who are going to potentially be my client. So, there are lots that you can do. You can drive traffic to your site or your landing page and you can give information out for free in exchange for their details and you can follow up with them.

The issue with some of this is that it is getting more competitive, so the more competition, that is the more people who are doing a particular thing, the better you need to be. So, the principle that I would go with there is that it’s really about what’s in it for them. The more valuable you are to them the more likely they are going to be your client. So, that’s a good way to attract clients, is by being highly valuable to them, caring about what they want. And another thing that I spoke about in a previous episode is being helpful is actually a way of attracting clients, and I mean that on a one-to-one basis. There are lots of people who end up doing business with you just because you’ve helped them. I actually think there’s a lot of value in doing that. There’s a lot of attempts at the moment to do it mass scale, so can I get however many tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers? But really, if you just focus on the one-to-one and you’re helping people, that’s a very good way to attract clients for your business.

How can I start a clothing business?

I spoke about the USP in the previous question, but if I were to emphasise the importance of the USP in this instance, it’s absolutely vital because there is no shortage of people who want to be in the clothing business, or who in fact are in the clothing business. Lots of people want to be in it, but it’s very difficult to differentiate yourself from someone else. And so, I would focus on what makes you different from anyone else because it can be very much a commodity business which means that pricing is very important, meaning you’re basically in the lowest price wins business which is not where you want to be.

I would focus so much on your USP and shout about your USP as much as you can. The more people who are doing the same thing, selling the same product with a different logo on it, it just means that you’re going to struggle unless you have a very good story, a very good unique selling proposition.

When is the best time in your life to start a business and why?

It’s a logical question to ask. I’d like to say right now because if you’re in a job, for example, which is the position which a lot of people are in, you can start putting things in motion where you don’t have to quit but you are starting to progress towards your goal if it’s to start a business. For example, you can pay for your website whilst you’re in employment.

You can start speaking to accountants and bookkeepers whilst you’re in employment. You can start acquiring clients part-time and doing work part-time whilst you’re in employment. If I were to say the best time in your life where you could choose any particular moment, it’s probably going to be when you’re young and you don’t have a lot of responsibility because you can learn; you’re in the process of learning anyway because you’re, for example, at college or university or something, that’s the best time, or the easiest time, for someone to start their business.

But really there is no best time and if you’ve got a goal to start a business, really if you’re asking what’s the best time, you’re, kind of, looking for an excuse not to do it, I would say. The best time in your life to start a business is always right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you just quit your job straight away. You need to know that there’s a demand for what you’re doing. You need to be well prepared.

You’ll need to have some sort of cash buffer for a certain period of time. Once you’ve got all those things then it’s the case that okay, if I throw myself into this can I support myself until I can grow my business? I think Tony Robbins has a phrase where he says when is now the best time to do it? That’s what I’d emphasise here.

Why do most small businesses stay small?

It, sort of, comes back to what your role is as a business owner. If it’s the case that you as a business owner are also the person who provides that service, then you can only grow as a business as much as you can do the work if you’re doing all the work.

Maybe you could do the job of two or three or four people if you’re particularly hard working and maybe you can have a few people around you where they’re helping you with small things but you’re really the person who’s doing all of the work where you’re providing that service. The reason why most small businesses stay small is because small business owners don’t understand what job they have. Your job is to be the owner, it’s not to be the person who provides the service or, for example, creates the product.

You need to understand that your job is a business owner and you’re there, your job is to grow the business and your job is to make sure that clients come to your business. If you can do that and you can hire people to fulfil the delivery of that business, then there’s no reason why you can’t scale. The more people you hire the more the business will grow, and the more the business grows the more it turns from a small business to a medium-sized and perhaps large business the longer you operate. The answer is understanding what business you’re in. You’re in the business of acquiring customers and your team delivers the service or the product for your clients.

How can I decide if a business idea is good?

Good – we need to define that. I have spoken a little bit about this in previous episodes and I emphasised the importance of the fact that the business idea is less important than the implementation. But if you’re going to go into business you need to know that you’re going to be good at it, a), there is a demand for it, b), and it’s something that you want to do, c). That’s how I’d define if a business idea is good and if you can get all three of those things then I would say that that business idea is a good one, but you need to understand that just because a business idea is a good one, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a success. You’re the person who’s going to make a success of that business and it’s more important that you understand that in order to make a success of that business, it’s going to be down to you. It’s not going to be down to how good the idea is.

How did you find your great start-up idea? With every idea I get I become overly analytical and sceptical about it. I get excited about it and then it all dies when I start thinking about the investment and attracting customers.

There is, I want to say, an entrepreneurial tendency to be excited or positive about the idea of starting up a new business. And you get all that, kind of, inspiration to start and then when you actually go to implement it, that’s when life starts punching you in the face and you start getting all the objections that you’re going to get. So, real life comes after you, basically. 

When you’re in the mode of inspiration you start, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, and then the real life of that is almost the opposite. You need to proceed regardless of whether or not the outcome is known or unknown, and this is a trait which some have recognised in billionaires, which is they are able to proceed regardless of whether or not the future is known.

And if you can do that then most likely you’re going to make much more progress than you have previously. And I think the question has within it a trait which is, why would you even consider being analytical about it? I think that it’s the case that it’s become a little bit of a cliché online but it’s essentially about fear of failure. When you’re getting overly analytical and sceptical, it’s because you’re afraid that it’s not going to work, and if you knew it was going to work then you would proceed, you wouldn’t worry about it. Like I said, the successful traits in people who have done very well are that they can proceed and the future is unknown for them.

When you’re in the initial stages and getting excited about it, that’s when you don’t get any pushback but when you start thinking about, for example, attracting customers and you get all your objections, that’s when things get difficult. And you need to understand that it’s about having the discipline to continue regardless of what’s happening externally. And so, those are two things that if I was to summarise it would be when you’re entrepreneurial, you start thinking of all the possibilities, but if you haven’t got a great reason why you’re going to continue, it’s very easy for that inspiration to go away. 

One thing which you could use is your reason why. I think it was Nietzsche who said that a person that has the best why, can bear any how. So, you need to have a great reason why you’re in business. Being analytical and worrying about attracting new customers will be irrelevant because you have a great reason why. Now, it is very important to be able to attract customers, as I’ve already highlighted that that’s what your job is as the business owner, but you’re going to continually be solving problems as a business owner. That’s basically what you’re going to be doing. The more you get used to that the more you’re going to be a success in business, but you’re very much at step one if you’re thinking about being inspired by a start-up idea.

How do I name a business?

My particular thoughts on this are that you should have a business which says what you do. When you are naming your business and someone who doesn’t know what you do hears it, then they know immediately what you provide as a product or as a service. If you’re going to brand it, let’s say you’re going to turn into a big business and you’re going to have such a well-known company – let’s say Google, for example, or Nike, you wouldn’t be able to tell what those companies do based on their names. But they’re so big that it really doesn’t matter and they’ve, sort of, created their own space where you know what they do based on their brand.

I would say if you’re going to do that then wait until you’re a massive business. When you’re a small business then you need to use the slight edge as much as you can, and when you name your business, if it’s a small business you basically need to make sure that anyone who hears that name, they know exactly what you do from your business name. Now, I would say there isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it. There’s just a way which makes it more likely that someone is going to do business with you.

An example of that is we were at an awards ceremony and there were lots and lots of businesses where they were being nominated within a particular category. And when you compared it to Ethical Marketing Service, you knew immediately what we did as a company because it’s all within our company name. Whereas there were lots of businesses which I didn’t know what they did, and the probability that someone was going to do business with us because they knew that we offered an ethical marketing service was much higher than someone who perhaps would have to find out what someone did before they decided. That’s one principle that I think you should go with if you’re a small business. If you decide to name your business as something which has no resemblance of what you do – so Google is a search engine, their company name is not Google Search Engine, it’s just Google – then you’re adding in an additional step.

First, someone needs to find out what it is that you do before they decide to go into business with you, whereas if they know exactly what you do, you’re removing a step in perhaps the path to purchase. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, it’s just about probability. So, you can name your company whatever you want to. It doesn’t matter what you name it, outside trademarks of course which you should perhaps check whilst you’re naming it because there are all sorts of complications around that. There’s no right or wrong way, there’s just how probable it is that someone’s going to do business with you, and so my principle that I adhere to is that when you’re naming a company, you have to make sure that anyone who hears it knows exactly what you do from the company name.

How do I create a website for my business?

You need to buy a domain name and then the domain name is like your company address, what people type in when they want to go to your website. Then you need to buy hosting which is sometimes referred to as your space on the web, sort of like renting space on the web. And then you need to have it designed or design it yourself. Now, as I’ve said, I like WordPress because it has the technical possibility of being able to implement quite complex things, but you can install themes, templated themes, where someone else has done the hard work.

You can use website builders which are, let’s say much easier to implement where you’re just, sort of, filling in content, but it means that when you do try and do complex things it just doesn’t have that ability. So, the reason, as I said, I like WordPress, it has that technical ability but it has a certain element of a lot of the work being already done.

How do people use Twitter for business?

There are three things which are, sort of, generalised principles for using, not just Twitter but other social media platforms. One is building an audience, so your followers in this instance are your audience, and the more you build that following the more likely it is that when you post – and let’s say you’ve got an offer or something – that someone is going to respond to that. So, if you have ten followers, the chances of someone doing business with you when you post are minuscule. Whereas if you have a million followers, if you, for example, put out an offer or some sort of promotion, the chances are that you’re going to get someone or many to respond to that offer.

That’s one way. Another way is to use it as a path to purchase, so there are many instances where someone will check you out on social media before they decide to do business with you. I would argue that most businesses, that’s the use of Twitter for them. If you had a post from three years ago and it hasn’t been updated since that may tell someone that you’re not active on social and it’s more of a negative than anything. Whereas if you’re regularly active and, let’s say you respond to messages and that sort of thing, it’s not the defining factor but it gives someone a bit more peace of mind before they decide to do business with you. And then the third category, if you like, for how businesses use social media and Twitter is the advertising section of it. So, not only can you use Twitter to build your following but you can also use it to acquire clients via the advertising, and those are the three things or categories that you can use in order to use Twitter for your business.

What are some tips for building a start-up while working a full-time job?

I touched on this slightly on a previous question and it was, you do the things, you get prepared for the things that you can do whilst you’re in a full-time job. We talked about a website perhaps. You might be able to pay for your website whilst you’re in employment. You may be able to speak to bookkeepers, accountants. You can start attempting to acquire clients.

You can do some part-time work. You can prove the concept, so how likely is it that if you do decide to stop your job and go into business, that you’re going to be able to support yourself for a certain period of time before you grow your business. I think some of the mistakes that people make are that they go into it, but there’s no proof of concept and they basically haven’t got all the things they need and they need to get prepared after they quit their job. 

And I think that you can do a lot in the evenings and at the weekends whilst you’re actually still in employment. It does take a lot of time to realise whether or not you have a good quote-unquote way of getting clients. That’s one thing which I didn’t mention which I think is very important. If you go and quit your job, are you going to be able to get clients for yourself on an ongoing basis because when you do go out to the market and say this is what I do, most people say I don’t really care about that. It’s very important for you to know that you’re going to be able to get those clients and that’s what I’d emphasise the most. Are you going to be able to get your clients because they’re going to be the thing which supports your business.

How can I destroy the mental block that prevents me from investing or starting a business?

I touched upon this slightly which was the mental block is, can you proceed when the outcome is unknown? Let’s say, for a second, theoretically you could know in advance that you will definitely be successful with your business. There would be no mental block, you’d just do it. So, really the only mental block is that you’re not sure whether or not when you start a business that it will be successful, and no one ever is.

So, you need to be able to proceed whether you know that it will work or not. And one way you can go about doing that is looking at it like every single step I take closer to my goal I am learning. It’s a beneficial thing to take action and to start your business because it’s going to be progress for you, and everything that you do, regardless of whether it works or it doesn’t work, is going to be beneficial to you. And so, that’s the way that you destroy that mental block.

How do ethics matter in business?

Our company is called Ethical Marketing Service, so I happen to think this is a very important question. This is personal to me. Some people in business really don’t care about ethics but I place it a very high priority, for me, because Jim Rohn used to say, be careful who you become in pursuit of what you want. I think that’s the best way to answer that question because I want to be proud of myself rather than have success in business. I did business coaching for a long while and what I established was that the main reason that I’m doing what I’m doing is in order to be proud of myself. When it got right down to it, it wasn’t about the money, it wasn’t about external gratification because that can change regardless.

So, people’s opinions of you can change whether they’re right or they’re wrong. What really matters is that you’re proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day. And so, ethics matter because if you’re unethical or you do something which you will regret in the future, although you have business success, you’re not going to care about that. And there are an awful lot of people in business who, let’s say they’re depressed or they don’t care about their business success, they just get used to it. There are an awful lot of billionaires who are addicts or they’re unhappy with their life. So, ethics matter an awful lot in business because I think the end goal, or the driving reason why we do what we do, is to be proud of ourselves, and I don’t think that you can be proud of yourself if you’ve acted in a way that is unethical or is a way that you’re going to regret in the future. And that’s why ethics matter in business.

What are the best movies about business?

I particularly like The Founder, not because of the main character because that’s an example of he’s a bit of a charlatan, but the lesson that is within that film is about how you set up systems and how McDonald’s was first started and how they created their first-ever restaurant and how that looked from a systemisation perspective. If you’re interested in creating systems within your business, I highly recommend the film The Founder.

How can you overcome the fear of starting a business? 

I’ve mentioned that a couple of times in this podcast which is you overcome the fear of starting a business by recognising that you’re not going to know whether it will work or not. And with every step that you take which is progressively realising your goal, you’re going to learn and you’ll be better as a result of it. And you also need to recognise that the trait within successful people is being able to act and not know the outcome.

What business ideas make people billionaires?

Business is about helping other people, and so if you want to be a billionaire you need to have an idea or implement a business idea which has the possibility of helping a billion people. If you start a local business it has not much chance of being able to help a billion people, and so there is no way that you’re going to start a local business and become a billionaire. 

So, you need to ask yourself the question, does my business have the possibility of helping a billion people? And if it does then at the end of the success of your business you have at least a small possibility of becoming a billionaire. There’s obviously no guarantee in any type of business. When you implement that idea because that is where the value is, it’s not in the business idea, it’s in the implementation. Does it have the possibility of helping a billion people?

If it does then maybe you will be a billionaire. I would also add, do you have a good reason why you would like to be a billionaire? And not many people do unless of course, you’re thinking about it from the perspective of, if my business reaches a billion people then they will be significantly better off than they are now. Maybe that is a good reason why you would want to be a billionaire, but it’s not necessarily about the money. Let’s say you wanted to make a hundred million versus a billion, your lifestyle isn’t going to change very much based on those two examples.

What is the difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur?

A business owner is someone who is in a particular industry. I am in the digital marketing industry and that would be an example of a business owner.

An entrepreneur is maybe they start off in a particular industry, for example, a digital marketing industry, but then they don’t stop there, they also enter other industries and they are constantly thinking about the next industry they’re going to enter into. They are constantly solving problems for people and it doesn’t really matter that a particular business is inside or outside their existing industry, they want to be in that industry. An example of an entrepreneur is Richard Branson.

So, Richard Branson is regularly entering other industries with his brand Virgin. He had Virgin Megastores. He’s done Virgin Cola. I think he did Virgin weddings, and he’s dabbling in, I think, space travel, and he also started Virgin cruise lines. That’s an example of an entrepreneur. A business owner is someone who finds an industry, they’re the owner of that business but they don’t have much of an intention of being in a different one. So, that is the main difference, I would say, between a business owner and an entrepreneur.

If you have questions that you’d like me to answer, feel free to put them in the comments. And if you’d like help with your digital marketing, visit us at I’ll speak to you soon.