Here at ReputationManagement.com, we love to share expert advice in reputation management and related topics. This week, ReputationManagement.com CEO Bill Fish dished out career advice for millennials, shared lessons from closing businesses, and offered the secret to successfully bootstrapping a business.
Reinvesting Your Profits for Business Bootstrapping Success
Bootstrapping a business isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires building a company from personal finances, or simply the existing company revenue. It requires you to work lean, think about every expense, and sometimes, stretch yourself a bit thin.
In The Secret to Successfully Bootstrapping a Business, experts who have successfully bootstrapped offered their advice for making bootstrapping work, from cutting unnecessary costs to being realistic about your resources. Bill shared his ultimate secret to finding bootstrapping success: reinvesting your profits. He says this is a good way to hold on to capital for when it’s needed.
Keeping your profits invested within your business can be difficult—especially when funds are tight. But Bill Fish of ReputationManagement.com said that leaving the profits in his first business for at least 12 months was essential to its success.
He said, “Leaving the profits in the business for at least 12 months is a must. It lets the business breathe and allows you to have capital when the need for strategic investments arises. It will come in handy down the road.”
Learning from Closing a Business
Closing a business certainly sounds like failure, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a business has run its course, allowing you to leave the market at the right time or, you learn a valuable lesson that you can translate into success with a new business down the road.
On MyCorporation, entrepreneurs weighed in on some of the most important lessons they learned from closing a business. Bill learned that it’s tough to compete with Amazon, and that it’s important to continue focusing on the resources that give you success.
“In the early 2000s, we also ran roughly seven different online stores. We had a site selling wine racks, bar stools on another, and electric scooters on a third. It was a lot of fun, and we used our search engine optimization knowhow to get a majority of the sites to rank very well for their respective search terms. Over the course of five years, we probably generated roughly $8M in revenue. When our core business was acquired, our whole team minus one moved to New York. We left one person back to run the stores, and while he did a great job, we simply didn’t focus on our SEO efforts, and some of the rankings started to dwindle. It was about this time when Amazon.com started its meteoric rise. Their deep discounting as well as their vast selection of products antiquated our online stores pretty quickly.
As an example, we had a website that solely sold alarm clocks. We ranked #1 on Google for ‘alarm clocks’. However, as Amazon grew and offered their Prime service, the normal user would go to Amazon as if it were a search engine for household products instead of Google. It was about this time, when we realized we weren’t giving them the love they needed and decided to gradually shut them down. That said, if there are ever any charity auctions looking for donations, I will still be able to offer nice wine racks for the next 20 years.
Career Advice for Millennials
Millennials are an entirely new breed in the workforce. They’ve never really known a time without the Internet, they’re well connected, entrepreneurial, and have high expectations for the future. Millennials are also facing a job market that’s unlike any we’ve seen before, with career options ranging from startups to corporate work or even development of their own company.
On CloserIQ, more than 30 founders offered the career advice that they wish someone had told them when they were younger. Bill encourages millennials to realize that their careers may evolve, and it’s always a smart move to learn as much as you can in your first year before making any serious decisions about your future.
“Your first job is not your last job. The key is to learn as much as you possibly can in the business world in your first year, and then make your decision from there.”
Interested in more reputation management news and insights? Read the ReputationManagement.com blog for weekly updates on reputation management and related topics. Bill Fish is always available to share expert advice on reputation management as well, so be sure to get in touch, if you’re seeking insightful quotes or advice.