Very good overview of key elements of a landing page. Don't mistake the visual representation of it for the guideline. This link is useful because it highlights 10 key principles of a good landing page, which, in conjunction with the AIDA principle, will help you design an effective landing page.
With double-dip recession looming in the UK (and downright depression or even complete financial implosion hovering about the rest of Europe), it's worth reviewing that old chestnut of "starting up in a recession", particularly when focusing on B2B startups.
Wisdom passed down from our Wise Elders suggests that:
So maybe a recession is a good time to start a startup. It's hard to say whether advantages like lack of competition outweigh disadvantages like reluctant investors. But it doesn't matter much either way. It's the people that matter. And for a given set of people working on a given technology, the time to act is always now.
Ah, lack of competition. What a boon. With no competition, or even shrinking competition, surely this pulls the bar for success lower, and means that you're more likely to make money, achieve success, reach the sky and pull the moon down to earth! Another idea that I often repeated to myself, as Woobius struggled through its first couple of years, was that the construction industry's implosion meant they would be more willing to consider innovative, different solutions, like ours. They were under pressure, so surely they'd be more willing to try new things.
Wishful thinking? You bet.
I'm on my third business now. The first one was definitely not recession-proof, though it never got a chance to prove it. The second one was not recession-proof either, or at least, its first two products weren't. Woobius is still alive (and in fact doing great), having pivoted to a recession-proof product, but more on that later. My third business is definitely recession-proof, thriving in an environment where not a day goes by without talk of recessions and financial cataclisms.
My conclusions, based on my experience, is as follows:
- A rising tide floats all boats. Given the choice of starting a business in a booming market or in a shrinking market, always pick the former.
- Some products are more recession-proof than others. If you're starting up in a recession, be sure to sell something utterly tangible. Like money. Or sales. If your customers can't directly see how it impacts the bottom line, they won't buy.
- There are booming markets even in a recession. For example, the "mobile / tablet" space has been booming throughout this last recession. If you can deliver tangible value in a booming market, great.
- There are small and/or shrinking markets even in a boom (for example, audio publishing in 2006, when I started my first startup around audio publishing). Pick one of these, and you'll get to feel as if you were in a recession, even while the rest of the world is bubbling away. If you're targeting one of these, well, why? Life's too short.
So, before you start your B2B business in a recession, ask yourself if that business model is suited for a recession. Can you directly measure the value it provides, in pounds, dollars, or euros (until they split that up into 20 currencies again, at least)? If not, maybe it's worth finding another business idea.
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Here's my challenge. If you can't wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day – then you should seriously work on fixing that. I don't mean install another app, or read more productivity blogs and books. You have to figure out what's important to you and what motivates you; ask yourself why that stuff isn't gnawing at you enough to make you get it done. Fix that.
I'm a big fan of that idea, and in fact have been toying with it practically for a while now.
It started with the decision to implement a limited size todo list, using my iPad and the Bamboo app to write tasks manually (and manually copy them over onto future days if they don't get done). I started with 10 tasks per day at most, with the idea that if I have to add another task to a day that already has 10 tasks, I have to move one undone task to a future day.
It worked relatively well, but I still felt swamped. So I reduced my task count to 5. And, strangely enough, I felt more productive.
See, the reason why we're not productive most of the time isn't that we're not doing stuff. I spend my whole day doing stuff, but that doesn't make me productive. The reason why we're not productive is that we spend most of our time doing the wrong things.
The pareto rule applies to the task selection as well as to the work itself. In fact, it applies even more harshly: you're an incredibly productive person if 20% of all the tasks you do actually are the right things. But most of the tasks we do are "busywork" - whether that's answering emails, chasing people for unpaid invoices, or, irony of ironies, keeping track of the status of things.
I'm not saying these tasks (e.g. chasing invoices) are not important in some fashion. They need to happen, certainly. But chasing invoices is unlikely to be the most important thing you could do today to achieve your life's goals. And that's assuming you even have life goals. If you don't, then 100% of what you do is aimless busywork.
Jeff's article prompted me to write out my thoughts on this topic, and so I'll finish with this thought that I've been ruminating for a while:
If you can, every week, figure out and do the one most important thing that you can do to achieve your life's goals, you will be one of the most successful people on this planet.
And yes, that's true even if you forget to do some menial tasks like chasing invoices or renewing your driving licence.
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