Posts Tagged "Projectzo"

Give your potential clients and customers something easy to agree on first, then work from there.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


One of my friends has a business that is all about healthy living and whole food nutrition. She has a number of different products — all based on science and plant-based foods — that people can easily take and get on the road to better health.

In an effort to simplify the process, someone recommended that she should “lead” with their high-end program. Not because it was the highest-dollar amount (the integrity of the people who work for this company is awesome, so it’s not a money issue at all), but because it was actually the biggest bang for people’s buck.

In other words, for folks who were really serious about moving forward with their health goals, this high-end program was the fastest way to get there.

But, it was a little on the expensive side, and some people simply didn’t have the money. As a result, my friend found herself getting a lot of prospects telling her, “This is great, but I can’t afford it.”

“No problem,” she thought. “If they say that, I’ll just provide some less-expensive options — let people know they can start with some of my more basic packages.”

I asked her how much money her products were selling for.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

“Well, the high end package is around $225 per month for four months,” she said, “and the basic package is $40, again in four monthly installments,” she responded.

“Wow!” I said. “That’s a big difference.”

The high-end package includes shakes, nutritional bars, four kinds of capsules … the works. It was made for someone who is really serious about their health goals.

The frustrating part is that the company has three products, and if someone can’t afford the high end package, there are options that can totally work. But, after customers initially say “no,” it’s almost impossible getting them back on the phone.

My friend spent a lot of time trying to get people off of “no” and into “yes,” as opposed to just giving them an option where they can say “yes” right away.

Related: Steal These 4 Proven Customer-Retention Strategies

She led with her high-end product, and while I totally understand that it’s a good deal, from a financial standpoint, it just might not work for some peoples’ budgets. So when they say ‘no’, you try to move to a different, less-expensive package in an effort to get a “yes.” And that’s fine.

But, in customer’s mind, they’ve already said no” to the entire idea, rather than just a version of that idea. Getting them to say “yes” right after that has obviously been very difficult.

By adding a medium option and presenting all three at the same time, she could give people an option to say “yes” at the level they’re most comfortable with, rather than just what she thought would provide the fastest results.

And by getting people into “yes” right away, she can always talk with them a month or two later to see how things are going and if they’d like to upgrade their order. That way, she doesn’t spend a bunch of energy trying to get people to undo their initial decision.

Related: 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty

I see this in other businesses all the time. We go into the sales process with one offer … what we think will work for someone else’s situation. Even if we’re right, it doesn’t mean the prospective client recognizes it.

In those situations, you’re working uphill getting to yes. Instead, try providing some options where they can say yes — even if it’s not ideal from your perspective. You can then work with them as a client in the months ahead to help them see the value of what you were initially saying.

Or to put it another way: Get people to “yes” first, provide excellent service and move up from there.

Not only is it easier and more appealing, but you’re giving more people more opportunities to work with you and your business … and what could be more rewarding than that?


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Think that Google Play and the App Store are your only options? Think again.


7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Chances are, when you think of app marketplaces, Google Play and Apple’s App Store are the first that come to mind. And well they should.

Both platforms have been highly lucrative for entrepreneurs and developers alike, after all. Revenue paid to app business owners from the App Store totaled $26.5 billion in 2017, according to Apple. Gross revenue from Google Play apps came to $20.1 billion over the same period, per SensorTower.

Related: Getting Started With Small Business App Development

Approximately $14 billion of that went to app business owners, based on the 70/30 revenue split that both Google Play and the App Store offer on paid apps and in-app purchases. Total revenue for both app stores topped $58 billion — a year-over-year increase of 35 percent over 2016. For 2020, Statista has predicted that mobile app revenue will jump to $188.9 billion.

Fierce competition in the app space

Alongside these staggering revenue projections comes fierce competition in the mobile app space. As of Q3 2018, there were over 4 million apps available in Google Play and the App Store combined, per Statista. Why so many? The relatively low barrier to entry to mobile app development — and the potential rewards if an app meets with success — are at least partly responsible for the glut.

All this presents a challenge for you if you’re developing an app of your own. Even if — through marketing and positive reviews — you’re able to distinguish your app from the millions of others, and convince a consumer to download it, Statista shows that the struggle to gain traction with users is far from easy. Close to 25 percent of apps downloaded in 2017 were used just once in the first six months after they were downloaded.

Given that a large proportion of mobile apps rely on freemium pricing or in-app purchases for revenue, persuading a customer to download a particular mobile app is often only the first step on the road to meaningful revenue.

Still, while the potential rewards of developing a successful iOS or Android app are enormous, the Play and App Stores are far from the only options for entrepreneurs looking to build, monetize and sell an app.

Here, then, is a look at three lesser-known marketplaces for entrepreneurs seeking to build an app business.

Shopify App Store

Since launching in 2004, Shopify, the Canadian ecommerce software giant, which was initially founded to hawk snowboards, now commands almost 10 percent of global ecommerce market share, according to Statista.

Related: 6 Big Challenges Faced By Startups When Developing Mobile Apps

Shopify is actually the most popular stand-alone ecommerce platform. WooCommerce, which powers a staggering 28 percent of ecommerce sites worldwide, is a plug-in that adds ecommerce functionality to sites running on WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system.

Shopify’s App Store is home to almost  1,200 paid apps that extend the functionality of the platform. Many Shopify app purveyors, such as ShopStorm, offer a suite of products, each aimed at solving a different problem for merchants.

If you happen to be a Shopify merchant, and you’ve come across an issue that an existing app doesn’t address, consider doing some research in the heavily trafficked Shopify merchant forums. If other users are experiencing the same issue, an app that solves the problem might just have a significant audience. If you’re brainstorming app ideas, the forums are an ideal place to start.

Shopify offers developers a variety of monetization options for apps, including one-off and recurring payments, and usage-metered charges. Shopify app developer ASoft offers an amazingly insightful resource featuring a plethora of Shopify App Store metrics that is updated daily.

It’s a must-read for any entrepreneur considering developing a Shopify app, as is this blog post. Shopify charges a 20 percent commission on app sales billed through the Shopify App Store, whether the commission is a one-time payment or recurring subscription revenue.

Salesforce AppExchange

Salesforce was one of the world’s first pure software as a service (SaaS) companies, and it remains one of the most valuable, with a market cap that exceeded $100 billion in November 2018. Salesforce is the market leader in customer relationship management  and it’s widely employed by small business and the world’s largest companies alike.

As with Shopify, a diverse ecosystem of apps has emerged to extend the functionality of Salesforce’s core offering. Launched in 2005, the Salesforce App Store predates the Apple App Store’s launch by three years, making it a true pioneer in the app marketplace vertical.

Related: Top Principles to Follow For Sustainable App Development

With an estimated subscriber base of 3.75 million, according to SalesInside, there’s a good chance that a substantial number of these people are seeking solutions to issues not addressed by Salesforce out of the box.

The platform is also remarkably developer-friendly: It provides an extensive learning resource for developers called Trailhead. Salesforce also offers the Lightning app builder, which allows users to build their own simple apps without any coding required. Lightning is aimed at making it easier for Salesforce users to develop in-house solutions. Building apps for the Salesforce App Store will likely require proficiency in one of the following: Node, Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Go, Scala or Clojure, as well as use of the Heroku development environment.

There are also up-front costs associated with listing an app in the SalesForce app store, as well as a 15 percent commission. These costs may be higher than on some other app marketplaces, but the rewards just might outweigh the additional outlay. Steve Cummins, founder of AppSelekt, has estimated that the average AppExchange paid app generated revenue of well over $900,000 per annum in 2015.

Alexa Skills

Amazon’s virtual assistant has become so ubiquitous that one friend, a partner at a large law firm, recently recounted that the first word her infant daughter spoke was “Alexa.” Since launching four short years ago, Amazon’s Alexa-powered “smart speakers,” like the Echo Plus, have almost a 65 percent market share in the United States, according to data from Voicebot. Considering that Voicebot found in a separate study that 57.8 million adults, or 23 percent of the U.S. population, own at least one smart speaker, there is already an enormous market for Alexa apps.

Amazon has dubbed these Alexa apps “Skills,” and created a dedicated Skills marketplace.

Although it’s early days for the Amazon Skills marketplace, Voicebot, the oracle of all things Alexa, recently revealed that Alexa has 50,000 Skills and works with 20,000 different devices, with 3,500 brands using it,

Amazon rivals Salesforce in the depth of learning resources it offers to developers, but there’s a catch. While Skill developer success stories abound, Amazon is currently being opaque about how it incentivizes developers, according to CNET. Watch for the terms to become more transparent in the near future.

Final thoughts

The three app marketplaces explored in this post should be carefully considered by entrepreneurs hoping to launch an app business. Other app marketplaces to check out include WordPress Plugins, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft AppSource.

Clearly, there’s a world of opportunities beyond the AppStore and Google Play for app creators and entrepreneurs. Keep them in mind for your own project.


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Kickstarter backers loved it — and so will you.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Missed connection flights. Uncomfortable hotel mattresses. An “out of order” sign on the conference room’s only coffee machine.

There’s a lot to fret about when it comes to business trips, but your luggage shouldn’t be one of them.

Crafted from premium, weather-resistant nylon ripstop and weighing less than one pound, the Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag is ideal for the oft-traveling professional. Modern, stylish, and versatile, its design features inner and outer pockets for small items such as your wallet, keys, and boarding pass. It also includes a matching travel kit for your toiletries.

So it’s nice to look at and capable of carrying all your business-casual essentials, but can this minimalist duffel survive a few days on the road? Actually, yes: The Bomber is a bag that’s clearly built to last, with military-grade clips, reinforced handles, emergency paracord zipper pulls, and an adjustable, padded, quick-release shoulder strap for convenient (and comfortable) transport. In fact, the Bomber is such a perfect mix of form and functionality that it currently holds the title of being the most successful bag in Kickstarter history with more than $430,000 raised in pledges. 

The Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag and its matching travel kit typically cost $200, but for the next few days, Entrepreneur readers can purchase them as a set for only $69.99 — a savings of 65 percent


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On this episode of The Playbook podcast, Marty Strenczewilk, co-founder and CEO of Splyce, discusses the rapid growth of eSports, and the best ways to make a career in the industry.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You might not fully understand eSports, but the fast-growing industry is providing a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Marty Strenczewilk, co-founder and CEO of the eSports giant Splyce, talks about the widespread appeal of eSports competitions, as well as how to find a role in the field. 

Related: Find more episodes of The Playbook podcast here.

Listen in as host Dave Meltzer and Strenczewilk talk about the expansion of Splyce and the similarities between traditional sports and eSports. Marty also discusses what qualities are necessary to set yourself apart as an eSports athlete and how parents can support their kids in the pursuit of video game glory. 


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Online platforms for freelance worker provide an unparalleled opportunity to work with millions of people who aren’t necessarily like you.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


It’s easy to be swept up in the negative rhetoric around the gig economy. Too often “on demand” workers are framed by the media purely as a cost-cutting tactic for businesses. Somehow the professional experience and expertise of the humans behind the screen get left out of the conversation.

Related: How to Fight the Gender Pay Gap as a Self-Employed Woman — and Maximize Your Income

Think of it this way: Online platforms are a unique space where the world’s best talent can connect both with each other to exchange ideas and share feedback, and with people and organizations actively seeking their specific skills. They create a truly level playing field irrespective of location, gender, age or background.

When you remove the barriers of geography and social background — which is what Silicon Valley’s call for “democratization” ultimately is — the creative possibilities are endless.

Our industry talks tirelessly about improving diversity. We need to celebrate the evolution of platform work as a step in a fairer direction, and see it for what it is: an unparalleled opportunity to work with millions of people who aren’t necessarily like you.

Diversity in ideas adds value.

Not looking more deeply into the benefits of our emerging global workforce does a disservice to the people around the world using online platforms to build their careers. Truly flexible work has never been this accessible, and is a valuable pipeline for people like stay-at-home parents, retirees or creatives who find they do their best work on the road. Valuing flexibility over more traditional benefits shouldn’t be dismissed as a somehow less valid choice; as a society we should encourage people to work in a way that works for them.

Related: 7 Reasons Why the Gig Economy is a Net Positive

In addition, there’s plenty of evidence that a globally distributed talent network can radically improve a company’s output and available skill set. Research from McKinsey shows that ethnically diverse businesses are 35 percent more productive and 9 percent more profitable. However, as any business owner knows, achieving diversity isn’t always as easy as we’d like. The platform economy offers a solution in a ready-made global network of skills and international perspectives.

Access the best people and projects.

Freelancers have been the lifeblood of the creative industries almost since their inception, so the concept of tapping into on-demand talent is nothing new in fields like design, music, film or writing. What online platforms have succeeded in doing is opening up this model to the rest of the world, making it easier for freelancers to find interesting work, and making talented creatives more accessible to clients.

While the platform economy has created a new global wave of creative diversity, there’s still some way to go in getting more people comfortable with the idea that the best person for the job isn’t necessarily in the same time zone or country as them.

The key point that’s missing from so much of the narrative around the gig economy is that companies put significant effort into attracting, nurturing and retaining skilled people. After all, the best talent will always have options — and working within the platform economy is just one of them.

Related: How ‘Unconventional’ Workers Can Be the Answer to Your Company Culture Woes

Ignore international talent at your own risk.

Creative talent is a commodity in demand, and that talent truly is everywhere. No skilled worker should be disadvantaged because of where they were born or where they live. Platforms have broken down borders in the creative industries, and ultimately made them a much fairer place to work.

As a global society, we should celebrate this: Businesses have never had access to such depth and reach of creative talent before. To miss out on the benefits of this diversity simply because we are stuck in well-worn narratives and assumptions is such a waste of potential for a society in desperate need of creative diversification.


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