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Ask me anything regarding business

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by adamv99, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    Just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for everything I have learned from this forum. In addition I would like to contribute and become a more active member. So here goes. I am a successful offline entrepreneur since 1998 during this time I have developed two excellent and profitable business in the two toughest business in the world restaurants and construction. Construction has and always will be a hobby as I love building and being able to stamp my name on it after it is built. The restaurants were more of an investment and I did not enjoy them as much as construction. I live in New Orleans and owed 13 restaurants in the state before hurricane Katrina hit, which changed everyone's life. So as you can say hurricane Katrina made the restaurant business very difficult as 12 out of my 13 stores were destroyed, it pretty much wiped me out I lost over $2 million dollars in various projects and investments. "They" (has anyone figured out who this is?) always told me to diversify and I did. My brothers and I owned restaurants, houses, rental property, commercial property, we were investors in several local businesses. The problem we had was that every single one was affected by Katrina so thanks to "They" for not telling us diversification should include different geographical locations. Fortunately, my brother and I also loved doing construction and after Katrina it was very profitable and work was plentiful. In 6 years we have been able to make enough money that we are talking about "retiring" and only taking on projects that we truly would love to do. But we are both relatively young and need another challenge and somehow we both get pulled to the internet marketing business. So it has brought me here and feel like in my short time I have learned so much from you guys that it is time to give back.

    I am here for anyone to ask me anything about running a business, partners, dealing with crisis, anything you need to help start a business, unpaid legal advice (I am not an attorney but have paid enough to them that I could have my own degree several times over). As you can see we have pretty much run the gamut and have seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. Anything you got shoot it my way and will help if I can you can pm me as well. Thanks again BHW!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  2. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    No questions, but congrats. Thought this was gonna be a really shitty thread, but it was a great read.
     
  3. marusia

    marusia Senior Member

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    1. Did FEMA help with any of your losses? (Not a business question per se, but it did pique my interest.)

    2. What avenue do you plan on taking as far as internet marketing is concerned? :)
     
  4. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    1. FEMA through a program with the state called the Road Home had money available and we did get a few dollars off of a couple of our properties but as far as the business no they did not. SBA had low interest loans but who the hell wanted a loan to open a business back that had just lost 100% of their population.

    I can tell you that when there is blood in the streets that is the best time for deals" I bought a few lots in my neighborhood for 30k or less that pre-katrina would have sold for 175k. I just sold one last month for 135k so prices are back but not totally. Another thing is when the storm hit we were not very liquid and cash would have helped tremendously.

    2. I had a very difficult time understanding clickbank and adsense as I never click ads when I surf but I have come to realize many, many people do. So my first foray was an ecommerce site I bought and am currently ranking on page 2 of google for 25k a month KW after 3 weeks of SEO. I am looking to add a few more sites after I learn the nuances of the first. All very new to me as my internet experience was primarily research for new ideas.

    thanks
     
  5. marusia

    marusia Senior Member

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    That's cool to hear, I actually just started the SEO and am targeting 25k local US searches across 3 keywords for an amazon affiliate site. I started the SEO service today and if it kicks ass, I'd be glad to pass it along to help you as well. :)
     
  6. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    That would be great thank you!!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. keinehabe

    keinehabe Supreme Member

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    I don't wanna be rude with you OP but ... hiding in '' internet '' with the fear of hurricanes I don't think it's the solution for you to be honest . You already have experience with running decent business in real-world , it's true , internet maybe it's seems to be hmmm ... challenging right ? I mean now ... Just wanted to '' ping '' you , do not let behind your real business avenues for online business ... well not yet ! It's good for you to try and learn '' nuances '' like you said but DO NOT give up your real chances to make something what you like / and what you can bring you moneys for that !

    Thing is ... you already had like you said , few restaurants , okay , I understand they are wiped out ... try and rebuild something what works at the moment on your area don't give up yet just because natural catastrophes , well to have little bit of comparabilities an hurricane in real world for example it's similar with deindex / severe penalty on search engine for your shopping site :) ... if in real world you can get some bricks and mortar and build again your shit ... on internet such '' review '' it's not possible most probably you will have to start over and over again being at the mercy of Big G. and others ....

    Internet can be challenging , explore it in your '' free time '' or dedicate some of your time for it even but don't jump on this area without a safe parachute :) .
     
  8. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

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    Sounds that you have some great (offline) experience.

    Here some question's for you, which would be interesting to me:
    1. What are your experiences, with hiring an manager who keeps the business running for you? Let's say for one of your restaurants?

    2. How much % do you think to save of each businesses money, and how much % do you think can one reinvest?

    3. From 1 to 10, how important are business contacts for you? (networking)

    4. I guess you agree with me, that most important is "never giving up" :)
     
  9. shawnmidd

    shawnmidd Newbie

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    Excellent read.
     
  10. proxyblaze

    proxyblaze Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Nice to hear your come back againt the katrina :DI will send you a PM.Thanks :)
     
  11. 2011nfl

    2011nfl Supreme Member

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    I have to admit. Far from what I expected by the title, yet straight to the point. Awesome read, and congrats :D
     
  12. Enigma32

    Enigma32 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Even the best fall down, but what makes them the best is that they get back up. Cheers to your persistence in the face of what was no doubt one devastating blow to your success.
     
  13. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    Thanks for the feedback and I will still be doing construction but only taking on projects that interest me. I have taken on many projects over the last few years strictly for the money. When I use the word "retire" I have enough money that I could live the rest of my life comfortably and not have to work. I am exploring this as I am too young to "retire" and am not quite ready to travel and vacation 3 weeks out of the month. I am doing this cause I want to keep working.

    Not sure if you read my post clearly but "giving up" is obviously not something in my vocabulary. When your house, business, investments, lifestyle, pleasure and everything is gone and you come back stronger than you were before not sure how you define "giving up" but that is the opposite for me.

    Thanks again

    Adam
     
  14. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    1. The biggest key to managers and why most people have difficulty with them is your expectations of them. Remember most of them are not the "boss" for a reason, whether it is the fear of not being able to go out on their own. Before you bring someone in take time to review exactly what you want this person to do for instance "I want them to come manage my people" is not a good job responsibility you need to be very specific for instance "Part of your responsibility as manager is to identify what we are doing that works (i.e. making money) and what we are doing that does not work (i.e. not making money)." In addition and this is a big one for bosses you must hold your people ACCOUNTABLE immediately. Also do not make it a meeting that lasts hours and hours, respect their time and understand they have a job to do. You as the boss should be able to identify the things that provide the most "value" making the most money with the least bit of effort involved and figure out how to replicate that a 1000 times over. You want your managers to succeed and do not be afraid to reward them a public acknowledgement of "Hey your doing a great job" goes a lot further than you think.

    2. I learned very young to live on 80% of what you make so if you make $100 stock $20 to the side for anything else. I started doing this when I was 13 and have lived by this to this day. As far as the reinvest goes it depends on the life of my business, for instance whenever I started both companies, I found the cheapest way to live, I ate PBJ sandwiches I sacrificed alot, I was a workaholic (which is not a good thing, I am a big believer in life balance) so just about every red cent I made went back into growing business for probably 2 years. As we have gotten more mature I am able to take a little more risks because the income is steady. Think about Howard Hughes he started a tool company and then financed every venture he had from this tool company, movies, airplanes, but he built his base first.

    3. I follow the BAIL rule which is you must have a great Banker, Accountant, Insurance, and Lawyer. Every business should have a great relationship. In addition, networking is very important I would say a 10 if you a personable and extroverted individual it literally can open so many doors for you. I try to do at least one big non-profit event a month and I belong to a B&I group that meets twice a month. So I try to do a bunch.

    4. It sucks when it takes one day to wipe out everything you have worked your ass off for.

    Thanks I appreciate your comments
     
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  15. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    One more thing to question 2

    2. Always pay yourself a salary no matter how small and then take profits at the end of the year or quarterly. Also in October get with your accountant to see if you need to spend some of your money in the last two months of the year. Use your accountant plenty yes they cost money but well worth it if you have a good one. But also remember most accountants are not risk takers and you being entrepreneur are so respect his opnion but see how well it fits with your goals.
     
  16. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

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    Thanks Adam for your answer's, I see you have a really great experience.
    Here in Germany, accountants are in anyway a must, because you get otherwise taxed almost 50% on everything you do.

    Regarding networking, I'm very lucky that I have met a very nice partner last year who has helped me a lot, and want's me now to get to his place (Berlin). This will be a good opportunity to get in contact with some important people. As far as local business goes, I've gone recently from an internship for school, to a partnership with an reputable web design agency. This all, in none more then 2 weeks :)

    This will be a great opportunity now, because I have very high odds to get one of their previous clients, which has 6 million $ saved in stock. It's a client, who has done nothing online before. Best is, they are manufacturing a lot of stuff on their own, like laminate. This give's me the possibility, to buy traffic directly from Google, and still make a very reasonable, good return.

    Ok, to not make this to long, I can tell you the most important advice regarding Online Marketing that I have learned in my young 20 year's so far: The long-tail make's 80% of the money in almost all case's!

    May I ask you, how old you are currently?
    All thought my general opinion is, one is that old, as he thinks he is.
     
  17. ferma231

    ferma231 Elite Member

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    This was great read , and i have some questions

    Is it hard to make business ?

    What should i do with $10k to make as much money i can ?

    And whats most important if you start your business ?
     
  18. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    Thank you for that great piece of advice regarding the long-tail KW.

    We complain in the states about our tax rates but man that is high in Germany.

    Networking is great. Think about how many places (restaurants, stores etc.) you will not go to because someone had a bad experience. This can work just the opposite think about someone you met and provided great service for and they tell someone else pretty much automatic client. Good Luck.

    I am 37.

    Thanks

    Adam
     
  19. adamv99

    adamv99 Newbie

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    It is not easy to make it in business but I am going to combine your last question and this one.

    One of the most important things you can do is write a business plan no matter how short even it is just jotting a plan down on a single piece of paper. You must do this before you start. What this does is provide you with a blueprint for your business, in addition before the grind of owning your own business starts and the stress begins, you can put all your thoughts down on paper. Every 3 months look back at it and see how close what you are doing now is reflected in your business plan. If you are struggling look back at the plan and make sure you are following it. Many times over the years when I have found myself struggling, I look back at my business plan and see where I have strayed from my initial thoughts and right the ship. In addition I always keep my original copy and then if I amend it or change it to reflect something I did not plan on or something that is working extremely well. That is why I like to call it the rolling revision business plan. But never change your original always add to it.

    Thanks

    Adam
     
  20. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Question about lots you bought and sold.
    How common was that? Buying them low? How come everyone wasn't doing that?
    I never even thought about it, but seems like a pretty smart thing to do?