Friday, June 26, 2009

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

Lately I've been trying to squeeze in more reading time but that was a complete failure. So I decided to read a book that shrinks 100 books into 1! Genius. Time saver. Some of the books I would definitely want to read the entire book instead of just a summary, but the one that caught my eye as one of the Best Business Books of All Time was Dr. Seuss' "Oh! The Places You'll Go!"

I received this as a graduation gift from my mentor 2 years ago and I have to admit that it has been the book that I have read time and again when I encountered difficult times in building my own business.

The concepts are so simple yet encouraging that I recommend that anyone that needs a boost in their day (if it's one of THOSE days...) to get this book. According to the summary I read, the entire book has less than 600 words! So, I can definitely say that it's an "easy" read. Here's an excerpt I like:
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PeerFX Approved for Government Funding

We've waited a little bit to announce this on the blog but we're extremely excited that we've been approved for government funding for the next 10 months of our development efforts. This morning we distributed a press release through CNW newswire to share the news and it's been picked up by Yahoo! Finance and other trade networks.

Our IRAP representative was super helpful in guiding us with the application and you can read the press release here:

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Ruthless Management

Recently I read a book titled "Ruthless Management". Not that I'm encouraging you to manage that way but I think the key takeaway I had was that as much as we don't want to, we have to measure everything and align employee's interests with the company.

The most illustrative example they had was a chart that outlined an employer vs. an employee's priorities.

How much profit can we produce today?

  1. Taking care of kids
  2. Holding marriage together
  3. Planning for the weekend
  4. Planning night out with girls/guys
  5. Who will win American Idol?
  6. Social relationships at the office; who's a b*tch, who's my friend
  7. Getting to work on time
  8. Getting off work right on time or early if possible
  9. How much profit can I produce for the company today?
Clearly we see a mismatch of priorities, and you can't blame them! YOU are the one running the business with your blood, sweat and tears and sadly, on the other end, they are here for a paycheck. So the best you can do is try to motivate and provides incentives for them to help build the company.

Don't get me wrong - there are employees that will be with you through the good times and the bad, take a cut in their paycheck to help out your cash flow issues, with an understanding that they will be rewarded in the future for their loyalty (and you should definitely reward them).

The bottom line is that as employers, we shouldn't impose our priorities on our employees; just remember that when you were an employee you were probably wanting to get off right on time as well. This teaches us a lesson that we should spend time figuring out what motivates each employee and act accordingly.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

International Retailer Conference & Exhibition - Boston

The largest conference of its type. We definitely learnt a lot from the conference speakers sessions, but the most rewarding component was talking with other online businesses. Some key takeaways were:

  1. Accountability - with the widespread use of tools to make your online marketing more efficient, you can also use these tools to hold your marketing agencies accountable for your website conversions, sales numbers, etc.
  2. Affiliates - it seems like with the dominance of online retail giants, it's hard for small businesses to compete. This is why the use of affiliates is so important; online growth is largely depending on the size of the network that you are able to create. Are your services/products beneficial or complimentary to other online services? Creating affiliations and partnerships can raise sales and positively impact the bottom line for both companies. The golden rule still applies: If the partnership or affiliation doesn't have any impact on your bottom line it's a no go - you're either partnering for your ego's sake or to impress your investors.
  3. Functionality - what did people come to your website to do? The pretty colors and design are appropriate only when they compliment the functionality of your website. Background graphics that overlap the website navigation menu are a distraction and detract from the main function, to sell, sell, SELL!!!
Those are just a couple of things we picked up from the conference; I would definitely recommend other online retailers/services to attend this conference next year since you will learn current techniques to improve your website, bounce ideas off potential partners and customers, and see how other businesses manage their websites to maximize ROI on their marketing spending.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Website Traffic up....5333% ???

That sounds like a HUGE number.

Which is awesome.

And no...we're NOT talking about the type of growth like this: "We have DOUBLED our viewership over the past month!" (When you only had 20 in the first place...haha)

So I'm guessing that the Adwords campaign we're running is doing pretty good. Or from the first batches of transactions that we're running, our users are helping us spread the word since they've seen the results and the savings. I'm actually hoping it's the latter, since that means we're delivering on what we promised - savings on currency exchange.

We're encouraged by the fact that users have tried out the system with smaller amounts, proven that they get their money as promised, and are coming back with larger transactions. We have these early adopters to thank for helping us build credibility for our service.

We're in the midst of setting our sales goals for the upcoming months, and since it's been proven that sharing goals with others will make people adhere to them better, I'm hoping that I will be able to share them on this blog so our readers can keep us on our toes.

More to come on this later!