A Preamble

By Edward Frazier

I rarely think of the fourth of July as anything but another Holiday. A parade, some fireworks, picnics with watermelons, and pies. Did I mention fire works? One of my favorite memories and a pivotal moment in my youth happened as I watched a pocket full of black cats blowing up in my very own pocket.

Very cool in front of my “girlfriend”, and oh yeah I set her sisters hair on fire trying to be cool with a small bottle rocket. I had watched others casually flip small bottle rockets in the air after lighting it from a punk held in ones teeth. Well, at 14 years old I was ready for such a challenge as lighting and tossing a bottle rocket. So, for my first time ever I lit a rocket tossed it high in the air for safety, only to see it arc over the crowd and land in my girl friend’s sister’s hair styled with flammable hair spray. Best of all! The loud pop right at the finale of the bottle rocket. No fingers ever pointed in my direction so I was stealthy by luck. I disappeared to the watermelon seed-spiting contest. Not too good at that test either.

This weekend is the 4th so happy Fourth of July for all Americans. For reasons no one living can fully appreciate a group of people decided to declare our independence. Since then many more have followed to shape a nation. There has been progress from every generation since the foundation of our country. Many National Pivots are yet to come.

Consider today July 2, what these people who started this defiance of a sovereign Kingdom were thinking. As they no doubt reflected on what they intended to do in the next 48 hours. It had the consequences of death. In fact many did come to that consequence. Some starved on POW boats in the Hudson and came to a harsh end and all sort of war hazards prevailed. I would think to make those determined intentional decisions of our founders must have included a strong faith in God. For who can ponder such things without consideration of God’s role in their destiny? I call them serious historic gamblers who put it all at risk.

Enjoy the Fourth! May greater things come of this Nation. Pray for the days to come.

About Ed Frazier

Ed has been involved in media and Internet technologies for over 30 years. He was one of the founding individuals of the Regional Sports Networks that make up Fox Sports. Following Fox sports Frazier was involved in a joint Venture with Coserv Electric in the deployment and creation of advanced fiber networks. Through the CoServ Joint Venture he supplied advanced Internet technologies, for design, development and Internet marketing. Frazier has years of experience in Internet marketing and media, including, pay per click advertising, video streaming, banner advertising, Google adwords, Yahoo, MSN, and other directory and Internet marketing systems including direct e-mail, and user targeting advertising. His interest in Internet technology management for his clients is targeted to insure best practices in Internet marketing and ecommerce. Ed is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington. He provides consulting services in the field of Integrated Media. This involves traditional broadcast media and emerging media via satellite and the Internet. He has served on the boards of publicly traded companies, privately held corporation and non-profit organization.

New Shows Coming to BizTalkRadio in July!

MoneyTalk

Saturday 8AM – 9AM ESTmoneytalk

An informative and unique show that pulls back the curtain on Wall Street. They show you the things other shows won’t. The fees and expenses, the sales charges that are hidden. The way your money can be tied up for years. They tell you what to avoid when making investment decisions, and what to look for as well.

title_killer_innovations_whiteKiller Innovations

Sunday 5PM – 6PM EST

The award winning Killer Innovations, hosted byPhil McKinney, shares the skills and lessons learned from the hosts +30 year career developing award winning products and technologies.  The objective is to share with the audience how to harness the power of innovation to radically improve their personal, career and business success.

Refresh Your Wealth

Thursday 7PM – 8PM ESTrefresh

The Refresh Your Wealth Radio Show helps listeners live the American Dream and better build & protect their wealth. Their team has attorneys and CPA’s with years of in the field experience who know real estate, retirement planning, tax and legal strategies to help you save and make more money and protect it!

smartlivingSmart Living

Sunday 9AM – 10AM EST

Smart Living is about lifestyle and living well. The show covers home and garden, food and dining, health and fitness, technology, financial health, travel and adventure.

The Stages of a Start-Up

by Ed Frazier

I have always been involved in starting companies or acquiring them. This post however is related to the start-ups. I have been involved in over 20 start-ups in my career, working 20+ years in the media industry but also some in wind power, solar, real estate, and Internet technologies. In all cases, they have had some common patterns.

1. THE CHAMPAGNE STAGE  

This is the initial planning stage where the math goes something like this.  If we offer a product that everyone in our market loves and we capture 3% of the market we will make a lot of money. The model will also include some underestimated cost and time lines. However, as partners we are all excited about this prospect so we launch.  It will include a plan to capitalize the venture, and some division of responsibility. This stage will last until the Champagne is gone.

2. REALITY IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE MODEL

This is the period when the venture partners and their investor watch the financial resources begin to deplete. There will be a realization that it’s going to take longer than planned. It is important to look at the end of year one and evaluate if there is a business to be built. The test of the concept can be determined by how much business has been secured related to the idea.  If there are no customers it may be time to change direction.  My experience has been that if I have some good clients by the end of year one the business has promise.  If I don’t have some good clients its not a good sign.

3.THE HELMET AND FLAK JACKET STAGE

This stage of the business runs from year one to year three. It’s the time when the initial capital is close to being consumed and the profit line has not been obtained. The danger of running out of cash or calling on investors to contribute more is a real possibility. It’s the point in time when everyone  questions the wisdom of the venture and self esteem can hit a low. It’s time to hunker down put on the flack jacket and persevere. About the end of year three you have been in business long enough that those potential clients you called on in year one are ready to trust you with their business. It comes at a time when one might considering giving up. Then a call from a client you called on two years ago comes in and orders.  This is a sign that you have a future in your chosen business. Its also a good time to go back to all your previous prospects and touch base.  Let them know you are still going.

4. ALWAYS KNEW YOU WOULD MAKE IT STAGE

This is the stage where all those skeptics that doubted you could ever succeed will start to say.  “I always knew you would make it,  everything you do turns to gold”. This is the point in time when you can go to family gatherings and instead of them asking when you will get a real job you can proudly say I own my own business and I love it. The most important thing at this stage is to remember the sacrifices that have been made share the wealth with those who helped you and extend a supporting word or resource to the pilgrims that are embarking on their journey. Above all, enjoy your success.

About Ed Frazier

Ed has been involved in media and Internet technologies for over 30 years. He was one of the founding individuals of the Regional Sports Networks that make up Fox Sports. Following Fox sports Frazier was involved in a joint Venture with Coserv Electric in the deployment and creation of advanced fiber networks. Through the CoServ Joint Venture he supplied advanced Internet technologies, for design, development and Internet marketing. Frazier has years of experience in Internet marketing and media, including, pay per click advertising, video streaming, banner advertising, Google adwords, Yahoo, MSN, and other directory and Internet marketing systems including direct e-mail, and user targeting advertising. His interest in Internet technology management for his clients is targeted to insure best practices in Internet marketing and ecommerce. Ed is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington. He provides consulting services in the field of Integrated Media. This involves traditional broadcast media and emerging media via satellite and the Internet. He has served on the boards of publicly traded companies, privately held corporation and non-profit organization.

Streaming Content vs. Cable – From the floor of NCTA

Cable Companies Are Working to Keep Up With the Consumer

How you consume media has changed. According to industry experts, while TV sets are still the number one way to consume video, watching content on a device other then TV is up 400% in the past 18 months. In fact it has been widely reported that in 2013 the number of cable subscribers dropped for the first time since cable TV launched.

Netflix and YouTube account for at least 50% of all streaming content online in the US.

So what does that mean for the cable industry?

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association renamed their annual convention The Internet & Television Expo or INTX for short.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association renamed their annual convention The Internet & Television Expo or INTX for short.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association held its annual meeting last week in Chicago. Interesting enough, The National Cable Show has rebranded and is now called The Internet & Television Expo, or INTX for short. Not only has the industry recognized the need to include the Internet, it got first billing at the show.

CableLabs is a non-profit research and development consortium that works with the large cable companies in developing technology at a rate that is affordable and meets the ever changing demands of the consumer.

Phil McKinney, President and Chief Executive Officer of CableLabs, says there is no doubt the industry is changing. “Cable providers are looking less and less like cable companies and more and more like IP (Internet Protocol) delivery providers.”

Worth noting, cable TV is still the largest form of delivery of content. Currently 90% of US Homes still pay for TV. But, as McKinney points out, more and more providers are using the Internet to delivery content.

Will there be enough bandwidth to keep up with the demand?

“Technology is pushing Internet speeds,” says McKinney. “We continue to see more bandwidth being developed than what is needed.”

Just last week Comcast announced plans to roll out multi-gigabit broadband service to its 2.4 million Chicago based customers. And SpectrumMax, a San Antonio based company, announced two new products that it promises will allow “cable operators to eliminate customer losses and successfully compete with cellular or wireless carriers.”

Will streaming content online verses cable or satellite save the consumer money? Is the Internet the answer to the demand for an “al a chart” menu of programming?

The cost for traditionally produced content continues to rise eight to 12% annually.

The cost for traditionally produced content continues to rise eight to 12% annually.

Yes and no to both questions.

By opening up content via the web, or what the industry refers to as “over the top,” meaning content delivered by the Internet verses the cable set top box, there are less bandwidth issues. Even satellite has a limit to the number of channels they can deliver. But the Internet, at least for now, seems to have an unlimited amount of bandwidth. More bandwidth gives smaller, more affordable programmers an outlet to deliver their content. This means the consumer has more choices to fresh new content at an affordable price.

Where the consumer will find cost going up is the more traditionally produced content they currently get through their cable provider. ESPN is the perfect example. Under the current cable model, the consumer pays about five dollars per month to get ESPN. Yet, set top box data shows less then 20% of consumers actually watch sports. NFL being the exception, drawing about a 30% audience.

So imagine the cost of ESPN in an “al a chart” world. Think Pay Per View. In ESPN’s defense it is not cheap to produce a live sporting event in HD. So if the cable industry moves away from traditional cable to an “al a chart” model, the cost would increase for those consumers who want the content.

“The cost for produced content continues to rise eight to 12%,” says McKinney. “The cable industry is absorbing most of the cost, knowing the consumer wants a cheaper monthly bill.”

Sudden Link Cable went as far as to drop all Viacom (CBS) programming because of the rising cost of produced content.

In truth the answer seems to lie somewhere in the middle. Dish’s Sling TV is perfect example. Sling TV offers consumers a package of channels they can watch on their mobile device, tablet or traditional TV through RoKu. Bandwidth delivery gives the consumers the freedom they want, and the package keeps the prices at a lower rate.

Channel Master rolled out its new IP box at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention last month. The box combines an over the air antenna, built in DVR and channel apps for additional content. The antenna helps Channel Master avoid retransmission fees, which are fees the big networks charge cable companies for the rights to carry their content. The content is free over the air, so that alone saves the consumer money. The built in DVR allows the consumer to watch the content on demand, and the built in channel apps gives access to additional content. Not currently offered on mobile devices, but another example of how the Internet can reduce the cost for the consumer.

Social Media Has Influenced How We Consume Media

Before social media, content on TV was used to drive an audience to a website. Social media has reversed that by using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to drive an audience to TV.

But the biggest issue with social media according to McKinney is spoilers, “where east coast viewers spoil the end of a TV program for the west coast viewers.”

Live programming has been the only answer to the problem, like a sporting event. Both east and west coast viewers are watching the sporting event live, so no spoilers.

Some networks are solving this problem by having viewers interact with live programming in real time on the east coast, and then playing back the interaction during the west coast feed. Youtoo America is a perfect example. In the interest of full disclosure, the parent company of BizTalkRadio and BizTV also owns Youtoo America.

The concept behind Youtoo America is that you, the viewer, can be on TV. The Network launched two live shows last week that discuss the trending topics of the day. The viewer or consumer can interact with the program by voting on the question of the day in real time, texting a message that scrolls across the bottom of the screen or even submitting a short video that could be played with in minutes on TV.

The idea is to use social media to drive an audience back to watching live content. The trending topics are first put out on social media. Viewers tune in live to see if their comments or videos made it on air, or to see how the rest of the country voted in the poll.

Interesting enough, the NBA is taking the opposite approach in its telecast according to McKinney. They find that sports consumers want to watch the game on TV without a lot of distraction on the screen. So the NBA is experimenting with an app that will provide stats, the score and social media comments. The app will run live during the telecast of the game.

Finally, is there any new TV technology to keep the consumer’s interest?

Yes, and it is called Ultra HD. But it is not what you think. Ultra HD is not about a higher resolution, like the first generation HD TVs.

Ultra HD is all about the amount of color it can display. Current HD sets only allows about 38% of colors the human eye can see. Where Ultra HD allows up to 70% of the colors the human eye can see.

“Resolution will not be as important as the color spectrum with the new TVs,” says McKinney.

The good news for consumers, the price of an Ultra HD TV is expected to come down in the next couple of years.

The Bottom Line:

Technology changes, and media has always been evolving and reinventing itself. Cable TV is the latest medium to use the Internet to deliver content. The biggest hurdle is not the distribution, but how the industry keeps the cost of produced programming down in the fragmented world of delivering the consumer the content they want, on the device they want, when they want to watch.

scottScott Miller is the EVP of Centerpost Limited, a private media holdings company that owns BizTV, BizTalkRadio and Youtoo America. Miller recently attended the Internet and Television Expo in Chicago and reports on how the industry is dealing with the changing landscape.

All right, Entrepreneur: Let’s take back the morning [Infographic]

morning

5 Signs Your Customer Doesn’t Belong With You

Too often, we fall back on the mantra “the customer is always right.”

But is that always true?

Here are our five ways of telling if you aren’t a good fit with your customer:

1. You dread you interactions

Your day is going fine. Everything is lovely. You get a call, check the number on the caller ID, and your whole mood deflates. It’s not just that some customers only call when there’s a problem. Even if that’s the case, a customer could still be a good fit.

No, these calls are the ones that never go anywhere. Your staff complains about working with them. They are never satisfied and likely never will be.

Cut them loose.

2. They complain about who they used to work with

If you have a customer who seems to have never had a pleasant experience with anyone they’ve worked with, be weary. You’ll likely not be any different. You’ll just be the guy they complain about to the next company they work with.

3. They threaten your company

If a customer raises hell about something, you should definitely take notice. Not everyone who has had a bad customer experience with your company is a bad customer. You should be paying attention to Yelp and other business review sites to always improve how you deal with your customers.

On the other hand, if a customer is threatening to cause trouble and raising a stink, yet still continue to work with you, maybe politely suggest they would be happier with someone else. The threat of a bad customer review is exploitative.

4. They don’t pay on time

It’s uncomfortable talking about money. It’s unacceptable to not get paid. One late payment isn’t the end of the world or the destruction of your company. But, if it’s a pattern of behavior, you can’t keep that customer on as a business expense.

5. They don’t respect your expertise

You’re good at what you do. If your customer can’t see that, maybe they should find someone else. You should also have respect for your customer. If you can’t nourish a relationship, they might be better served somewhere else.

Have you ever fired a customer? Why? Share in the comments!

5 Promotional Ideas for your Small Business

One of the hardest things about owning a small business is getting the word out. When you’re small, it’s easy to go unnoticed. Without notice, you get no business. Here are our top 5 promotional ways to get the word out about your business.

1. Create a video

Let’s face it. In this day and age, it is not difficult to get your hands on a camera or simple video editing software. A YouTube channel can be a valuable asset, as it promotes the same social interaction as a social network. Creating videos with content that is relevant to your business and is something that offers helpful tips and advice is best.

But, even though the ultimate goal is to have a video that people will share, don’t get too focused on trying to create a share worthy video. Also, don’t give up. There’s no secret trick that makes a video go viral. You just have to keep putting yourself and your product out there until someone takes notice.

2. StumbleUpon Advertising

StumbleUpon is a web browser add-on that allows users to “stumble” on to random websites curated by other users. StumbleUpon normally has a more organic approach, but if you have a hard time getting visitors to your site, the ads are relatively inexpensive. As long as you’re creating good content, StumbleUpon will be a valuable asset as the people using the add-on already want to share and engage.

3. Create an infographic

Th great thing about being in your line of work is that it makes you an expert in your line of work, right? The Internet is a highly visual medium and the popularity of infographics only reinforces that notion. You’re an expert at what you do. Create an infographic that customers can use. No one knows it better than you.

4. Don’t forget LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be the social network everyone’s talking about, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. LinkedIn targets professionals. While you can have a profile page, the real power of LinkedIn is creating a page for your business. It’s another way to gain followers and attention. And, given the nature of LinkedIn, these might be exactly the kind of influential people you want to interact with.

5. Apply online for business awards

If a movie wins an Oscar, are you more likely to see it? Maybe. If your business wins an award, will you gain more customers? Again, maybe. You might as well see if you qualify for an award. At the very least, you’ll have bragging rights.

What promotional ideas have you used in the past? What works? What doesn’t work? Share in the comments!

Biggest Workplace Time Wasters [Infographic]

workplace

How to Become a Morning Person [Infographic]

1424893848-morning-person

5 Things to Look For in a Mentor

A mentor is an invaluable resource for the young entrepreneur. A mentor is someone who has taken the journey you want to take, someone who’s been there before. They are a valuable resource who you can turn to when you’ve hit a stumbling block. So, how do you get one?

There are plenty of places where entrepreneurs gather: conferences, MeetUp groups, online communities.

Here are our top 5 things to look for when trying to find a mentor:

1. Chemistry

If you’re going to be working with a mentor, you want good chemistry. You want someone you feel comfortable talking to and confiding in. Before you consider an specific entrepreneur as your mentor, do some research on them. What do they value? What kind of business do the have? What do people have to say about working with them? Chances are, if they’re in a similar business as you, they’ll have similar values.

Before you ask them to be your mentor, meet with them for coffee. See how you get along.

2. Availability

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs are busy people. When looking for a mentor, you need to find someone who is available to help you. When searching for your mentor, do fool around. Ask them if they’re interested in mentoring. Ask them if they have the time to take that on. There is another person involved here. They should know their limitations. In that same vein, figure out what you want from your mentor. Do you want to meet for coffee once a week, once a month? Do you want to go out to dinner twice a week? Do you want to be able to call them at any time? Figure out what your time demands are and see if their availability matches.

3. A positive attitude

This might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised. Feel out your potential mentor. If you’re sensing some hidden resentment, it’s probably there. You want someone who will encourage you and help you grow. Don’t let a negative mentor drag you down. On the flip side, be careful that you don’t mistake cautious optimism and a realistic thought with negativity. Even if a mentor has a reserved opinion, they can still be helpful for your navigation of the startup world.

4. Respect

Does your new mentor treat you as an equal? Or are they condescending? Even if you’re a young or new entrepreneur, you still deserve respect. Find a mentor that will treat you as an equal. They should hear you out; all your thoughts, fears, concerns, and plans are valid. You should also have a high level of respect for them. If not, why did you want them to be your mentor in the first place?

5. Open mind

Just because your mentor has been through the startup/entrepreneurial process, doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do it. You want to find a mentor who can recognize there are different ways to achieve a goal. Someone who says, “This is how we did it. Your way might work, too.” You don’t have to take every piece of advice they give you as gold. You want someone whose experience you can learn from, not someone who will just tell you what to do.

What do you look for in a mentor? Where did you find your mentor?

Share in the comments below!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,763 other followers

%d bloggers like this: