Which three webinar topics do you think that B2B startups would be most responsive to?
As consultants, we are always looking for that hot topic and new information to share with our clients. If you were going to create or attend a webinar right now, what topics would you want it to cover? Which topics do you think would be most pertinent, interesting and essential for my audience?
Some areas of concerns for start-up entrepreneurs would be as follows:
Entity Legal Structure - What are the pros and cons of each structure? What are the differences between a Corporation and an S-Corp? How do I manage shares? How do I handle Partnership agreements? What are limited partners vs general partners?
Money - I would focus on bootstrapping and when would be the optimal time for seeking outside funding. Is forecasting sales and cash flow in a business plan worth the effort or even realistic? Even some basic accounting information would be useful for non-business entrepreneurs.
Marketing/Sales - An entrepreneur may not necessarily have the business experience to understand the marketing and sales cycles. Explain traditional marketing and how the internet has changed the landscape of marketing, like inbound marketing and social media marketing. Expand on customer/client retention and how that impacts the marketing strategy. An entrepreneur needs to understand sales, they will be the initial salesperson for their entity. Explain how to handle sales in a B2C and B2B environment.
Another thing to discuss that impacts all areas of business operation is growth. When to grow, how to finance growth, building corporate culture etc.
Granted there are a plethora of topics that could be covered. These are some of the biggest concerns I had when getting started.
In addition to David's excellent suggestions, there are a few topics to keep in mind that may leverage current trends:
Technology trends -
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends in the business world has created many opportunities for B2B vendors to provide services to large enterprises. Discuss the opportunities that are now available and the ones on the horizon. Note trends in information management, security, identity, payment by device, proximity detection, etc.
Cloud computing - the emergence of cloud computing as a major technology trend (from vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, and HP and a dozen others) has upset traditional IT departments and provides real opportunities for B2B companies to peel away some of the services traditionally provided by IT departments. Discuss those opportunities and how they work.
Social Media business models -- B2B companies need to understand how social media business models work, in detail, in order to business with companies involved in the social media space. This is especially important if the B2B company is working in the marketing or advertising space, or if the core business of their clients is impacted by social media or internet (segments include media companies, recruiting companies, publishing, software distribution, image licensing, and even businesses like comedy clubs and movie theaters).
Services resale business models -- not a new space but a growing one in the new age of cloud services. Did you know that GoDaddy will make more money next year in services resale than they will in domain sales? Is your B2B company ready to compete? Will your competitors take and advantage because they understand this market better than you do?
Hi Mia - my focus for you is on harnessing your UNconscious, inner resources.
And empowering your clients to do the same. That way your added value will have immediate and lasting contribution. That's right.
How soon will you let me know how I can be of further support for you now?
Hi Mia, I think David is spot on. But I believe that drilling down further on sales and customer service is definitely needed for start-ups. As David already mentioned a lot of start-up entrepreneurs have no idea how to find customers (prospecting) and initiating contact with them. This is crucial to the survival of the start-up. We provide this specific training for start-up companies in Ireland (not a webinar) and it is well worth their while and well received.
A lot of people think if they start a business that customers will just walk in and start ordering, stumble across their website and refer it straight to other people. In most cases this is not happening unless you have an endless marketing budget that will give you those results.
Many start-ups lacking the training and the government or enterprise boards of the world are lacking in many cases the experience of running a company but try to train you or tell you how to do it. This is clearly not working (at least not in Ireland) and yes you might get an idea before you start but the reality is that much more work is required in order to get a company off the ground. Many people don't realise this and when they have already invested a good bunch of money into their "project" that's when they start to give up. They don't have any more money to invest in themselves so it is vital to help them right from the beginning.
There is different supports available, yes but sometimes we need to be much more specific and not provide a general sales training. How to get customers is always a good way for start-ups to start with. Besides all the legal advise and trainings that they may require (depending on their industry) I think helping them how to effectively sell their products and services, how to open nationwide or international markets, how to attract investors, get funding etc. is in my own humble opinion the training start-ups need. Great topic :-)