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Trump University Entrepreneurship 101: How to Turn Your Idea into a Money Machine, Second Edition by Michael E. Gordon

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TRUMP UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101
drivers to the polls, going door-to-door in crucial states, garnering resources
of all kinds, marketing at the polls, spreading the word, involving, involving,
involving. Using this site, the Obama campaign became an unstoppable
steamroller. Study and restudy his site, and ask yourself: “How can I use its best
practices to further my own business goals?”
http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaHome (Soliciting Ideas)
In 2008, Starbucks Coffee published a section within their web site, “My
Starbucks Idea,” inviting customers to help shape the future of Starbucks. In
Starbucks’s own words:
You know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks. So tell us.
What’s your Starbucks Idea? Revolutionary or simple—we want to hear it.
They encouraged customers to have discussions with other coffee drinkers,
share their ideas, vote on the best suggestions, and see the results. To get
this kind of customer feedback, they would have had to employ costly market
research techniques, face-to-face focus groups, and input from their stores.
Study this link!
These nine examples are a representative smattering of the millions
of collaborative sites on the Web. For a more comprehensive list, see
www.wikipedia.com (in the search bar on the left, type in: List of Social
Networking Sites). Collectively, they tell a story you need to know about
collaboration, contribution, customer involvement, and sharing for mutual
benefit. Now for the challenging part.
How to Use Web 2.0 for Competitive Advantage
Let’s think through the start-up and growth of your own business, making
use of the following example. Computers are your passion. You have tech-
nical expertise in hardware, software, and services. You launched a home-
based business called “We Will Fix Your Computer” which you plan to
refer to as (www.wwfyc.com), and you have been offering computer ser-
vices from your home: training, virus protection, repair, parts, new and used
laptops, software, and accessories. Now you want to harness Web 2.0 to
propel your business to the next level. Your first goal is to maximize a cus-
tomer base in your geographic domain. Goal number two will seek expan-
sion beyond your immediate region, followed by a national presence. Bold
visions!
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Harness Web 2.0 for Competitive Advantage
Here’s what you can achieve with Web 2.0:
r
Market your message through customer interaction
r
Build strong customer relationships and brand loyalty
r
Drive traffic to your site and your business
r
Solicit suggestions for product and service improvement
r
Solicit suggestions for improved web site usability
r
Mobilize millions of brains to think for you
Now, let’s brainstorm what you might actually do.
4
OfthenineWeb2.0
sites we listed, four types are immediately useful:
1. Start your own blog.
On your site, use a suggestion board to solicit customer ideas for new
services, new products, new ways to deliver products and services,
your web site usability, and enhanced customer involvement with
your company. Reward customers for any suggestions you actually
use by giving them discounts on your products and services, a free
computer tune-up, or one hour of computer training. Award recog-
nition to the winners; make sure customer voices are not lost. Here
are two sites you can use to create your own blog: www.blogger.com
and www.typepad.com.
2. Spread your message on LinkedIn.com.
Start by building your business network in your geographic domain.
Invite local business owners and customers into your network for
mutual visibility. Be subtle. You don’t want this to appear to be ad-
vertising; you can communicate with your business network through
e-mail with your business banner and description at the bottom.
Your LinkedIn networking power increases exponentially when you
tap more than 100 connections.
3. Meetup.com.
Start your own face-to-face meetup group in your geographic do-
main. You can teach computer repair, tune-ups, software classes,
what’s new in technology, and whatever else you can think up.
Involve your customers. Ask them what they would like to learn.
This will also position you for expansion into other territories.
4. Youtube.com.
Create a dynamic video of yourself and your business. Post it to
YouTube.com and make sure it is linked or embedded into your
homepage. This advertising vehicle will have reach beyond your lo-
cality. Youtube has proven to be extremely effective at creating buzz.
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