Author Archives: Matt

Google Adwords LogoI recently opened a Google AdWords account to help drive traffic to this site as well as test out business ideas in the future.

Most people in copy writing realize that the specific words you use in a headline can make or break an ad. Every little aspect of the copy will affect the response rate. Therefore many people writing advertisements in AdWords develop a campaign to test out variations of the wording of their ads. Google makes it easy with their management tools to run multiple versions of an ad and compare the response rates. The result is that you can quickly filter out poorly performing ads and try to figure out what’s working. Continue reading

AutomaticFor the last year I have automated a transfer of $100 from my checking to my savings account every week.  This is not a new idea.  Many financial advisers will recommend taking advantage of automatic money transfers as a way to ensure good saving habits.  I had been taking the money from my savings account and moving into a brokerage account to buy stocks.   This was all part of my retirement planning.

In the last few weeks I’ve changed my perspective.  With the costs of starting an online business so low it’s possible to use as little as $500 to fully test the profit potential of a business.  I will continue to use that money to invest,  but I’ll be using more of it to invest in my own business ideas.  In that way I control the risk rather than being at the whim of the market.

With $100/week and $500/business to test I could market test approximately 10 business ideas every year.  There are 2 likely outcomes if I maintain this and do many tests. Continue reading

RevenueSorry about the long time since the last post. I was taking a course which kind of took my focus away from further growing this business. Now that the course is done with however I’m back and things are moving again at a very rapid pace.

I’ve decided to task HalOtis with the creation of generating [essentially] passive income streams. This is for three main reasons.

  1. I am employed full time and so it will be difficult to manage yet another full time business on the side.
  2. I have undertaken a research project looking into passive income for which I will need to test some of the ideas I learn about.
  3. If I ever decide to leave my current position to run HalOtis, I’d like the transition to be seamless and to have more free time for personal projects.

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Fist Of MoneyMy goal over the next year is to develop some passive income streams.

There are three broad categories of income: earned, portfolio, and passive.

Earned income is simple to understand, if you get and keep a job, you’re making earned income. The problem with earned money is that if you can’t work for some reason, the money stops flowing. Cash flow is usually pretty steady so long as you have solid employment. Of course there is a risk in relying too much on just earned income. If you are injured or sick or get laid off all of the money coming in dries up.

Basic investment advice is to diversify to mitigate risk. The same advice holds for income. Having two people in the household working helps but delving into other forms of income protects against even more scenarios. Continue reading

A Wiki is a handy tool for documenting things. What makes a Wiki a good solution compared to maintaining a word document, is that it scales, is easy to locate, it’s easy for multiple people to maintain, and it retains a history.

For these reasons I’ve decided to use a Wiki for internal use.

In a previous post I wrote about the HalOtis Organizational Strategy. I’ve given all those positions their own page, and fully listed all the responsibilities in detail. In the future as the tasks handled become more well defined, I can expand the Wiki to include details on the procedures that those people do.

Over time the wiki will become a resource where for example come tax time the CFO could refer to find what forms were needed, the time lines needed so that every year the process becomes more well documented and easier.

An added benefit is that when it comes time to hire someone new into that position, the transition will be smoothed. Or if someone in one of those positions leaves unexpectedly, their knowledge isn’t completely gone with them.

If the business is ever at the point where it could be sold or franchised, this documentation becomes the system that will help define how to run the business. It adds value of the business.

I’ve started development of a new website that I think has the potential to be successful in attracting a large audience. I’ve secured the domain name www.googlesnoop.com for the site.

I’ve been very impressed with WordPress as a Content Management System for this site, but I won’t be using it for the new site. Instead I’ve decided to go with Joomla, a richer CMS designed more for web portals than blogs. The new website will just cover news about Google. I’m writing some scripts that will help me acquire some unique news sources that I can report on.

Once launched the site should require no more than 30 minutes of work per day to add news, and promote the site. And if my news sources come through it should work out nicely.

I thought it might be nice to share all the Blogs and websites that I visit on a regular basis. These are good informational websites that frequently have good information about making money online, and various other pursuits that interest me.

Without further ado, here are my favorite blogs.

John Chow dot Com – The Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Dot Com Mogul
Problogger.net – Helping bloggers earn money
Million Dollar Journey – The Making of a Millionaire – A Canadian Personal Finance Story
ShoeMoney – it occasionally has some good information

For news I usually check out

Digg.com
Slashdot.org
Apple Insider – Cause I have a thing for apple.

Over the last week I’ve been thinking a lot about defining HalOtis’ Strategic Objective. In particular, I’ve been playing with the idea of creating a website to advertise real-estate rentals for Vancouver. It’s an idea that has potential in this city because of the booming construction, and relatively high occupancy rate. When I was looking for a place back in May, it was difficult because there wasn’t one good place to go, that had up to date information, and pictures.

Craigslist.org is there, but it didn’t seem ideally suited to posting apartments. The newspaper doesn’t have pictures, and all the other websites out there were either small, and just handled a single property management company, or looked ancient, and outdated.
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The Strategic Objective is all about Action. Knowing your Strategic Objective is the next step after defining the Primary Aim, which I covered in a post last week. What we want to do is create a clear statement of what has to be done to meet the personal goals from the primary aim.

This is not a business plan.

It is about deciding on a direction to move, and the actions (both short and long term) that will meet well defined benchmarks. The strategic objective is useful for marketing the business to your banker, investors, clients and business contacts. However it must be simple enough to lay out quickly for those people to understand, and buy in.

Essentially it’s just a list of standards by which to measure the success of the business. The twist is that it has to be about the specific actions that have to be done along the way.
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