Assaf Ben-DavidMentor, Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Public Speaker
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Experienced Startup Mentor, Commercial lawyer, Lecturer & public speaker. I've helped over 300 entrepreneurs & 100+ startups. Taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. Founder of the Legal Clinic for Startups.



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Hi
Interesting questions.
I’ve successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and would be happy to help you answer these questions. After scheduling a call, please send me a message with all the background information (including the name of your brand, your target market/country, previous marketing methods etc) so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value). Good luck


No. Unless you have an agreement with the buyer in which it states that you have to.
That said, if you are aware of a trademark issue when making the sale, and a problem arises for the new buyer, they might claim that you acted in bad faith and request compensation for damages and lost profits (but they would have to prove that you knew).
I have successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and would be happy to help you (after scheduling a call, please send me a message with all the background information so that I can prepare in advance). Good luck


You are smart to want to address the real need/problem that a company has in order to offer it value. There are no magical methods to do so. The best available methods are:
1. Research the specific company on the internet (use similarweb.com, and other similar websites).
2. Try talk to past/present employees/managers (use LinkedIn).
3. Follow managers that work/ed there on LinkedIn and see what issues they are posting about. some managers directly publish the need for certain service providers. .

A few more indirectly related thoughts:
1. You cannot solve all the various types of problems for all the companies, and it seems that you aren't focused on a particular service. It might be better for you to first try find a problem that many companies are suffering from (and that they are willing to pay to solve) and then brand yourself as an expert in this field, and only then offer your services. If not, when they get to ask you about your experience (and they will), it won't be relevant.
2. No offense, but I would first start by improving your writing skills (and if you talk like you write, then your talking skills as well - if you intend to approach the English speaking market). Your question could have been half the length, and a lot more clear (I understand that English is your first language, but this is something that you will have to work in order to succeed).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and would be happy to help you if you need. Just send me some background info by email before, so that the call itself can be 100% dedicated to giving you my advice (maximum value for your money). Good luck.


The best methods would be to:
1. Improve your target customers (the people who are receiving your emails) - and not just mass mailing.
2. Personalize the email by using new technologies that adapt each email to the user - and not just by adding "Dear [name of user]. Here's a link to one of the leading service providers in the field: campaign-genius.com
(I happened to actually help them through Clarity, and know that they are really professional).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and would be happy to help you if you need. Just send me some background info by email before, so that the call can be 100% dedicated to giving you my advice.
Good luck


Hi
First of all, the fact that you are talking about market research ('validation') is great. I've seen so many startups invest time and money, only to find out later that no ones wants/needs their product, or that they only want a certain aspect of it (whilst the startup spent money developing a whole bunch of other features), or that they aren't willing to pay the requested price. So you're already one step ahead.
Also, the sooner you validate your product, the better!

The best ways to validate your idea is to see whether people are willing to actually pay for your product/service. The best way to get investors, is to show (1) that you are solving a need, (2) that you have traction, and (3) that the investors will get a nice return on their investment.
As for methods of validation, here are the most efficient methods.
1. Check that people will actually buy/pay for the product. You can do this by setting up a Wix or Wordpress website (this can be done for free / very low costs). If your venture is a mobile app, then you can create what’s called a Clickable Prototype (“CP”) (a visual of the app in which the images change when you click on something - you can do so using the Apple Keynote tool or Microsoft PowerPoint). On the website, include the price of the product/service, and enable people to order it (YES, even if it doesn't really exist yet!). I am happy to explain how this can be done whilst still being fair to your potential customers (the people who click the "buy/download” button).
2. Determine your target market/customers.
3. Spend a small amount (say $100 - depending on your budget) on the most relevant platforms and promote your product/service - linking to the website that you created.
This way, after only spending a very small amount, you will be able to know (if you did it right):
a. Do people like your product.
b. Do people want/need your product (not the same as 'a').
c. Are people willing to pay for your product? (not the same as 'b' - and this being the most important stage)
d. How much they are willing to pay. (you can check this by having 2-3 landing pages with different prices on each).

2 last important points:
a) In order to rule out external factors like an unattractive landing page or advertising campaign, and assuming you have the time, create multiple landing pages / advertising campaigns, with different designs.
b) During the above process, don't forget to check how much it costs you for each user/customer that clicks the "buy" button. If for example each click on your promotion/advertisement costs you $2, and only every 10 people who click go on to the "buy" page - that means each sale is costing you $20. Then check what your average profit per sale is, and then you'll know if your service/product is worth pursuing (obviously there are additional factors like return customers, referrals etc, but you will get a good estimated/validation of the idea/business).

Regarding questionnaires and talking with people, these methods are also very good, but it is crucial that you implement them correctly, otherwise your results might be misleading.
I’ve successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I’d be happy to help you. Doing validation correctly can save you a lot of time and money. Before the call, and in order to make the best of your time, please send me more information about your product/service and your target market.
Best of luck!


This is a legitimate concern.
1. If you're going to be giving them a steady flow of work, it would be unwise for them to poach your clients (as they would lose future work) - make this clear to them.
2. Have them sign a short confidentiality & non-compete agreement (I can help you draft one).
3. Get references before you start using any particular company/freelance - it's fairly easy with today's freelance platforms and/or using LinkedIn.
4. The obvious: give them the minimum information possible (at first, until you learn to trust them).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and businesses and I'd be happy to help you.
Good luck


First of all - good luck. Exciting times ahead.
It is actually surprising how many 'bad' explanatory videos there are out there, so the fact that you are seeking advice shows that you are already one step ahead of the rest.
Here are the key factors that you need to take into account when creating your video:
1. ask your target client's what is their main 'pain' or their main need. Once you know this, then that is the issue that you need to emphasize in your video.
2. Who are your target customers. If they are businesses that already know your competitors or work with them, then you might want to briefly mention why your product is better (for the customer) than your competitors. That said, spending valuable minutes on comparing your product to other products is usually time wasted.
3. Don't make the video longer than about 90 seconds.
4. It has to be super clear regarding the following points: what is the product/service / what it does, why it helps solve the need/problem and a call to action at the end.
5. Needless to say, it has to be of good quality from a visual point of view. Colors, images and types of people that appear in the video affect the engagement with users.

I'm not sure what your budget is, but you can get decent videos for decent prices on Fiverr - so if your budget is sufficient, you may even be able to create 2-3 videos and then test which gets the best results.

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I'd be happy to help you. I can review your script and planned video layout and then give you my thoughts and advice during our call.
Good luck


Well explained question.
I have a lot of experience with affiliate marketing (which is very similar to the situation you’re describing). The commission range varies widely depending on the industry, and can be anything between 2%-30% of the sale - depending on how high the sale is (usually, the higher the sale value the lower the percentage).
In your case, and assuming that you charge your clients a monthly fee, then the best 2 options would be:
1. A one time fee which would be a percentage (10-20%) of the first months payment from the new client.
2. A smaller percentage (5%) of the monthly fee that the new client is paying you, over a 2-3 month period.
Each option has as a stages and disadvantages.
* the above is assuming you only pay the commission for actual sales (a new client who actually pays you) and not just a lead.

There are numerous other payment options, but here is what is important:
1. Offer the salesmen at least 2 options, after you’ve calculated both and are sure that you’re happy with both. This is important because it shows him that you are letting HIM choose (gives a feeling of respect, cooperation etc.).
2. Offer him a fair percentage because at the end of the day, he is bringing you new business.
3. Taking point #2 into account, if you want to offer him 15%, start by offering 12%. At the end of the day this is a business negotiation, so chances are he will ask to raise the percentages a bit, and if you start a bit lower, you will have the flexibility to agree to his higher percentage request (which again shows your flexibility, fairness and willing to compromise- which will make him feel better).
I’ve successfully helped over 300 startups and businesses and would be happy to help you.
Good luck


Hi,
First of all, well done for creating the MVP - this is often not an easy task.
Regarding the valuation, the real answer (that not many people are willing to say), is this: you go outside, raise your thump towards the sky, imagine a nice number, and that's the valuation.
Seriously, there is no "official" accounting method to evaluate a startup that is not already selling, and even then the sales don't necessarily indicate the value of the company.
In any event, some of the below are good indicators of value:
1. Do you have a patent?
2. Have you already developed the technology? Is it working?
3. Do you have sales or traction?
4. How much is it costing you per sale/signup/download versus how much are you making (going to make) from each of these users?
5. How long has the team been together? If you're offering a technological solution, is the CTO a member of the team, or an external company?
6. Are there any similar companies providing similar services? If so, check how much money these companies have raised so far, or research there sales/results so far (I am happy to teach you how to do so - almost all the information is available online).
7. If the potential investor has made investments in the past, check how much he/she invested each time?
8. Do your research on the market and potential.
You then take all the above, and reach the value of the company, based on which you are asking the investment for.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I'd be happy to help you if you need. I would need more details about the company, industry and team to give you an estimated evaluation.
Good luck


Hi
Unlike what most people think, pricing is supposed to be based on value (not production costs). The value perceived by your customers (mainly), and the value that you give to your products/services and brand.
As with all new products or services, I suggest that you use AB testing (different sales pages with different prices) to see which price fits best.
One last thing to remember: even if you can charge more, doesn’t mean you should (that said, if you offer a quality product, don’t undersell it).
I’ve successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and would be happy to help you as well. Let me know if you need anything.


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