Weekly Reflection #10 – Week 10 – Web Business Creation

This was a hectic week! The only reason why I say that is due, largely, to the fact that we had our Thanksgiving break this week and that I was out of town for all of it. The vacation was much more tiring than it was relaxing. I’m grateful to finally be back in Rexburg and for this new week that we have of assignments and projects due. Though this week was hectic, I still managed to complete all of my assignments for this class. I enjoyed this week very much and everything that we had learned in this week’s lesson. What I like so much about everything that we’re learning in this class is how much each assignment builds upon the last. For example, this week we learned about Landing Page and Website Optimization and we got a brief introduction into Search Engine Optimization and everything that we had learned about keywords and ad campaigns were included in these assignments. Most of the optimization for each area revolves around the use of keywords and including them in every facet of your website. We also learned about the importance of including backlinks within your website and living up to your ad’s content. It was great learning about each of these things. I have edited my website based on what I’ve learned in each of these assignments and I have seen a great change with each. It’s amazing having learned this! Participating in the discussion boards of this week was also great as I was able to interact with my fellow classmates and see what they’re doing to improve in each area; especially involving Search Engine Optimization.

All in all, this was a great week! I definitely can’t complain when it comes to everything that we’re learning. I’m enjoying every facet of this class and every lesson that we’re learning so far. My website has been doing well, my ad campaign has taken off and has been doing very well. Everything for me has been going great and I look forward to next week’s lessons and assignments and all that it entails for me. Great week!

Entrepreneurial Journal #10 – Week 10 -Franchises

This was a hectic week to say the least! The only reason why I say that is due to the Thanksgiving break that we just had and the amount of traveling that I had done within this week. Besides the crazy adventures that I have had this week, this week, in class, was great! It was a continuation of what we had learned last week, but went into greater detail on the subject. This week, the topic at hand, focused on that of franchises. This week, we learned about what franchises are, the different pros and cons of franchises, and we learned, by way of case study, the process of starting a franchise and some of the difficulties that arise when starting . We also compiled our franchisee interview from past weeks and submitted it to be graded this week. The franchisee that I had interviewed is a past teacher of mine, Bro. Nygren. He was the first individual to bring Chick-Fil-A out west, as he opened his own Chick-Fil-A franchise in Arizona. What was so great about interviewing him was the fact that he shared many of these same points with us as part of one of his classes that I took from him, so interviewing him reminded me much of what he shared with me in that class. It was great going into greater detail about his experience with opening a franchise. He shared many of the positives of opening a franchise and helped to strengthen the desire that I have of opening a franchise. I know of a few franchises that would do well back home on Kauai, so learning more about franchises and the process of opening one was great. It’s great to also have an expert on the subject and real world experience when it comes to this facet of business. All in all, it was a great week. Compiling my franchisee interview, completing the other two franchise assignments, completing the IceDelights franchise case study, and, as a treat, participating in the Steve Jobs discussion board.

Because this week was Thanksgiving break and because I would be out of town for the majority of it, I decided to not do anything for my business/$100 Challenge this week. Thankfully, I reached the goal in a past week and reached the $100 mark that we were asked to have reached. I’ve found this idea to be quite successful to say the least. I was able to sell quite a bit of meals and successfully carry out the business’s operations. I will continue running the business up until the end of the semester, but will, most likely, slow down with it just because of finals coming up. I do plan on keeping this business going and continue selling food the next semester that I’m here. All I need to do now is donate my money to the Kiva recipient that I had chosen at the beginning of this semester to donate to. I have to ask Bro. Broderick when I can do this and whether I can donate it now or just wait until the semester is over.

All in all, this was a great week! I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and, especially, be back in Rexburg. I hope that I will be able to get back into the swing of things here and that I’ll be able to finish strong and have a great rest of this semester. I can’t believe we’re almost done. Anyways, I look forward to next week’s lesson and all that we’re about to learn. Once again, it’s been a great week!

Entrepreneurial Journal #9 – Week 9 – Growth

This was yet another great week for this class! It was hard to pinpoint exactly what the topic for this week was; for we had so many assignments that had similar topics, but not one overriding one. The main takeaway that I had for this week involved growth. This was a reoccurring subject in each one of our assignments and readings. It is also a principle that is central both in terms of entrepreneurship and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One example of growth that we read about was the experience of Roxanne Quimby. Roxanne Quimby is the co-founder and former owner of Burt’s Bees. The assignment that we had on her revolved around the growth of her business; its founding, development, growth, and transition into a new location. The case study left us with the question of whether or not Roxanne should stay or go. My decision that I had written was for her to stay and not go back. Her company needed to stay in North Carolina and grow rather than retreat back to the way things used to be. The company was at its current peak and was waiting to be unleashed and expanded. I feel like life is sort of like that in many ways. We have all of this potential and yet find ways to continue to hold ourselves back. Whether it be our self-doubt, our sins, our past, others. We just need to break hold of those barriers and make progress in any way that we can. We need to continue to travel upwards; continue moving forwards; have faith in the future; and continue to work at it with all that we got. The world will continue to change. Society will continue to change. Technology will continue to change. Heck, the way that we do business will continue to change. The only question that remains is whether or not we will move together with the times? Will we be that old man who continues to relish in his glory days or will we be one with the times? It’s a lot to think about, but very much needed.

Just a thought that came to me as I look over this week. Many of our assignments revolved around that topic. We read a talk from Elder L Tom Perry on the subject of growth in the Church. Our HMM assigment on Process Improvement had much to say about growth and improvement. Even our Action Hero, Catherine Rohl, created an organization centered in growth and change. Change (and might I add repentance) needs to continue to be a constant in our lives always and the need for improvement should always remain with us. This was a phenomenal week! I look forward to all that lies ahead and what next week’s holds in store for us; both in this class and in life! Happy Thanksgiving!

Weekly Reflection #9 – Week 9 – Web Business Creation

This was another great week! It was a very busy week to say the least. We completed our Project #3, began our Adwords Campaigns, and began to take note of how our campaigns are doing. It’s great to finally be carrying out what you have spent weeks preparing for. It’s a great feeling to not only see our work unfold, but to do so in a successful manner. For Project #3, we were to begin our Campaigns on November 14. I, accidentally, missed that date and had to start my date a few days after that starting point. Luckily, Bro. Poole gave us a tutorial on how to set our budget if this were to happen, so I followed his instruction and had to increase my daily budget by a little bit more in order to hit the criteria for the assignment. I, then, did all of the necessary steps in beginning my campaign. I let it run for a day. In that first day I managed to receive no results whatsoever. I felt bad in some ways because we had to complete a few follow up assignments to report how much progress we had made and I reported zeros in each category because I had not results. Thankfully, however, my luck turned around and I received some feedback; and boy were the results that I had received impressive! In those first few days I had already received more than 1000 impressions and close to 10 clicks! It was incredible! And my results continue to grow as we speak! Adwords is such a fascinating tool. It has answered a lot of questions that I have had in terms of what I have noticed surfing through the internet. Simple things like the ads that appear when using a Google Search to what type of traffic appears on my website. I have been enjoying the use of this tool and what it has done for myself and my website so far. It has been confusing at times grasping some of the concepts of the application, but overall, I have it down and am grateful for Bro. Poole in teaching us these things!

As I have said, this week has been a great week! Another big assignment has been completed. Another assignment that will greatly carry over and can affect any other assignments that we have yet to complete. I look forward to what lies ahead and cannot wait to get this next week started! Hope everything with Adwords continues to improve and hope I can keep this momentum going!

Weekly Reflection #8 – Week 8 – Web Business Creation

This was a great week! We were back on our normal schedule of assignments and due dates and were able to build upon what we learned last week with Google Ads and Ad Groups. It was a great learning each of these things and building upon the knowledge; seeing how everything fits within our websites and how they can help in every regard. The first assignment of this week focused on Relevance and Quality Score. This topic is very similar to that of our Adwords, but focuses more on the quality of the ad rather than just the Keywords itself. The same principles for Adwords generally apply with that for ads; wording it correctly, including specific niches and adwords within it; differentiating the ad, having a working link to your sight, etc. It was a bummer that Google disbanded the quality score function, but it was great to receive practice with this through our Discussion Board with an pre-made ad and our fellow classmates critiquing our ad. I’ve found ever since we began working with Adwords just how much creativity is involved in creating an effective ad. I have to, literally, sit down for quite some time, research effective Adwords, and put together a convincing ad. These assignments definitely give me a lot of practice and I hope I can continue working on this and becoming better at it. The second assignment of this week covered Google Analytics. We learned the basics of this application and began linking it to our Google Adwords account in preparation to next week’s project that is due. This is my first interaction with this application, so I don’t really have as much experience with it in comparison to some of my classmates. I, generally, know what Analytics is and look forward to see it work within my website; hopefully allowing myself to look at its data and using it to change my websites and campaigns for the better. It’ll be exciting learning more about this and using it more in the upcoming week’s. I’ll keep you all updated on how that goes.

All in all, it’s been a great week. I’ve learned much from this week and look forward to next week’s assignments and topics. I hope everything with my Project #3 goes well and I hope I’ll be able to successfully get my first Ad Campaign out on the web. It’ll be exciting! I’m grateful for all that I’m learning and hope to continue to build upon this knowledge and utilize it for other projects that I have in mind. Great week!

Entrepreneurial Journal #8 – Week 8 – E-Myth Revisted

This was a great week! We covered an assortment of different topics and activities. The main focus of this week involved finding great people and in hiring the right people for our companies. We studied a great article on that subject and also read a case study about Jet Blue and their efforts of making that happen. We also did a Harvard Manage Mentor assignment on the same topic. In addition, we read an article from Jim Collins which focused on this principle quite a bit. Each of these exercises taught me much about this subject and really helped to ease some of the worries I have had with finding people to work for me. I’ve come to realize in all of this that there are always people out there who want to work. It’s just a matter of going out there and looking for them. I hope to utilize each of the resources that we used this week in helping me look for employees who will stand by me and be best for my business. I also hope to remember this knowledge and apply it into my life in the near future.

The topic covered that of hiring and finding great people. The biggest thing which stood out to me in all of this was our book report that was due this week where we finished reading the book E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. I spent a lot of this past week finishing up this book and, I have to say, it is my one of my new favorite books. It is phenomenal! It is very applicable to each of us going into business and many of the principles that were shared were those that I have seen before in my life and in business. This book covered every inch of what a successful business is; from the owner, to the inner workings of the business, and dispels the myth that is found prevalent among many businesses today. The whole crux of this book involves: playing the three roles of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician; working through the Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity stages of a business; and creating a system within your business that is Systems Dependent rather than People Dependent. The book goes into detail with each and shares what is needed to run a successful business in today’s world. The book also highlights what not to do and gives personal examples with each. I love this book and am grateful to have the opportunity of reading this semester. There is so much incredible things that you can learn from reading. I feel a much stronger urge in making reading a priority more in my life! It’s incredible. Also ties back into our lesson’s topic and the need of finding and hiring great people.

All in all, it’s been a great week! I look forward to next week’s batch of lessons and assignments. I’m looking forward, especially, with applying these things into my own business endeavors and, in particular, with my $100 Challenge idea. Sales have been pretty slow this week with getting this idea off the ground. I can use E-Myth’s counsel and improve on the inner workings of my business rather than in my products. I feel that next week should be better. I’ll give an detailed update next week on how that’s going. Great week! Look forward to all that lies ahead!

Weekly Reflection #7 – Week 7 – Small Business Creation

I had a great week this week! This week, again, felt much more lighter in comparison to that of our past weeks. Typically we have two assignments and two discussion boards that are due per week in addition to any projects that we may have due as well. This week, however, we only had one assignment due on Monday, a discussion board that opened the following day and closed on Wednesday, and this Weekly Reflection that I am currently completing and are writing for you here on this blog, and that was it! Though, I am not complaining. I actually enjoyed quite a bit. It was especially needed considering our next project coming up and what the topic of that project is connection to this week’s subject/assignment we had due on Monday. The assignment had to do with Google Adwords again and, this time, we learned how to create an ad that would appear in the search results on Google. It was such an incredible lesson/assignment! It showed us how to lay out ad, what keywords to use, what the focus on our ad should be, and also how to set it up using our Google Adwords account. It was an incredible find! I always wanted to learn how those ads were created and now that I know, I can create one and utilize it to bring more people into my website! I’m just loving everything that I’m learning in this class! So much useful stuff that I know will help me in the future. The discussion board for this assignment also gave me the opportunity to look at my classmates’s ads and websites and to receive feedback for my own and how I can improve on what I’ve made. It was a great exercise to say the least!

Overall, this week was great! After having completed the discussion board for this week, I focused my attention on updating my ad and in toying around with Adwords just a little bit. I also continued to update my website a little more; adding in a few photos that I didn’t have the opportunity of adding in when I first completed the website. I also found out this week that with my current Weebly account, I can have up to ten different websites with the package that I have purchased. I have a couple of ideas for websites that I know will be good using Weebly and I look to create a few more and exhaust that resource when I don’t have to pay anything extra! Great week! Grateful for everything that I’ve learned! Hope to utilize all of these resources and to make the most of everything that I’ve learning!