Because despite taking notes all the time I found that things were getting a bit repetitive and decided not to waste any more airtime (and probably no one has gotten to this point, so I won't even read it all).

However, I'll use the last part of the series to take stock of the journey to this point, through my prism and my writing capacity (I couldn't think of a more erudite word (I don't even know if erudite is the right word/same)).

Here's what we're supposed to comment on (things repeat themselves):

  1. News for all customers
  2. Tests
  3. New niche strategy
  4. New members at New Era
  5. Fundraising
  6. Operating in different countries, in different languages

Here is, the general conclusion for the whole 10 months (I rounded it to a year):

  1. No one is going to give as much as you when it comes to your business (and yes from business to business, everything before business is ali-bali).
  2. It's all about testing in absolutely realistic situations (i.e. with real people, under real circumstances, not scratching our tongues).
  3. You have to think 101% critically and always start from the worst-case scenario (meaning if you are opening a grocery store imagine first that a different person than your brother won't come in for 7 months, that there is a possibility of alien invasion and that you will be wasting a lot of time).
  4. You have to look for high-ticket customers (we've commented on this before, the time it takes to change a tire on a Lada Niva and a G Class will be more or less the same, just under different circumstances, you'll pick up a lot more money on the G Class :D).
  5. The personal brand sells more than "just another brand" because people trust people. (if you're alone, like me)
  6. You need time and patience for the stable stuff (I HAVE NO PATIENCE TO BE RESPECTED, YOUNG, SUCCESSFUL, AND BEAUTIFUL).
  7. One must be able to be flexible and adaptable quickly. If you see that something is not working or there is something better, you just change it or do it (I saw the best do it, I don't worry about that either I changed my concept 10+ times in 1 year and worked on personal sites half the time).
  8. No time! No time! No time! Grab every opportunity and don't be a woman, don't complain about being tired or burned out. No - tough job! (I have an awesome advantage over a large percentage of people in the field simply because I have a hell of a strong discipline built from sports and the chance of something stopping me from achieving my goals is minimal - not bragging, but it's a fact).
  9. Just as one has to come to terms with being alone, one has to learn to work with people and partners to grow. (I find it quite difficult because very few people are psychopaths like me and as I mentioned above, they are unlikely to waste 1 year working on their sites to no avail while other monkeys develop in other, faster ways).

To finish, I would like to thank my first mentor ever - Todor Madzharov, first of all for taking a lot of time for me, for looking through my prism, and for being a great person and role model. I also want to thank the Mentor the Young program for giving young and ambitious people in Bulgaria the opportunity to have successful professionals by their side. Good luck to everyone!

The new season of Mentor the Young has started and the organizers managed to "match-match" me with a strict mentor and professional - Vassi. From her, I will learn the latest SEO best practices (on another level) so I can better optimize my sites as well as those of potential clients. Excited!

Now back to the road and episode 10 with Todor Madzharov (who I heard from a week before writing this, based on old notes).

What will we see in this episode?

  1. Pricing strategy
  2. A/B testing
  3. Monthly subscription/pay for a year with 20% off
  4. Customer churn rate
  5. Negotiations (for salary in person)

I'm writing this chapter in mega chunks (continuing it for the third time in 3 weeks, anyway).

Chapter I

Prices - always low for the business, high for the customer. However, I have come to a brilliant enlightenment in recent weeks that I have commented on several times, but the bottom line - "repetition is the mother of knowledge" and it is 100% so. So, that is the most important and expensive resource in this dimension - time.

It turns out that no matter how talented a person is, if they don't value their time there will be no gradation long term (or even short term), I fight myself every day for this, I even lose clients simply because I started raising my prices and labor in general because it's just "not worth it" for less.

And I'm going to speak in elementary facts here:

I want to be at a high level in the web industry > I have 10-14 hours a day (at the most) > I want to eventually earn cash > For me "cash" is at least 10 000lv/month (bare minimum) > These are:

And this (I'm not even sure about this) I just take more than 4 clients, and I won't offer the best that I am capable of.

Chapter II

A/B testing - it may sound absurd, but it seems to me a very subjective method, but also the most logical.

Hmm I feel that I turned this section into a monologue, and I should comment on the conversations with my mentor - Todor Madzharov, which I actually do just share the conclusions I came to after them, thanks to him.

Back on topic, it really depends on how we apply this method, if it's the same people testing two versions of a Landing page on the same day, it's going to be 100% accurate, but if we're testing live with totally different users from all over the world in different months of the year, for me it's accurate no more than 70-75%. If you're reading this, there's no point in me giving you an argument, I just think it's logical.

My point is that we should never take everything at face value.

There was a long pause after the last post on the subject, but it was inevitable.

Judging by the performance of the last 8 episodes of the "Road to a New Era" series, I found that the Bulgarian version performed better, so I'll finish it in Bulgarian.

Also, the new season of the useful and fresh program - Mentor the Young - starts soon, so I need to finish this cycle - 4 more episodes to go.

Special thanks to Todor Madzharov, with whom I'm still having mentoring conversations, I'm just asking for them to be over a longer range so I can share results with him, not just my idle chatter, for which I thank him!

So, I've read what I wrote last (just nonsense), and reviewed what I have in my notes on that day we had the conversation in question, so today we'll talk about:

  1. The latest news for my clients
  2. The latest business ideas
  3. Preparing for the first 6 ready solutions
  4. Preparing for pricing

Chapter 1

At this point - over 6 months, most of the "debtors" have extended that there are new ones. Not many, unfortunately, but more and more quality and solvent. On that note, we may as well jump right into the other two chapters, as I hope to have this topic closed by the end of this season - Road to a New Era.

Chapters 2 & 3

I'll tell it to you like this (as I understand it and as it happens):

  1. Assume I am an accountant and need to register a new company for a client with a capacity of 5 units, accepting a fee of 1 unit for this service.
  2. Assume that I register a new company of a client with a capacity of 100 units, but this time I take an amount for the service - 20 units.
  3. For both clients, I have gone through the same procedure and lost more or less the same resources, but in the end, I have extracted more units from the one that is more solvent.

So I came to this conclusion for all digital services, not just the web. In the end, I still stick to the one-man army model and it will be good to have the limited time I have 100% utilized for as many units as possible, so expect even more premium solutions from me and Digital New Era.

In any case, I will keep my model to myself (reusing everything quality), I just won't share it with the client because it doesn't affect them.

Ha, turns out that the last chapter is being covered here too - pricing. Well we're raising them, what can I tell you? If we're going to raise the level, we're going to raise the liability, and therefore the prices.

This chapter is shaping up to be short, as are the other last ones, indicating my high level of employment, which is good. By now, and maybe by the end of the series, something that has been cemented as a theory is that it's all about testing until a consensus is reached.

In this episode you will see:

1. Reflections on motivation, discipline and dreams

2. Updates on progress

3. Again, deep reflections about life and experience

4. Preparing the key topics to focus on until the end

5. Final conclusion of where we are and where we are going

And all this with the direct involvement of my mentor - Todor Madzharov.

Chapter I

Let's start with the motivation - that's right - there is none. At the moment I don't really feel like writing this text, of this series, which I consider to be damn pointless.

And no, I'm not relying on motivation, I'm relying on discipline.

I think that even if it doesn't make sense right now, maybe in a while it will. So that's exactly what Todor and I were discussing on this topic a few weeks ago - that it would be hard at some point, that I wouldn't see the point, that I would want to quit, but then I remember that I don't want to be "average" and that's my biggest fear.

My whole idea of dreams, goals, and personal development is focused on how far I can go. I want to find out how far I can go. I WANT IT TO BE 101% OF MY CAPACITY and to know that before I die, I give it my all.

Chapter II

On this topic, we have determined once again that a person can truly reach their limit by constantly stepping out of their comfort zone. Believe me, I am deep in my comfort zone even at this point, but I am doing everything I can to get out of it.

On March 1, 2023, I created an artificial motivation and a permanent way out of my comfort zone - Digital New Era.

It's pretty hard to get out of your comfort zone and be sure that what you're doing is the right thing.

Let's talk about the progression to that day:
- The number of Ready Web Solutions had not grown;
- Once again, I wasn't sure if there was any point to them at all (still am not);
- I wasn't sure which payment/communication/content acquisition model was best to apply to the customer (I'm still not)...

The dilemma was also which to focus on (I think I know the answer now) - cheap, off-the-shelf web solutions or more expensive, custom ones.

Definitely the more sophisticated and well priced solutions are worth more. 

Why? 

Because I felt that the effort I would put into explaining to an ordinary person (most likely one, since he is just starting out and doesn't have much money) what the best approach is, why it is so, etc., and non-verbally and for 600-700 dollars or leva sounds terribly impractical and pointless than finding an already up and running business with a need for a new digital presence and financial capabilities.

To have verbal communication that will allow me to be more united, and to get 3000-4000 bucks or dollars, but to know that the project will be TOP for both parties.

Chapter III

Again, back to the deep thoughts and life themes - like how not to overwork and how personal life should not interfere with work. For people as ambitious as me (yes, I am and I will prove it) - this is impossible.

On the contrary, I find it useful because a hell of a lot of times, brilliant ideas have come to my mind when I least expect it (I won't go into details 😀 )

In short, I want to give my conclusion - it's useful to be obsessive about your ideas, ambitions and dreams. Working 8 to 5 is not enough and never will be!

Chapter IV

What we decided to focus on:

- Marketing (I'm a round zero there, relying mostly on strong Empathy and good general taste)

- Negotiation (to date I'm much better, but there's still room for improvement)

- Business (when and how to expand Digital New Era, by how much and what?)

Chapter V

To finish - where are we now and where are we going.

Right then I don't remember and it doesn't matter, I can only say that I was definitely not as aware of my goal as I am now.

Back then I wanted start-ups and low-paying clients - now I'm definitely not a fan.

I'll give you a visual example why:

A friend of mine sells his wooden Citroen for 3500lv, accordingly, people come and waste his time for weeks. Finally, he sells it for 2500lv just to get rid of it.

Another friend of mine sells more luxurious cars, mostly Audis from 2015 upwards, with no car under 20,000lv. 

Well, things are quite different there. He manages to sell an average of 4 cars a month, with profits as high as 30%. Draw your own conclusions 🙂

In this episode you will see:

1. Risk Management

2. Budget planning

3. Managing the most precious resource - time

4. Hiring

Chapter I

My mentor, Todor, and I were commenting on how I am not good at managing risk levels when I take on another operation/silliness/provocation/success on my part.

Realistically, I have an affinity for risk for a number of reasons. I do life-changing things quite often, not so much for the end result, but for the adrenaline rush of the process. 😀 (I kid you not).

So the case of Nova Era is no different. I mean, while seemingly not that special or risky, the business does have risks. For me they are mostly related to the customer:

- Whether he will remain satisfied from the beginning to the very end;

- Whether we will keep our commitments;

- Whether they will pay us (not much of a deal if they don't, I have experience 🙂 )

- IS IT WORTH ALL THIS HAMALOGY??!?!??

Clearly, without risk there is no reward. The cool thing about the business model is , almost literally it's all hazards.. well let's not rule out some crazy guy who doesn't have a job and decides to sue us (it happens, I have friends who have been victims). What we don't have to worry about:

- Not paying rent for now (won't have to anytime soon);

- No wages/insurance being paid (won't have to soon, but will be paid in some other form, we'll find out in point 4);

- Almost no software is being paid;

- No excess money is being invested in Marketing (for now, don't judge me that's the model);

- Abe not bad overall, mostly taxes are paid, but let's say the profit for me as founder and principal would be around 60-65%

Chapter II

What is my life philosophy for managing a budget, and my personal finances? I have a few friends who are financially uplifted and quite often give me advice that is correct of course. 

However, I follow an ideology that I believe does not burden my mind and life as other practices would, and has been tested from an early age in other forms - I do not strive to cut back to the extreme, save to the extreme, do my math to the extreme, but strive to earn more. I STRIVE FOR MORE.

This way I think (I've been doing it for years and it works pretty well) I don't put psychological barriers, for example: 

I've earned 100lv this month, I'm not going to eat out to save 60lv at the end of the month. WELL NO, I'LL EAT AND DRINK LIKE A SLOB AND BREAK MY S*** TO EARN 180LV AND SAVE 100.

That's the thing about personal funds. Let's look at the budget. Again my life and now professional philosophy, after all I have a few people behind me now who hold official Merchant/Dealer positions in New Era, but also the moral and operational sub-plot <3. 

So there are more such motivated beings to come. What is the most important? That they are happy and feel important, but most of all that they are worthwhile and MAKING MONEY.

The expense budget should not be minimized, but on the contrary invested and in a team, because when the team is happy the business will be too. I'll tell you why in a moment.

Chapter III

Time management is definitely a big problem for me. Recently, I decided to pay more serious attention in this direction by coming up with the following scheme. I literally made it up, I didn't find it ready alas, and I think following a certain routine just because "SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE" follow it and so should we, seems impractical.

Everyone should make a plan according to their values, ambitions, goals, free time and LIFE. What did I do?

Instead of limiting myself to a schedule with an exact time, I decided to make it a little more fluid, because literally day to day doesn't seem to fit and it's pointless to fool ourselves into thinking that if our parrot Stoyan died today, we'd be motivated for big biznis... Seems something like this:

06:00 - 09:00

- Morning routine

09:00 - 12:00

- TEAR YOUR S*** UP SUCKER

12:00 - 15:00

- Bite to eat, drink to drink
- Work concurrently on my Full-Time duties and New Era
- TEAR YOUR S*** UP, SUCKER

15:00 - 18:00

- Working concurrently on my Full-Time duties and New Era
- TEAR YOUR S*** UP YOU SUCKER

18:00 - 21:00

- Bite to eat, drink to drink
- Working concurrently on my Full-Time duties and New Era
- TEAR YOUR S*** UP, SUCKER

21:00 - 00:00

- Working concurrently on my Full-Time duties and New Era
- TEAR YOUR S*** UP YOU SUCKER
- LATE NIGHT GYM SESSION

The conclusion that changes lives is - To succeed at anything you have to be a "- SUCK YOUR Z***KA ASSHOLE", anything else is excuses and justifications for the failure you will have if you don't. 

Literally the whole world revolves around that and all the peaks conquered are because of that. Sure a lot of work makes you hunchbacked, but if it's in the right direction I think that's the way to go.

And the last point in question - Hiring

You could say this process is already in place, I need a few more weeks for it to become official. What kind of people would I need stage by stage:

Stage one:

- Traders

Second stage:

- Web designers

Stage Three:

- Web masters/tile makers

That's it for now.

How will I pay them? Per job done - commission from each project they are involved in. This is relevant for Tradesmen as well as Designers and Masters.

Pros:

- No need for capital to prepay salaries;
- No need for ongoing payment of social security, upon entering into a civil contract, it will be deducted from the percentage wage;
- No one will be burdened with permanent commitments to New Era (which may not be very positive, but for now is not a problem);
- Most of all, everyone will be motivated to work because they'll be getting a solid percentage and will therefore be ambitious about taking on more new ones.

Cons:

Share them, in your opinion.

In this conversation with my mentor Todor Madzharov we discussed:

1. Different cases for receiving payments from clients

2. The other side of Digital New Era's business model

3. How suitable the site is for certain markets

4. An update on new "Instant Web Solutions"

5. Why A/B testing is one of the best practices

Again, it's been a while since our last conversation (about 10 days) and accordingly, combined with my Full-Time job, freelance clients and constant travel around my hometowns, I still managed to get a lot done on Digital New Era and the mentoring program - Mentor the Young.

1. How to get money from clients on time? In what form/system should we receive it (e.g. 50% upfront, 50% after the project, 100% before the project starts, etc.)? Or how to get the client to pay us at all? And is it okay to threaten them with physical self-harm (just kidding)?

This is the eternal case, which is even more interesting when you work with known, recommended clients, without a contract, without invoicing and therefore without taxes. (All startup or non-startup freelancers who work with known persons and exchange information physically - face-to-face do it).

Basically I was grumbling to Todor that clients are slow with payments (to date almost all have paid me, I also want to mention that I released my Tax Return for last year, accordingly I will release for this year too, so I'm in the clear).

2. Todor told me something quite interesting and fresh - if you have one client paying you every month, you are already an agency. 🙂

This motivates me a hell of a lot, because it turns out that the new models for running a digital agency (and not only) are exactly in this form - monthly fee for service.

I dare say there are companies and large digital agencies that charge insanely high amounts, for absolutely basic services and products. Well done for succeeding and I wish ;(

HOWEVER, I DO GIVE QUALITY AND A PERSONAL APPROACH. I listen to my clients, they tell me about their personal problems, I give them ideas where to take their dog for a check-up, what car to buy up to 15 000 BGN (German runner, V8 on gas :D), how to lose weight more efficiently, etc.

Let's also say something on business, dammit. In a nutshell, the New Era can go two ways:

1. Ready-made and affordable web solutions + monthly subscription option for support;

or

2. Super customized (for in front of people, otherwise they wouldn't be so much) web solutions for select, direct-sold clients in specific, well-paid niches + monthly subscription support (design changes, content and page creation, and of course fixing any issues);

3. How suitable is the site for businesses servicing funeral events, for example? Well, not really. Yes, however they are not my target group (for now).

Who are we aiming for? Anyone who pays 😀 (just kidding, I'm not kidding).

Let me share something interesting - after the Website of the Year contest ended, I received quite detailed feedback from the jury, which was quite helpful. Something I liked a hell of a lot from the Marketing segment:

"Your brand is quite specific and interesting, this will definitely weed out clients you don't want to work with.."

That's about it 🙂

4. Back then I decided to freeze the process for producing new "Instant Web Solutions", as of today. I will share the options later.

5. A/B testing - instead of pretending to be fakers we just test what works and what doesn't.

For example: I make a landing page in the form of a "Sales Funnel" with 3 call to action buttons, announcing the price of the service from the start and mentioning it every seventh inch. That one month for 10% of the budget for that period in advertising.

For example, but two: I do a landing page in the form of a "Marketing Funnel", I emphasize a good interface, good results around the brand and I don't mention the price anywhere, but I urge the client to contact us or move to the next step. We allocate 20% of the budget to marketing.

Our fifth conversation with my mentor Todor Madzharov was held 2 weeks after the last one. In it, we commented on the following points:

1. News on the progress of New Era for the last 2 weeks
- Three new "Instant Web Solutions", as well as between 3-5 designs ready for development and two new freelance clients

2. Positive reconstruction of the business model

3. Changes based on tests on the Digital New Era interface + improved functionalities

4. New goals set

1. After a long and hard work of about 1 week (2 hours a day at least) I finished the first "Instant Web Solution".

Everything is just right on the design and dynamics (maybe I went a little overboard with the onLoad effects, but go ahead). I think the design is also quite flexible, as you can literally change the brand color from one class, you can literally change the font from one button, and it takes exactly 5 minutes to change the content on each page. SIMPLY PERFECT!

However, we come to point 2.

2. How much does this cost? Originally it was 150lv/dollar stamps per month. For what? So, as we are a boutique digital agency with a focus on the web and are quite resource constrained (I was on my own then, not quite now) I couldn't and still can't offer hosting simply because I don't want to, don't have the time or capacity.

I don't want to and I don't have the time. Let's forget the concept of MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). It's too involved, both for me (as an organization) and for the client (who doesn't want to pay, DOESN'T WANT TO PAY)!

Yes, I know it's the most current model, but it just doesn't work for me at this point. That's why we are selling this "Instant Web Solutions" one-time for 599lv/dollar stamps, and we are offering a hosting partner - Hostinger, and detailed instructions. Period. If from there on, the customer wants additional changes, new pages, etc. they will be charged as they should be.

Of course, once they pay for this solution, we will for example do our best to make sure they don't miss anything - Design changes tailored to his brand, create quality content (we won't use "automation" 😉 ) etc.

3. The interface is clear, maybe I'll run a poll in which we'll test whether the noise effect annoys you or not because at the moment I only get this as "not very positive" feedback, but I like it a lot, and you have no idea how long it took me to come up with it and not slow down the site.

4. To be honest, I don't remember what goals we had set after that conversation, but judging by the changes and news at the time, we probably commented on the rest of the "Instant Web Solutions", which is a pain for me to this day. Why? Because it takes a hell of a long time to create a "theme" like this that is as versatile as possible, works adequately, and has an impressive design. But soon I'll share with you how I solved this problem and in which direction I focused.

Good luck!

What we covered in our fourth conversation with my mentor Todor Madzharov and what we will cover today:

1. Report on daily duties and work with clients (at that time)

2. Review of the goals set within the mentoring program - Mentor the Young

3. Breaking big goals into smaller achievable ones is the key to success

4. On that note - by April 15th the goal was to complete three "Instant Web Solutions" and have my personal brand - gurbov.design optimized for sales

1. Since then there are unfinished projects and tasks because of unserious clients. This is okay in some ways, except for the fact that on the pay side, we agreed 50% upfront before the project starts and 50% after the project ends.

Okay, clearly, the project is "NOT READY YET" because the client isn't ready yet, but on the other hand, the obligations on my part are fulfilled. So this is something I struggle with today and this is why Digital New Era's business model is in the form of online trading and not negotiation.

Cons:

- There's a big opportunity lurking - me as a contractor getting screwed because the price is fixed, but sometimes the client wants a lot of changes, and there's no way in the middle of the project to tell them they can't (at least at this stage, after 6 months we won't be "splitting anyone's bass") 🙂

- Not always all the specifications and benefits of the project are clearly spelled out (I know them, but I'm not sure about the client, which is entirely my responsibility and I can only be mad at myself)

Pros:

- We take 100% of the amount before work starts

- This will definitely hinder successful sales, but I'm prepared for that too. I hope that due to the low prices, purely psychologically the client won't think twice about paying 100% upfront, simply because it's not an unheard of and unheard-of amount, especially for a business

- I'm also counting on the generous policy if the client is not happy (more like not) and with some peculiarities on a project, they get 100% of their money back if they are not happy. We'll talk about that another time.

2. Honestly, I don't remember what the exact goals were on the day in question, but looking at the last point of my notes, I believe we were well behind on "Instant Web Solutions", and they were the crux of the business. Let me clarify why:

- The first and most significant reason is that I wanted to close/complete the project in order to enter it into the "Site of the Year" contest, which would begin to generate eventual traffic to it.

- The second reason is that I needed to start working and testing the branding and business model to see what would go where and what would work best so I could focus 100% on it.

(I do want to throw something in, even though it hasn't been many months since then - 3/4, my business model has changed at least 5 times and will probably change that much more by the end of 2023, and on that point I want to give you a piece of advice - if something isn't working or isn't working well enough, as much as you like it and believe in it - just change it while you can and never compromise on success) 🙂

3. This point starts at the perfect time. As I said, we shouldn't compromise success based on successfully completed goals. In order for them to be met, we must first assess how achievable they are, in what time frame we can accomplish them, and most importantly break them down into smaller and measurable tasks. The 'least is' that you will never be desperate because, with each small task, we release dopamine which keeps us 'motivated'.

4. What can I say about "Gurbov Design", the brand remains, but my focus on it, is not quite. Don't get me wrong, it's just that in order to be successful we need to be focused on one thing and one thing only, push, push, don't give up, mash, dance, etc. That in my case is New Era.

Let's look again at the Digital New Era.

A bit about the branding, again. Obviously being a fan of the retro vibe, I'm generally pretty nostalgic. Obviously, the website and the whole brand have that feel to them.

It's interesting that one of the trends in 2023 for overall digital design (graphic, web, print, etc) is just that - pixels, bright colors, retro, squares, dots, and commas.

On the other hand, I had this idea before the trends were announced, which means I DICTATE THE FASHION OF GRAPHIC AND WEB DESIGN IN THE WORLD!!!

So, again, I want you to feel a touch of "Thinking outside the box", for real, for real. Yes, that's right. Let all the UX gurus judge me - I don't do tests, I don't imagine fantasy characters who "hate slow sites and complicated checkouts", I haven't done a hundred and seventy interviews and I don't drink gluten-free milk.

I'm betting on the wow effect, grabbing the interest of each user and therefore a real enjoyment in using the site, after all, if the user wants to give it a go they'll figure out how.

I am aware that the brand is quite limited in relation to the target audience, but then again I have no interest in doing business with your Aunt Ginchi, so we are ok. 🙂

Back to the mega cool mentoring program (sounds like they paid me to write it, but they didn't) Mentor the Young and my mega fresh mentor - Todor Madzharov.

What did we talk about during our third chat?

1. Since there were periods when we didn't hear from each other for 7-10 days (after all, we have lives and commitments and it's not possible to scratch our tongues every day) the beginning of more meetings (from now on) started with updates on what I managed to achieve during that period. Quite often the meeting was not enough to just comment on the updates, what was left for the new issues.

2. We did a summary and prioritization of our goals:

- I definitely should not waste time on low-priority tasks

- Since we don't rely on organic traffic and ads we need to prepare for various direct customer contact and selling techniques (something like teleshopping and selling a unique fryer)

- Okay, okay the serious work - to prepare a business plan suitable for INVESTORS. That alone is enough for an individual post (which probably won't happen, but who knows)

- And the top goal of the program - to make one sale by the end of the three month period (this never happened, but keep in mind I had a few freelance/illegal projects before and during the program, so that was met)

3. We commented on different business scenarios - who would buy services, how clearly, describe what the client would get for the amount and specify why it was worth it. (I'm still not sure this is the case)

4. Interesting case study, quite interesting. Somewhat related to the point above. Going back to the very beginning, the original idea was to create something like a SAAS product - the customer buys a web solution with certain segments included, paying for it on a monthly subscription basis.

That's okay if you're a corporation with large resources, your own systems and employees. For me it's a bit more complicated, because the prices would be as much as 100-150/month for maintenance, which is not bad, but why do it when I can sell a site for 700 000 BGN EX VAT and then offer maintenance in the form of a subscription.

Why don't I offer hosting?

- Extra work for my already ruined body
- Additional responsibilities (databases, information, client security, etc.)
- Low profit (if you use a third party for the purpose, like I do for example)

So, why should I charge a maintenance fee when the hosting is not with me? Well for additional designs, changes, content, pages and more, and more. And we'll get there.

Good luck!

It's me again.

I threw you into the deep a bit from the beginning, so in this post, we'll start with the brand, the business, the goals, the ideas, the dreams, the money, the successes, who ruined the country, etc.

What is Digital New Era Ltd?

Officially: a boutique digital agency with a focus on
web, offering unique and innovative web solutions - WORLD CLASS!!!

Real: Another "MEGA COOL DIGITAL AGENCY WITH TURBO EXPERTS IN IT WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY'RE DOING", but overall the core concept is really when you're solving a problem, to think "OUTSIDE THE BOX" for real, for real. The original idea was to have the business revolve around 3 types of web solutions according to the different capabilities and goals of the clients, on a monthly subscription basis. This fell through for a number of reasons, which we'll explore later.

This was true, but not exactly.

What were my goals in the end?

We offer 3/4 types of web solutions.

1. Ready-made web solutions - these are offered in the form of so-called ready-made sites/templates, but they are different. They are not "just generated themes", but "just generated themes" with a more updated user experience, dynamics, interactions, and interface. The idea is that startups on a budget can get something in return, more than decently, at an affordable price.

2. Custom web solutions - these are no longer "just generated solutions", but are fully customized with a fixed price and correspondingly limited benefits that you get.

3. Bespoke web solutions - it's all relative there, depending on the mood of the contractor and the client of the project, as well as the altitude we are at. Joking aside, literally, everything is individual and is decided after a few discussions with the client.

3/4.  Secret for now.

That's for New Era.

What I commented with my top mentor Todor Madjarov, who I met thanks to the top mentoring program - Mentor the Young during our second chat.

Directly they start with business:

1. First, we commented on administrative issues - the accountant, the state of the website, the company registration, VAT issues, etc. (I want to clarify that before the program started I had made a lot of progress - I had done all this and had built the overall MVP and brand in about a month, so we really had a place to start).

2. We then brainstormed the overall business concept - how we would make sales, how we would promote the business, what our priority was, how we would differentiate ourselves from the competition, and why we thought potential clients would choose us and our services.

3. We discussed ways to promote and sell (I'm definitely not a fan of paid ads - firstly because I'm miserable and have no experience with them, and secondly because thanks to the limited resources of the business until recently I was a one-man army, I wanted to rely more on the individual approach).

So, here are the initial ways to reach the clients in question (I'm open to ideas):

- Social media - LinkedIn, Facebook (groups, pages for specific niches), Instagram (same as Facebook), possibly Twitter

- Local businesses

- Suggestion for a direct website redesign - Influencers (not too sure to tell you, must be a pretty big niche, no way Geri-Nikol or Stoyan Kolev would promote, not my thing).

4. Then, thanks to being alone (I'm still in some aspects, so if there are those willing to get involved) we discussed the issue of automation and how to not complicate my life. I'm not saying I use ChatGPT for 90% of the things I do, but I am saying it. (This is an example of "automation").

5. We commented on a possible "flying start" where I run one of the few paid campaigns I would ever run for "BUILD A FREE WEBSITE BY FEBRUARY 17 - for example, the idea being that with each new project I increase my base of "Ready-made Web Solutions" to resell later. (Imagine a pre-made campaign that "automates" the process and makes "my life easier"). We'll skip the free stuff for now, after all, I'm from Gabrovo, and people pretty much abuse my kindness. (I have at least 10 free or token-paid projects - no one appreciates it).

6. Another pretty key topic - affiliate marketing (which is on pause for now). Let me explain. The scheme is ironclad, but not quite. We'll comment on that too when the time comes.

Enough.