Category Archives: Business Ideas

Plunder Ventures is Looking for Talent Partners

Hi folks!

As we gear up to launch our flagship Venture, we are planning video-shoots. Want to be a part of Plunder?

We’re looking for super-talented individuals looking to partner with a savvy sales and marketing agency.

Land Ho!

Join us! Please fill out the following application.

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Seuss Video

Good morning! I found this on facebook, and if you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, it’s a must-watch. A great ‘kick-me-up’ motivator. Dr. Seuss: what a genius.

Busssssssyyyyy!!!!

Hey everyone. Your emails, phone calls and voice mails are important to me! Plunder Ventures is swamped with work! We are in the process of upgrading our database system to enhance our business modelling capabilities, reducing time it will take us to approve business transactions, as well as increasing our staff. It almost feels like I’m going to walk the plank with the impending rush on these deals. We should be able to process the backlog soon with the new systems soon.

Bare with me while we upgrade, and look out for the launch of PlunderVentures.com in 2012. And yes, humanity will change forever.

Thanks ūüôā

– Tristan Parlette, Founder & CEO, Plunder Ventures

Entrepreneurship, in Balancing 5 Acts.

I’ve noticed an interesting quality about entrepreneurs, which is their ability to operate and control many different areas of focus, rather than specializing in one discipline. Unlike large companies, entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of specializing personnel to specific disciplines. Rather, entrepreneurs must focus on a vast multitude of different skill areas. This diversity of knowledge, and practise (tasks, activities, projects) has profound implications. Entrepreneurs who master the following acts, will guide their firms to riches and dreams to reality.Balancing Acts in Entrepreneurship

Act 1. Entrepreneurs need to be able to operate at least a moderate skill within each discipline. While some disciplines are harder than others, the more complex and inherently difficult that discipline is to learn the more valuable it is. Entrepreneurs who posses and acquire valuable skills naturally become more successful. In a pinch, they can sell their skills. If they invest their skills in their enterprise, they stand to reap the full value of that skill, not simply the market value of the skill’s labour. While it is true that inherently valuable skills will save entrepreneurs from¬† having to purchase those skills from others, the real benefit comes from reaping the rewards of adapting the skill towards a valuable purpose withing the business. This act alone does not guarantee success. Being too specialized means entrepreneurs run the risk of missing an important link, say, sales, or marketing, or distribution, which defeats the whole point.

Act 2. Successful entrepreneurs will devote time to the most valuable and meaningful activities, and delegate low-value activities to others. Any worker who earns the fruits of their labour independently, rather than as a staffer with a fixed wage in a company, inherently needs to invest time in order to reap the benefits of those investment.

Act 3.¬†Entrepreneurs, and sales Why do people use coupons? They don't value their time very high.people (employee-entrepreneur hybrids)¬† understand the value of their time,¬† become highly conscious of it, and are motivated to conserve time. These self-employed individuals will invest time in planning. They may even invest time in inventing solutions that save them even more time (cough! longboard. Cough cough…)

Act 4. Successful entrepreneurs willKnowledge Marketing invest time reviewing the raw data, compiling that information and making an informed decision about the direction they take their business. They will invest their time in exploring the market, exploring relationships, networking, investigating opportunities and listening to proposals.

Act 5. A. Entrepreneurs will learn from others, emulate the success of others by  applying the same principles and lessons, listening to the wisdom of others, especially unique, obscure and isolated ideas that are not mainstream. They will combine ideas or expand on them. They will tinker, copy, create, draw, imagine, vision and ideate. Do you have a problem? Generating ideas about how to solve it (i.e brainstorming) is the fastest and most effective way to improving your situation. But this works if, and only if Act 5. B. is accomplished.

5. B. Successful entrepreneurs are actively doing something right now. Not vaguely sometime in the future. Not later, tomorrow or sometime. They are planning and acting on their goals actively, every day, every month of every year. It’s that simple. Work on your ideas. Get what you want. Act Now.

What happens when you get what you want? Let’s just say this is a never-ending story, because after all, success is relative.

2 Lightning-Fast Actions for your Address Book!

If you’re serious about your career, business or social life, becoming a member on Facebook and LinkedIn is a MUST.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume that you’re already on these sites and have already built out a sizeable network of friends, acquaintances & current/former employers, coworkers & suppliers.

If not, get on it! All it takes is a search and a click “add connection” for LinkedIN or “add friend” for facebook. You might want to invest 30 minutes in your profile, since, afterall, hundreds if not thousands of people will likely have access to it.

1. Add your Facebook contacts to your address book. 

Go to:¬†http://danauclair.com/addressbooksync/¬†Follow the easy instructions to download the program. Once in the program, you’ll be able to quickly import all your facebook contacts, merge duplicates (if those contacts are already in your address book) and add contacts that don’t already exist in your address book from facebook. It will also add a facebook picture to every contact, and create a link to that individual’s facebook page for quick access from Address book.¬†Unfortunately you’ll have to perform this export/import periodically as there is no built-in automatic syncing.

Estimated Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Do it now! Seriously don’t put it off, you’ll spend 5X more time thinking about doing it than it takes to just do it now.

2. Add your LinkedIn contacts to your address book.

Maciverse has a great article on this with step-by-step instructions. Check it out at: http://www.maciverse.com/quick-tip-imported-linkedin-contacts-to-address-book.html. Unfortunately you’ll have to perform this export/import periodically as there is no built-in automatic syncing.

 

Estimated Time: 5 Р15 minutes

Do it now!¬†Seriously don’t put it off, you’ll spend 5X more time thinking about doing it than it takes to just do it now.

3. Sync with gmail.

Gmail has built in automatic syncing with iCal and Address Book. Simply go to your application’s preferences and set it up!

Estimated Time: 2 Р5 minutes

Keep it real!

 

 

 

WANTED: Graphic Designers, Illustrators and Artists

Let’s make a deal.

  • Would you consider your art “definitely not crap”¬†awesome?
  • Can you produce art that is engaging, professional and interesting to look at?
  • Do you have a style that you feel would ‘fit’ the Plunder brand?
  • Would you like to meet with the CEO of Plunder Ventures to present your work?

The Opportunity
Plunder Ventures is a sales agency that specializes in Generation-Y targeted consumer products. We are in the ‘design phase’ of launching what will be our flagship website.

Theme and Style

Plunder Ventures has always envisioned a dark, edgy, over-the-top motif for our brand. Don’t tame your ideas. Anyone who knows the founder (or who has peered in his notebook) knows that an out-of-the box idea is a prerequisite.

Contact Tristan to schedule a meeting or phone call: Tristan.Parlette@gmail.com

2 Ways to Lock in Your Gains in Business. ROI of over 500%

Are you in business and not sure how you can become more productive and save time?

Well, so am I, and I have some advice for the lot of you!

1. Use a Microsoft Template! This activity is so easy, I don’t understand why people don’t do this. Using templates will save you hours of time formating in the long-run. What’s the difference between a template and a regular office document? Basically nothing, except that when you open up a template, you’re creating a new document with whatever has been premade instead of building a document from scratch. Building a document from scratch is usually a huge waste of time, especially if you routinely use similar types of documents! Not to mention, you’ll probably build the document differently each time, leading to sloppy mistakes and an¬†allure¬†of unprofessionalism.

Using templates is a great way to increase the professionalism of your business, and save countless hour-glasses full of time.

Microsoft Word Letter Template

Templates Save a TON of Time: Longboardable Letterhead

Microsoft Word Notebook Template

Notebooks save time too!

Steps:

I. Open up Microsoft word, excel or powerpoint.

II. Chose an existing document, or create one from scratch.

III. Modify the document so that it becomes a blank and consistent starting point for all future documents of that type. Add your business logo, change the fonts, titles, themes and colours, add instructions for employees, and write down tips that you might otherwise forget.

IV. Select “Save As” and choose “Microsoft word template” (or whichever template suits your needs).

V. Rejoice in the time savings! Avoid formatting your future documents.

Another way you can enjoy these time savings and then some is to customize an existing template to your future needs. Microsoft word comes preloaded with a ton of templates, such as letter-heads, budgets and so forth. There are also hordes of existing user-made templates on the web. The documents you use are probably not THAT unique. But if they are somewhat unique, no matter! Just modify a template by opening one up, and “saving as” the way you did before.

So how much time can this really save? Well, according to my calculations I stand to save¬†roughly 12 hours¬†per month. That’s an 800% return on my time investment (building the templates) Per month!!!! And that’s assuming I need to build entirely new templates from¬†scratch¬†each month!

Longboardable Cost Benefit for a Template

800% ROI per month. Do it. Do it now!

2. Automate your workflow! If you own a Mac, there’s a program called “Automator” which allows you to automatically command your computer to do things in predictable ways. The best part is, you don’t need to be a computer programmer to use it. It took me 4 or 5 tries to get the hang of it. Don’t fret though, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the hours you’ll save by using it.

Take protecting your files for instance. Are you protecting sensitive information? Something tells me you’re not, since going into “preferences” on Microsoft word is a¬†hassle¬†and typically of low priority. That is, unless you loose some sensitive business information to a competitor or an employee with his or her nose out of joint.

Try using automator to set the passwords for 10 or more documents at once. Or just password protect them all!

An automating that adds a password and “Author” field to a batch of documents took me 12 minutes to make and less than 1 minute to run. It doesn’t matter how many word docs I have, it will still take me a fraction of the time as it did before! The automator build is a one time undertaking, but the savings are recurring! As an entrepreneur, I can’t afford to spend loads of my time on seemingly low-priority busy work. Why not let your Mac do the busy work for you!

I could automatically modify every document on my computer in less than half an hour! The best part is, any time you want to do this again, you have the automator file you built save (like a template) for future uses! The more work you have to do, the better your return on time invested building an automation is.

Automater Start Page

Automater Start Page - Where the Time Savings Begins

I. Start by opening up a new “custom” automation.

II. Drag pieces into the field. Make note of what needs to be your “input” and your “result”. Match your outputs of previous actions to inputs of subsequent actions. A good place the start is by ‘getting’ the files that you want to change. Files usually collect in folders so the “get specified finder items” is a good place to start. Remember, whenever you are getting folders, and what you really want is the items inside the folder, you must use the “get folder contents” operation so that your computer knows to modify the documents inside the folders, not the folders themselves.

Microsoft Word Automator Example Screenshot

Simple Automator Process

Simple Automator Process

III. If you’re new to automater, test your work and view the results after every operation you drop. If you are unsure of a result, test it with 1 file before you modify an entire batch of files.

IV. Search the modifications you want to make. Many are available online, but for a new user I would suggest searching within automator’s existing operations, for simple tasks you often find yourself doing, such as modifying many files in a similar way. This applies to most all types of files- images, folders, documents and so on.

V. When using microsoft word operations, make sure that you filter out any of the selected documents that aren’t .doc, .docx, or .txt files. Also make sure to filter out files that have the “/” in their names- for some reason these don’t work well with automater.

VI. Add the “security” operation to your process to set a password for all the documents (when the process runs). Also add the modify properties operation to change meta-data such as author, description, keywords etc.

Microsoft Word Automation Example

Microsoft Word Automation Example: Set Word Document Properties

VII. Don’t forget to add the “save” and “close” operations to your word documents. You don’t want automater to leave 20 + unsaved files open.

VIII. Save your automater file for future use! Lock in your productivity gains! Encourage staff and collaborators to use automater.

I find that even 2 hours a day spent on making my life easier in the future has profound compound effects. In essence, as one person I can now do as much busy work as 4 or 5 people could the manual way. Best of all, over time you learn how to automate faster, which results in ever greater returns on your time investment.

Automator Time Savings

Automator Time Savings (Return on Time Investment)

With 5 automations per month, processing 1000+ individual files through routine operations such as filing, renaming, setting metadata, sorting, converting etc., you can save days of your time. Skeptics! I know you’re thinking that these numbers seem too good to be true. Well, if you’re a slow learner and you don’t have many tasks to process this is most definitely the case. However, if you use automater and give it your undivided attention for 3 hours, you will most certainly save time in the long run. However, if you don’t even try, and continue to do things the old way, your ROI will always be a big fat 0%. You may even loose your competitive edge to guys like me who take the time to learn about how their computers can save you a ton of time.

Lock in your gains, and remember that achieving a high ROI (t) is as important, if not more important than achieving a high ROI ($). Why? because the more time you save, the less stressed you’ll be, the more important things you’ll be able to do, and the fewer employees or outsourced services you’ll need. And if we all do this, we’ll all have more time to worry about what’s really important- our health, our friend and family, and our happiness. ūüôā

Bonus Time Saver:¬†Don’t open more than 8 windows at once on your web browser. Though you might thing mass opening will save you time, it won’t. We’re usually much too impatient, and as a result switch from tab to tab looking for the page that loads the quickest. In reality, this slows everything down. Take it one or 2 pages at a time, and you’ll be able to fit in more pages viewed, and more article read per hour. Take it from a chrome-tab addict currently in rehab.

Shameless Plug: And if you’re in the market for a Longboard, checkout Longboardable.com. We launch in September.