Jan 3, 2019
We all have adversity in our lives, and it’s really what we do to overcome that adversity that shows what kind of person we are. And some have more adversity than others. That’s the case with our guest on Just the Tips today. Jeff Hall talks to us about how he overcame a troubled childhood by learning to become an entrepreneur, and how that’s shaped him for the rest of his life and career. He’s also the founder of Overflow Café, a company that has changed over his career, but now gets amazing results for clients looking to boost their web presence. All along he continues to give back and if you’re looking for a little New Year’s inspiration, this is the episode for you.
Growing up, Jeff’s parents were gainfully employed. But it was their management of money that really did them in. Both of his parents were careless with money and had gambling problems, and so they lived a very poor lifestyle, often getting evicted and dodging creditors, even though the revenue was coming in. Jeff saw this, and he knew there had to be a better way. So he started his own company when he was 7, selling candy to his classmates. Unfortunately, his mother saw how well he was doing and started taking his profits. But the desire for entrepreneurship was forged, and Jeff never let it go.
I asked Jeff what the number-one obstacle is for a company starting out online, and he said something that rang very true: Not having the patience to see something through. Many entrepreneurs want to see instant results online, but it can take a long time to bring your website up the Google rankings, and it can take years to build a customer base. Jeff actually said something that really surprised me: He said that he always asks clients who their competitors are, and 50% of potential clients say they have no competitors. So there’s a reality check coming for a lot of entrepreneurs, and Jeff gives great advice for how to dodge that check on this week’s Just the Tips.
A lot of what Jeff says on this week’s Just the Tips is common sense, but it bears repeating and integrating. If you want to increase not just the number of people who visit your website, but the number of people who buy something from you, then you need to build what Jeff calls “credibility.” That means your company name needs to be prominent, your offerings need to be prominent, and everything on your site should contribute to the ease of your user’s experience (as he says, we don’t need to see pictures of your cats).
Jeff’s company, Overflow Café, has had thousands of customers, so he’s seen every kind of business come and go online. So I had to ask him, what was the biggest mistake/best horror story you have of a client that just didn’t get it. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s say that it contains three elements of every great business story: 1) a clueless client 2) questionable purchases of *very* personal items and 3) an angry wife. If for nothing else you have to tune into this week’s episode of Just the Tips to hear this amazing story.
James P. Friel: