Business Updates & Happenings

Business Updates & Happenings

I wanted to take this time to fill you in on some my recent business developments. As many of you know, I am working on several ventures with my business partners, Josh and Matt. I made it clear a few months ago that I want my businesses to be case studies. Additionally, a huge part of blogging objective is to provide an inside perspective into the world of young entrepreneurs attempting to make their mark in the business world.

Our current business ventures include:

  • infinFX: our web development and hosting operation
  • Scottsdale IT: the database & network configuration operation
  • The Scottsdale Review: online local business journal (featuring reviews of restaurants, shopping and night life)

We are also working with a local startup developing several hundred web sites for Chinese domains. That is who I am developing the 500 websites this month for. I will be talking more about that a little later.

The Scottsdale Review

A few months ago I told you about the benefits of offline business development and one of our new ventures, The Scottsdale Review, which is going to be an online journal for our local town of Scottsdale, Arizona. My plan was to use The Scottsdale Review as a case-study of a business from conception to reality.

Our plan was to hire journalism students from Arizona State University. They would be able to write for us and receive school credit. In turn, we would have quality writers at no expense to us. Unfortunately, we have had quite a few setbacks over the past few months trying to get this business off the ground. The main setback is that the director of the journalism school has failed to return our phone calls despite numerous attempts at making further contact.

Getting in touch with the journalism director is obviously a key component at getting this business started – we are not in the position to be investing a lot of money into it, so we were counting on the students to supply us with original and interesting content for the journal.

We have even gone so far as to contact multiple people from the journalism school and no one has called us back. It has been very frustrating, to say the least. In this situation, facing so many setbacks, many people would just as well give up and decide, “it wasn’t meant to be.” That being said, we have big plans for The Scottsdale Review and are unwilling to throw in the towel.

Despite being very busy with other ventures, we are still trying to contact the right person to get the confirmation that we are good to go. These kind of frustrating situations must be confronted with determination. Every potential setback is another opportunity to become more persistent and see this through. We are more motivated than ever to make this work and we will not let anything stand in the way of this venture materializing.

If you would like to read more about our plans for The Scottsdale Review, you can do so here. I will definitely be updating you with our progress here soon. The moral of the story: never let anything stand in the way of your dreams. Never give up, under any circumstances.

11 thoughts on “Business Updates & Happenings”

  1. I think The Scottsdale Review is a success just waiting to happen. I had a vaguely similar idea myself a couple of months ago and snapped up a handful of domains that all relate to review sites directly connected to the city that I live in. My main idea was for a site that reviews the local coffee shops and gives some sound advice as to the best coffee in town. A place that local coffee shops would love to advertise on because of the targeted audience. Then I grabbed some other domains in the same vein including one for restaurant reviews. I haven’t developed these sites yet but the basic idea is sound and it’s just waiting for the time for me to take it to the next step.

    With the global reach of the internet and the broad sweep of information that is available, I think that perhaps the best niche can be your backyard. If you can get the targeted traffic then local businesses are always looking for a way to stand out.

    The Scottsdale Review is something that could really build a community spirit and if you can do that then it’s popularity and success are assured.

  2. hmm….i agree with frank on this, i think most people who are in the offline world mostly don’t really understand the power of internet and many people are not willing to work with startups….since there is a problem of pulling the plug anytime…I am having the same trouble with another of my sites where I want php/asp developers who will get a permanent job on the site as a team and revenues every month once the project takes off…but unfortunately many people think its not worth it…

  3. Are there any other colleges in town? Also, what about their Communications Department – you might find a contact if they have an electronic publishing focus.

    You could also try High School juniors and seniors. They might even be a BETTER choice for many reasons:

    1. They’re from Scottsdale and might know the area better
    2. Public school teachers don’t have many resources and might be more willing to work with you.
    3. It looks great on college applications
    4. You’re giving back to the community by offering such a great opportunity to public school students.

    Also, if you have a Craig’s List or similar listing for Scottsdale – have an open invitation to writers – some people need to beef up their writing portfolio and will write for free 🙂

    1. Hi Nathania, those are some great points you brought up. Yes there are quite a few of other colleges in town. Unfortunately, now that school is out, we are going to have to wait before we can once again re-engage the school for help.

      I really appreciate all of your other good points and I will definitely take them into consideration. Thanks again!

  4. Nate, I used to live in the PHX area and I think you should contact some of the many community colleges. Here’s a map for you:

    There’s even a Scottsdale Business Institute now. Not sure what that’s about, but you should probably check it out. Best of luck with the venture.

  5. I was thinking about similar idea as The Scottsdale Review for my area, and without good knowledge of doing such, your experiment will be very valuable! Please, keep us updated! 😉

  6. I really love your site. It is perhaps the cleanest, best looking blog I have seen. I just switched to WP and have a long way to go to go… this blog inspires me! Keep up the great work.

  7. Hey Nate,

    It doesn’t sound like the University is all that open to the idea. I think you should forge ahead, but maybe from a different angle. Here are some thoughts:

    1) Talk to a number of local businesses and see what they’d be interested in paying for a review. Make it cheap … 30 or 40 bucks. Pre-sign some of them up if you can.

    2) Find a handful of journalism students who are good writers and want to make some extra cash. Pay them the 30 or 40 bucks to write the reviews. So you’re investing all or most of the income into building the business right now.

    I know that people are only going to pay for positive reviews, so you have to pick good businesses that you would recommend and go with those to start.

    The key is to get it off the ground, and then you can add local advertising and real time “What’s happenin'” news (maybe sponsored) as you grow. As the business grows and stands on its own 2 feet, you can morph it into different avenues and add increasingly more value to it.

    That’s my 2 cents. Hope it sparks something!

    1. Shane, you are perhaps correct that it doesn’t seem like the University might not be that open to the idea. I am frustrated that they have not even tried to provide a reason why this might be the case.

      You are right that the real key is getting it off the ground. Unfortunately, right now, I am not sure how much more time I can devote to it with this new startup I am working on. Thanks for your insights – I really appreciate them.

  8. Does the University of Arizona j-school have a news service? Columbia and Medill have ’em. I’d also take a look at the Methods Reporter, which allows students to get their stuff out there.

    Perhaps the University would have returned your phone calls if you offered to become a permanent client of the school’s j-school, which shouldn’t cost you too much. You’d get a ton of content that way.

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