Interview with a Motivated Online BusinessmanBy R.O.B On October 21, 2009 Under Interviews
Just recently I completed an interview with Ash from OrganicApex, whom I met over at NetBuilders. He was kind enough to answer a few questions and share some of his online business and money making experience with us.
1. Thanks for the interview! Care to introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Ash. I currently run OrganicApex which specializes in providing internet marketing [search and social media] services to clients to customers and owns and operates over 100 web sites and portals and more under development. I’m also a super-mod and admin at Netbuilders.
2. What was your initial inspiration to begin working online? What helped maintain your motivation to stick with it?
My initial inspiration to work online was to do something different from what others were doing. I didn’t like the mundane day to day drag of school and wanted to break free. When I first started working online, I was still in school – as a 15 year old, I naturally wanted to make money online, not because I wanted to spend it, but just because i wanted to prove to a lot of people that it was really possible.
True to that statement, even today when my organization has 55 salaried employees making between $200 – $10,000/mo – I still only take home $100/mo as a stipend.
3. Approximately how long did you wait until you started to see a substantial profit? What sort of, if any, monetary investment did you initially make?
OrganicApex started making profit the day it was started.
Initially, it was just me, and before the first month – we made enough money to rent a small space, and hire 4 people. The growth of the company has been funneled completely by profit, and never in the history of the company have we borrowed a single dollar. I’m very proud of that – since, I believe that a business is only worth running if it’s profitable.
4. What do you feel were your most successful online endeavors? Have you developed any creative ways of promoting them?
We have created a lot of simultaneous efforts. But, our cash-cow remains to be the services side of the business, even though the properties and products are slowly, but surely catching up. With the services, the most important aspect of what we do is that we have a multi-channel delivery method.
For example, the entire sales team is based on-site, with the creative team based near-shore and the actual implementation team based off-shore. With this system, we’re able to provide a higher level of service because we’re local and are also able to keep costs down because the grunt work is done offshore.
With our properties, and products we’re going for an inorganic growth strategy and are applying techniques to primarily grow fast and replicate revenues faster. Initially, a large part of portfolio was adsense, and other ad-networks on content portals. But, we have slowly branched out to created subscription based web-applications, lead generation sites to funnel sales to our own services and ecommerce sites.
5. Was networking with other people in the industry helpful to your success?
I owe a lot of what I know or have been able to implement today to people who have helped me along the way. I believe in building healthy relationships, and like a buddy of mine says ‘It’s very important to think of not just the tomorrow, but also the day-after-tomorrow’.
A major person who has impacted me positively is Will Spencer [Will, you may deny it - but 'tis true].
6. If someone asked you for advice on how to make money online, what would you tell them?
Work Hard – if you know inside your head that something will work, it most definitely will. Don’t look at shortcuts – there’s no magic pill. Everything requires effort and time to mature.
7. I heard you’re working on an ad-network with Will Spencer. Can you give us any details on that project?
Like I mentioned earlier, a large part of our portfolio is adsense sites, with a little bit of kontera and netshelter. We see a major potential in this, because internally, we get over 10 million impressions a month, growing at a tremendous pace each quarter. We could typically, just create an ad-network out of our own properties [Think ASK, Yahoo!] – but, it just wouldn’t cut it.
Google currently makes 20% of its revenue from Adsense, and 80% from Adwords, and the former is almost like an orphan. The level of service with Adsense is truly horrible, but there’s no REAL GOOD alternative out there – we’d like to be that alternative, but just vertical.
We most definitely don’t want to compete with Google, we just want to help more publishers make more money and create a publisher-centric network rather than an advertiser-centric network. Ultimately, its important to focus more on core competencies, there will be more time in the future to focus on technology
8. Finally, from a business perspective, do you have any big plans for the future?
Yes – the ad-network is a big plan. And, our property holdings continue to grow.
Since, this is a diverse business, I’d like to take two different standpoints:
1. In the services side, we’d like to increase revenues and potentially double over the next few months and hit $1 million a month in sales.
2. In the properties side, we’d like to increase our revenues by creating an ad-network to directly talk to advertisers about selling ad-space.
We are continually building new properties, and hope to triple visits in the next 12 months.
3. In the applications side, we’d like to ensure that at least 10% of our company revenues come from subscription based applications by January 2011.
4. Lead Generation – we’d like it to replace our current model of direct-sales and focus more on pull leads than push leads.