Category Archives: Online Help

Long Term Business Success

Most people when they think of creating a business online, they think of creating a product, selling the product, and hope to make enough profit to finance their next venture. This kind of thinking is short-term and doesn’t lend itself well to long term business success.

When you stop and think about a longer term business model, whether online, off-line, or a mix of the two, you really need to think about the bigger picture.

What’s really needed is a method to capture leads, convert those leads into small time customers and gradually grow them into customers who spend more with you in terms of frequency and monetary value.

In terms of frequency it is self evident that we want them to spend more money with our business on a more regular basis. In terms of monetary value we would like each transaction to be bigger than the last.

There’s also another quality that’s rarely discussed. We don’t necessarily care how they buy from us, just that they do buy from us.

However some channels of distribution are significantly cheaper than others. Ideally media or the method you used to bring in the sale becomes increasingly important. So how do you turn a single product to product mentality into a thriving long-term business? Well to begin with you need to have a viable business model and part of that business model must include the “marketing funnel.”

What Is A Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is not a complicated process. It’s a tool or a process to separate your prospects and customers into different areas.

For example we want to know the difference between our leads, our customers that spend less than $10 a year with us, customers that spend more than $500 a year with us and everything in between.

This allows us to concentrate our efforts on the smallest group of customers that spend the most amount of money with us. In other words want to maximize our return on investment.

Because that’s going to drive our return on investment we need to separate those customers who spend the largest amount of money with us, those customers who spend the least and the freebie seekers and tire-kickers. Most marketers are missing at least one or two of these crucial steps and it is causing them to leave a lot of money on the table that could otherwise be in their pockets.

Long Term Business Model For Maximum Profits

A typical business model might focus on three areas for each transaction: Timeline, frequency and monetary value.
For example, let’s take a typical fast food outlet and use that as an example. There are primarily three ways to grow a business.

1. You can acquire more customers, which is which most businesses try to do.

2. You can get them to spend more with you per each transaction (monetary value).

3. And you can get them to buy from you more often (frequency).

So the goal becomes how do we do any of those three things? Ideally we would like to do all three.

That’s where your business plan should come into play.

When you think in terms of a product you’re talking about a single instance of something that can be leveraged into greater assets over the long run through the use of this rather simple model.

But back to the fast food model.

When we talk about a “cross sell” that’s similar to when you order a sandwich and they ask you, “Do you want fries with that?”

When we use the term “upsell” it’s similar to that fast food outlet asking you “Would you like the extra large?”

The real money to be made is on what we call the “back end.”

For example, if you order something from a catalogue perhaps even a small “impulse buy” item and they later send further information to get you to purchase a more expensive product that’s called “selling on the back-end.”

And that is where successful long term business is truly grown.

Many times a company will actually lose money on the front end sale so that they can recoup that profit on the back end.

That’s what is known as a “loss leader.”

It’s what separates the one off small time single product companies from the larger more market oriented organizations that are in it for the long term.

And if you have any long term ambitions for your business that’s the line of thinking you need to be taking.

Single one off sales rarely sustain a business for very long. Not only that the profits are much smaller in comparison to those companies who have a longer term vision.

Let’s take a closer look at why these methods are so successful and the type of customer you really want to focus on to drive your business forward.

The Product Pusher Versus The Real Business Builder

What separates the product pushers from the business builders?

A product pusher thinks about what’s hot in the short term and concentrates on selling a product to fill that hot but limited need.

A business builder thinks in longer terms and sells products and services that can be leveraged in the future as the situation arises.

A business builder thinks in terms of what will increase their wealth over a longer period of time.
That’s not to say that a business-builder will disregard what’s considered hot at the moment. Rather it means they capitalize on that trend, but also think about how it will transform into something else that they can be prepared to provide.

A product pusher has to constantly reinvent themselves in order to stay on top of a current trend. Also once the initial enthusiasm for the product pusher’s product has died down they experience a severe decline in profits until eventually the web traffic and sales eventually slow to a trickle.

On the other hand, a true business builder will always see a constant flow of sales and will look for ways to maximize revenue continuously.

The real business builder is in the business of creating and growing a long term company that will survive good times and bad.

The product pusher on the other hand will chase one hot offer after another until all ideas are exhausted.

It is true that it is certainly possible to do both.

That is you can be a product pusher under several pen names while at the same time maintain a solid business separately under your own name (or even another pen name).

It really comes down to what your goals are.

If you were to become a product pusher it’s going to require a constant pulse on your market, a lot more work than you think it might be, but the upside is you may occasionally obtain short term but sometimes large paydays.

A true business building model by comparison allows you the freedom to run your business as you see fit, producing true constant income streams and it doesn’t always require you to think of that next best hottest thing.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle simply means that in any situation a few (20 percent) are vital, and many (80 percent) are trivial.

Put another way, the 80/20 rule states that the relationship between input and output is rarely, if ever balanced

In fact 20 percent of your staff and colleagues probably give you 80 percent of all the support you need. Don’t take them for granted, because true advocates like them are rare. You probably read trade journals and books, and I’ll bet 20 percent of them supply 80 percent of your knowledge in those subjects.

And what about those jobs around the house that you’ve been meaning to get around to doing? The 80/20 Rule means that that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together.

The 80/20 Rule can be harnessed in many ways for your business. And when I say 80/20, that’s really an approximation. Sometimes it might be 70/30, sometimes 85/15, you get the idea. The crux of the concept is that a small amount of something is responsible for the vast majority of results.

So how does the 80/20 Rule apply to the marketing funnel? And what is this funnel anyway?

First, the 80/20 Rule. You’re probably aware that 80 percent of your income is determined by 20 percent of your customers. If that’s not the case, then you are likely missing out on a lot of profitable opportunities. Let me explain.

If your customers contribute to your profits on a one-to-one ratio (1:1), then that means your business model is set up so that once a customer buys from you, you never sell to them again. One opportunity. One sale. End of the line. Time to move on to the next customer…

But if you continue to sell to them again and again, you’ll ultimately discover that there are certain customers who will buy more often and spend more money with you over the long haul than others. Some will still buy once, and you’ll never hear from them again. That’s fine. It’s going to happen no matter what system you have in place.

But your system will play a major role in determining what those top “20 percenters” will ultimately spend with you.

And whether you have a top 20 percent to begin with.

These folks are your “A” clients, your “A” customers. They’re the ones you want to treat like royalty. Just like the 20 percent of your staff and colleagues who are true advocates for you, your “A” customers are true advocates for your company. And they show their loyalty by purchasing from you, and by referring your business to others.
Let me give you an example that illustrates just how powerful referrals can be.
What Is The Marketing Funnel?

Large corporations often use what’s called the “open house,” or brand-building, model of advertising, which is expensive, time-consuming, and requires a lot of brand equity and trust over time before people make decisions to buy from them.

With the “marketing funnel” model, a person makes a small purchase (yes, supplying an email or physical mailing address is considered a payment of sorts), and over time you “funnel” your customers towards more and more high-end products and services, step by step, by selling them to the next level.

The two are entirely different business models, and they both work in their own ways. For most entrepreneurs, however, the brand-building model is too cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to use by itself, involving many resources that simply aren’t practical. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it within your means. In fact, you’ll soon see how to incorporate both the open house and marketing funnel models in your system (for starters…we’re just getting warmed up!).

So by “funneling” (others call it “backending” or “up-selling”—Dan Kennedy calls it “gathering the herd”) your prospects into paying customers, you’re setting the stage to provide tremendous value to them. So much value, in fact, that your customers begin to look forward to receiving content from you. And with that value comes the opportunity to take your customer to the next level, where you can sell higher-end goods to them.

And this isn’t a one-sided benefit. Both you and your customer benefit by this relationship. Your customer benefits when he gets even more value…something he really wants. You’re helping him in that regard. And of course you benefit as well by slowly graduating your customer to your “A” list, where you can provide even more value.

I once knew a salesman from a large workforce management company. This company sold expensive computer systems that helped call centers forecast their incoming call volume, determine how many customer service people they needed to handle those calls, and even generate the most efficient schedules for those reps in order to maintain a desired level of service.

This guy was an old pro when it came to managing his leads. When a potential client company would issue a request for proposal to him (basically an opportunity for his company to provide a quote based on the issuing company’s needs), he would keep track of all the people involved in the decision-making process, plus any supporting personnel. Basically anyone’s info he could get his hands on.
Now when he learned that a key person moved from one company to another (which was fairly common), and that new company was in the market for his product, he would personally contact his “lead” from the old company (now working for the new one) and continue his funnelling efforts there, while still maintaining the funnel at the old company.

Now imagine he was doing this for all of his leads, wherever they ended up. He had funnels in place everywhere. Do you think he had skinny kids?

Personally I think every sale he made was well earned. Anyone who can keep track of all those funnels and people hopping companies deserves to earn a profit.

Figures 2-1 and 2-2 show the typical marketing funnel. Figure 2-1 shows an offline version of the funnel model, and figure 2-2 shows the online equivalent. Note that the only differences are at the top of the funnel, signifying the manner in which you obtain your leads. Online they visit your website before they supply their information and become a lead. In the offline world, they would receive your offer in some other manner.

A truer representation might represent your target market as suspects, who become prospects only after raising their hands (i.e. they become your prospects when they become your leads), but however you view them, the goal is to obtain leads, where you will then attempt to convert them into paying customers.

Notice how the width of the funnel gets smaller towards the bottom? The width represents the number of customers at that height, or stage, of the funnel. However, the smaller the width, the more money they are spending with you.

In fact, the amount of money they spend with you can be thought of as being inversely proportionate to the width of the funnel (more or less). So the 20 percent responsible for 80 percent of your profits are at the bottom of the funnel. The other 80 percent that give you 20 percent of your profits are towards the top. This distribution is a general observation and not a mathematical absolute. As I mentioned earlier, it might be 70/30 or 90/10 or somewhere in between.

This is no accident. Your “A” customers, your biggest advocates, are in the smallest segment of your customer base…the bottom of the funnel (but the top in terms of the value you deliver to them).

Sales Funnel 1

Figure 2.1
The Marketing Funnel (Offline)

Sales Funnel 2

Figure 2.2
The Marketing Funnel (Online)

Let’s walk through each step of the funnel to gain a clearer understanding of how the funnel works.

1. Your prospect enters the funnel by responding to your incentive or “ethical bribe” to raise their hand and give you their contact information. He is now a lead on your mailing list.

2. You continue to provide value to him, but you want him to make the transition from a non-paying lead to a paying customer. As a result, you give him a front-end, or entry-level, offer on a product or service directly related to the value he received when opting to join your list. You may make the offer at a break even or even an initial loss, because you know you will more than make up for it on back-end sales.

3. If he doesn’t purchase your front-end product, you continue to sell him on the same offer or different front-end offers—ideally both, because he just may not be in the market for your initial offer at this time, but may be later.

4. When he purchases your front-end product, he is now a customer. You are now “warming him up” to doing further business with your company. Once he sees that you over deliver on your promise of value, he’ll feel more comfortable buying from you again.

5. You want to graduate him to the next price level, so you make him an offer on a higher-end product or service related to the entry-level one he already bought. If he doesn’t buy, you follow a similar approach as step 3 above. That is, you continue to make him offers, but this time on the mid-level product.

6. Once he purchases your mid-level product, you move onto the high-end product. He is now conditioned to buy from you with confidence and without worry, because he knows what an outstanding value you’ve been giving him. He’s seen the results of your products first hand, so his buyer’s resistance is reduced. He is now on his way to becoming one of your “A” clients, the 20 percent responsible for 80 percent of your profits.

7. You continue to sell him higher ticket items and provide even greater value to him.
The steps I have listed are a very simplified approach. You’ll soon see that there is much more to it if you truly want to be successful in the long run, but it’s not rocket science by a long shot.
After he buys, you’ll want to ask him for referrals, a testimonial, and do everything in your power to make sure he is satisfied. You want him to be satisfied so he’ll buy again of course, but you want also want to reduce your refund rate and gain his endorsement. You want him to tell all of his friends and colleagues about his positive experience with your company.

You probably know when someone has a bad experience with a company they’re more likely to tell others about it than when they have a pleasant experience. You want to encourage them to tell all about their pleasant experience.

And then you’ll want to develop some kind of residual income, where they pay you so much a month or year forever until they cancel. Not everyone will do that, of course, but your “A” customers probably will. And you can create different residual levels, just like you have different product levels, all at different price points.

Conclusion

This report only illustrates the types of transactions you should be thinking about for your business. In the long run, you’re going to need a plan that will sustain your business for a longer stretch of time, rather than a week-to-week, month-to-month approach.

That’s the real secret to building a long-term business building success.

Exercises like asking yourself where you’d like to see your business two years from now or five years from now or 10 years from now can really make a difference in whether your business will be a short-term overnight success that will fizzle quickly, or whether it will sustain the test of time and provide a lifetime value for you and your family.

Ideally you like to plan for the latter. And this report has barely scratched the surface.

But it does give you something to think about, because most entrepreneurs focus on the short term rather than looking at the bigger picture that will last them a lifetime.

On Page SEO Is Vital For Page Rank

On Page SEO

Firѕtly  fоr the readers who аrе not familiar with the tеrminоlоgу  SEO,  it stands fоr Sеаrсh Engine Oрtimiѕаtiоn.

Thе gоаl оf SEO for a search engine орtimiѕаtiоn company is to gеt a website tо rаnk аѕ high аѕ possible оn a search engine’s rеѕultѕ раgе. Thе highеr a wеbѕitе rаnkѕ, the mоrе реорlе will viѕit it, and the mоrе ѕаlеѕ can bе mаdе.

On-page SEO refers to орtimiѕing еvеrу wеbраgе in a wеbѕitе ѕо  it will earn the highеѕt possible rаnking when еxрlоrеd bу “ѕрidеrѕ”, оr search engine robot рrоgrаmѕ that соnѕtаntlу “сrаwl the web” lооking fоr new wеb раgеѕ, еvаluаting them, and rаnking them.

Fоr оff-раgе SEO, аn SEO Cоnѕultаnt will trу tо gеt аѕ many other websites as possible to link tо уоur раgе. Thе major еnginеѕ such аѕ Google rank this factor highеr than ѕеvеrаl perfectly орtimiѕеd web раgеѕ. Consequently, SEO Cоnѕultаntѕ аrе fосuѕing more аnd mоrе оn off-page орtimiѕаtiоn. On-раgе орtimiѕаtiоn, however, ѕtill саrriеѕ mаnу bеnеfitѕ.

Click Through Rate

Gеtting a high ranking will еnѕurе more реорlе will сliсk on the link аnd visit a wеbѕitе. This does not nесеѕѕаrilу mеаn, however, that the viѕitоr will hаng around аnd buу something. Mаnу web ѕurfеrѕ are just lооking fоr infоrmаtiоn, not ѕhоррing. Mаnу people (and реrhарѕ уоu have been оnе of them) may сliсk оn a tор-rаnkеd wеbѕitе only tо find  it not as rеlеvаnt tо their wеb ѕеаrсh аѕ they had hореd for. Even if it iѕ somewhat rеlеvаnt, they mау find the wеbѕitе to bе рооrlу dеѕignеd аnd of рооr quality.

Thеу mау inѕtаntlу lооѕе intеrеѕt in fаvоur оf a lower-ranked but more rеlеvаnt, professional, аnd uѕеr-friеndlу wеbѕitе. In оthеr wоrdѕ, аlthоugh off-page optimization will gеt реорlе tо viѕit a wеbѕitе, it iѕ on-page орtimiѕаtiоn that will get them tо ѕtау and buу something.

Relevancy And Specialization

To ensure a high сliсk-through rate, instead оf designing a wеbsite and then trying to орtimiѕе it fоr rаthеr broad keywords, an  SEO consultant wоuld do better to сhoose ѕресifiс kеуwordѕ in advance and trу to design the wеbѕitе around it. This will help аn SEO consultant capture the wеb surfers who аrе looking for specific information. These visitors, hаving found what they are looking for, are more likely to stays on a website аnd mаkе a рurсhаѕе.

Lower Time Commitment

Mаintаining high off-page SEO iѕ a constant effоrt for an SEO consultаnt. They are always trуing tо gеt morе web pаgеѕ to hаvе links рointing back to their customеr’ѕ website. In contrast, the on-page version tаkеѕ comparatively less time and work to do it right. If a search engine oрtimisаtiоn compаnу optimizes the web раges corrеctlу when built the first time, they can lеаve them alone,  yet still earn a high index ranking from every visiting ѕеаrсh engine ѕpidеr рrogrаm.

Tie Breakers

On the wеb, a tор London SEO consultancy iѕ compеting against tеnѕ оf thousands, if not millions, оf rivalѕ vуing for the highеѕt search еnginе ranking fоr the same keywords. Uѕing off-page SEO,  London’s numbеr one SEO consultаnts mау find themselves in a tiе with other wеbsitеѕ. Given that there are millions оf webѕitеѕ using the sаme keywords, a hundred-way tie is not uncommon. This is especially true fоr extremely general,  or popular kеуwordѕ. Top London SEO consultancies hаving good on-page SEO will give themselves the extra edge аgаinst their competitors that might mаkе them come out on tор.

Young Websites

When a search еnginе optimization company firѕt  рlасеѕ a wеbѕitе on the intеrnеt, it tаkеѕ a while to build up enough оff-ѕitе linkѕ tо give it a high оff-раgе search еnginе ranking. This iѕ especially true when fighting fоr popular kеу wordѕ аgаinѕt millions оf comреtitorѕ. Until then, SEO consultаntѕ аrе relying mаinlу upon the index rаnking аѕѕignеd bу search engine spider programs evаluаting their wеbsite. Good оn-раgе SEO will hеlр a lot during the vital early dауѕ of a website’s lаunсh.

Dig Deep For Profitable Niche Keywords

Getting the right keywords for your niche website is critical.

A basic keyword search will give you just that. Basic keywords that most people use. And if they are being used by the majority of people the chances of your site getting recognized become significantly harder.

A good keyword generating tool is the only way to ensure that you are one step ahead of your competition by finding profitable niche keywords.

Below is a simple sample if digging for keywords that have good monthly search volume and low competition. This is invaluable for checking on your competition!

I’ve taken the keyword phrase “Online Business Ideas in this example.

Below is the first run through of a good keyword search tool.

Keyword Search: Online Business Ideas

Keyword                                   Searches   Traffic  Competition  Article Power  PPC Power     Dig

online business ideas           10321          1755      View Result               8.8                       7.5                 Dig

online business idea                  228               39       View Result              7.4                      7.05               Dig

new business ideas                  6388         1086        View Result             8.8                       7.3                 Dig

online business                          5175            880         View Result           8.8                      7.25               Dig
opportunities

online business                         1149           196           View Result         8.1                        7.05                Dig  opportunity

new online business ideas    125              22           View Result          7.6                        7.05                 Dig

small online business ideas 167              29           View Result          7.6                        7.05                 Dig

profitable online business   104             18             View Result          7.6                       7.05                  Dig
ideas

successful online business   86               15             View Result         7.6                        7.05                  Dig
ideas

good business ideas           1190            203              View Result         8.1                       7.05                  Dig

web business ideas                432             74                View Result       7.8                         7.05                  Dig

best business ideas            8152         1386               View Result       8.8                         7.3                     Dig

internet business ideas   3883            661                View Result      8.5                         7.1                      Dig

These keywords are only a small sample of the first run through as space is limited.
You will notice the headings across the top:The most important to notice:
Searches: The monthly search total for this phrase.

Traffic: The amount of traffic you are likely to receive using this phrase.

Competition: By clicking this link you will get a list of sites that are using this keyword phrase.

Dig: Most Important. By using this feature you can dig down to get more keywords.

And this digging can be done on all the keywords the tool bring up giving you an incredible amount of valuable information on which to base your decisions.

In the example below I have “Dug” into the first keyword phrase in the above example “online business ideas” and my digging has come up with another list to work with.

Keyword                                   Searches   Traffic  Competition  Article Power  PPC Power     Dig

best business ideas                     40                7           View Result               7.6                          7                  Dig

best business ideas women   96                9            View Result              7.6                         7.05            Dig

starting business ideas          185             92             View Result             6.8                         7.05             Dig

best business ideas for 2013 72             13              View Result            8                            7.05              Dig

it business ideas                       167              29              View Result            6.8                        7.05               Dig

best business ideas 2013       72              13             View Result             7.6                        7.05               Dig

best business ideas for           96             17              View Result              8                          7.05                Dig
women

best business ideas home  32                 6               View Result             7.6                        7                      Dig

great new business ideas   96              17               View Result             7.6                        7.05               Dig

best business ideas moms 32               6                 View Result            7.6                         7                     Dig

10 best business ideas       412            71                 View Result            8.6                        7.05                Dig

hottest business ideas         72             13                View Result            6.8                        7.05                 Dig

As you can see there are hundreds and hundreds of keyword ideas to choose from. Looking for good monthly traffic, low competition will certainly give you the edge over your competitors!

My recommendation is the only keyword tool I personally use in all my websites and campaigns. It’s free for the first thirty searches then there is a monthly membership fee of $19.

But if you are really serious about getting the best exposure for your site or campaign and finding the most profitable niche keywords then this keyword tool is second to none!

Find Out about It Here!

Solid Results From The “Wealthy Affiliate” Program

Here are some great results I’m achieving with the Wealth Affiliate Program.

The content and training is second to none and it’s a program that I can highly recommend if you’re looking to start any online business.

Page One on Google For Profitable Niche Marketing””

Google

Three Site References on Page 1 of Bing For “Niche Marketing Advice”

Bing4.jpg

For information on  how results like these can be yours visit  Wealthy Affiliate

How Specific Should Your Niche Be?

A lot of internet marketers believe they can market everything to everyone and be successful.

Unfortunately this does not work.

It is infinitely more difficult to make yourself a name as an authority in the wide world of internet marketing when you try and cover such a vast market. Rather become an expert in a specific category of internet marketing and concentrate building your audience in your area of expertise.

You may not currently be an expert, but it you take the time to thoroughly research your chosen category it will be a lot easier to target your desired audience with a lot more authority than trying to sell everything to everyone.

Work on your research to find narrow sections to concentrate on. For instance, if your chosen area of expertise is going to be on “weight loss” and you search these keywords you will see that there are about 228 million searches for this subject. Can you imagine trying to get to the top of the rankings and sell products when you are competing with so many others?

The words “weight loss advice” brings about 66 million searches. Better but still high. The search for “weight loss exercise advice” gets down to around 28 million searches. It’s getting better. Now “weight loss workout advice” reveals just over 5 million searches! Wow that’s a huge improvement on the original “weight loss” search. It’s related but it’s becoming much specific and targeted.

This is the sort of thorough research you need to do until you can give yourself a much better chance of reaching a specific audience within your chosen niche.
And it didn’t cost you any money! It just took a little time on your part to find the right niche to target.

You now need to research this smaller niche and give your targeted audience specific information and also make sure that any products or services you offer are very specific as well.

Make absolutely certain that whatever you offer is going to help solve their problem!

That’s the real strength of niche marketing

To Read More about the strength of niche marketing and how to create a successful niche marketing business Check out My Other Site for More information.

Niche Marketing Advice

Internet marketing is becoming more and more specialized. These days trying to sell a raft of products online is becoming less and less of an option, and the need to become more specific and targeted is a far better way to engage with your audience.

This is the concept of “Niche Marketing”.

The successful niche marketer is an “authority” or at least is perceived to be an authority in a very specific field.. It can be product based, service based or even information based, but it MUST be in a small, defined market. It’s no good trying to be an authority for instance in “Internet Marketing” or “Golf” or “Computers” as those fields cover such a broad spectrum. Far better to choose a very tight niche in these areas such as, “Advice on PPC Advertising” or “Review of the Top Performing Hybrids” or “Should I Buy a Tablet or a Desktop”.

In these examples it becomes so much easier to target your desired audience, choose highly targets keywords specific to your niche, and to become more of an authority on that chosen niche.

It is far easier to research a small niche in a market than to try and become an authority on everything. Offer reviews of different products or services within your niche, recommending the best ones “in your opinion” based on quality, price, availability, references etc. so your audience can see that you really know what you are talking about and gain confidence in your ability.

If you feel that you are not an expert in any particular field look at the thousands of “How to…..” searches that are done on the internet on a daily basis. You will surely find one that interest you and one that you can further research and find specific products or services that will compliment that small niche. Find articles, reviews, videos, whatever you can to promote and show your audience what they are looking for in one place.

Build your website around this niche, using highly targeted keywords in your articles or posts. Offer your audience free reports that will help them with their needs, give them options to purchase specific products within your niche, give your audience an opportunity to subscribe to your site in order for them to receive further information and in no time you will be building a successful, profitable niche marketing business.

Niche Marketing Thoughts

Why is it that almost seventy percent of online startup ventures are not able to make any profit, and are eventually doomed to failure?

It is due to the failure to adopt a successful and profitable niche marketing model. First of all, we need to understand what niche marketing actually is, and what is required to adopt this model in a modern business startup.

What is niche marketing?

Any business marketing model, which is designed to target a specific category of people, or a specific product or service, can be identified as niche marketing.

Why do so many business startups result in failure?

The most common mistake is that many of the new online businesses ventures try to promote too many differing products or services in an attempt to capture what they think will be more sales and therefore profit by giving their audience more choices.

This may have worked in the early days of internet marketing but online buyers have become increasingly more targeted about what they require and more and more are searching for very specific items or services to satisfy their requirements. And it is the job of the niche marketer to research and develop a plan to capture this target audience to a very specific product or service in order to be successful.

The need to fully understand your audiences’ requirements is vital so that you don’t waste your time, energy or more importantly your resources promoting your offer to the wrong people. Remember, niche marketing is not about selling a product or a service.

It’s all about solving someone’s problem or need!

To become a successful niche marketer there are a number of points that your business model needs to contain.

1. Authority. You absolutely want your audience to believe that you know what you are talking about. Wherever possible you must choose a niche that you are familiar with and one that you can write about with authority. It could be a hobby that you are passionate about, something that you have been doing for a long time (experience) or at least a product or service or information that you have researched thoroughly.

A biography of your achievements in your particular niche and testimonials from satisfied clients will give your audience confidence and once you get that your marketing will become a lot easier.

2. Meet or exceed your customers’ needs. Make sure your benefits have special appeal to your market niche. Provide new and compelling information or product to your audience. Tailor your product or service to exactly meet or exceed your customers’ needs. Variations can be offered but it’s important to give your audience your honest opinion to which is the most suitable for their particular needs. This again will demonstrate authority on your part.

3. Test Your Market Opposition. Conduct an analysis of your opposition by checking out their websites, find out how they differ from yours, like their unique selling proposition, price etc. See if you can modify your offer to better that of your opposition. Once on their website, right click on it and choose “view page source”. You will get the full coding for their site and if you’re lucky you will find all the keywords that they are using for their searches. Any advantage that you can gain will be priceless!

Now hit your niche market with confidence!

You’re Never Too Old To Start A Business

Another great article I found at Richmond

Enjoy!

QUESTION: I recently retired, am not a very good golfer, and not sure where to volunteer my time. Perhaps I should start a small business. Am I asking for trouble?

ANSWER: You have reached another milestone in life. Retirement is a major lifestyle change.

You no longer have to punch a time clock, and no one is coming to you for advice and counsel. You have time on your hands and no idea how to spend it.

At this juncture, I can’t resist putting in a plug for SCORE, a national organization of volunteer business counselors. If you want to help young entrepreneurs and share the knowledge you have attained over your long career, consider becoming a SCORE volunteer.

As far as you starting a business, you are never too old.

For instance, Mary Kay Ash founded Mary Kay Cosmetics in her mid-40s.
And J. Harwood Cochran, who founded Richmond-based Overnite Transportation Co. in 1935 and built a trucking empire before he sold it in 1986, went on to start Highway Express Inc. trucking company at age 79 in 1991 and sold it in 2003.

Regardless of age, you start by developing a written business plan.

Pick something you have both background and passion about. Ideally it will fill an under served niche that has little competition.

A major consideration is finance. You are at a point in life where you no longer generate a paycheck.

In addition to business startup costs, you will require enough working capital to pay the monthly bills until you reach break-even (income versus outgo), usually six to nine months.

The value of a business plan is that it enables you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you focus on all the elements of running a business.

You will find you must wear many hats, some of which you are ill-suited. Do you muddle through or consider a partner who contributes in those areas you are least competent?

Do yourself a favor before you spend a dime: Develop a business plan.

Gray Poehler is a volunteer with the Richmond Chapter of SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business. To ask a question or request free and confidential business counseling, go to Richmond.score.org/mentors. A counselor will respond. Select questions and answers will be featured in Metro Business. To learn more about management issues facing small business and SCORE’s workshops, go to the website or call (804) 350-3569.