If someone came to you and said they wanted to start a version of Amazon, you'd say they were mad and walk away.
Dilbert, as usual, sums this thought up perfectly. Enjoy
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Sometimes running a small online business can be really hard.
Most of us aren't fortunate enough to solely run our online business, at least in the beginning anyway. We work for the man from 9-5 and then come home and start working again on something more meaningful and purposeful.
We put family and friends to one side while we busily work away trying to get our passions off the ground and take them to a place where we can walk away from the 9-5 and begin living the internet lifestyle.
I'm in that situation right now. I'm in the exciting position to be involved in a new start-up, something I've wanted to for a while and the fact that I'm doing it with a good friend makes it even better.
But I'm also in the position where I'm working in a very demanding day job that requires a lot of my time both in and out of work hours. It's a really good job and I really enjoy the work, don't get me wrong but it's very tiring at times.
I've also got a young family that I want to be with and spend time with, which I don't think anyone can argue with.
Most small start-ups are the same. It's not easy but it's what we do. Why do we do it?
Well my answer is simple. Most don't like it, especially my wife sometimes but the answer is always the same. I do it because I know I want help small business owners make the most of their online business because so do I.
So if you're finding the fight hard just do what I do. Take a deep breath, think about the goal you're trying achieve and get right back to it.
Ever wondered why some entrepreneurs are so successful? Ever think about why these truly successful business owners can do so much and reap so many rewards?
Easy! They’re obsessed by what they do. They love it. They eat sleep and dream the business and their goals.
Want to start being as successful as them? Become obsessed.
Getting your customers and users to pay attention to your business is harder than ever. People have an infinite number of choices compared to 2 or 3 years ago and a lot less time. By taking a different approach to selling and marketing you can begin to make more enquires and more sales.
For regular readers, you’ll have noticed that I’ve talked about marketing guru Seth Godin before (even reposting articles direct from his own blog). Seth attracts many followers for his insightful take on modern marketing and is not afraid to be a bit controversial. I highly recommend anyone to check out his blog or videos.
My 3 ways to better sales is inspired by some of Seth’s ideas that I really dig and think you guys will get a lot out of.
Be on the fringes
Many small businesses play safe when they’re approaching things. They follow the crowd when it comes to things like marketing, branding, sales and customer services. They do what they see others doing as they see it as being safe. But no one says you have to play it safe.
Do things differently to others. Approach your strategies from a different angle and make your customers sit up and take notice.
10 years ago in the era of mass marketing playing safe was the safe thing to do because everyone listened. Now people (your potential customers) don’t have to time to sit through the ads and listen. Now you have to be on fringes to be noticed.
You get on the fringes in business by being remarkable. By becoming something or someone that people want to make a remark about you can create a buzz around you and your business. When they have something to say about your product or service they tell someone else. They’ll want to share the story.
That doesn’t mean you have to come up with a new product or service that is out of this world, just that maybe you need to do something that is remarkable with what you have.
When Google announced Google Wave earlier in the year they did something that was remarkable with their marketing. They only opened it up to a handful of developers. If you didn’t get an invite first off, you desperately wanted one. The buzz about Wave and the fact it was a limited invite-only spread like wildfire to the point where now they haven’t even fully released it yet and people are trading invites on eBay for crazy sums of money.
By taking a remarkable approach you can get your future customers to sit up and take notice.
Sell to those who are listening
With a massive choice and not a lot of time, consumers don’t have to listen to everyone that tries to sell them something anymore but they’ll most certainly buy from someone they already listen to.
Why waste your time and effort (and maybe even money) trying to sell to the large percentage of people who aren’t listening or aren’t interested? What’s the point?
Apple doesn’t try to sell its stuff to the non-tech savvy customers. It aims the majority of its marketing to the geeks, the fashion conscious, the tech savvy, the trend-setters and to those who appreciate great design because they know that they’ll be the one’s listening.
Talk to the people who are listening and you’ll be able to sell to them far better than those who couldn’t care less.
I must see this question all over the internet all the time. So many people want to know how they can start their new online business off with a bang and be instantly making money. There are loads of options out there that look to offer some amazing results to first timers offering a massive financial return for very little work.
The easy answer is no! No you can’t make quick money from an online business. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and a great deal of patience, something of which many people entering the online business space don’t seem to have.
When they don’t get any revenue in the first few weeks from their products they begin covering every piece of html real estate with click though ads, affiliate links and adsense code. Expectantly they sit back and wait for the money to pour in. And guess what? None arrives.
Simply there are no quick money fixes on the internet. You need hard work and patience. With a lot of commitment and constant work you’ll begin to make money, maybe some serious money but you won’t get there with quick fixes.
It’s often said that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell. When we look at the definition of success though we see that things are not black and white and that there are actually many subtle shades of grey.
Success means different things to different people. Ask a young person what they understand of success and they’ll usually talk about money and fame because this is what they see in the media every day. They look at celebrities and want to be in the same position one day themselves. However if you ask the same question of someone who has been out in the world of work for a time what their idea of success is, they are less likely to talk about fame and financial reward but will bring up words like family, security and fulfilment.
Why is this? Well it’s really due to experience. When you are younger the idea of fame and fortune is very attractive but as you experience more of life you begin to realise that these things aren’t for everyone and that actually you crave other things. Some people do go on to achieve fame and insurmountable wealth but they don’t always bring happiness and as we all grow and mature many of us seek happiness.
Why it’s important to define success?
When you can define success into something that makes sense and is relevant to you, you have direction in which way to travel to achieve it, much like a map of a journey. Once you’ve defined your success you can move toward whatever you have to do to achieve it. It sets the goals and parameters by which you need to work.
Here are some ideas if you’re struggling to think about what success means to you.