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What Does It Take For An Online Business To Be A Sterling Success?

If you are new to running a business, and have been working the 9-5 job grind, the thought of running a business can be overwhelming to think about. However, it doesn’t need to be a burden to a newbie who is trying to figure out where to start.

Before you initiate any efforts to get started, know what is involved before you even start your business. I believe many make the mistake of trying to get started in their business before they know what is involved.

First to get your business off to a good start do some research on your market and competition on the industry and market your considering. It doesn’t hurt to do your homework. Next, once you have this information write your goals, expectations of what you want to do in your business, as well as what you expect in your business. The amount of time and money you are willing to spend. It is important to put together a business plan for the business you are considering, using your research on what you found in your research. It is important to be realistic .

Start Marketing your Business from A to Z

Tto be successful in marketing is another subject you have to consider in any business. In this article you are going to get an idea of what is required in a nutshell. First tip is what are you wanting to achieve in your marketing strategy for your business?

Again, research is in order, let me reemphasize that going online to do your reseach is a good resource tool to find out the information you need. This should B one of the first steps in your business plan. Also, it would be a good idea to read books or take courses on the subject in a community college or university depending on your budget. Again, marketing and researching your competition is a good idea. Why the research? Research can give you insight on the business your proposing. It is an important step that many people don’t have in the equation of starting a business. This is what leads many online businesses to failure.

Why, because, they don’t have the information and tools needed to succeed so they ultimately go bankrupt. They also don’t have a clue about their competition or market. This is a fatal mistake that many online business just don’t get. They don’t have a concept what to do online to get their name on the Internet. What kind of marketing?

What about marketing?

1.Forums

2. AdwordS

3.E-mail

4.Business cards

5.Classified ads

Let me briefly explain these forms of marketing…

Forums

Forums are an excellent way to build traffic to your to your website . Also, a great way to achieve a higher ranking in the search engines. Search engines welcome that because, it gives you more links and gives them more links to spider to your site. Be sure to know the rules before you post however, or you could be banned from the site. Be in the know about the rules of posting on their website . Be sure to read all the posts, before you post to the thread or subject being discussed. Stay on topic. Don’t post ads! Post a minimum of 5 posts a day if possible. Make sure your information is useful, insightful and well thought of before posting a message to the forum.

AdWords

AdWords such as Google AdWords is another excellent marketing method to get traffic to your website . However, you may want to look to the experts, before you start this form of marketing. This form of marketing, is not to be left to chance. You need to know what you are doing, to do it effectively. This is where knowledge is power. Power-up your knowledge on the subject by taking an online course or doing some research on the subject, before starting your AdWords campaign. Don’t be hasty, it is too risky & expensive to second guess on this facet of marketing. So be shrewd.

E-mail

E-mail is a revolutionary marketing medium, that can be a quick inexpensive way to get your red hot promotion, out to your prospects. You can speak to hundreds or even thousands in seconds using an autoresponder . You can also send one message, in a blink of an eye. Even better you can continue to build your list over time.

However, you need to choose your words carefully when it comes to your subject line & when comes to your e-mail message itself. If it is too much like an advertisement, this going to chase your prospect away. Instead your message, should not focus on merely making a sale. It should focus on building a relationship with the prospect not on you.

Warning! PLEASE DON”T SPAM!

This is one thing that you never want to do, is send an e-mail to a person that did not contact you, nor should you ever send an e-mail to someone unsolicited! If you do, at best, they will delete your message. If they are really get annoyed they will forward your message to your ISP and even to the authorities!

If that happens you may loose your Internet connection and may open yourself up to a lawsuit. Neither of which is to your advantage. SO DON’T DO IT! It is better to not even start. It is not good for the creditability of your business anyway. However, if you are sent spam in your inbox you can send a reply back to them with a one Time quick message about your business.

Business Cards

Business Cards are an awesome way to introduce you and your business to people you meet. This leads to potential prospects you talk to specifically about your business anywhere. You can send them in the mail or leave them in any public place that has a place to leave them.

At restaurants for example, or in a store, parking lot, or at the mall and at meetings. Be creative. Be careful not to give people the impression that you are just trying to sell them on your business. Be sure to personable with the people you meet. Be sure you give them the message that you are there for them, to be a solution to their problems. That your business is the solution they need to make their life better. Then, become a Friend to them.

Classified Ads

Classified ads are another way, to get your message to the masses. In addition, you can post your ads to thousands of websites worldwide! Be selective on the classified ad sites you go to. The ones that say they can submit your classified ad to thousands of websites could be a trap for sending out spam . So, make sure they have a policy against spam . So the conclusion of the matter, is be careful!

However, done correctly you can get your message out to a lot of websites in no time. Creating good classified ads is an acquiring skill… so again becoming educated on what works and what does not work. It is an art. This where researching your market is helpful. My suggestion to you is to go to different classified ad sites and view some of the different ads just to get a feeling of how they are done.

Also, another way, is to search online to see what the experienced marketers are saying on the subject can prove to be very beneficial. Also, in time when you start posting your ads you will find that some ads will pull a better response rate then others. It has been suggested, that, once you discover the ads that get the best results, that you use those ads the most.

The best advise is, that, when you post a classified ad, that you should post it a minimum of 7 weeks before changing it. Why? Because response builds over time. Some people will not respond to your ad immediately.

Some may have to see your ad more then once before they act. Some may have to think your business proposition over, before they decide to respond.

The message is loud & clear, that consistency, patience, persistence is the rule of thumb when comes to this form advertising. You need to be flexible, because the same ad that got a good results one place may get completely different results elsewhere or even in the same place at a later time. Be adaptable to change with the marketing trends. Because the Internet is continually evolving and changing.

Where Do You Go From Here?

Now that you have some information about marketing tools and education you need to get started. To do this you will need a website. Then you will need to register your domain name. I would also recommend getting an autoresponder.

However, if you are a beginner, lets face it, anyone starting a business for the first time is going to take a lot of persistence. My recommendation is, to find an online marketing system that has all those tools already there set up for you.

All you have to do is find the right one that suits you and your needs and abilities. The best one is a marketing system that is free. You should test drive the marketing system before you join. Choose one that gets you leads for you so you do not have to pay for your leads. Well, hope you get your business to a roaring start. Wish you outstanding success in your business.

Control Your Growth – 9 Sure Signs Your Business Is Growing Too Fast

Don’t allow your business growth to go unchecked. Fast unmonitored growth can be just as dangerous as no growth. Pay attention to signs that indicate you may be growing too fast, and take all necessary steps to control that area.

1. Computers, desks and chairs become hard to find. You outgrow your office gear and employees find it hard to work with the space shortage and furniture scarcity.

2. You take on orders much larger than you should take or handle. Don’t turn orders down, but don’t sacrifice service and quality either. Make sure you can deliver on your promises.

3. You don’t know most of the faces of your staff. Once you become unaware of the people working for you, things become impersonal and you will have lost contact with your business most valuable asset – your staff. Good staff is worth gold. Keep close to them or they will go elsewhere.

4. Employee morale is low, turnover increases, productivity drops. These signs show that the business and its management are growing to a level where staff are not being looked after or listened to. Watch your employees and discuss problems and take steps to resolve before they escalate.

5. You don’t know what your competition is up to or what’s happening in your industry. Never take your eye off your competitors or you will find yourself in major trouble.

6. You have more temporary staff employed than permanent ones. Too many temporary staff is not good for many reasons. Permanent staff is more likely to take an interest in the business and are more productive and loyal. Temporary employees leave and sometimes take important business and confidential information with them.

7. You have received customer complaints and negative feedback. Complaints from customers clearly point to something that is not going right. If you don’t have customers you don’t have a business. Repair this relationship quickly.

8. You continually operate in crisis mode. Dealing with an occasional crisis is one thing, running your business like a war zone is something else.

9. You’re running out of cash all the time, Rapid growth can play havoc with your cash flows. Keep control of that cash or your business will quickly fold.

Watch the Dangers of Fast Growth

Is your company on a course leading to disaster? Some small businesses are often faced with the “too much, too soon” syndrome, where their business grows far too quickly for its founders to handle. While it is admirable for a well-planned and well-executed new business to grow, some small operations grow too quickly because management becomes flushed with early success.

The growth of a successful small business should not be measured by sales alone, but also by profitability. A small business can easily grow too fast. When this happens, cash-flow problems are the first warning signs.

A lack of adequate profitability, especially in conjunction with such infrastructure problems as rising inventory and receivables and declining employee skills will always result in cash-flow problems at best – and survival problems at worst.

While the founding entrepreneurs would have built a successful business, they would also have created a challenge beyond their expertise, management and abilities.

They launch into new product lines or services, expand into unfamiliar fields, employ too many employees, purchase expensive plant and begin plans for an IPO without the necessary experience, business skills, capital or support. As a result expenses start to exceed revenues at an increasing pace each new month and the business finds itself with huge problems to fix.

The company then begins to haemorrhage – and dies.

Growth Must be Based on Sound Evaluation

Often the decision to expand is based more on ego than on sound financial assessment, market studies or economic planning. As a result, the business charges ahead to take advantage of available opportunities even though there is not the required capital for the new direction. Being undercapitalised soon causes serious issues that hurt the business.

The owner and managers find themselves growing out of touch with their key employees on whom they must rely and production inevitably falls. Management becomes so involved with trying to administer all of the new operations acquired that it losses track of its essential core business functions.

Mounting overhead soon begins draining cash resources.

Cash Shortage Only the Start

These cash-flow problems are only the tip of the iceberg. Just below the surface are other more subtle indicators associated with too-rapid growth: unhappy customers, unhappy employees, strained systems and controls, and burned-out entrepreneurs.

Customer complaints increase and satisfactory servicing becomes a problem. Over dependence on a key customer, supplier, lender, or contract is another pitfall for growing companies. Small companies have to diversify their product lines, trading areas, distribution channels and targeted markets in order to prevent disasters.

Like it or not, as your business grows, your role within it must change.

  • Instead of making things happen yourself, you must now convince someone else to make them happen.
  • Instead of you spending time with your customers, you must now spend time with employees who in turn spend their time with customers.
  • Instead of moving among the employees and doing the small things you like to do, you must now teach, train and move on to manage those things you don’t always like to do.

Learn the Lessons about Growing Too Fast

Growing a business too quickly is dangerous. If the business lacks the capital, staff, time and expertise to deliver quality products and service customer requirements, then substantial losses in money and name will result to the business. The business must put in measures to prevent fast growth and put in strategies for planned growth.

It is absolutely critical for the business to be built on a steady and strong foundation at all times. Even though management may be tempted to grow the business quickly because the demand is out there in the marketplace for its products, it must aware at all time of the need to fund any such expansion. It is good to get high sales at rapid speed but uncontrolled growth would put the business into serious trouble.

The lesson to be learned is that growth is fine as long as it is done sensibly and slowly. It has to be planned. It cannot be hurried. It must involve all staff and resources.

It is far better not to take anything on, than to take it on and find that you cannot finish it off well.

Healthy Growth and Unhealthy Growth

There are basically 2 types of growth: Healthy Growth and Unhealthy Growth

  1. Healthy Growth A Healthy situation can be easily confirmed by the business profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet. The Profit & Loss Account would show that the business’s percentage growth in profitability was greater than the rate of growth in sales. A review of the balance sheet would show that any increase in the liabilities of the business would easily be offset by a greater increase in the company’s net worth.
  2. Unhealthy Growth You can identify Unhealthy Growth by taking a look at the business’s financial accounts. Here the profit-and-loss account would show that the company profitability growth is less than the increase in sales. The balance sheet would show that the increase in net worth (equity) is falling behind the increase in total liabilities.

Business Can Grow Far Too Fast

The growth of any successful small business cannot be measured by its sales growth alone, but also by its profitability. A small business can grow too fast taking with it many problems. A lack of profitability, especially in conjunction with problems such as rising stock levels and increasing accounts receivables plus unproductive employee would eventually cause cash-flow problems and threaten the business’s existence.