Saturday, February 14, 2009

Small Business Marketing Insight Tip #5 - How to get started at all.

(photocredit: kapungo)
Starting a Small Business Online:
You have to start by picking out a basket to put your eggs in.

Trite (but true) aphorisms:
  • One always learns from his mistakes.
  • And as well, hindsight is 20-20.
  • Thirdly, what you don't take care of in the beginning can set you back to the beginning.
Or you'll seem to think that. But it's not time to get depressed about things. Take stock of your resources and you'll find that you've been learning all the time. And are now in a much better condition to get really going. This next time will be faster.

I recently found myself back at doing what I should have done to begin with. However, I didn't know it at the time. The reason my sales aren't taking off is that I never set up a proper back end (terminal), followed by a regular runway, and using a definite flight plan.

The steps are simply in this sequence:
  1. A proper back end first consists of having something valuable to offer.
  2. Next, you set up a way to exchange for this - either affiliate sales, or dropshipping, or ecommerce.
  3. Then, you promote this all over the place. So people can find your valuable offer and take you up on it.
  4. And all of this is before you quit your day job.
Nothing new, perhaps. But here is something - and take this to heart:

You settle on one valuable item and
get that really moving before
you expand to another.

Sure, if it doesn't work out, then fine - start researching and picking out another. Now that you know what reasearch you need to do, the second one will be easier.

Practically, pick out your basket - one basket - and then get some eggs into it. And watch those eggs real closely

But the basket comes before the eggs (figuring that the chicken is around there somewhere - but let's not go there...) Basket first.

A. What is something valuable that you can offer to people who will exchange something with you for them?

Now, go and find out all about that item and what people think about it. Find your keywords, find your delivery methods, find out the demographics who will buy or subscribe to it. Get all this nailed down.

B. Next, figure out your delivery system. If this is an info product, figure out how you can offer it online and deliver it at very low cost - usually, this is an ecommerce site of some sort. If someone else already has that product, maybe you promote and sell it as an affiliate. Or you sel it directly and they dropship it for you. Or you buy in bulk, warehouse, and ship it yourself.

C. Third is to figure out how to promote it. Nowadays, this is best done through social media - a blog, usually - and also posted to the winds through bookmarking sites, etc. Some people tell you to use PPC (not me) to get started. And I recently found an article where the author recommended it as a temporary jump-start to get things going. (I don't tell people starting out to advertise as you can lose your budget very quickly with no results - and the best advertisement is by getting word of mouth through excellent products and delivery.)

D. Now, once you have successfully sold and delivered goods which are making you money - then expand into another (niche) line of work, another (niche) product. You use what you learned from the first time and expand. You keep producing and delivering products from the first one, but now you have some more income and probably some more time to invest in ramping up another product. This can be an additional product in the same niche, or a new product line in a new niche area. (Preferably related to the first, either in main subject, or in delivery mode - so you can use the existing shopping cart and blogs to start promoting these new products.)

Make the second line as or more successful than the first, and then start up a third. Research first, always.

As you continue to do this, life becomes simpler and more profitable.

But again: basket first, then eggs - and then to market.

- - - -

Here's the special news for all those stalwart readers who have made it this far:

I'm restarting the Online Millionaire Plan and reworking it from the bottom up. Meaning that I'm going to take all the many volumes of work I've already done so far and verifying the tests and results. And then re-release new versions with new materials. The emphasis will be on practical application for this new economic scene we just inherited. How to start or expand a small business online on a very small (tiny) budget. Step by step. I figure with all the mis-steps I've already taken, and the tons of data I've already poured through, this should be pretty valuable and useful. Emphasis will be on each step, tying it back into the overall.

And now I know how to really give value as we go, so I'll tell you the tips and secrets uncovered during this line of work.

Stay tuned to - as this is where I'll give the core data - a lot of my peripheral blogs will be changing as I do. But I'll also tell you why and how to apply it on your own.

Good Hunting!!

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