Many people are saying that the internet is dead. So is there still money to
be made on the Internet?
The answer is a definite YES.
Research shows, time and again, that consumers want to spend more online, and that the
internet is fast becoming an integral part of their lifestyle and it'll continue to
be so. Internet consumers are cautious and they want sites that are credible and worth shopping before they part with their money.
The traditional brick-and-mortar rules of business still apply to internet business.
It's prudent to remember that the internet is not your business goal; it's a medium
in helping you achieve your business goals.
Adhere to my following Rules and you'll be on your way to building a viable,
sustainable and successful internet business.
1. Develop a viable business plan
The biggest reason why so many dotcoms failed is an inadequate business plan of how
and when they will achieve profitability. To have a successful and sustainable internet business, developing a viable business plan from the outset is crucial.
Your plan must have a clear and sincere vision that has meaning to you and your
business. Your main focus should be to 'plan to profit' within a set period of time and
this would require you to allow time for thoughtful researching, planning, executing and testing. You'll need to test out your business model first and ensure that it's viable and sustainable.
Don't make the same mistakes that many dotcoms made - trying to build a global brand
before their business model even worked as it'll lead you into receivership faster.
Regardless of how fanciful and good your website is, if your aim is not to make profit,
you'll go out of business.
2. Model someone successful
It's always wise to learn from the mistakes of other people rather than to learn
from your own mistakes as this can sometimes be very costly and painful.
Track and learn from benchmarked success stories, be they your competitors or otherwise.
Why would you want to spend time re-inventing the wheel when you can learn from those
who've already been there and done it successfully. Learn how they design their web site,
create products, write salescopy, their sales process, etc.
3. Focus on a niche market
Don't be everything to everybody by trying to dominate a huge and general market
because you just simply can't do it effectively.
Focus your internet business on a targetable portion of the market or a narrowly
defined group of potential customers. Address the need for a product or service that's
not being addressed by mainstream providers. The advantage of this is that it's
less competitive in such a market as large businesses won't want to be in it.
For this to be effective, the market niche that you're targeting must be fast moving,
its customers accessible and there mustn't already be a dominant player in that
particular market niche.
The key here is to find a niche market, assess the needs of the market and then
offer them your products and/or services that meet their needs.
4. Differentiate your business
To capture a larger market share and be viable, sustainable and profitable, you
absolutely need to differentiate or distinguish your business from your competitors';
make your business special in the eyes of your customers and/or prospects.
You can do this by creating what's called a Unique Selling Propostion or USP and
then effectively convey that USP to your target market via your marketing efforts
and business performance.
This is particularly crucial if you're operating in a highly competitive market.
A USP is the one thing or idea that sets your business favourably apart from your competitors'. Think about these questions: "What's the one thing that makes your
business unique and distinct? Why should people buy from you and not from your competitors? Do you promise great value, benefit or service?"
Your USP is the focal point around which the success and profitability of your
business is built, and so you must be able to state it and fulfill it honourably
5. Spent your funds wisely.
Costs is one of the major determinants of your internet business' survivability.
You'll need to carefully track and control your costs from the outset and make sure
you can start to show a profit soon, as unmindful spending with no thought given to
incoming resources will bleed you to death.
Credible web sites not only require money to set up but also to maintain; advertisement
costs money. Driving traffic to your website where you lose money on sales made is
suicidal. Do your sums; consistently refer back to your vision to ascertain whether
an expense is warranted or meaningful.
6. Superior customer service
In addition to a viable business plan, a superior customer service will be key to
Superior customer service must be a high priority in your action plan.
Build a trusting and long lasting relationship with your customers and prospects,
send your staff for customer service training, fulfill your orders promptly, and
constantly remind yourself the reason of your very existence.
This is crucial as it costs five times more to win a new customer than it costs to
keep an existing customer. Moreover, a dissatisfied customer will tell, on average,
five or six people about your bad service. The point I'm driving at here is that looking
after your customers saves money and boosts profits.
Learn and apply what I teach you, do it right, and you'll rise above your competition
and blow them out of the water in no time.
About the Author
Copyright 2004 by Larry Lim, MarketingSphere.com
Larry Lim is a marketing strategist and tactician who dishes out highly
effective marketing strategies and tactics that will enable you to successfully
start and grow your business on the Internet.
Check out his Internet Marketing Strategy
website that is jam-packed with internet marketing secrets and softwares that will
skyrocket your sales, and shoot your profits through the roof.
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