The DabblerWritten by Bob Osgoodby
Many web sites of major companies came down with a resounding crash, and there are more to follow. Very few of "deep pocket guys" are making any money with their sites, and as money tightens, they realize their pockets may not have been quite as deep as they originally thought. Their sites are being taken down in droves, and the, "techno-wizes" are falling into disfavor.
As Economy slowed, many companies down sized their operations, and employee layoffs are on rise. There is a general "belt tightening" at every level, and heady expenditures of last year are being looked at with a "jaundiced eye".
So what does this mean to small entrepreneur? Is it time to also crawl under a rock, and wait for better times? The answer to this is a resounding - NO. While unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.2 percent, it is worth noting that proportion of population with jobs, at 64.5 percent, remains near a record high.
Now is probably best time to promote your small business on web. You will be facing less competition from web sites that have gone south. Not only will your potential market share increase, but sites that have been monopolizing "surfing time" will no longer be there. People will be looking other places for their information. The question should not be whether to get your own web site, but when you should get it.
Yahoo has made a major change in their policy of accepting web sites for review. While it used to take several months to get a site reviewed, they now say it will be done within 7 working days. Sounds good on surface, but is there a catch? Sure - what used to be free, now costs $199.
A cursory examination of results of any web engine search, reveals a lot of "garbage" up there. Many of sites are no longer in existence, or you had to wade through a lot of "junk" to find something meaningful. This could accurately be described as age of "dabbler". People who got a new computer thought they could make their millions on web. The "arm chair" entrepreneurs prevailed, and buried serious ones with their submissions. When their free AOL account expired, they were out of business and their web site went away.
What Are Your Goals?Written by Bob Osgoodby
Many people when they try to go into business, have at best a loosely defined set of goals. A goal is purpose towards which any endeavor is directed or in other words, an objective. While ultimate goal is to make an income, that by itself is not a realistic goal to base a business on.
A simple analogy might be a stream with stepping stones. While ultimate goal here is to reach other side without getting wet, each stepping stone represents an intermediate goal that must be reached. If you miss one, you won't be dry when you reach other side, and will not have attained your goal.
Business in general, whether it be "brick and mortar" or an internet endeavor, has intermediate goals. If you don't recognize these necessary steps, you will not reach your ultimate goal, which is financial reward.
In any particular business, of course ultimate goal is to produce revenue, but there are numerous "stepping stones" that must be in place to do so. At risk of stating obvious, you must have a saleable product or service. While you might scam a few people with an inferior one, you will not be around for long haul. I personally get a real "kick" out of those who send out what are recognized by most people as obvious scams such as chain letters, hoping to lure in unsuspecting .
So if you do have a legitimate product or service, how are you going to sell it? First you need a place from which to sell your wares. A website to an online entrepreneur is akin to a storefront. This is where you will make your sales. It has to be attractive and merchandise displayed in a conducive manner.
Next, you have to make people aware of its existence. This is your advertising goal. You must first identify a target market and aim your advertising at that market. But where do you advertise? Statistics have shown that best possible vehicle is one which actually reaches your prospects.
Let's talk about ezine advertising, which is one of strongest ways possible. Do you advertise in a publication that reaches 100,00 people or one that only reaches 5,000? Don't be too quick to answer. The one that reaches 100,000 may not be aimed at your target market, while one that reaches 5,000 might be. While a humor ezine may reach many thousands (who doesn't like a good joke), if you are trying to market an affiliate program, an ezine geared to them might just might be your best bet.