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.
How Much is EnoughWritten by Bob Osgoodby
One of most vexing questions in running a home business, is how much to spend on advertising. While 5 percent of sales might be a formula, as little as possible" seems to be standard used by many startup ventures. People sign up as an affiliate with someone, and think world will beat a path to their website.
In poker, serious gamblers know if you don't have cost of ante, you can't expect to win. The same rule governs advertising - you should not be in a business unless you have sufficient resources, to at least have a chance of success.
One of my regular surprises is a startup business, which has not planned for costs of regular, on-going contact with their prospects - advertising. One doesn't have to know a lot about market to spot a loser in this category -- if a business has no war chest for marketing, it will fail. It's just a question of how long it takes, and how much it ultimately costs.
A sure sign of impending failure, is what I refer to as "zero cost" syndrome. Even a cursory look at your email will give you enough examples. Someone, usually new to computers, joins an ISP such as AOL, and find they are getting a lot of ads in their email. Many of these ads promise great riches with little or no work, and they get hooked.
They have heard however about spamming, so they find a free email provider - who cares if they lose that. They get some free web space - why not, cost is right - and they are in business, or so they think.