What Should I Sell on my Site?Written by Chris Malta
"What Should I Sell on my Site?" Far too many people make mistake of trying to sell only products that they like on their web sites. Others make mistake of trying to sell only coolest and flashiest things they can find. The whole point of starting an Ecommerce web site is to make money. That’s something you must not lose sight of (no pun intended!). Our business is to show people where they can find products to sell without investing a single penny in inventory. The approach is called drop shipping. This is where a wholesale distributor will ship a single item directly to your customer from their warehouse, AFTER your customer pays you for it. It’s perfect way to start in Internet business on a shoestring budget. The Directory we publish covers three quarters of a million products, from over two thousand well-known brand names, available from more than a hundred REAL wholesalers who will drop ship. So why does everyone who uses our Directory try to sell electronics? Ok, I guess I did same thing. When I opened my first Internet store, I plastered walls of that place with things that I though were cool. Stereo equipment, DVD players, Computer components. The shinier better. I had latest technology up there. Some of items cost thousands of dollars. I think that in back of my mind, I knew that I wasn’t going to sell much of it, but it LOOKED really cool. I could show it to my friends and say, “Check it out…that’s MY store!” They were all suitably impressed, and I could walk around feeling like I was pretty slick. Whenever any of them asked me how much money I was making, I cleverly changed subject. The truth was that no one was buying much. Come to think of it, none of my friends bought anything, either. That should have told me something right there. Look, electronics are a fine product to sell on Internet. I only use them as an example because it’s a situation I can relate to. The problem is not product; it’s COMPETITION. Most of people I’ve seen start an Internet store want to know what hottest sellers are on ‘Net, so they can sell those products too. They’re missing point, as I did. If you only sell hottest sellers, you dilute your available customer base, because everyone else is trying to sell hottest sellers, too! You also run into those bricks-and-mortar popular-item superstores that have millions of dollars to purchase tons of inventory at rock-bottom prices. People buy all kinds of products. They don’t have to be cool or shiny. They just have to be things that people will buy. Here’s an important ingredient for success on ‘Net: sell those products that people use, but don’t stumble over every time they open a web browser. When we build an Internet store, we do a little research first. Since we build stores in Yahoo Shopping (http://store.yahoo.com), we do our research in Yahoo Shopping. We know that at least 90% of our traffic is going to come from millions of people who surf through there with their purses and wallets flapping in breeze. So when we consider a new product line, we start a search. If we were considering selling DVD players, for example, we would do a search on term “DVD Player” in Yahoo Shopping. As of date of this article, such a search turns up 7,813 DVD Players available from 496 stores. Do we want to become store number 497, add 20 or 30 products to nearly 8,000 that are already available, and hope we sell something? I think not. Since we use our own Directory exclusively as a source of product suppliers who drop ship, we go back to Directory and look around at some of available product types. We notice that one of wholesalers we list carries a complete line of Fiskars brand Yard and Garden tools. Will people buy these products? Hmmm…people HAVE been known to work on their yards and gardens, when they’re not playing with their electronics. Fiskars is a well-known brand name, so our customers would feel comfortable with it. It happens to be late spring, so it’s reasonable to assume that people will be buying garden tools for some time still this year.
Coaching CostsWritten by Chris Malta
"Coaching Costs" Why does Internet Business Coaching cost so much? If you don't know what Internet Business Coaching is, you will soon enough. These companies are becoming more and more visible on Internet scene every day. What they do is provide you with 'personalized' help in starting and running your Internet business. There are several Coaching operations we've seen recently that provide some or all of following services to you, over a set period of time: -One-on-One phone time with your assigned Coach -Email support with your assigned Coach -Online Classes -Printed materials to read -Video/DVD materials to watch -Seminars around US These services are supposed to be designed to teach you everything from how to set up web sites or auctions, to choosing which products might sell better for you, to raising your rankings in Search Engines, and more. Are they legit? Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, 'jury' is still out on this question. I've looked at some of their course outlines, I've spoken to several of owners and managers of these companies, and I've dealt with some of smaller (one or two person) operations that want you to think they are big companies. I have a ways to go yet before deciding whether I want to make any particular recommendations. There are three large Coaching companies I have found that look legitimate to me, but I want to go a lot further in investigating issue before I tell you that I think they are worth time and money. There are also many very small operations, as I said, that want you to think they are big Coaching companies, and those, to me, are definitely not worth money. It's just not possible for one or two people to provide level of constant training and support needed by more than just a few clients, so small Coaches are out, in my opinion. The larger companies may be legit, but I'm still working on determining that. When I make that determination to my own satisfaction, I'll tell you about it in a future edition of this Newsletter. This particular article is intended to explain why a legitimate Internet Business Coaching company would have to charge kinds of high fees that so many Coaching companies ask for (anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 or more). They've gotta pay rent! A large Coaching company will have many people working for them in same set of offices. Let me give you an idea of what that costs them, by telling you about what it costs us to run our offices. Whenever you bring a group of people to work for you in a closed environment, like an office setting, it costs a lot of money. I can attest to that personally. My company, Worldwide Brands, Inc. employs many people in our offices near Orlando, Florida. My Partners and I spent a great deal of money setting up those offices, and a great deal more bringing on (excellent) staff of people we have here. It isn't as easy as just renting space. Once you have office space, which isn't cheap to begin with, you need to furnish that office space. Desks, chairs, file cabinets, tables. Those plastic things that you put on floor that your chairs roll around on (you wouldn't believe what those things cost!). Staplers, paper, pens, sticky notes, and places to store and organize your office supplies. Restroom supplies. A refrigerator for everybody's soft drinks and lunches. Signs for building and doors. Then, you need Phone Service. Thousands of dollars for digital phone systems that run multiple lines over a digital (T1) phone connection. An 800 number. Thousands per month in phone service and long distance bills. Of course, you can't run a business without Computers. A PC for every employee, and a couple of extras for training use. A Server Computer to function as a central data storage location, and to run nightly backups of all your data. Thousands of dollars worth of software licensed for all your computers and your Server. Printers and a Fax Machine. A Network Router and Hubs.