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, execution 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 have already been there and done it successfully. Learn how they design their website, 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 must'nt 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 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's 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 and effectively.
5. Spent your funds wisely
Costs is one of the major determinant of your internet business's 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 websites 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 your success.
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
Larry Lim is a practising marketing strategist and tactician who dishes out effective marketing strategies and tactics that will enable you to successfully start and grow your business on the Internet.
Check out his website - http://www.marketingsphere.com - that is jam-packed with secret marketing information that will skyrocket your sales, and shoot your profits through the roof.