Sunday, October 22, 2006

Is It Still Possible To Make Money On The Internet? - Ecommerce

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

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

Copyright 2004 by Larry Lim,

Larry Lim is a practising 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.

His Internet Marketing Strategy website 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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