As the popularity of owning a home based business continues to rise, it is clear that there are more and more people desperately searching for another way to make money and survive. Recent reports on the population of the USA puts the number of people who want to start their own home based business, using the Internet, at over 70 million.
Even a recent MSNBC study says that 75% of all new jobs being created right now are as a direct result of small home based businesses.
On top of that, the US Census Bureau says that home based businesses account for 49% of all businesses in the USA. The number of American citizens who own a home based business is put at over 45 million by some industry analysts.
Numbers which possibly don’t mean a great deal to you right now, but which do point to a growing trend for starting an Internet based home business, in spite of the ongoing economic problems. As if this point needed hammering home any further, Yahoo!® interviewed it’s user-base, and found that 75% of them claim the Internet had helped them to start their own business.
Even though all we hear on the news and in the media is more and more bad news about the economy from around the world, people are still trying to start their own businesses, as they’re forced to take matters into their own hands to ensure their survival. It’s now obvious to most that nobody else can help, least of all any government.
Although more and more businesses are being started by people, who are to be applauded for taking action, far too many are still falling short, with the failure rate standing firm at an eye-watering 97%!
For any business to survive, irrespective of the economy, there must be a steady flow of prospective customer leads, which in turn drive sales and income. These leads will inevitably come from a variety of marketing activities, which makes the ability to market well, extremely important; lacking this ability can, and will, severely and fatally harm your business.
The absence of effective marketing to drive up revenue and sales has been at the root of nearly all business failures, and is a path that you too may find yourself following if you lack these same vital skills. All marketing costs money in some way, shape, or form, and bad marketing will not see any return on investment. Bad marketing is worse than no marketing and only serves as a financial burden on your business that can’t be sustained. Some may blame ‘cashflow’ for failure, but the root of that lack of ‘cashflow’ is often a result of the heavy financial drain from bad marketing that brings a business to its knees and ultimately causes failure.
However, on the other hand, there are many businesses that see great success, and these all have two things in common:
Being able to market your business properly is one of the most important ingredients in having a successful business. Some businesspeople may claim that they don’t market their business, but rely on the endorsements and testimonials of their customers. But it is as a result of receiving quality and value that these customers are ‘spreading the word’, and as such, referral marketing is still marketing, whether these businesses see it that way or not.
Giving value to the customer is the first step in setting this whole process in motion. How often have you recommended someone’s services to a friend based on the experience you have had? The more exceptional the service, the more likely there will be positive recommendations and so some companies will strive to provide exceptional value which whether they know it or not, actually becomes part of their marketing strategy. This is a very powerful marketing tactic, because most people will accept the word of a friend’s recommendation over anything else, which when combined with the greater reach and power of the Internet, becomes explosive!
The description I’ve given above can easily be applied to the mechanics behind social networking websites. These websites effectively take the social interaction that has always been there between people, and puts it on steroids! Tapping into the power of these websites such as Twitter® and Facebook® is enabling a great many Internet marketers to exploit the power of this marketing strategy on a completely new level.
Customer will naturally be attracted to any business that provides real value and it is taking this first step by providing value to your prospects that results in more customers approaching your business. Sometimes known as providing a ‘loss leader’ to attract customers, it is one of the most valuable marketing techniques that all Internet marketers should be making extensive use of. If this is new to you or you’re not sure how to implement it in your own business, then you should seek out some training and get a good marketing education.
Without a good marketing education, you will never really be able to keep up with those who power ahead using the same strategies that you are in the dark about. Worse than that, your business may completely fail as you fail to capitalise on this lead generating strategy.
The World Wide Web is now littered with examples of online businesses that have come out of nowhere to completely dominate a market in no time at all. The leverage that the Internet provides, means that there are now many businesses such as Twitter®, Facebook® and YouTube® who just didn’t exist not that long ago.
However, whilst the Internet has helped to move things along at a much faster rate, it’s not the only major factor in their success. There are many more ‘traditional’ businesses such as McDonald’s® or KFC® that have another core element that is vital to their success:
The power of a system is its ability to allow tasks and processes to be standardised so that even unskilled workers can undertake them. McDonald’s® is a prime example of how a system allows you to deliver a consistent product and service despite massive differences in staff qualification. To make fries only requires the most basic of skills because the system of standardising the equipment, the ingredients and the cooking process removes the human variable from the equation. This practise of employing a system that can quickly be rolled out is at the heart of all successful businesses, particularly those employing the franchise strategy for expansion. If you are in any doubt as to whether your business needs a system, then you only have to make a comparison between those successful businesses with systems, and those without.
So how does this work in a small home based business? Well, combining the need for marketing and a system is going to allow you to leverage your time so that it is not spent taking on the tasks that are not generating revenue directly.
The ‘telling and selling’ processes of your sales funnel are prime candidates for a system. Sales is just a game of numbers, where the more prospective customers you’re able to push through your system, the more sales you will make.
If this is all news to you and sounds complicated, then your prospects for succeeding in any home based business are going to rely heavily on you getting educated in how to market effectively online. Even if this is all old news to you, and you’ve heard it all before, then proceeding without a system is only going to mean you exerting lots of time and energy unnecessarily.
A good marketing system combined with a proper education in how to market your business effectively online is an absolute must for anyone who wants to have any hope of succeeding as an online business entrepreneur.