How to make it on a budget!
It’s no wonder that with the crazy money being made by companies like Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon, list goes on, that we all fancy our chances at bring the next dot com supremo. The only problem is that once you start down the road of setting up and running your dot com business it becomes painfully apparent that it’s not cheap. There’s the cost of the website, design, branding, getting your products together and then the marketing! Whoa let’s not even go there – mega bucks!
But is it? Can you achieve success with your internet business on a shoe string? Can you really replicate all of those success stories you heard about who started off in the garage, bedroom or kitchen table and then made it? Absolutely! But with most things those secrets have been the reserve of those in the know and pretty much kept out of the public domain, at least in its purest form.
So here we go, hang onto your mouse as we give round up the best ways to see a return on a pocket full of lint.
- The best bits – Look at what your competition are doing and try to learn from them. This could be their pricing, how they attract their audience or even the words they use. Each website has its strengths, so get inspired but don’t blatantly copy and add your own flavour to the proceedings.
- Be yourself – Gone are the days of the faceless corporation. People warm to a person or company who radiates personality or something a little different. Companies like Virgin do a great job of this. Depending on the size of your business, having a ‘face’ to the company can often times work wonders.
- A wise man once said – “Give them what they want until they want what you have to give’. Most internet searches begin with a quest for information. You might want to find out about a product or service before you buy, check out the reviews online or what people are saying on Facebook or Twitter. The trick here is to be that information source. So if you sell kids toys online for example, then provide information about the best educational toys, toys to take on holiday, to play with at bath time, fair trade, the history of etc. Being a great resource means that whilst your potential customer is on the exploratory end of the buying cycle that you can be there to assist in their thirst for knowledge!
- It’s the little things that count – Be it your packaging, the way you answer your phone, the images you use on your website, the updates you put out in your social media life, the messages you send to your clients or just your willingness to help; it can be the little things which become our strongest differentiator – even online! So work out what those are for you and make sure that it’s clear on your website. Remember, there are billions of web pages out there – what makes you different?
- Repeat repeat repeat – Keep your customers coming back to you by offering them all the things they ask for that you can provide on a tight budget. How do you know what that will be – ask them?! Send them an email or pick up the phone. There are also loads of free online survey websites you can use to do the same thing. Find out what information they’d like to get more of, what their favourite products are, what don’t they like about your website, who else they shop with and why, what offers would be most useful to them etc. Now a key thing here to remember is that some of these offers may actually only allow you to break even, but just like the big supermarkets, use them a s a loss leader to get people into your website and then convince them (overtime) to purchase your more expensive (or more profitable) products or services.
Master of none?
With online business, marketing and sales it’s not about how much you do, oftentimes is about how well you execute. There are tonnes of strategies that exist for you to get loads of traffic and customers, but don’t be jack of all and master of none. Focus on being the best at one or two things at a time, then move onto the next. That’s the biggest secret here, it won’t be easy but then neither is counting all the cash you’ll make once you do it right!