Starting An Online Business Over A Weekend
...And How To Ensure It Doesn't Flop
Starting an online business takes 5 steps. You can complete all of them over a single weekend. But the most important step is NOT what you might think. How would I know?
As I write this article I'm in my second week of relaxation in the sun, along the Mayan Riviera near Cancun, Mexico. I live in California. But from my Mexican resort by the warm, white sand beaches and turquoise waters of a tropical paradise, I'm able to publish my knowledge and sell my products to anyone in the world who visits my websites. It's been no different whether I'm visiting the volcano dotted jungles of Costa Rica or the rainy coast of Seattle. I'm able to do the same no matter my destination in the world, whether I'm on business or pleasure within or outside the United States, because today the Internet is just about everywhere that matters.
I find that the topmost benefit that starting an online business gives you is an unparalleled mobility to engage a global audience from anywhere in the world. This audience is capable of voraciously devouring the best that you have to offer them to bring the kind of lifestyle that I've experienced in the last 2 weeks within indisputable and even continuous reach for you.
Maybe this is not a style of living that you'd want. But you can choose to spend your own success whichever way you wish. The point is that your greater mobility and the incomparable power to access as an individual online an innumerable quantity of previously remote and unavailable markets will change your life, once you venture in starting an online business.
Is this too much to expect from a weekend effort?
No, and here's why.
How To Start Your Online Business Over The WeekendIn an earlier article I spoke of how you can earn quick money anywhere, anytime and always without falling into the trap of the irresponsible get-rich-quick mindset. I provided 5 steps to produce quick money. In another article I provided 6 steps to start a business fast. In this current article I will focus on accomplishing both objectives for an online business over a single weekend, because the goal is to start and to ensure that you do so with the greatest possibility of flourishing for your efforts.
Serial entrepreneur and from-scratch multimillionaire Dan Kennedy has rightly said that more entrepreneurial riches have come from something greater than a big idea.
More entrepreneurial fortunes revolve around the use of known, proven processes for advertising, marketing, sales, management and finance applied to a good idea than are born by the new, radical, revolutionary romantic Big Idea.Being a visionary is not necessary, he says. On the contrary, discover how to improve an already existing and proven product or service. This is where you find opportunity.
With this in mind as the most important concept to start with, you're now ready to take on the following steps:
5 Steps To Follow This Coming Weekend
- Diagram How You Will Acquire Customers - You now know that you need not reinvent the wheel in order to start a business. Instead it's hub cabs that you need to sell. In other words, you must add enough value to an already existing product or service to give reason to your customer to pay you for it. But never go into business without a crystal clear concept of how your ideal customer will pay you.
The more quickly you can identify the sequence of steps that your customer will follow to make a purchase from you, the quicker you will start making money to reach your objectives. Don't create a mere mental picture of this purchase process. Map it out on a piece of paper. Make a diagram, a flow chart of everything that your ideal customer will need to experience and do to discover, sample, select, purchase and finally receive your product or service.
Make it as detailed as possible but start with simple broad steps, such as these. Then drill down to make your flow chart as thorough as possible.
- Decide What Makes You Unique - You won't be the only person selling hub cabs. What makes yours so special for the particular type of customer you wish to do business with? You answer this question by starting with a list of at least 3 benefits that you know for sure your ideal customer will get from you alone because your competitors cannot or will not offer them. This is called creating a unique selling proposition (USP) and you can do this over a weekend, if from the start you know very well your customer, your competitors and what you sell.
- Select 3 Methods of Direct Response To Test With a Sales Offer - Direct response and advertising are not the same. If you want to succeed on a shoestring budget while starting an online business, then use a tested method of direct response. Don't simply advertise. Listen to what marketing maven David Ogilvy has to say about this distinction.
Get a response out of whatever business offer you make to your ideal customer. One direct response method to use to deliver your offer is email. Another is telemarketing. For an online business there is search engine optimization to attract visitors to the information that you publish on your website by the words that potential visitors use in their Google, Yahoo and Bing searches. There is also paid traffic using services such as Google's AdWords, where you publish your offers to people searching words and terms connected to your product or service.
Not all methods yield quick results. You need to gauge both your expectations and your budget relative to your results to adjust performance as you go. Business is dynamic. But this is what makes it exciting. If you apply a couple of direct response methods well to secure a response from your ideal customer, and your offer and USP are solid to begin with, then you will make money. Keep the following professional direct response tips in mind to start you off along an effective trajectory.
- Craft a Sales Offer To Test - Nothing happens until there is a sale. You cannot make a sale without an exclusive offer. Craft a sales pitch that bites. Focus on the most incisive argument that you can muster when reaching desperate buyers willing to be persuaded about how easily they can fulfill their deeply felt desires by simply gaining the benefits of what you exclusively have available to offer them. This is the essence of salesmanship.
Remember not to talk to them of needs or things that they cannot do without. It's wants that customers really wish fulfilled. Needs are few. Wants are myriad. Talk about all the benefits that they gain from making a purchase from you. Don' talk about the characteristics of your product or service.
Connect with them at the deepest level possible, where they will know that they're getting far more value from dealing with you than meets the eye in simply buying some item off your hands. Dig below the surface. Ask repeatedly "Why do my customers want what I have to offer?" until you reach their deepest felt desire. Then promise to fulfill it. Put it in writing.
- Choose an Affordable All-in-One Online Business Platform - Too many wannabe online entrepreneurs jump at the opportunity of starting an online business by focusing first and foremost on the technology for developing websites. But without defining at least the last 4 steps that I've given you, and crafting the necessary material to test, there is no purpose in selecting any technology to launch a Web presence for an online business.
If by the end of your weekend, however, you've decided not to reinvent the wheel but to add value to an existing product or service, while managing to (a) diagram your customer's buying cycle, (b) define your business' USP, (c) select 3 direct response tactics to test, and (d) craft an incisive sales pitch that can press your customers' hot buttons, then you are ready to point your ideal, target customers to a particular location on the Web to come deal with you directly there. You are ready to decide on the technology platform to use to build your online storefront or office.
The one remaining thought to keep in mind at this stage is what kind of ecosystem do you wish this platform to be a part of? Do you wish it to be part of an all-inclusive environment or do you want to deal with a piecemeal setting, where many software creators and vendors, their affiliates and users who blog about them create a massive milieu in which your business system will technologically need to operate?
In short, do you want to integrate all the pieces together yourself or do you want a packaged deal with enough flexibility available for you to customize to your heart's delight?
Simplicity with scalability is the key to your technology decision here, if you are the one who will build the online business from scratch with limited technical knowledge. You don't want to get bogged down in technology. You have a business to run not a new career as a webmaster to develop. So don't fall for the argument that free online tools are actually free. They're quite expensive when you measure them in terms of the time it takes you to learn how to use them and piece them to work together.
On this basis, I have a recommendation for you that you can learn about in a free video. It's a proven, practical approach that will take you to first base in actually building an online business of your own making - from start to finish all your own - (and we're talking about an online business that can really work for you step by step), because it involves becoming a member of an online community of entrepreneurs helping each other build and launch successful online businesses.
If you wish to watch this video, please fill this tiny form to receive access to it. It's your last step in starting an online business and you can decide on completing it before your weekend is over.
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