There's gold! There's gold!"
Dot Com Secrets
Building an honest internet business is taking the time and attention to attracting satisfied customers to your website, auction or email list. You won't regret doing this when everyone benefits and your lifestyle blossoms.
Take a quick look at what makes it all possible, the fundamental premise of public relations: People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done.
When we create, change or reinforce that perception by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action those people whose behaviors affect the organization, the public relations mission is accomplished.
Now, put it into action this way. First, think about those groups of people whose behaviors can really affect your organization. The test for placing a key, external audience on your action list is this: does its behavior affect your business in any way. If the answer is yes, list it.
Let's take the target audience at the top of that list and work it over. Obviously, you need to know how members of that audience perceive you, and that requires that you interact with those members and ask a lot of questions.This is the monitoring phase. How do they think of your organization, if at all? Do they have any problems with you? Do negative thoughts creep into the conversation? Are misconceptions, inaccurate beliefs, even rumors apparent? As unsettling as these data may be, the silver lining is the fact that they let you establish your public relations goal.
Your neighborhood is not strictly your home address. It can be any area that you may be familiar with. It can be the university vicinity. After all, a student spends more time in school vis-a-vis his home. Familiarity with the demand in the area will reveal these business opportunities.
Therefore, an aspiring entrepreneur would simply continue this statement: ”How I wish something like this was available in school while I was a student! And this is…” Similarly, one could say about home: ”How I wish that something like this were available near the place where I stay! And this is….”
To cite an example: you are into baking cakes. Why not check if there is an opportunity to supply your local diners with your baked products? Find out if the neighborhood needs another supplier of baked goods. If there is no such demand in your familiar area, look for another area where your supply has its demand.
Statements like these indicate a desire for something that is not yet available in the area. This approach is based on one’s familiarity with the demand.
Secondly, choose an opportunity that brings out the best in you.
Do not choose an opportunity purely because of its income potential.
Income is a natural consequence of the entrepreneur’s passion as expressed in the enterprise set-up. Nevertheless, before choosing the opportunity, spend sometime defining your personal vision, mission, and values. This is a key foundation of great entrepreneurs.
They know what they want for themselves, (personal vision). They know what they live for (personal mission). They know what they live by (personal values). These three items constitute the foundation of passion.
Before I get too deep into this article, just let me say that the intention of this article is NOT to make people angry or depressed. The real purpose for this article is to help the reader determine if he/she is doing a few key things for their business. Let's take a look at the three main things that I feel any business owner needs to have in place if they are serious about making their business profitable.
You're not sure if you could do it. You're not sure if you really can achieve the financial freedom you want for yourself and your family. You're confused by all the get rich quick scams you see all around you. You can't pick up a newspaper or get on the web without falling over an ad telling you that yes, you too, can be a millionaire by next Tuesday if you just buy my Secret Formula. You'd happily make the investment of time, money and energy, if only you could find a business that was legitimate.
You're smart enough to know that any business worth having takes effort and requires time to grow. But what to do? Well, let us ask again. Are you profiting from O.P.P.? If not, why not?
What would you do if you found a business that: could generate multiple streams of income would work in any area of the country could be worked both in your local area and nationally could be worked both on and off the web would allow you to build your long term net worth and, can be started either in your spare time or part time.
Would you possibly think you should take a serious look at this business? We'll ask one more time. Are you profiting from O.P.P.? If not, why not?
OK, we know you really can't answer this question yet. Why, because we haven't told you what O.P.P. is. We can tell you the business we described above is real and it revolves around the O.P.P. principle. We can hear you now, enough already.
What is O.P.P.? Very simply put, O.P.P. is Other Peoples Property. Yes, you can build a great business and make a wonderful income, all from your home office, using Other Peoples Property. And no, we are not suggesting you break into your neighbor's homes, steal their belongings and sell them.
What we are talking about is a wonderful business that allows you to generate immediate cash flow and also build your long term net worth. So, what is this wonderful business.Lease Purchasing.
That's why effective direct mail, and now online advertising, uses claims like "Learn how one sales rep earned $2,216.78 last week..." rather than "Learn how one sales rep earned more than $2,000 last week...
"By being specific, the headline writer converts a boast ("more than $2,000") into a conceivably credible claim. What's implied is that it must be true or the writer wouldn't use that specific figure.
You'll find other professionals get credibility in the same way. For example, lawyers get it by citing precedents. Rather than talk to a judge in generalities, good lawyers cite previous case law and decisions by other judges. You also know the clergy gain credibility by citing passages of scripture, along with the chapter and verse numbers.
And, how about the medical profession? For example, physicians and others don't speak of "heart attacks;" instead they speak of different kinds of heart disease and conditions.By being specific they gain credibility, credibility that sets them apart from lay people.The concept works for just about anyone, in any profession or occupation. Suppose, for example, you're a sales manager attending a budget meeting, and the general manager wants you to increase your sales by 15% next year, far more than you're likely to achieve.
Instantly add the Traffic Magnet Top Secret Weapon to attract swarms of targeted buyers directly to your Web Site.
Use the exact same tactics and strategies that successful seasoned veterans apply to attract a continuous stream of Qualified Targeted Customers directly to their website night and day. This means that your Message will Reach Millions and continue to add tens of Thousands of Back Links as Websites all over the World Pick up your Message as Content Feeds for Their Websites. Your Message will enter the Main RSS Feed Streams all over the Internet, providing you with the largest Broadcast Ad Campaign on the Internet.
The Traffic Magnet Secret Weapon is an Explosive combination of Technology, executed to provide you with Maximum Advantage, Maximum Benefit.
Why not simply pick up the phone and call a bank for a loan to get through the crisis? Many of you already tried that and have been surprised to find that the average practice may not have sufficient credit and assets with which to secure adequate working capital.
Additionally, the traditional banking loan application and approval process is long and involved. Debt is created for the practice to repay, and personal guarantees are required. The practice becomes less desirable for resale or acquisition.Unlike bank lines that can tie up all of your assets, factoring involves only your third party medical claims. No collateral other than accounts receivables. No financial guarantees. Unlimited amount of dollars. Factoring provides working capital without adding debt to your balance sheet.
There is no predetermined maximum limit. This working capital arrangement is not limited in amount as many bank products are nor is it subject to banking "regulations."
Surveys of physicians have identified the following immediate needs:
The creation of solid dependable cash flow.
Decrease in the reimbursement interval between the time service is provided and payment is received.
Increase in the overall percentage of claims collected.
Reduction in administrative costs.
Ready availability of cash for new equipment, expansion of office space, the addition of new partners, and practice marketing.
This "wish list" would be complete if access to this working capital could be created debt-free. The physician practically needs up to date legal advice to stay current.
From start to finish, this book has it covered. Asset allocation is the strategy of dividing your wealth among the different asset classes and asset subclasses to achieve the highest expected total rate of return for the amount of risk you are willing and able to accept. "Numerous landmark studies have concluded that how you allocate your assets, rather than which individual investments you select or when you buy or sell them, determines the majority of your investment performance over time," says Scott P. Frush, president of Frush Financial Group and editor of the Journal of Asset Allocation (free subscriptions available at www.AssetAllocationExpert.com).
The singular aim of Optimal Investing is to empower readers to protect and grow their wealth to ensure their financial independence, control and security, all while keeping things simple and uncomplicated. The information is very clear, easy to understand and best of all, makes sense.
Even if you already know the basics of asset allocation, "Optimal Investing" will show you how to gain an even greater edge. Optimal Investing will tell you what to do and how to do it.
Optimal Investing is very well organized and packed with highly useful information. Given the investment challenges of the past couple of years, this book has never been more relevant. The information in this book will help to revitalize your portfolio. Optimal Investing will become your constant guide on how to manage your investments with ease.
A must read for investors looking to protect and grow their wealth.This book should take up permanent residence on your bookshelf. To find out more, purchase your copy of Optimal Investing.
5. Is the property value in the neighborhood in a slump or an upswing? Purchase during a slump for maximum profits. The truth is, an investor not make a profit from the property for the first two years. Investment property owners should be looking at the long-term, because they may make money over the next 15 years, while others are not.
Check County Records for Property Value. Do your research, or hire a REALTOR who is motivated to do it correctly. Speak to neighbors to understand the benefits of living there. Look at the neighborhood surrounding the area, and try to determine if those homes have increased in value. For a solid indicator, consider county property tax figures.
In some areas you will find a slight increase in the tax base of 1-3%. In other areas, like Williamsburg, Virginia, taxes have increased 15-13%. Tax base increases are linked to improved property value.
Are Revitalization Funds Available? If your investment property venture is a legitimate business, contact the local Chamber of Commerce and county government to see if there are special funds available for revitalization projects. Most Chamber of Commerces provide such programs as well as classes where investors learn how to access these funds.There are lots of great examples of properties with potential. I'd like to share some background about one of my own listings, a motel in Williamsburg that has not been open for three years. The owners do not know when it was built - probably in the 50s or 60s. The motel sits on 2 1/3 acres of land, which is all zoned commercially. The motel is situated right on a main thoroughfare that was once called "The Golden Mile" of Williamsburg. It's geographic location has real potential.
In essence, you'll have extremely high negotiating power. The company needs your business in order to be successful and with poor paying history clients they lose big time. Therefore, you should always display this "take them or leave them attitude" while conducting your negotiations.
Draft up a script and memorize it. It can be as simple as "Hello, my name is Bill and I have been a cardholder for X years and I consistently pay my bills on a time. Well recently I have been receiving all types of credit card offers from XYZ bank indicating that I qualify for an extremely low interest rate of Z% and am considering leaving you and going there if you can't offer me a lower rate. Is this something that you can help me with?"
Practice, practice and practice some more with your script until you are completely and totally used to it. Once you are, contact the company. Read your script and see what happens. If you get a hard nose customer service representative then don't threaten her. Be agreeable and ask to speak to his/her supervisor. If that is not possible, be nice to her and try again, she may have some kind of leeway.
If you like your present company, you can even try negotiating interest rates, annual fees and even those yucky late fees. However, if you're fed up, have an alternative company in the wings, and your current company won't budge with their rates then be willing to take your business elsewhere.
After all, you hold the power so don't be afraid to use it! They key on how to use it is simply to ask for what they can offer. And be persistent -- most credit card companies will lower your rate or improve your standing somehow at least once or twice a year based on your good account payment history.
Doesn't really matter which, as long as you have solid reasons for targeting that #1 target audience.
Namely, that their behaviors, good or bad, really DO have the most serious impacts on your organization. What now? Take nothing for granted. Get out there as soon as possible and interact with members of that key audience.
Monitor their perceptions by asking questions:
What do you think of our organization? How about our products and services or, if you are an association or non-profit, our programs? Do you sense an undercurrent of negativity? Probe deeper to see if some basic misconceptions are at work. Or inaccurate perceptions or damaging rumors that may be at fault.The answers to such questions should be studied carefully and a public relations goal created that, when achieved, corrects the problem you uncovered. It might be as simple as knocking down that trouble-making rumor once and for all.
They receive a fresh outlook, and many highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to improve their business.
Easy Learning Process.
Fortunately, because of such a course's open classroom environment, the instructors can answer both general and specific questions. The setting welcomes participation and discussion to develop solutions, which on-the-go business professionals very much appreciate. And so did Otis Jones, PMO Manager at Sara Lee Baking Group, who attended such a course. He was especially impressed with the user friendliness of the course content.
"Process mapping, process variability and the various process diagnostic tools were all excellent lessons to learn," Jones said. "The detail that they gave me in these areas was exactly what I was hoping for." Jones also said that he would push for other Sara Lee managers to take such a course so that they can better prepare for their business discovery phase. Next Jones will implement the information he learned into his company's internal training documents.
Gain Process Knowledge.
And many others too are encouraged. Such courses prove to them that a business does not have to just hope for the best of luck. Business owners and executives can clearly define processes, and then monitor and improve them to keep the system consistent, efficient and effective. With Plan-Do-Check-Act, this can let one see if there is any waste in the system, and also how to reduce this waste and save money.
Walk Away Empowered Individuals can walk away energized with a sense of empowerment. They can walk away with the profound knowledge of what is working today.
Plus, it's fun, creative, and healthier to make your own meals. The key is to cook in "bulk" to stretch the food you buy over several meals. If you're a busy person with little time to spare, a good investment is a slow cooker (or crock pot.) Generally, they run from $20 to $80, depending on the size.
With a slow cooker, you can set aside some time on the weekend to cook stews, soups, and other delicious meals that can be frozen for weekday use. After a hard day at work, all you have to do is pop the meal in the microwave! More than likely, you'll enjoy an additional benefit - your taste buds will wake up from mass produced food and thank you for the delicious taste of a home-cooked meal!
2. Drive less, exercise more.
Is owning a car expensive? You already know the answer to that question, don't you? Gas, maintenance, insurance costs. Plus the mental aggravation of being caught in traffic jams! Why not carpool or take public transportation-the bus, train, or light rail? Or, if you live close to work, walk or bike.
You'll lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and see the world at a slower pace. And, oh yes, you'll save a couple of thousand dollars in the process.
3. Cut housing costs.
This is an easy and fun way to cut costs. Instead of paying a contractor to come in to make changes or repairs, make them yourself.
Local hardware stores love your business and will help you with tips and tricks on home repair.Also, do your own decorating and painting. You get two benefits by doing your own changes and repairs - you get the pride of accomplishment and you save money.
4. Cut clothing costs.
This can be another major area of expenses, especially if you have a family. So, try buying used clothing... dry clothes on the clothes line instead of in a dryer... learn how to mend clothes...
A pathway that lets you target the kind of stake-holder behavior change that leads directly to achieving your objectives.
People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action those people whose behaviors affect the organization, the public relations mission is accomplished. And what behavior changes they can be. Legislators who see you as a dynamic member of their business public; prospects deciding to patronize your enterprise; customers buying from you again and again; local thought leaders strengthening their relations with you; employees who value their employer, and on an on.
What it boils down to, is that people in your marketing area behave like everyone else - they take actions based on their perceptions of the facts they hear about you and your organization. So, you need to deal promptly and effectively with those perceptions by doing what you need to do to reach them with the right message.Your job is to persuade your stakeholders to your way of thinking and move them to take actions that lead to the success of your organization. Here's one way to do exactly that.
However, while big deal domain sales do occur less often in today's domain market, selling domain names can still be very profitable.
Short, catchy, top level domain names are selling for upwards of $5,000 on the domain name after-market. Other longer, but still usable, names may be worth hundreds of dollars. Pricing is relative. Relative to your desire to sell, the type and timeliness of bidder inquiries (individual or corporate) and how well the sale price is negotiated.
Don't try to fit your domain name into some 'proprietary pricing model'. Every domain name is applicable to a different target market.
Determine who your potential buyers are before determining your asking price so you don't over or under estimate that price. Most names (~85%) sell for between 15%-40% of the asking price.
Exceptions to this trend:
Fantastic names - Truly great names can command what a seller requests, unless that amount is unreasonable.
High asking prices - Names that have ridiculous or greedy asking prices rarely sell. Important!
Poor names - Names littered with hyphens, adult names, "4"s for the number "four", "2"s for the number "two", "U"s for the word "you", etc. Don't waste your time listing names like these.
They rarely sell.
The loyal customer is one who will stand up and defend your company against unfair comments.
The loyal customer is one who will teach his children to purchase your product or service because they can depend on your company to treat them with fairness and honesty. The businesses of America, large and small, have been built on the backs of the loyal customer. In his inauguration address, President Bush stated, “ as citizens we must uphold the principles of civility, courage, compassion, and character that a civil society demands from each of us.” Civility is a word we don’t hear much anymore.
As companies have merged and as pressure from investors has increased, businesses have lost their civility. The concepts of respect and fair dealing that have been the cornerstones of American business are crumbling.In the age of the computer and voice-mail, companies are ignoring the fact that on the other end of the line is a living breathing person. They will spend millions on advertising to gain a new customer and then banish them to what I term “Customer Service Hell.”
2. Know What They're Worth I overheard a remark the other day. It was, "Oh, that lady. I barely pay attention to her. She comes in twice a week, but only spends about five dollars.
What a waste of my time." Have you had the same thought about any of your customers? Before you dismiss the customer that only spends five dollars, take a look at her long-term value.
How often does she purchase over time? How many people does she refer to you that have the same spending habits? A $5 customer can really be worth over $50,000 in the long term and should be treated like a queen.
3. Take Action Your customers are busy people. They need to be reminded that you exist and how you can eliminate their pain (wants or needs). Have you ever received mail from a company and decided to save it so you could "check them out later?" Then you find that piece of mail in your "to do" stack months later and realize you never contacted them. Your customers do that too.
You have to remind them. Often. Customer loyalty is not rocket science. But it does take consistent effort.
Over 90% of small business owners are letting money walk out the door of their business each and every day. Are you one of them?--Use Guidelines: May be used in any medium online or off that is opt-in. Resource box must be included with active link (online).
About The Author: Denise O'Berry helps small business owners identify and execute the steps necessary to grow their business.
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