Are You Putting Yourself Out of Business?

Have you heard either of these pieces of advice, “Do what you have always done and you’ll always get what you always got” and “More of what’s not working won’t help”?

The first one is no longer valid and the second one gets proven in the small business world everyday.

When it comes to marketing why does the first statement not work anymore? Simple, with all the changes that bombard our businesses, clientele and technology on a daily basis it is ludicrous to expect the same results. You see examples of businesses sticking to outdated and unimaginative approaches to marketing and then being surprised with declining results.

In a recent marketing analysis I did with a local business owner I did a very poor job of keeping a poker face. His business was now in such dire straits that they had gone from a fancy office with many employees to a few employees working from the kitchen table at home. His company had tried “cold calling” as their main strategy to build their business. The results were dismal.

What was the logical response to their poor results? You guessed it, they hired more people to cold call. They lost more than most small businesses will earn in the next 5 years. When I asked him why they would pour more money into something that was clearly not working he responded with, “We figured we just needed to get our name out there more and eventually things would take off!” The only thing that took off was their money and eventually their employees.

I’m not going to beat this fellow up because we are all guilty of hanging in too long with an ineffective strategy or two. That is why it is so important to be able to step back and evaluate your marketing efforts. Are they working? Are they cost effective? Are they getting you the results you want? If not, how long do you plan to continue using them before finding something better? How long can you afford to stick with something that isn’t working?

Business Cards That Make Your Business Stick Out

One might ask how significant are business cards for the success of a business or what happens after one hands them out to prospective or current customers. It’s until one becomes an independent businessman or woman that one realizes how essential they are as part of marketing and networking tools. A good business card should always put creativity and artistic display at the core of everything. This is something that professional photographers and designers will always proffer to anyone who intends to design one. The cards should be exceptionally creative with inclusion of some unique features such as some portraits at the back of the card or an inspirational quote that will leave an indelible mark in the reader’s mind.

It’s always necessary to think of a card as a marketing tool from the onset. There are common mistakes that many business people make by making it a directory of contacts and poorly elucidating on the services they offer, and thus making the card lose the taste immediately after exchanging hands. Think of the impact that a card designed with high resolution with lucid and well cut out graphics and letters. The selling point of such a card will undoubtedly be high and will always bring out the rare Wow factor.

If one has a small business offering products to the market, it is always advisable to include a product picture at the back of the card while at the same time ensuring that the card professionally designed and are the type that one can hardly throw away. The best way to achieve this is to look for designers who print full color on both sides of the card. One can choose the best photos or choose from the color schemes and designs that they have in their numerous templates although using the available flexible templates usually works well. All one needs to remember is that creativity is the bench mark with which to measure whether the business card will stick out or not.

Starting an Online eBay Business

eBay has increased in popularity dramatically over the past few years. With millions of people searching the site every single day for discounted products, the potential to earn money on there is fantastic. It couldn’t be easier making a profit on eBay and that is why so many people are choosing to set up their own eBay business.

Finding the Best Products to Sell

If you are interested in starting your own eBay business the first step is to find out what to sell. In order to do this you should look on the site and see which products seem to be doing better than others. Is there more of a demand for DVD’s over clothing? Is there a certain games console that is currently selling really well?

While it is important to find a product that is currently selling well, what you also need to consider is that you want a product that will do well in the long term. It is pointless starting a business with a product that may decrease in popularity over the next few months. In order to avoid this it would be worth combining a number of different products in your business. Stick to selling various products within the industry instead of just one and that will give you the best possible chance of success. Typically, electrical items and clothing do tend to do quite. The health and beauty sections are also worth looking into, as there will always be a need for beauty products!

You can find products to sell by looking on wholesale websites. Be careful when trying to find a good wholesale list. Many websites charge a fee for access to their wholesale lists and while generally, you will have to pay a small fee you should not fall for extortionate fees. Try not to pay anything over a few dollars. Of course, there are some free wholesale lists available but they are a lot harder to find.

Starting your Business

Once you know which products you are going to sell and you have found a good wholesaler, the next step is to figure out how much stock you will need. Unless you know that the product is currently selling really well, you should only start off ordering small quantities of stock. So order the lowest amount possible from the wholesaler. Some wholesalers have minimum limits that you have to stick to but they are not always overly high.

When you are setting up your store, it is a fairly easy process. Simply log on to eBay.com and click on “stores”. You should find a link saying, “Open a Store” and from there you log in or sign up as a seller. Once you have a profile you can choose from three different store levels. These are:

o Basic Store – $15.95 each month
o Premium Store – $49.95 each month
o Anchor Store – $299.95 each month

Each comes with a different monthly fee and there are requirements that you have to meet to open them. A basic store would be the best one to opt for when you are first starting out. The other options come with more advanced tools to create better listings.

Overall, starting your own eBay business is fairly easy. If you take the time to research the best selling products then it will increase your chances of making better profits. The best thing about an eBay business is that anybody can open one and potentially make a good income by doing so.