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.

Entrepreneurs Could Learn Lots from US-Based Asian Small Business Consortium Strategies

Over the years I’ve been quite impressed at how many of the Asian-American small businesses stick together and really help each other out. It’s an impressive display of camaraderie and confidence. Their strategies work so well, they have a much better chance at success, which allows new start-up small businesses and shop owners drop their failure rates significantly over the average small business rates in the US.

Last week, I was discussing this with an acquaintance from the Philippines, and she noted that the Chinese business owners there, do the same thing, and they use the same strategies. She noted; “The Majority of those who own big businesses in the Philippines are Chinese. I admire their way in managing their business though, and Chinese community or family helps each other when it comes to their financial needs.”

Yes, and this happens in Los Angeles too, not just with larger and medium sized businesses, but also with small businesses. Not just with the Chinese, but it seems all Asian-American Business Owners. There are rare cases where I’ve heard they tend to exploit their own, which is unfortunate, but not any more than perhaps wealthy Anglo-Americans have in past periods, after all, that is known by just reading our history books.

One interesting point in Los Angeles, is that I’ve observed the Korean Small Business consortiums doing the same thing to support each other, and they form ad hoc groups to loan new business owners money to get started and then they do the same later for future business people. During the LA Riots, some of the African-Americans in LA were angry at the Koreans for being such good business people and they said they are exploiting them. Sometimes with such strong business strategies it’s easy to create animosity in the local free markets, when you dominate so many sectors.

My acquaintance in the Philippines noted that the Chinese Business People there would never allow their relatives to become poor, so they support each other. Maybe it’s this attitude which helps propel their ventures so well, a sense of closeness and community – almost a community within a community if you will, with a small business enterprise motif – and you know what? It works! Perhaps, this is why I’ve always been impressed with the way that Asian-Americans stick together in business and work with each other.

Every entrepreneur could learn from these strategies, so, I thought I’d mention it to you. Please consider all this and think on it.

The Kitchen & Bath Business Marketing Plan Should Be Flexible, Cost Effective & Brand The Dealership

Like most Kitchen & Bath Dealers, when I opened my dealership, I had a rough business plan and an idea of how I was going to market.

It was generalized and not very detailed. Sound familiar? I think the biggest mistake made was I really did not do a Market Study of who was doing what level of Kitchen & Baths in my market area. How can you get specific if you don’t understand the details of your market, market area, and market prospects?

A comprehensive Marketing Analysis should first look at the overall industry as a whole, then you would define your market geographically, demographically and sociographically. In English,that means, what area of the map, who lives their and what is their income, home value, etc, etc. I cannot stress this enough. Know Who, What & Where your going to target your marketing so that you don’t waste money on advertising outside those parameters.

Which is your business going to focus on,The consumer, home builder, allied professionals etc. Of course you will do projects for all of them, but your pricing and marketing strategy has to focus on one or two of them. Don’t be a “Jack of all trades, Master of none”. You should come out of your marketing analysis phase with a clear understanding of who you are, who your primary client base is and how you are going to compare with the competition in your market area.

Your Marketing Strategy should define your goal. What do you expect to accomplish and what is your budget. Remember, it doesn’t matter how big or small of a firm you are, you should always have a clear, defined budget and stick to it.

The percentages I spoke about in the last newsletter are very accurate and every Kitchen & Bath business should try and stick to them. For your review:

New business 7-8%

2-3 Year old business is 5-7%

An established business is 3- 5 %.

Remember to ad 2- 4% for brand development if your a new business.

When you do your plan in advance and stick to it, a side benefit is with truthfulness you can tell the advertising sales people that constantly call on your business- ” My budget & plan is already spoken for this year, Thank you.”

Timing is important, you should set your budget on the current years sales /overhead expenditure percentages for the following fiscal year. The 3rd Quarter is when you start to do the spending comparisons from previous year and in the middle of the 4th quarter your budget for the following year should be set.

Next step is to figure out how your going to communicate your strategy that you have defined, then you have to test the results. Some examples of Target Markets and some specific strategies that you might consider. Each market is different and you have different dealer profiles, so bear with me as I offer some examples.

The best marketing is one on one, direct contact with the prospect. Go out and get the prospects, don’t just sit in the showroom and wait for them to come in. As a rep, I just love sales people that say ” Oh man, business is slow this quarter, and yet their butts haven’t moved off the chair in front of the computer with solitaire on the screen..I digress….sorry. 🙂 If you know who your target prospect is from your analysis, there is no excuse why not to go after them.

A Newsletter, keeps in touch with your existing client base, while a Four Color Brochure, introducing your firm and its services-with Testimonials will help turn new prospects into clients. You can do this economically and along with one on one dialog be effective. These provide both flexible and cost effective marketing tools.

I find that Direct Mail Advertising only attracts the price shopper, looking for a “deal”, and I am not convinced at a 2 % response rate that it is cost effective. The big 4 Color Slicks Magazines are great for Branding, but you need to do it correctly commit to two years at every other month, It is certainly costly and most effective for branding your business with affluent prospect. It is a mistake to spend all of your marketing dollars on the 4 color slick magazines. I find that putting ads in the local Theatre and Opera Programs will do the same branding with the same affluent prospect and are less costly.

I had done some TV on the Cable Channels such as HGTV, I found that to be as effective as the 4 color slick with some side benefits. It reaches the mighty middle prospect and affluent prospect (depending on which show it airs.) A pleasant side effect is that if you do a tasteful ad and the principle is on then your existing client base is reminded of you and talks about you. (More of a reason to earn those A referrals) It is more cost effective than the 4 Color Slicks and I believe does more in the short run. I think TV, radio done right really works, but it is a big budget item. I know how to get the production done, what to look for in the statistics of who is watching what and how well it can Brand your business. I am not talking about one of those cheesy cable commercials either.

These examples are just a few of many, many. Each firm is different, that’s why you need to Analysis, Strategize & Plan specifically for your business. Stick to a budget and timetable and be flexible. Follow the yellow brick road to your business pot of gold.