7 Quick Tips for a More Profitable
2002 By Angela Wu
billions of web pages and countless email messages a good
percentage of which are spam, building a successful business
on the Internet is hard work. Many entrepreneurs seek to
create a 'full-time' income (whatever that may mean to each
individual) yet find that making just a few sales is still a
Have you ever looked at your online earnings and wished you
could do better? If so, then it's time for a change. Doing
the same things will give the same results! Here are just a
few suggestions for building your online business:
1. Give your website and/or sales letter a makeover.
For example, some sites offer lots of free content, as a way
to help people while building credibility.
Others are much more direct: the entire website consists of
a single sales letter. Many argue that these 'mini-sites'
are far more effective in generating
sales because they don't have any distractions - the
visitor can focus on what you have to say. That doesn't mean
you have to give up your content site ... but consider
creating a mini-site to help drive sales.
As for the sales letter, if copywriting isn't your strength,
then hire someone to do it for you. Sure, it costs money --
but a good sales letter can pay for itself many times over.
Things don't stay the same online for very long! Don't be
afraid to experiment. Just remember to keep backups so that
you can always revert to the old version if your experiment
doesn't produce the results you want.
2. Don't forget about the 'real world'.
There's life outside of cyberspace! Many people prefer to be
contacted by postal mail. Email has become so clogged with
spam that it can be very difficult to get people to read (or
even SEE) your message! Ideas on how to promote your
business offline are available at http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles/checklist3.html
3. Evaluate your income stream.
How stable is your income?
Are you protected against income fluctuations? Will you be
okay if one of your income streams disappears, and how long
will it take to recover?
You can also 'widen' your income stream by creating
additional sources of revenue. For example, someone who
sells a cookbook or recipes can also offer their services as
a 'menu planner': working within a set of guidelines
(time, budget, cooking skills, dietary restrictions...), the
menu planner can create 'custom'
recipes for her customers. Whatever you choose to do, find
other opportunities to add to your bottom line.
4. Read, read, read. Education never stops!
There's always something new to learn, and even one
golden nugget of information or inspiration could be
responsible for a significant boost in your business!
There are countless manuals available to show you how to
market your business... but realistically, you only have a
limited amount of time you can devote to reallyreading and
absorbing the information. You might choose to purchase a
number of manuals, but select one of them and resolve to
seriously study the material -- then take *action* on what
5. Try to turn customers into *repeat* customers.
What ideas do you have for a complementary product? It's
easier to sell to a happy customer than it is to sell
to someone who's never had any experience with your
products before. Let your existing customers know about your
new products. If you sell services, be sure to touch base
with your customers every so often -- remind them that
you're still around and available for work. You can even
offer incentives or discounts for the next time they use
Keeping customers happy is obviously important if you're
planning on building a viable long-term business. Happy
customers can turn into both repeat customers as well as a
source of referral business. But no matter how hard you try,
you will never make everyone happy -- so don't fall into the
trap of spending so much time and effort with one customer
that you alienate or ignore the rest.
6. Form new partnerships in areas you've never
Perhaps you've always targeted a certain type of business
with which to form joint ventures. For example,
someone who sells a fitness tape might have always
approached weight-loss sites with partnership proposals.
Instead, try to think of other markets that could also use
your product. In the above example, new moms who are trying
to become active again might appreciate a fitness tape. Or
how about stressed-out corporate 'worker bees' who need a
way to relax?
7. Build for the future.
How can you attract more customers? Is your customer service
up to par? How can you use your current customer base to
expand your profits? Concentrate on methods that allow you
to build a business relationship with your customers -- a
common example is to publish a quality newsletter to help
you stay in touch, build credibility, and help to keep your
business near the forefront of your readers' thoughts.
Vincent Van Gogh once said, "Great things are not
done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought
Keep working towards your business goals, little by little.
It's the only way to get there!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide for beginners to the 'net. Packed with instantly
usable tips, you'll love its focus on effective fr*e and
low-cost marketing methods, specifically chosen for people
operating on shoestring budgets! Get the details here:
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