Small Business Advantages
The smart home worker can take advantage of current trends and do more for less, which brings a distinct advantage over the big guys. Nothing makes me feel as good as beating them at their own game.
Corporate marketing strategy seems based on who can afford to spend the most money for the longest period before giving up.
Lets Look at Some Numbers
Over eighty percent of all US companies advertise online. Spending on online advertising in the US tripled in the year 2001, four more times in 2002 with the average large corporation spending almost 2.5 million for Internet advertising. With over $67 billion in sales projected in 2003.
BizRate.Com reported that shoppers spent more than $6 billion online in the year 2001 holiday season, which is up bysixty percent. A study from Goldman Sachs / PC Data disclosed that holiday spending from November through December 2001 was over $10 billion, over an 110% increase over the $4 billion during the same period last year
Production costs for online marketing campaigns have increased by over 50 percent in 2002 with an average of $664,000.
It now costs an average of $548,000 to develop a website and an annual average of $601,000 a year to maintain it. E-commerce websites cost $825,000 to build and 1 million to maintain every year. Maintenance costs do not include salaries or overhead costs.
*According to the fifth annual survey from the US Association of National Advertisers (ANA).
From the point of the small home business this all sounds extreme but I really couldn't have made this up
Small Business Advantages
There is no way we can out-spend the corporations, but we can out-market them on a shoestring budget.
I remember an old saying. "It's better to be a star player on a minor league team than to be a bench warmer in a major league team."
We can outsell the corporations by getting a higher percentage of business from within a very narrow niche. We can pinpoint our focus; do well on a smaller profit margin.
We can do most or all of the work ourselves saving thousands of dollars in the process. Every dollar we save comes back to us in the form of additional profit.
The more time and effort we put into our marketing the more profit we can earn. It's difficult to make that first $1000 a month. It's much easier to boost that $1000 to $10,000, or even $100,000. It's all about smart marketing, and duplication of our own success.
The secret to smart marketing is leveraging your strengths TEST EVERYTHING on a small scale while gradually spending money only when you are sure it will bring you profit.
Where To Spend Your Hard Earned Money
Most of us do not have a limit less budget to promote our products and services online. Now it has become clear even the fortune 500 companies can run out of money. Our only option is to spend our money carefully where it will do the most good.
Invest In Skills Training
You will not outsell anyone who knows more than you know about marketing your product or service. So become a marketing expert WITHIN YOUR NICHE. Education pays off and is the most productive money you can spend.
Internet Marketing Courses
Internet Marketing eBooks
Smithfam's Archive 2002 (free)
Test And Re-Test Your Ads
Carefully select newsletters and ezines that already have access to your targeted customers. Once you develop an ad that sells, you can use it effectively in more ezines.
Never quit testing. Study magazines and newsletters in your area of special interest. You can assume that ads running issue after issue are making money. Follow their example. If you want what they already have you need to do what they do. Just do it better.
Buy Keywords On Search Engines
There are now over tons of specialized pay-per-click search engines in which you can purchase keywords, and others that will display your banner or ad for specific keywords. Spend time comparing rates and test until you are sure you have a winner.
A Professional eCommerce Website
It's fun to design your own personal website but if you are spending money to develop traffic you cannot afford to waste any of your advertising budget. Consider having your website developed professionally. Don't let your prospects be confused or disappointed when they visit your website.
Most importantly, make ordering from your web website as easy as possible. Offer options to purchase via a secure online order form with credit card or check and by phone. And make it easy for visitors to contact you with pre-sales questions.
If you can't accept credit cards you are not in business.You absolutely MUST be able to accept the currency of the Internet, and that currency is credit cards.
Internet Ecommerce Solutions
Develop a Two Step Marketing Program
You pay the entire marketing costs involved acquiring a lead before you even get a chance to make a sale. Develop an informative follow up system. Send your leads free and useful information. Use your email, autoresponders, and automated follow-up systems to follow up with your prospects over days, weeks and months.
Give them brief doses of the high quality information they want, explain how you can help first and then ask for the sale.
Earning Free Traffic From The Search Engines
The least expensive method, one that also the most powerful as well, is to attract free traffic through the search engines. One top ten listing in a major search engine can earn hundreds of sales for years completely free. Learn how to optimize your pages to obtain top listings. Consider traffic development a long-term project and develop your own homegrown strategy to develop that free traffic.
I consider investing in placement optimization and automated submission software an excellent investment but you also must invest in learning how to deliver content the search engines will reward you for with higher placements. In short, content is king on the Internet.
Search Engine Strategies
Placement Optimization Software Demo
Automated Submission Software Demo
Being Smaller Can Be Better
Don't overlook our advantages over the fortune 500 companies. We can earn a fortune targeting small niches considered too small and insignificant by the big corporations.
We can target more precisely, move faster, and do more with less. In fact, it's precisely because we have much less to spend that we must be more productive.
Is smaller better? The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
. . .
About the Author:
ROBERT SMITH helps thousands successfully market their Internet based home business. You'll find tons of free marketing tools & resources on his Internet Marketing web site.
Be sure to check out his Masters WebKit CD package as well.
You can reach Robert by phone at: (541) 689-1847 PST or by email here.
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