I remember sitting in my MANY marketing classes thinking to myself...IS THIS realllllllllllllllllllllly neccessary? Is this money im paying for these classes really worth my time!
It is amazing to me how much I actually learned. Seven years of college and majoring in everything has PAID off...WHO KNEW! I feel as though my education is paying off more now then it did when I actually worked in the corporate world. When your allowed to truly express yourself - you will amaze yourself with how much you learn and grow as an individual.
ANYWAY..I am rambling...back to my point!
Starting a business can be VERY TICKY and let me say this TIME CONSUMING. You really have to have the drive to do it. Saying to yourself HEY IM GOING TO START MY COMPANY...will only lead to failure. A good business will make "some" money...a GREAT money will succeeeeeeeeeeed when others do not...a GREAT business is one that will last longer than three years. Many new companies will only last about 1-2 years. WHY? Because they failed to do the basics.
A company is not started just becaused you want to work for yourself. To truly start a company you should take the steps neccessary. What are these?
1. GET A DBA, lic./cert. etc.
2. Sit down and ask yourself WHY do I want to start my own company? So many online boutiques these days are stay at home moms WHICH IS GREAT..it is...BUT it is not a COMPANY until you have become lic./cert. in your state to DO BUSINESS! And you follow the steps to actually start a business.WHY is your starting point...you must know the EXACT reason WHY you want to start a business...because without the WHY you will not succeed. If its because you want to make MONEY...you might as well QUIT while your ahead.... because in your first 1-4 years you will loose more than you will gain. TRUST ME ON THAT. Not only money but TIME ...time away from your personal life, your family, etc.
3. Once you know why...next up is....YOUR BUSINESS PLAN. Without this I call "BIBLE" you will FAIL! Sit down and truly write up your plan. It allows you to see the steps neccessary to get to your GOALS...and not only get to them but ACHIEVE each goal. A COMPANY is not created overnight! It takes tons of HARD WORK!
4. Search out your competition. Who are your biggest rivals...what are their prics...what products do they use... how many of them are out there...what SETS YOU APART from the rest. THIS TIP IS SO IMPORTANT...whoever said OH...WE'RE NOT HERE TO COMPETE ...WE'RE FRIENDS...is LYING! If we were all BFF's then why would we be doing this...YOU might as WELL give your products away for free. Wal Mart DOES NOT approach TARGET and say hey LETS BE BFFs..teach me what you do! just saying... :)))))
5. The biggest TIP I learned was this "DO NOT SELL 10,000 THINGS 10 TIMES...SELL 10 GREAT THINGS 10,000 times" truly think about that and what it means! THIS WILL HELP YOU!
6. Focus in on what items yuo want to sell.. STICK TO IT..sure bring on new things but make them GOOD!
7. Search out compet. pricing...set yours a smigin below... A KEY TIP I CAN SHARE IS THIS: Just because your items are sold cheap...dont think that always helps you! Some people equate "lower prices" for =CHEAP...CHEAP QUALITY, POOR QUALITY..etc. those who want GREAT ITEMS WILL PAY...trust me! Those who want cheap will go and search out CHEAP. NO LOSS TO YOU... great clients are WORTH THE WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will save yourself alot of headache!
8. MARKET YOURSELF...not just your company. Get out there and spread the word about what you do. HAVE BUSINESS CARDS ON HAND AT ALLLLLLLLLLLLL TIMES. You never know who you are going to meet. Sport your own shirt, join groups, social media, do trade shows etc! MIX AND MINGLE~ THATS WHAT YOUR IN BUSINESS FOR RIGHT?
I could go on and ON AND ON.... the main thing I can tell you is DO YOUR RESEARCH-
here are some other good tips:
Search Engines: It is the most important traffic source for you. This can your biggest source of traffic now and ever if you optimized& submitted your site properly. There are thousands of search engines on the web, but in reality you need to set the priority to get submitted to the main ones first: AltaVista, Excite, Yahoo, Hotbot, Lycos, Northern Light, Infoseek, Webcrawler. Then you can use some Free web based submission tools to submit to smaller search engines. See for example INeedHits site
DonвЂ™t forget about the directories. Submission to directories almost always have to be done manually. The most important directories out there are: Yahoo, Magellan, DMOZ
Exchange links with other sites. You might not get a huge traffic flow from this, but link popularity is important to your search engines ranking. Read more about this in our article about link popularity.
Publish your ezine: If you are planning to start a newsletter or ezine on your website make sure you register it with ezine libraries. There are plenty of Ezine directories on the Net. Take a look at a few of the more popular ezine directories to get an idea of just how many ezines there are. Submitting your ezine to this directories can help you to get new visitors to your site, interested in what you have to say.
If you don't know what ezine is, Click here to learn more about it.
Write an Article вЂ“ hundreds of webmasters around the Net are trying to find a good content for their website. If you can share your knowledge with them it can benefit you both. When you wrote an article, submit it to ezine articles directories. Articles can re-printed by webmasters for free if they include authorвЂ™s info & links. So youвЂ™ll get free links pointing to your sites and this links can be very effective, because if you what you wrote is an interesting content then people would want to hear more of what you have to say.
Classify PROClassify PRO is an automated submission wizard for classified Ads.
Click here for more info!
Banner exchange: Exchanging banner impressions with other sites or within a network. This is 2 way street вЂ“ if you donвЂ™t have a lot of traffic and canвЂ™t provide good number of banner impressions, then you will not get a lot of your banner impressions. However many banner exchange networks will give you free impressions as a sign-up bonus. It can be something from 5000 to 25 000 impressions. You can use them to start the ball rolling and get some traffic to your site. We are giving some valuable info on the subject in our article about banner exchange.
You do need to have a banner for your website to participate in banner exchange. Since we are talking about free staff, here is a good place to get a template for your banner which you can customize yourself - FreeBanners.org.