Blogs are usually updated, thus, as a one-time guest blogger, we have included links meant to be interactive with the blog, which allows us to provide you much more necessary information. Click the links when you read up to them, to watch a short video clip, and then come back to the blog where you left off. There are two of them. Thank you!
I attempted for 12 years to make money online. In the process of these failures, I developed a lot of knowledge, AND met great mentors along the way. You see knowledge is a blessing, and a curse. My knowledge was good, but was scattered here and there, never placed in the truly important areas. Mentors subsequently taught me that when my existing knowledge is applied in the right areas, confidence and determination multiply, getting you through the times when you’d normally quit.
I’m writing to pass that on to you, so you can tweak your game, just a little bit, to really begin to thrive as a small business owner online. I know what it’s like trying to run your own business, but more important, I’m going to help you understand why you need to do this, and help alleviate some of the doubt that comes naturally anytime a risk is taken. If you’re going to follow your desire of securing a financial future, with the knowledge you currently have, the first area of knowledge to “re-assign” is the WHAT. Yearning entrepreneurs go straight for what way to make money. This should be the last step. You may not think so, but the most important step is the WHY. Mastering the ability to explain to your friends & family WHY & HOW you plan to accomplish your goal will erase your own doubts, gain confidence, and at the same time gain their support. All are necessary to succeed. Lastly, you need an understanding of WHAT.
You can find several theories on the motivating force behind the market, but something I’ve witnessed 1st hand: you tell someone you’ve made a lot of money doing this/that and they can too, and they respond! They always respond! It actually makes me sick. The pied piper plays the same ‘ol tune, and leads them all out of town, and they think they’re following the yellow brick road! It’s not the people that drive the market; it’s the pied piper. A few select (and corrupt) people in the mortgage business decided it was easier to make commissions by skipping a few steps, and before you knew it, the whole industry was doing it! During 12 years failing to succeed online, I made my living in finances. For a couple years, I was a mortgage broker, and let me tell you, the only good thing about being involved 1st hand inside a bubble factory is, from that point on, you instantly understand what happens to cause every other bubble.
The dotcom crash of ’00 was never because of lack of consumer demand. Exactly like the mortgage crisis, the demand is there as long as there’s value offered. There was great, positive reaction, to a small handful of individuals determined to make a quick buck, who never really followed the rules, or the traditional business blueprint, in EACH case. This small handful, in each case, was not regulated, though the masses followed. The pied piper played his same tune, right? A handful of people saying ‘this is how easy it is to make money, you should try it too!’ They follow the yellow brick roadmap of essentially false claims of making it rich quick toward a heavenly financial bliss; but, once the public realizes they’ve been had, the demand disappears overnight. Wall Street games, right? We have the beginning, marketing, and the ending, sale, but with no middle. No customer base is ever created for long-term survival. So if all bubbles have this fingerprint, then what fixes all bubbles is simple, doing it right, with no shortcuts, including the middle step! Instead of one-sale wonders you have normal, reasonably priced sales of value, with customer follow up and retention, creating a customer base, and repeat sales. Instead of hello & goodbye, you have a relationship with your client, and your client helps you further understand their needs, in order to benefit them in other ways too. Then you cross-sell, and earn even more money in the long run. Right? This is traditional, successful business blueprint, is it not? We could refer to the missing middle piece as, “infrastructure.” It’s the system, design, the model, the part that goes on top of the foundation, but underneath the profit-roof. click here before continuing
It takes a long time to recover from a bubble pop. History has shown that it can take from twelve to twenty years to bounce back. There’s good products and buyers, but no customer service, no follow up. Once you fill that gap, you’re back to par. Good Faith Estimates are required to be within razor thin percentages of actual closing costs, so that’s a GREAT start! We’re only halfway there – Rules are the beginning, then quality customer service fills the gaps. “How are you actually doing paying this home off Mr. Smith?” “What else could we do to further our relationship, and gain your trust as a buyer?” Quality customer service and follow up, right? We’re in our seventh year, since 2007. We’re on our way to rebuilding the infrastructure of the mortgage industry, i.e., rebuilding its’ business model, or system.
I’d say we’d be fine in 6 years, if it weren’t for an odd bit of irony we’re seeing in our day. When’s the last time you can remember two separate economies co-existing, without one making the other obsolete? You can’t have two eco-systems co-exist, right? Laws of physics agree. Our economy would eventually straighten itself out, but in this unique situation, the pavement economy probably won’t have enough time. To explain, before, there was no choice, so you waited. You’d suffer through the long 15 or so odd years of a bad economy, and then you’d see an upturn. The difference now is the fact that there’s another option. Compare: market crash in ’87, oil bubble of the 70’s, depression in the 30’s – when was there ever A SEPARATE ECONOMY existing with the other one? It is true when stock markets and housing bubbles burst at about the same time, their impact is more severe, but that is not to be confused with TWO SEPARATE ECONOMIES CO-EXISTING. The former is two markets within the same economy, very, very, VERY different from the latter. The FACT is you’d have to go back to pre-money, agricultural bartering, and trading days to come up with a similar situation in history. This is a unique time.
Nobody chooses to remain in a bad economy, if they have the choice to move to a good one. SO LISTEN CLOSELY NOW, because that’s the WHY! Dotcom is emerging from its’ collapse after 13 years, pretty much right on schedule, but pavement is still trying to figure out what works, only in it’s 7th year! Over the next seven years, as dotcom moves from year 13 to year 20, the general public will fully realize that dotcom finally has it right. And you know what? There’s going to be A LOT of people ruined in the switchover: people that weren’t prepared. So listen, you’re reading this blog, so you need to be prepared!
Here’s what you need to benefit from the shift, rather than be ruined by the shift. Unfortunately, there’s no in-between. If you want to benefit financially from the shift, you’ve got to be in the online world NOW, to begin building your business and be in a position (positioning is huge) to make money off of those who come, right?
Do you see now how the WHAT can be anything, as long as it answers why people need it and how it solves their problem? This makes the ‘what’ the least important element in a successful business, by far. The only important ‘what,’ I’m aware of, is what you need to know: The dotcom economy is independent from our existing economy. They each had a bubble burst causing recession within their respective economies. This is a catalyst, presently upon us, which will push even the un-wanting deterrents, the anti-change people, into the new digital economy, along with all the investors and entrepreneurs who are doing it gleefully with fists full of money. There won’t be a choice, as the whole of the world shifts. Joining me right now is most likely the only option for the majority reading this blog.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been some 12 years since I began this journey, but it’s been worth every second in the end. The way I’ve always lived my life has been to jump on good advice when given – and I sincerely hope that’s how you live yours too.
5 Mail Order Start Up Tips
So you have a new business set up, and given lots of thought to the presentation online of your products and started to market them. Congratulations now the hard work can begin.
Here are so tips that you might not have thought of to help you get off to a smoother start.
1, Packing Materials
The first time that your clients actually see your product is when it arrives. At this point you can win a client for life, a person who will recommend you or loose the sale completely. So it is essential that the items that you despatch arrive in good condition and look great, as they only have one opportunity to make a first impression.
Use new packing material for your deliveries, so that they arrive in good condition. Each item inside a parcel delivery should be individually wrapped in bubble wrap. None of the items should touch the outer box and additional loose packaging should surround. In this way even if the box is dropped in transit the items inside should arrive in good condition.
In addition to writing the delivery address or attaching the couriers shipping label on the outside of the parcel, it is good practice to enclose a copy of the delivery address label inside the parcel. If the original delivery label then comes off in transit and courier has to open the parcel, they will have all the information that they need to send the parcel on its way correctly.
3, Thank-you notes
Include a thank-you for your purchase note. This can also include details of other items that are similar that might be of interest to your client. Or a voucher or discount for future purchases from you. It is much easier to get another order from a satisfied client than a new one. As you have already proven your customer experience, product quality and customer care.
4, Use your reviews
Your website should automatically invite clients to review your products and services. Some of the online marketplaces such as ebay automatically do this for you. Having positive reviews on the product and how it arrived is needed to persuade other clients that they should work with you. If they give good review it gives you the opportunity to ask them to tweet or post on Facebook about the experience. Having positive reviews on your website or against your products can also help to drive sales.
Reviews work both ways. If you have an opportunity to review your buyer, always leave positive reviews and quickly as possible. It sets the tone the relationship and encourages them to do likewise.
Always keep your clients informed. When you get an order online, confirm it and advise when it is being despatched. Once it’s gone, let your client know and provide all of the tracking information that they need to follow their delivery. This is especially important if you are using an international parcel delivery service. For example if you are sending a parcel to Canada and your clients has their tracking information, it gives them the opportunity to monitor their delivery and resolve any customs queries in real time.
Good luck in building your business and I hope that these tips help.
Learn how to stop paying for postage, and get a higher customer adoption rate
Yes, you read that right! It’s not that postage is going down – in fact, expect postage rates to climb as service slows down due to cost-saving closures by the USPS. No, the reason your mailing and printing costs are going to go down is due to a new form of technology called iPDF Billing offered exclusively by CTP Solutions.
Whereas you may have previously relied on printed, mailed statements to your customers, you now have the option of sending interactive electronic statements or a combination of electronic and printed statement to your customers. The great thing is, there’s a 35% – 50% electronic adoption rate for typical customers because the iPDF technology also offers them many great benefits.
For instance, customers can interact with their invoices in several ways:
- accessing their payment histories
- asking questions through a linked chat button to your customer service team
- learning about limited-time promotions your company is offering
- taking advantage of offers from your ‘paid’ affiliate advertisers.
Yes, I said ‘paid.’ What that means is that you can actually derive advertising revenue simply by offering unused ‘white space’ to others to market their products/services.
Plus, the iPDF technology allows you to modify and personalize the invoices you send out through its highly-flexible customer control of images, offers, and messaging using a graphical user interface.
Through the delivery of an interactive PDF (iPDF), you’ll be seeing costs going down and increased efficiencies for your company, your marketing and customer service team, and your document recipients.
Picture this: immediate delivery of invoices with no postage expense, less customer calls questioning bills and faster payments back to you. Sound good?
Join us on September 18, 2013 at (time of webinar) for our free, hour-long webinar entitled, “Electronic Billing: How it Can Improve Your Bottom-line.” To sign up for the webinar or for more information prior to our webinar, please contact Jack Schachtel email jschachtel@CTPsolutions.com or call me at: 818-597-1222 ext. 304