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15 WAYS HOME BUSINESSES GET INTO TROUBLE, PART 2
by: Cary Christian


We're continuing our look this week into 15 ways home businesses get into trouble. Last week, we looked at reasons categorized under BUSINESS and AFFILIATE PROGRAMS. This week we're going to cover trouble areas associated with MARKETING.

MARKETING ISSUES

1. Failure to spend enough time learning the ropes.

Too many people jump into home businesses with the idea they'll start throwing ads out to every source they can find as soon as they open for business. What they do not realize is that every ad is a reflection of their business and, ultimately, of them as people.

If the mistake of posting or sending ads that are too "hypey" is made, credibility and reputation suffers a great deal. If the ads are not written well, the marketer is branded as an amateur and as not to be taken seriously. They may even write ads that are offensive to some who see them or receive them. In that case, potential customers are being alienated.

It is not enough to just look at examples of ads and then start copying other people's style and methodology. It is imperative to take the time to learn what works, sharpen your copywriting skills, and develop your own style. You want to stand out from the crowd, not get lost in it. Your own personality needs to show through and you need to exhibit a good understanding of tried and true marketing concepts.

Join some marketing forums, like the Warriors or Guerilla Marketing Bombshells. You will find hundreds or, in the case of the Warriors, thousands of successful marketers who are more than willing to help you build a solid foundation. Don't go it alone. These people are good and represent a vast resource for you.

Marketing ebooks are available everywhere. True, some of them are not so good, but there are many classics out there that you should read. You'll find many of them free on our website.

There are also lots of websites dedicated to providing you with quality information. You'll identify lots of them during the time you spend in the forums. You'll also get to know the owners of many of these sites which will help you know who and which sites are a better match to your goals and your personality.

Take the time to learn. It's an investment that never stops paying you back.

2. Failure to target narrowly enough.

Many small businesses spread themselves too thin. They simply do not have the resources to sell a wide variety of products to the whole world. That goes ten-fold for home businesses.

The key to making money in a home business is to target your market to the greatest degree possible. Make it as small a segment as you can and then provide that segment with the products or services they really desire. Find that one product or service no one else provides to them, or find that segment that is not being served properly, or worse, ignored completely, and you, my friend, will have found a gold mine.

Spend plenty of quality time identifying who your market should be and what it is they need.

3. Using s p a m to advertise.

There is absolutely no better way to destroy your business quickly than to use s p * m to advertise your products. People are sick of it. They won't buy from you. You'll destroy your reputation. You'll have your site shut down and lose your ISP. It's a no win proposition. Just don't do it!

4. Failing to test advertising campaigns.

Home businesses normally have limited budgets for advertising. That is why so many resort to using ONLY free advertising. We've discussed this many times before: you're not going to be able to build a vibrant business using only free advertising. I'm not saying you have to spend a lot, but you will need to use some paid advertising. To make the most of it, you have to know how effective your paid marketing efforts are and you have to test your marketing before you spend all of your budget on a campaign.

The first thing you must do is develop a way to track your marketing. This is not difficult. You can use ROIBOT, Adminder, or redirect pages on your own site. It doesn't matter how you do it, just so you do it.

Next, test your marketing efforts in small steps before rolling out your entire campaign. If it is an email marketing campaign, send out different ads to different small segments of your list and track the results. If you're using pay-per-click engines, set up several ads, each with different tracking URLs and monitor them for a short period of time. Keep the ones that are working and dump the rest.

You get the idea. Don't blow your marketing budget until you're sure you're going to get the results you expect.

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None of these marketing mistakes are that difficult to avoid. Following a few simple rules will give you a much better chance of success.

Next week we're going to wrap this series by looking at home business troubles caused by issues associated with opt-in lists. Don't have an opt-in list? Then don't miss next week's issue!


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