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
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
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.
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!
Copyright (c) 2002