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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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May 01, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Featured Resource - PEOPLE'S CHOICE ACCOUNTING

Staff Article - SURVIVING TOUGH TIMES
Marketing Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  THE THREE WORDS YOUR WEB SITE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

Parting Comments

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Welcome

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Quote of the Week

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson
 


Administrative Stuff

NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE ONLINE

Back issues of the newsletter have been added to our website.  You can view them at
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletter_archives.htm

They will always be posted about two weeks behind to give you, our subscribers, the opportunity to act on any special information or offers contained inside before our regular website visitors.  URLs for subscriber-only offers will, of course, be removed.

FREE EXPOSURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

Just send your email to mailto:mybiz@peakconsultinginc.com with "Info on my business" in the subject line. Give us a brief description of your business and your URL and we'll publish it.


Featured Resource

People's Choice Accounting is accounting software that is flexible enough to grow as you grow. Recently granted five stars by the CPA Software News, this accounting system is, in our opinion, superior to QuickBooks Pro with the added benefit of being able to expand as needed via simple upgrades. Visit their website at http://www.safechoice.com or call 888-983-4402 for a free evaluation copy of People's Choice Accounting. Check it out for yourself before spending a dime.


Staff Article

SURVIVING TOUGH TIMES

by: Cary Christian

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson


To me, the above is one of the most inspirational paragraphs ever written. It also holds the key to surviving tough times.

Frequently, the only weapon we really need to succeed in life is the will to do so and the perseverance to continue through the darkness that sometimes envelopes us. Sure, talent and knowledge can't hurt, but with perseverance we can gain considerable amounts of both of those qualities.

When business starts to slow it is very easy to pull back and become more defensive in your approach. It is natural to take cost-cutting steps, be less aggressive in your marketing and to generally adopt a more low-key, hunker-down-and-wait-it-out attitude. Sometimes this works. More often than not it just weakens, and possibly destroys, your business. So just what should you be doing?

TO STRIVE . . .

I have often watched my favorite football team, leading in the fourth quarter, start playing a "prevent defense" only to find it prevents nothing and they lose the game. Why do they lose?

They have adopted the stance that they will give their opponents the short gains and focus all their abilities on preventing the one big score that will lose the game for them. The opponents, with nothing to lose, take what they are given and strive to make more out of it. More times than not, they make enough out of it to win.

When you're down, it is not the time to lay back and play it safe. When you're up, but not by much, it is also not the time to lay back and play it safe. You must always be striving for the best you are capable of. This is even truer when your business is going through tough times. Be more alert to opportunities, and when you see one, make an aggressive move to exploit it.

TO SEEK . . .

Opportunities are everywhere. When your business is down, the businesses of all your competitors will probably be down also. It is usually a function of the economic environment and affects everyone in similar fashion.

But downturns in business always produce opportunities for those who are actively seeking them. Any downturn could be your opportunity to step forward and capture market share from your competitors, and maybe even DOMINATE your target market. So keep your senses finely tuned and study your market. Ask yourself:

o Why are customers buying less frequently?
o Why have some customers dropped out of the market altogether?
o What would it take to bring them back or get them to spend more?
o What can you do to make purchasing from you easy and risk free for your customers and potential customers?

Think outside the box here. Do not let yourself be limited by the things your industry has always done. BE A PIONEER! This may be your chance to change the way your industry does business.

If your industry generally does not offer credit terms, offer them!

If your industry does not provide leasing options, get with a leasing company and develop a leasing program!

If your industry generally does not offer services bundled with the products, find some unique and valuable services to bundle that will set you apart from the rest!

This is nothing new, of course. It is called finding your own USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. Nothing new, but all too often overlooked. When times are tough, seeking your own USP is just that much more important.

TO FIND . . .

If you seek long enough and hard enough, you WILL find the angle you need to exploit a tough market. Once you find the opportunity, don't be afraid to commit your resources to take advantage of it.

As I said in the beginning of this article, when times are tough there is a tendency to cut costs, and there is nothing inherently wrong with this. But do not, under any circumstances, let cost stand in the way of taking advantage of an opening you've worked so hard to find. Commit to your new killer strategy and go for it! You can cut costs elsewhere if need be.

Divide your costs mentally into two categories: overhead and income producing. Cut overhead everywhere you can and put these savings to work in the execution of your new market strategy.

AND NOT TO YIELD

And so we're back, full circle, to perseverance. You cannot yield to a poor economic climate, or fear, or naysayers, or anything else that will stand in the way of your growing your business and executing the strategies that will help you capture a larger share of a shrinking market.

Life is what you make it. Your business is what you make it. Make them both good regardless of your current environment! Repeat to yourself every morning when you wake: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!


Copyright (c) 2002


Marketing Tip of the Week

Here's a sneaky one for you! There are several places online now where you can go to see what other people are searching for in real time. An example would be http://www.metaspy.com/

Thousands of people watch these searches looking for good keywords and search phrases to use on their web site or to bid on in the PPC engines. Those people spying can actually click on the searches they see presented.

Go to the search engine being spied on and type in your own search for your business. Let's say you sell garden tools, so you type in "ABC Gardening Company, the best source for hard to find garden tools."

You've just placed an ad that will be seen by thousands of people during the day who think it is nothing more than a search by someone who knows your company is the best source on the Web for hard to find gardening tools. Believe it or not, this actually works. And it's free!

Do you like sneaky ideas like this one? You can subscribe to TRAFFICOLOGY and get a bunch of these ideas in your inbox every month. It's free and it's fun! http://www.trafficology.com/

If you want to check out the back issues, they're here:
http://www.traficology.com/backissues.html

(Note: as of February 15, 2003, the Trafficology site has apparently moved or is down).


Guest Article

THE THREE WORDS YOUR WEB SITE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

By Terry Dean

 

There are three words which are major keys to success of any web site. Understand these three words and you will find yourself halfway to success on the Internet. Disregard them, and you will always be struggling to find any type of financial success through online marketing.

1. Free

The key word that the entire Internet is built on is the simple word "Free." It is a word that you will need to get to know if you want to create a successful Internet business.

The easiest way to get people to visit your site and to keep coming back is to offer something for free there. It can be a free report or a free service such as a free-for-all links page or a free search engine submission program.

Although everyone out there is trying to tell you exactly how to get traffic, the secret to getting traffic is contained in that one word...Free.

You have to come up with something interesting that is full of benefits for your targeted market and give it away for free on your site. This will be your hook for fishing out the right prospects continually 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Here are some "hooks" I have used very successfully to constantly get traffic to come to my site and to keep coming back: Free Reports, Free Electronic Books, Free-For-All Links Page, Free Classifieds, Free Discussion Group, Free Newsletter, Free Real Audio or Real Video, Free Recommend a Friend Script, Free Postcard Site, and Free Search Engine Submissions.

The best free thing that you can provide though for most markets is a free report that leads into your product. For example, create a free report on 11 Traffic Generating Tips if you sell a Internet Traffic Generation report. Or create a report on how to get dogs to stop chewing up your stuff if you sell dog training courses.

If you create a free report which is a natural lead-in for your main product, you can use one of the automated follow-up systems and create an automated follow-up system for your sales letters to follow-up on those who requested your free report.

So, you would put your free report on the multi-responder as the autoresponder's first message. Then, you would have it programmed to automatically deliver your sales letter the next day to anyone who requests your free report. Each of your next 8 or so follow-up messages would then be programmed to complete the sales process.

The Free Report which is on the first autoresponder message will be the key to getting the hits on the autoresponder. The follow-up sales messages will be the keys to getting automated sales for your site.

2. Lead Product

A key to any successful site is that they have one main product as a lead product. You DO NOT want to focus on all of your products to each new visitor to your site.

Too many choices will confuse the average prospect. Give them one main choice that you focus on continually throughout your site and all of your materials.

I have tested both methods...offering one product mainly and having a web site which resembles a catalog approach. The one product approach actually outsold the catalog approach by around 2 to 1.

Too many products only caused confusion for my visitors, and confused prospects that can't decide what they want usually don't buy anything. Although a few major companies have been able to get away with the catalog approach, it is just too difficult for the average small business.

Use your other products as backends for multiple streams of income.

3. Backend

The principle of the backend sale is so neglected by most businesses that many people don't even realize how powerful understanding it can be.

If you develop a good backend product which many of your first time customers go on to purchase, you almost have an unlimited money machine for your business.

For example:

Let's say you are in an information business selling a low cost audio tape set and a larger video package. The first product you have sales for $50.00 (and costs $25.00 for dropshipping from the owner) while your second package sales for $300.00 (and costs $150.00 dropshipping from the owner).

If the first product you sell to customers sells for $50.00 and costs you $25.00 to fulfill, you have $25.00 potential earnings from it where you have to pay advertising expenses from. If it costs you on average $20.00 advertising expense for each new customer, you would only be earning a $5.00 profit on every new customer.

What would happen though if you included a sales letter for your $300.00 course in every $50.00 package people bought?

If 1 out of every 5 customers you brought in on the first product would also buy your second product for $300.00, you would be earning an extra $150.00 off of every 5 customers. Your front end profits would have been $25.00 for these 5 customers and your backend profits would have been $150.00 without spending more than a couple of cents extra for the sales letter included in the packages.

The money is in the backend sale. Don't forget about it.

Successful Internet Marketing can be accomplished by just understanding these three words: Free, Lead, and Backend. It may sound a little too simple, but these words are the three major keys to creating a profitable Internet business.

The more you understand about each of them, the closer you will come to the dream business you are continually creating online...

-----------------

Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/nbt.htm


Parting Comments

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Peak Small Business Newsletter and found it useful.  Please visit our website at http://www.peakconsultinginc.com to check out all the resources we provide. 

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