Peak SBC, LLC  

 

 

The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

 

 

November 30, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administration

Editorial

Staff Article - DECEMBER INTROSPECTION
Guest Article -  THE FUTURE OF INTERNET MARKETING IS IN THE NICHE
Parting Comments

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Quote of the Week

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

- Sir Winston Churchill


Administration

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Staff Article

DECEMBER INTROSPECTION
by: Cary Christian


December is unique from a business perspective. It represents the holiday season of the year, beginning with Thanksgiving, building in intensity towards Christmas, then closing with the old year going out with a bang and another twelve months of opportunities being provided.

For some of you, this season may represent your busiest month of the year. For others, most of you who operate solely on the web, December represents a considerable slowdown. There are a lot of products and services people just have no interest in during the holidays.

Either way, December should be a month of introspection. It's a time to look at your year, see what you've accomplished, and understand why you might have failed in some endeavors.

Of course, there's nothing magical about the last month of the year from the standpoint of analyzing your business, but the general nature of the holidays and the impending beginning of a new year puts most people in a favorable mindset for rumination. So let's go with that feeling.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

Take a look at last year's new years resolutions and business goals if you still have them around. How did you do? Did you accomplish what you said you wanted to accomplish a year ago? Did you even try?

Most people make resolutions and quickly forget about them, usually by January 3rd or 4th! Business plans are often more carefully monitored, but not often enough. Frequently, they die the same death as the New Year's resolution.

Now I don't want to make this an article on New Year's resolutions. I believe you should be resolving and planning all year long, adjusting as you go along. Instead, I want to urge you to spend quality time this month really considering where you've come from and where you want to go.

Are you happy with what you and your company are doing? Are you satisfied with your products, services and the way you deliver them? Are you bored with the subject matter of your business?

Take some time to dream BIG this month. Imagine where you'd be right now if you could do anything you wanted to do. Imagine what your business would need to be like for you to be totally satisfied. Create the image in your mind and focus on it intently.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO GET THERE?

Once you have the image, and don't move on until you DO have the image you're satisfied with, ask yourself what it would take to make it your reality.

Be brutally honest with this. Your answers might be alarming. Perhaps you have to shut down your current business and rebuild a new one from the ground up. Maybe you need to go back to college or some other type of school to gain more specialized knowledge. Or maybe you could train yourself to do what you want to do.

Most people severely underestimate what they are capable of. In today's world, if someone wants to be a lawyer, they know they are in for a rough few years of education preparing for and attending law school. Do you realize that only a couple of hundred years ago, most lawyers were self-taught? They studied the law and court cases on their own and taught themselves how to be a practitioner of the law.

You might be saying that the law just wasn't as complex back then as it is now, and that's true to a great degree. But if you study the roots of our own legal system, English common law, you'll find that there was a tremendous body of law to be learned even back then.

The question is, if they could learn to become lawyers on their own back then, why can't you learn to become any type of businessman or woman you want today? You're just as bright and you have far more resources available to you now than they had then.

It's a question of desire. If you want to learn to do something, be something, or how to take your business to the next level, you are more than capable of doing so. It just requires desire, commitment, and a willingness to sacrifice some of your free time to make it happen.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

You've got your image, you understand you're capable of creating what you imagine, now you must decide to take action. Use the month of December to decide what you're going to do to set the wheels in motion.

If you figure all this out early enough, get started in December! Don't wait for the new year. Enroll in a college class. Buy and read some good books on topics that will help you understand how to implement your dreams. Spend some time researching on the Internet. Learn what you need to know to progress one step at a time toward your goal, and do something every day no matter how small.

If you perform this introspective exercise and determine you're right where you want to be, congratulations! You're very rare indeed. For the rest of you: don't settle for living your life at a level that is less than what you're capable of. There is truly no greater waste.


Copyright (c) 2002


Guest Article

THE FUTURE OF INTERNET MARKETING IS IN THE NICHE
by Rufina James

The dotbombs failed. But not entirely in vain. They left valuable lessons in their wake. Mainly, that you can't be all things to all people. And that you can't survive if you're not making money.

Today, more and more established big businesses are coming online. But they're doing so carefully. Practically. They're keeping the lessons of the dotbombs in mind.

Is There Still Room For Small Business On The Web?

But is the presence of big business squeezing out small businesses and home businesses online?

How do the rest of us compete with the large, established sites of big companies?

How do we make it online when we don't have their reserves of capital and staff?

The good news is that there IS room for everyone -- as long as it's done right. However, you can't try to copy what they are doing. It simply won't work for small businesses. A different strategy is required.

Specialization is the Key

The key for small businesses and home businesses is to master the art of niche marketing and specialization. Sites that provide general information are already dominating their markets. They already have a loyal customer base and strong marketing strategies in place to bring new customers to their door. And they can usually spend quite a bit more money on reaching their market than the small or home business can.

However...it's important to keep in mind that many big businesses don't want to bother with smaller segments of their markets. They can afford to be general and market to the masses. That's how they are accustomed to doing business.

As a result, many smaller market segments (often called niches) remain unserved.

And that's where YOU come in...

There are literally countless wide-open niches that are yet to be explored. There are unlimited topics and new markets that have yet to stake their claim on the Internet. All with virtually no competition from big businesses.

These untapped markets mean potential profits for you. They are just waiting for a specialized product or service to provide exactly what they need.

As Dr. Michael Fortin of SuccessDoctor.com says, "Narrow your focus to broaden your sales." The better you are at serving your niche market, the more successful you can be.

Make Sure You Choose the Right Niche

Finding your niche is critical to online success. So is using productive niche marketing strategies. Without a carefully-chosen, tightly targeted niche and a well-structured marketing plan that places your product or service squarely in front of your niche market, the only thing you can count on is failure.

That's because not every niche is profitable. The right niche has to be carefully selected. It can't be too small to support a market. It can't be too big, or you won't be able to compete. And it must be reachable and viable.

Research Your Niche BEFORE Your Start

Determining the size and viability of the market should not be a matter of guesswork. Many a website has gone to waste due to the guesses, good intentions, or attachments of the owner.

Being overly attached to the idea of your product, whether it's a book, software, service, or any other creation, can lead to blind spots about it's viability. Worse yet, proceeding before you know there is a market inevitably leads to disappointment. Isn't it much more efficient to research your market before investing time and money into a project?

How to Research Online

If you're marketing online, it's best to research this information online, using search engine tools provided for this purpose. Search the number of queries that the keywords or keyword phrases related to your topic are getting. Search the amount of money that is being paid per click for each keyword or keyword phrases.

Try different variations of keywords or keyword phrases. If you can't find any keywords in your topic that bring in at least a few thousand queries, it's a strong indication there is not enough of a market there... and that it's time for a reassessment.

These factors are critical to niche marketing success. There's more to it, of course, but choosing a niche intelligently insures a good start.

Rufina James
rufina@nichemarketingsecrets.com
------------------------
"7 Secrets to Niche Marketing Success" FREE 7-day e-course reveals the secrets and strategies you MUST know BEFORE you start. Send a blank email to: mailto:nichesecrets1@proreply.com
 


Parting Comments

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