5 Basics of an E-Commerce Business

Posted on August 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

What Is E-commerce?

Put simply, E-commerce means the exchange of goods and services over the World Wide Web. It can include any business transaction done between individuals and business, whether buying or selling of traditional or digital goods, or transmitting funds for services.

Is it right for me?

On the plus side, e-commerce businesses require minimal capital and effort while enabling you to reach a much wider audience. On the negative side, you need to be able to update your online business with the fast-changing demands of the e-commerce economy.

Before you consider jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon, you need to consider the following:

1. Niche:

With millions of web pages and more being added every minute, your online business can drown away into nothingness, unless you find a niche for yourself. Whether you are a musician, caterer, writer or an artist, there is demand for your services, but to be successful you need to concentrate your energies on your chosen niche.

2. Marketplace:

Once you have decided your niche product, you need to decide where to sell it. You can either choose to sell your products on an online marketplace (similar to your neighbourhood supermarket) or set up your own blog or web site to sell it (think of it as an independent store). Either way, you need to make sure that it is easy to browse and provides a smooth shopping experience.

3. Payment Process:

All of us have waited in long lines at a supermarket at some point of time. E-shoppers however lack the patience to do so, which is just one of the reasons why they shop online. If your payment process takes ages, or if it isn’t secure, you will lose customers, money and worse than that ‘trust’ and unlike the real world, you will never be able to mitigate the effects of even one negative review. If you decide to sell through an online marketplace like eBay, your worries about payment processing are taken care of by them, but if you are selling through your own blog or Web site, then you must invest in a reliable shopping cart software/vendor.

4. Customer Support and Delivery:

The cliche Customer is King applies much more to an e-commerce business model than to a traditional business model. Online shoppers are technology savvy and research thoroughly before buying products. One unsatisfied customer, one negative review is all it will take for you lose a lot of future business dollars.

5. Marketing:

Growing an E-commerce business takes an entirely different marketing approach. You will need to be savvy about Digital Marketing Techniques, Search Engine Optimization and keep up with online trends to drive traffic to your online store and convert them to customers.

Stretch Your Small Business Dollars: Trade Show Banner Stands That Deliver!

Posted on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

Your company needs the visibility of a trade show to make industry contacts and introduce new products. But professional trade show displays are an expensive investment for any small business, especially in these tough economic times. And the last thing you want is to attend a trade show with an outdated booth. If you can’t afford a new trade show display, consider enhancing an existing booth with a banner stand. Trade shows are a cost-effective, creative way to attract attention and stretch your dollars. And with proper care, your trade show banner stand can last for many years to come.

Personalize your banner stand: choosing the right style for your small business is crucial.
Available in a variety of materials, colors, and sizes, a vibrant one will add a punch to your next trade show. Before purchasing it, determine how and where you plan to use it. Will you be using it to introduce a new product? Is your goal to enhance brand awareness and attract attention? Or do you want to emphasize a company logo and contact information? Will you be using the stand primarily for indoor displays or will it also need to be used outside? Keep this goal and location in mind when selecting your banner stand.

Here are some different types of banner stands:
* Retractable or ‘Roll-up’ Banner Stands – Generally considered the easiest to use and transport, they are extremely popular. Similar to a window shade, the banner is stored in the base of the stand and rolls up for display.
* L Banner Stands – An ‘L’ shaped frame holds and supports the banner, with the bottom of the ‘L’ resting on the floor. The banner is attached with clips at the top and bottom.
* X Banner Stands – An ‘X’ shaped frame holds and supports the banner. Three legs add stability, and the banner can be attached with clips in four places.
* Telescopic or Poll ones- These stands include a telescoping poll that adjusts to fit the size of your banner. A great investment if you plan on swapping out different sized banners.
* Motorized or Scrolling ones- If you are looking to add extra flair and drama to your display, these stands are for you! These stands mount either at the floor or ceiling, and continually scroll your graphics.
* Outdoor ones- Constructed specifically for outdoor events from heavy-duty, durable materials. A hollow stand base can be filled with sand to anchor the stand against unexpected high winds.

Keep costs low: Be sure to recycle it.
It is a durable, long-term investment that will last for years. If you are in the market for it, consider purchasing one second-hand or from a wholesale company, rather than buying one new. You’ll save on costs, and can easily purchase different graphics for the stand. Likewise, if you have several of them and no longer need to use all of them or are looking to upgrade, consider selling one locally to another company or back to a wholesaler.

Think long-term: Use your banner stand after the trade show.

When the trade show concludes, don’t let your banner stand gather dust. They are a great way to add functionality to small store or business space. Turn an unused store corner into a retail display or add punch to your storefront at a shopping mall.

Display your banner stand for extra professionalism at your next business meeting or conference. When thinking about long-term uses, consider where your target audience is likely to be found. Does your target audience frequent the local movie theater, major sporting arenas or pass through a nearby hotel lobby? These are all ideal locations to attract attention and promote your company with a colorful banner stand display.


Small Business Help Through the Five Universal Funnel Laws For Businesses

Posted on August 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Years ago Sir Isaac Newton observed “What goes up, must come down” and hence we now have the Universal Law of Gravitation. Today’s small business owners can apply similar principles to their own growth and viability through the Five Universal Funnel Laws for Businesses “What goes in, must come out!”

Universal Funnel Law #1 – Every business needs a plan of action. A strategic plan that clearly articulates “Who does What by When” and may require the assistance of a small business consultant.

Universal Funnel Law #2 – Every business needs prospects. A marketing plan is a proven way to reach and begin to develop relationships with future clients.

Universal Funnel Law #3 – Every business must have sales. A sales plan along with a sale model or process works to convert prospects into actual sales.

Universal Funnel Law #4 – Every business needs customers or clients. A customer relationship plan further develops loyal customers and serves as a source for ongoing referrals.

Universal Funnel Law #5 – Every business demands dollars. A financial plan records the results of all activity.

These Universal Funnel Laws operate together and if you are a visually thinker, like myself, lay inside each other. Universal Funnel Law #1 is the largest funnel as it holds the other four funnels. As your business expands, so do these funnels. The questions to ask yourself are: Do I know all Five Universal Laws? And, more importantly, do I have plans in place to maximize my daily efforts to that my actions are ultimately increasing my business dollars?

Word Count: 255 words
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.

This article may be freely published. Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accepted).


Home Sweet Business From Home – Contemplating the Idea?

Posted on August 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

Dollars earned working from home sweet home. Sweet idea indeed.

More than ever before the idea of starting and managing a business from the warmth of your own home sweet home appeals to the subconscious entrepreneurial minds of the everyday average people. The sweet and total gratifying thought of being able to earn those home dollars working from home, inside what many consider their own and last refuge, pampered by familiar surroundings, and satisfying the ever present and increasing need of spending more time with loved ones, away from traffic jams, demanding bosses and tight schedules is pushing, almost obligating, these people to dig and dive, in a seemingly desperate manner, into their own reservoirs of ideas, natural or acquired skills, or even the occasional hobby, and turning them into home sweet based business.

These entrepreneurs continuously are trying to come up with new magical applications of all these ideas to convert them into those wish upon home business dollars. While the intention of these self-made entrepreneurs is to organize, operate and normally take the full risk in such business ventures, expecting to gain the home sweet profits on a continuous and expanding business activity, the reality is that all of these wishful ideas are most of the times not acted (up) on, and are instead accommodated in the waiting room of their minds, most frequently not because the Do Not Want To, but because the Do Not Know How.

It is in this unknown twilight zone that the home worker has to be very careful since there are a lot of scams out there that could potentially take out the Sweet from the Home, and in the process destroy the sweet dream of enjoying the independence of being your own boss.Every home based entrepreneur should proceed with extreme caution and do a little bit of homework before embarking blindly in the first idea or sales pitch that passes by. It’s strongly encouraged to search for work from home ideas and opportunities that have been tested and proven, have passed an intensive screening process and are above all legitimate. It is also believed and preached by many in the industry that you’ll better have multiple automated streams of residual income to make it in this business.

Please be also advised that a home based business could be not for everyone. For many people it will be only seen as a mere supplemental income source for retirement or a momentarily extra income for the family, but not as a home based business.

In fact, in a recent survey published by the SBA only 46 percent of home based and micro business owners cited that making lots of money was a motivation for starting their own business. Seventy eight percent of business owners stated that having more control over their lives was the most important reason, and 90 percent said they would go into business again.

So, even though you may not get your home dollars from such an endeavor, it may be worth the effort to try your home business idea out to see if it would be successful.

Remember if you are a home based entrepreneur working for your own, with a justifiable dream of becoming financially independent, you may not see a profit right away, it all will strongly dependent on the type of effort you put into your own home sweet home business.