Starting an Online Business Is Not Like Copy and Paste

Starting an online business, or internet marketing business, does not only require determination, persistence and ambitious efforts. The deep desire to succeed does help a lot, but working long hours every day will not necessarily determine your online success.

To become a successful online entrepreneur you need to take your business seriously and follow quite a few vital steps to start building that business. These important steps determine your online business success potential, but most internet marketers don’t know about, or for some reason ignore, these processes and strategies. Internet nowadays is an extremely dynamic, quickly changing environment, so for your online business to succeed you need to have a certain approach, mindset and strategy to avoid all the mistakes the vast majority of internet marketers are making every day.

What most entrepreneurs still believe is that they can make lots of money online in a relatively short time. They still believe they can buy a “copy and paste system” and get rich from it. Well, that’s the illusion created by all the misleading hype you get in your mailbox all the time. The truth is, you have to work really hard, especially when you’re starting, to actually build and grow your business.

The successful entrepreneurs in the business, the so called gurus, didn’t become successful using a Get-rich-button. They have built a real business using certain strategies and a business design. Most online entrepreneurs start off completely the wrong way and dive into “doing business” and trying all the different kinds of internet marketing tactics, before they have a proper business design. For your business to succeed you must define your business, understand what it is you want to accomplish with your online business besides making money.

If your business has a clear purpose it will become easier to achieve the goals you’re going to set. To give you the idea, it’s very important you understand the following:

Your business purpose will give you ideas to create opportunity. Your ideas will lead to setting goals. To achieve your goals you’re going to use the appropriate strategy. Once you’ve decided on the strategy you’ll find the right marketing tactics and methods to take it to your prospects.

It’s good to know all the marketing techniques, but it’s useless if you don’t have a clear picture of what you want your online business to look like. Internet marketing is just a tool to get more prospects and customers and to market your brand. It also consists of a lot more than the usual article marketing, social bookmarking and building backlinks. A successful online entrepreneur knows exactly what his business’ purpose is and how the business is going to operate, before even starting to learn how to do everything necessary for the business to succeed and to achieve the set goals.

A Successful Online Business has a Plan

Most online entrepreneurs don’t even seem to try to find out how to start an online business. They take the completely wrong approach and start using all the “hot methods” to drive traffic, throw some PLR products or affiliate products on their blogs and websites and expect to make sales. Then after months, or in some cases years, they realize they’ve been working too hard, they have more websites online than the average successful entrepreneur and all that with little to no results. They keep struggling as long as they don’t change their attitude and approach. Starting an online business and actually building a successful business online requires a whole different point of view.

Certain basic steps need to be taken before your business can take shape and get the results you want. These steps are mostly ignored, which leads to frustration, disappointment, confusion and a lot of wasted time and effort. This is why the vast majority is still struggling and in most cases give up, because it seems impossible to become anywhere near successful. Fact is, that generally all the strugglers are most likely too lazy and think that what they’re doing will bring them the wealth in the end.

Business Must Advertise Where New Clients Search

Today, people are “on the move”, searching on their phones while walking, while in conversation – watching TV. They are looking up, where to go for what is something which has become second nature.

Now it is up to a business to advertise where people are searching or they will loose out on new business. Can they exist off just word of mouth, or existing business? Perhaps – at least for a little while. There is however a strong doubt.

Small businesses which are advertising where people are searching will establish relationship with their new clients, who in turn will go to the business on line pages and leave recommendations and comments, which other searchers will see.

Business which is not advertising online will loose out altogether. It is difficult for some business owners to understand the changes in the market and the special urgency to change, and how important these changes are to their business. The new way of marketing, deriving from continually new electronic gadgets, are as powerful and fast as an oncoming freight train.

Here are some of the easy to understand rules for small business: Starting with the business domain name, especially for their online advertising and on their service vehicles.

When people use their names in a dot com address they must first assume that their name is not known. It also may be important to them, but not to a prospective client who searches..not for Michael Brown, but a painter, or a dentist. If small business wants to be found by NEW clients, they have to learn very quickly, that they need to buy a new keyword domain for a few dollars so they are found by Google’s, Bing’s or Yahoo’s search engines.

A prospective client goes online, to find a business, they will search (as in my example) for a dentist (and so they won’t find dentist from all across the country or world, they most likely look for dentists in their home town).

The best domain name for advertising might even be:.Dentist John Smith dot com, as a simple example. What their business is or does should come first, because it is what people use as a search term. Their name is secondary and can be somewhere else on the business page. People who do not know the name certainly won’t be able to enter it in the search, neither will people who know the name already – go online and look for them, they have no need..

In addition, advertisements such as: “I am the number one dentist in hometown USA” also no longer impresses. Searchers finding a business see previous clients who used the business before, often will leave feedback. These feedback can be devastating to any business, if they are negative. For a business, especially a ‘service’ business, such as a Physician, Dentist, Cosmetic Surgeon etc…to ignore the power of a feedback, may it be positive or negative..is extremely important.

Astonishingly enough, I have rarely found serious abuse of feedback by a consumer. As anything, one has to take feedbacks, both the positive and negative lightly, and speak to the business owner, if you have any questions.

When someone moves from one State to another, they immediately go online, looking up resources in their new home via Google and the feedbacks of people who have used a particular business. If they find a negative comment, they continue searching for others, not wasting time. So – you see how incredibly important your online visibility is for your business.

Another difficulty for businesses seems to be the choosing of domain names. Most take the word “name” to mean – their personal name – not a name that someone not knowing them personally – would connect with their business.

It is utmost important to get a domain name which describes the kind of business they have. A domain name which helps searchers find their business.

Let’s say you really are the best dentist in hometown USA, wouldn’t you want to be recommended online – Google places or yelp (and many other sites) for all the world to see?

Of most importance, right this moment, NOW – is to thoroughly understand the unprecedented pace at which technology is moving forward – cloud computing will help make all searches and everything else online even faster – more instant, businesses who are ignoring the changes or are not taking them dead serious, will undoubtedly be left behind in the dust their business competition who heeded the warning, is leaving behind..

Businesses have to make changes and they have to make changes now, if the business is to survive. As a business owner you must understand the principles of online searches, also called SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)

AGAIN – Your name is not of great importance to a new client, but what your business does- is of utmost importance. It is “sink or swim” for the survival of your business.

You have worked so hard all these years, now is the time to protect your investment in your business.

Five Rules To Long-Term Success

What’s in a name? Quite a bit if you are starting a business. From cute to clumsy, serious to inane, business names can range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Perhaps starved for opportunities to be creative, some entrepreneurs seem to have the market cornered on how to blunder into what may be the single most important aspect of marketing genius: the name of the business.

It never ceases to amaze me how people arrive at the names for their businesses. Many business people approach me after they have worked with their lawyers and accountants to set up the business, perhaps going the extra mile to incorporate and sometimes having also taken it upon themselves to design their own logo before realizing that it takes a little more talent to create a brand than some amateurish attempt at graphic design. I then have the dubious honor of taking the pooled efforts of these three dedicated professionals some of whom must have slept through business marketing to work with a sometimes problematic name they have agreed upon and create a logo or trademark which addresses the desperate need for a striking, definitive and effective professional image for the duration of its existence.

Many people who start small businesses fail to consider that in the highly competitive arena of local marketing the name should quickly define what the business represents. This results in two problems: The name does not describe what the business offers; or, even if it does, it usually uses too many, or a misguided combination of words, to do so. And to make matters worse, this is usually after a false start with liberal spending to try to promote this new venture, based on an array of inept marketing decisions and the use of deficient marketing tools, a situation which makes it more difficult for me than starting from ground zero.

Case in point: I recently was contacted by a relatively new organization who said they needed a marketing plan. Upon closer analysis, I learned that they had been running an ad in the regional newspaper of their geographic service area on almost a daily basis without reaping any response. In searching their industry via Google, I could not find any mention of their group within the first ten pages of results. Only after searching the name of the gentleman who had contacted me was I able to locate his name on a web page about this organization’s board of directors. Literally entering through the back door, I was able to find a link to their home page which upon observation reminded me of the incompetent ad which had been running in the paper I read every day but like everyone else, had ignored as irrelevant. Understandably, with a nebulous business name, poorly designed logo, non-existent ad message and busy, unprofessional presentation, it’s sad and ironic that this non-profit group offering a valuable service to senior citizens had so miserably wasted their limited funds by trying to do everything themselves to save money. And not one of the members of this in-house marketing group were able to detect any problems with this effort, too close to the forest to see the trees.

Now, with resignation that a do-it-yourself strategy is not always the most cost-effective, the directors were surprisingly receptive to my suggestion that, while I expected resistance, perhaps they could consider a business name change at this early juncture in their organization’s history. Simultaneously, I also proposed that along with the marketing plan and name change, a new professional logo would logically follow in addition to a series of well-conceived ads they could use for promotion on a continual basis. As soon as their signed contract and project deposit arrives, I will undertake this challenge, since they now are anxious to proceed with sudden recognition and appreciation of their failed attempt at self-promotion.

From the perspective of my long career, I assure you that this is a common phenomenon particularly in situations where marketing is done by “committee,” which tragically describes the majority of my clients: law firms, healthcare and dental practices, non-profit organizations, industrial and pharmaceutical companies, etc. And it doesn’t matter whether the business is large or small, or whether it is basically run by a single professional or a group of directors. In most cases, business leaders frequently lack the vision or self-confidence to make marketing decisions on their own, so they engage the opinions of everyone and anyone who surrounds them, regardless of competence to judge the subject. This means that my directives come from such diverse sources as teenage sons of clients, wives of clients, secretaries, summer interns, random customers of clients, anonymous emailed comments from websites, and other miscellaneous “experts,” all of whom emphatically express their views so I am well-apprised of how to do my job effectively.

Of course, I am not so pig-headed that I cannot see the value of such input. On the contrary, I am grateful to know how this diverse universe processes information so I can evaluate every strategy as it is developed to satisfy every possible requirement. Whether anyone realizes that this method of marketing is fairly impossible to achieve is immaterial, since no one can ever measure every single response to marketing efforts anyway. The old axiom, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time” may apply, but you can’t blame a person for trying.

Of the clients I have who do believe that there is one, and only one, way to effectively market their business, that way being their own personal way, based not on advanced study of business marketing, mass psychology, the elements of style or effective strategies of communication, but on nothing more than pure, unadulterated, self-centered ego. I say, hey, more power to them! It is their money they are spending and they certainly have the right to believe what they want to believe. Furthermore, marketing as part art, part science and part luck has as many guarantees as we get at the race track or in the stock market. So who am I to disagree with my clients’ convictions?

Well, just for the record, I do chime in with my own opinions which are backed by 35 years of hands-on marketing experience which includes a successful career in marketing my own as well as my many successful clients’ businesses. If my opinion differs from that of one egotistical client, for example, it is enough that I have advised him of it regardless of his stubborn impulse to dismiss it and proceed with his own strategy despite what I think. He obviously has gotten to this stage of his illustrious career through his own navigational talents and distinctive intelligence so I do respect him and am not offended in any way by his belief in himself, above all.

However, this places an enormous task on my shoulders: To market his business using a name that includes six long words, some of which are esoteric and industry-specific. This means that the logo, in addition to including a striking trademark must also be composed of six words totalling 42 letters. Add to that the need for a tagline, the entire package of which must be large enough to read in such small applications as on checks, on business cards, and in the smaller units the yellow pages offers both online and in print.

Compare this with business names using one short word: eBay®, Google™, Yahoo!®, Microsoft®, Apple®, etc. Granted, some of these names do not describe what the business offers. But all of these are highly successful businesses nonetheless. How have they done this? By assigning ample funds to building their brands so that the name of the business needs no definition, it becomes its own word with its own meaning. Such is the power of successful marketing.

You may say those businesses had the advantage of marketing their brands over the Internet but today, we all have that same advantage. Especially with the help of such brands as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, all four being excellent examples of short, punchy business names which aptly define their raison d’étre. Most of the businesses that approach my company for marketing help are small businesses, sometimes with geographic limitations. Such businesses usually don’t realize how much time, money and repetition of effort is needed to build a brand.

One of our competitors in the metro-New York market recently began airing a commercial to promote their business and invite response from the same market we serve. While I cannot mention the name of this business for legal reasons, suffice it to say that it is a short 3-word insult directed at the very market they are trying to attract. And, moments ago, I was scolded by a telemarketer who responded to my polite statement that his offer to sell my business did not interest me at this time with: “OK…go down with the rest of them!”

Have I missed something? Are insults the new marketing strategy du jour? In both of these instances, injecting negativity, or worse, personal abuse into normally courteous business protocol, in my opinion, does nothing more than deliver a message of disrespect, insolence and humiliation to the very subject you are trying to endear.