Small Businesses can tap into the power of
the internet - this article will show you how...
Do you have a small
business that is largely offline? Are your clientele
mostly local or live within a few kilometres of your
Business? Have you ever thought about marketing on the
internet, but didn't know where to start? For example...if
you run -
landscaping company -- you can use a web presence to get
the jump on competitors by offering free gardening tips
and ideas on how people can use your products or services
to improve the look of their properties, along with
special discount offers available only online
specialty retailer -- use email marketing to promote
'Newsletter Subscriber Only' specials and discounts to
build a devoted clientele and offer coupons and
information about your products on your website
themed restaurant -- you can offer subscribers to you
Newsletter a "specials of the week" discount or
2 for 1 deal when they bring in the coupon from your email
Newsletter or website
local manufacturer -- you could attract and support
customers with tips and techniques to help them use your
products for maximum productivity or effect. Offer
discounts for orders placed online and feature special
promotions in your Newsletter
These are just a few
examples of why you do need a Web site.
Think of a Web site as a super-Yellow Pages
ad... with 100 times the results... at a
of the price. People are searching less and less by
offline methods and more by the online...
This is an important concept. More and more, your
potential clients are forsaking those heavy Yellow Pages
paper books for Google and other engines. It's easy and
fast to do a search for "bagpiper Gympie" -- and
if you don't find a bagpiper in the town of Gympie, widen
the search to "bagpiper Queensland" -- try
widening your search with Yellow Pages!
If your small, local business does not use a Net presence
to promote itself, keep in touch with its customers,
extends its reach, and take your competitors' customers,
your competitors will do it to you, and soon.
"Local businesses" are coming online.
It's time -- develop a solid Web presence, generate some targeted
traffic, and build loyalty through a newsletter
for customers. Small businesses are using the Net to...
their local profile above that of competitors
locally and take customers from competitors
relationships with customers through an e-zine or online
Newsletter (and build sales, too -- example, "It's
spring, which means it's time for aerating and fertilising
targeted traffic to find new customers, even grow new
income streams via affiliate programs and referrals
their local expertise and knowledge for global clients,
selling their goods online, even through online auctions
Here's an example to get
you thinking. As you read this story, think to yourself,
how can I use this? There certainly is a way you can copy what
these Business owners are doing to increase your customers
John runs a
Nursery in a small town with very little competition. In
fact, when he bought the Business, it was one of only two
in the area. There were a couple of small stores that sold
a few of his products, but nothing he couldn't handle.
Sales and profits were good
and he was making a good
living selling to the local community.
People came to
know and trust him and his product recommendations. He set
up joint venture agreements with other local suppliers -
for example, he referred his customers to Jack's Car Parts
by giving them a 20% discount coupon on new parts, Logan's
Drycleaners for special 2 for 1 deals with a discount
voucher he supplied and Happy Sun Chinese Restaurant who
offered Lunch time Freebees and special promotions.
Businesses returned the favour by giving their customers
vouchers for free and discounted products and services at
All of these
local Businesses co-operated and sent their customers to
each other to keep them buying in the local area.
And they all
offered these customers vouchers and coupons that gave
discounts in each others stores when they shopped with
Then came one
of those big multi-national chain stores. They sold every
product imaginable, in every price category you can think
of - they even had a restaurant!
Businesses were desperate!
They knew they
couldn't compete on price, and besides, why would they?
Price wars are not the way intelligent Business people
survive and prosper. No, they had to get smart...they're
financial lives were on the line here.
How were they
going to keep their existing customers loyal and stay in
Business in the face of this new threat?
John had an
idea..."Let's use the Internet to leverage our
Businesses across the world, as well as build better
relationships with our local customers."
They knew they
wouldn't be able to keep all of their existing clients -
many people are purely price shoppers, and would naturally
go to the new multi-national store. But they knew that if
they could offer something of value to people, something
the big chain store couldn't, many would continue to shop
in their stores.
But where do
we start? None of them knew the first thing about the
Internet, web design or anything related to online
marketing. A couple had never searched the web for
anything and didn't even have an email address...
probably the most to lose - the Nursery section of the new
store was HUGE. He volunteered to research different ways
of building a web presence and report back to the group.
later, they all met a John's house to discuss what
he had learnt about the Internet and becoming a part of
indeed done many hours of research, and after weighing up
all the data, he recommended a package called Solo Build It! They could all then simply build a
site of their own.
looked at him and wondered if the threat of this new
competitor had rattled his brain. They knew that he didn't
even use email yet - how was he going to get online and
build a website?
them that he would indeed be able to pull it off.
He had read
the Manual that came as a download with the package called
'Make Your Content Pre-sell' and was confident he
had what it would take to
build and manage website that would bring targeted
customers to his business, as well as retain a large
percentage of his existing clientele.
(If you would
like to download this powerful instruction manual Free,
so you can see the straight forward process involved in
building a profitable website for yourself, even
if you don't decide to use Solo Build It!, click here and
scroll down to select the download for "Make Your
that the Manual was like a Guru guiding you in the right
direction. He had sat down and read it all the way through
once, as it advised him to do, so he could see the 'Big
Then he had
gone back to the start and followed the action steps one
at a time - and he had an announcement - he had already
built a website!
Business owners were amazed. Already? John had followed
the Manual's advice and built a theme based content
site in less than four weeks and just working on it a
couple of hours a day. "What's
a theme based content site?" I hear you ask.
A theme based
content site is a website that is constructed around a
theme or single idea or concept - whatever it is that you
want to talk about with your audience. By building around
a theme, your website will rank highly with the search
engines - and search engines are how 80% of the online
population find anything they are looking for on the
consist of lots of graphics and whiz-bang technology...but
search engines aren't looking for that, and neither are
your visitors. They are looking for information;
information they can use to solve a problem they have
simply followed the instructions in the manual and built a
simple 10 page site showcasing his knowledge and how
visitors could use some of his products.
let's have a look at it then", they all asked.
John opened up
his web browser and typed in the address of his website.
It loaded quickly, even on his dial-up connection, and his
visitors were impressed with what
John had build
a professional looking site that anyone could be proud of.
But it wasn't
just ads. He had written several articles that used
practical examples to show how other people had used his
products in applications around their homes. He wrote
stories about local customers trying out his services and
then telling their friends about their experiences.
impartial product reviews and recommended the best ones to
his visitors, while pointing out their limitations.
He was ADDING
VALUE to people lives by showing them how to solve
their problems quickly.
Business owners were impressed.
nothing like they had imagined...no spinning graphics or
Banner Ads flashing and blinking obtrusively. Just good,
solid content - content designed to impart John's
knowledge onto his visitors and show them that he was
indeed the local expert. Content that would rank highly
with the search engines.
tips on the best time to plant various types of trees and
other plants, advice on mulching and pruning, garden
ornaments and features, waterfalls and statues.
He had coupons
for discounts available only to website visitors, and he
had a page where visitors could subscribe to his
fortnightly Newsletter - The
Green Thumb - where they would receive
additional discount offers and gardening and landscaping
tips from John on a regular basis.
And he also
had written short articles about each of the other
Businesses in their little group.
were excited! So was John.
He had already
received his first order - a book he sold for $50 from a
gentleman in Sydney - in another state...
visitor had found John's site through a Google search on a
topic that was one of John's keywords - cactus propagation
(the 'brainstorming' function in the SBI!
Manager found that this was a high profitability
keyword - lots of search engine enquires for it but
not too many sites that mentioned the term - and purchased
the book over the Internet using his credit card for
payment, after reading one of John's informative articles.
thought when John told them about this, Internet marketing
works! They all decided to give it a go.
each one of his colleagues build a theme based content
site around their Business, although they didn't need a
lot of assistance. The manual showed them how to use the
Brainstorm function to find the highest profitability
keywords for their individual niches.
It showed them
how to create web pages and write editorial copy that
pre-sold visitors on why they should call them instead of
It told them
to use local place names in their keywords and body copy
so that when someone searched for
gardening+supplies+cleveland the results would include
their website (if your Business sells gardening supplies
in Cleveland, of course).
It showed them
how to create web pages that rank highly with the search
engines because of the way the are built and optimised.
program automatically submits your pages to the engines as
you build them in a manner that complies with the search
engine's rules, so they aren't banned from submission. And
re-submits them if they are dropped from the listings.
Business people offered free or discounted products or
services to their website visitors that weren't available
to offline customers, and did online joint ventures with
each other, just like they did offline.
their websites online and offline and started to build
their own email lists of dedicated subscribers, who
received articles and offers every couple of weeks in a
to have continuous contact with customers forever, for
free, is what makes the
Internet so powerful. The cost of direct mail has become
prohibitive and the Yellow Pages are so full of
competition, it's very hard to get yourself noticed.
an email list of people who are interested in your area of
expertise is one of the most high leverage, low cost ways
of staying in contact with your customers that allows you
to sell your products or services to them over and over
Abraham said, "The goal of all Businesses should be
to find more customers, to persuade those customers to buy
more initially, and to encourage those customers buy more
Businesses only try the first part, and they don't do that
very well, because they aren't any good
at marketing - then they forget about the second two
methods of building Business - and all the profits for
a Business are in the second two, the back-end.
The number one
cause for Business failure is often quoted as 'Inadequate
Capitalisation'. Robert Allen, famous Author of
Books such as Multiple Streams of Income and Nothing
Down, says that this is absolutely false.
that the major reason most Businesses fail is because they
poured all their money into marketing that didn't work.
And they continued to do that until they went broke...
You simply must
start to get the names and email addresses of every
customer or prospect who comes into your store or calls
you on the phone, and get their permission to put them on
your email database. Then you can keep in touch with them
for as long as they stay on your list, which could be
way for you to do this is to direct people to your website
with a free offer and get them to give you their email
address right there and then in exchange for your freebee.
errors that can occur when manually placing email
addresses into a database, and the address has to be
correct for your visitors to receive their free gift.
website that pre-sells your visitors and customers
on the benefits of dealing with you rather than your
competitors effectively has the potential to supercharge
your profits quicker than any other form of marketing.
Once you have
your own list of email addresses and are providing
regular, quality information through your Newsletter, you
can send out a regular email to this entire list with a
time limited discount offer, and guarantee that many of
your subscribes will act immediately, come into your store
or call you for an appointment.
And your cost
to send this email? Nothing in actual money - maybe a few
minutes to write the message. And you can offer a discount
for prompt response because you have no marketing
Even if it
doesn't attract any customers - the offer was FREE to
to running an ad in the local Newspaper or the Yellow
Pages. You incur an expense without knowing if you will
get any response. If your marketing message isn't all that
interesting to the local community, no-one will come in or
call you. You send your message to thousands of people who
couldn't care less about your offer. You pay up-front for
this wasted effort.
But by sending
an email note with a limited time offer to your targeted
list of subscribers who know and trust you, many of them
will respond, some of them immediately. And it costs
Allen says, on the Internet, "You can fail fast
he means of course is that you get an almost instant
response to your marketing message, and if no-one
responds, it hasn't cost you anything except a few minutes
of your time.
messages mix good quality
information in with marketing material, you will be able
to build a high quality list of customers and prospects
that you can communicate with again and again for years
and a percentage of these customers will buy from you
every time you contact them.
It's always a
different 1% - 5% who respond, depending on the offer, but
some of them will buy whatever it is you offer them each
time you send them an email.
surveys asking your customers what
they want, then sell it to them. How easy it that?
This should be
the goal of every Business - build an ongoing relationship
with your customers, ask them what
they want, then offer it to them in a way that doesn't
look like you are selling them anything. Your Newsletter
provides valuable information, then recommendations on what
customers should buy to achieve the outcomes they want.
And of course,
they will buy from you - the acknowledged expert
that helps them make informed decisions about whatever it
is that you sell.
think about whatever your product or service is, they
think of you - because you have taken the time to develop
a relationship with them.
multinational is all about making a profit and faceless
staff just doing a job - but you, your the local guy who
gives a damn and helps out when they have a problem. Some
folks will still shop at the big store, but they will also
come to you if you give them a reason...
article has got you thinking, and you would like some more
ideas on how you can use the Internet to promote your
Business, then Click
Here will give you additional ideas on building
multiple streams of income via the Internet.
Or if you
would like to discuss your unique situation with someone
who has experience with the Solo Build It! program, then please either email me by
using the Contact
Alternatively, phone me on 07 55432004 or mobile 0418
788482. If I don't answer straight away, please leave a
message and I will get right back to you.
I will be
happy to discuss your website ideas with you and let you
know if Solo Build It!
can assist you with your website and online marketing
So, to get
started, download these two books, Make
Your Content Pre Sell, and The
Service Sellers Masters Course, read them both and you
will be on your way to increasing your profits through a
profitable Internet presence.
care, and best wishes,
SBI Certified Webmaster
P.S. If you have any questions about how to
get your business on the web, or how to improve your
existing website's performance, I'd love to hear from you.
Just use the Contact
Form Here to send me an email and I'll get right back
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