|Small Business Information|
Find Your Niche & Follow It - Part 1
In this series of articles I'm going to show you how to find out if there's a hungry crowd for your information product BEFORE you write a single word.
Mark Twain once said: "Find out where the people are going and get there first".
With the advent of the internet you can certainly find out what folks are wanting. Being the first at the front of the line to bill them might not be quite so easy.
But there are ways to find out if there's an existing hungry crowd for your information product, and more importantly a crowd with pockets bulging with cash to give you.
In this article I'm going to share some tips that will save you much heartache from chasing after the wrong market.
Firstly I believe that it is very important that what you sell interests you, otherwise you sign up for a life of struggle and worse... Boredom!
Motivating yourself to sell something you have no interest or belief in is soul-destroying at the best of times, so don't do it.
Just because *rubber cat suits* is your thing doesn't mean the rest of the planet digs them at all. I mean that's a pretty small niche with less than 560 searches performed a month. Yes I did actually go and check out the stats for it.
One of things I've found in this marketing-malarkey is that I am able to explore interests that I simply don't have the time or inclination to actively get involved in.
Take archery, I can twang a bow as well as the next man, and have done for the past couple of years. But the idea of traipsing off to all those shows every weekend, predominantly talking a load of rubbish just doesn't do it for me.
BUT sell this bunch of Robin Hood wannabees an infoprod, and I'm game. Seriously though, I love archery, it's one of the few sports the British government hasn't actually tried to ban... yet!
And that brings me to my point... What do you have an interest in that also has a large number of people willing to do what I call *the wallet flip*. You need to be looking for markets where the folk won't even blink at spending $100 a year on the products you will be selling.
OK time to take some action:
=> Draw up an initial list of 10 of your interests.
=> Scan your bookshelves to see what reference books you've bought in the past, and on what subjects or hobbies.
=> Pay attention when folk you meet start talking about their hobbies, their passions.
=> Pop down to your local magazine store and see what interests are being catered to.
=> Can't be bothered to pad down to your local store, then click over to http://www.mediafinder.com and do some searches.
=> Buy a stack of these magazines and go through the classified ads with a highlighter. Call up the ones you've circled and ask for their information packs. Make a note of which ones you've called and see how soon the information arrives. How are they selling? Good, bad, OK? Could you improve on thequality of what they are offering? Over five to six issues how many of the adverts are repeated? Make a note and watch that market like a hawk. If they weren't making money the ads wouldn't be running.
=> Hop over to eBay to research all the different sub-categories. Which ones are active? Which ones are commanding high prices?
=> Are there any discussion forums related to your potential market? Buzz over to http://www.forumfind.com and do a search.
This is just the beginning. Until the next article I want you to start paying attention to what people are interested in. This can simply be as easy as listening to folk banter when they're in the checkout line.
Scan the news, open your eyes and mind to opportunities. You'll be amazed at how your brain kicks into "selective perception". Don't know what that is? Ever bought a car and then suddenly you notice the whole planet is driving the exact same model. It's like everyone decided to buy the car YOU just bought. Well that's "selective perception" at work. Same thing happens when you actively go hunting down niche markets? actually it can work great for an awful lot of other things? building keyword lists is another example, and another story.
Until next time, now get on with your homework.
** Attention Ezine Editors / Site Owners **
Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your site so long as you leave all links in place, do not modify the content and include the author resource box as listed at the bottom of the article.
About The Author
Rob Taylor has been marketing online since 1996. He's sold anything from books, debit cards, security products to art prints. Take advantage of his battle tested marketing strategies that could quietly make you five figure cash profits every single month. Subscribe free to his Internet Marketing Strategies newsletter.
How to Give FREE Advice and Make Money
When is advice free and when should you charge for it?
Tell Me a Story: A Simple But Powerful Tool to Build Your Business
Everyone loves a good story. Whether it's the story of your vacation to an exotic place, the story of how you met your spouse, or the story of your small business, people get drawn in and feel involved. Storytelling is as old as civilization itself.
1 Overlooked Key to Small Business Success
Is this you?
Hone Your Edge, Stay Focused
A common hazard faced by new entrepreneurs is a lack of faith in the power of their offer. Many business people lose focus because they are worried they wont generate enough cash flow from their core product. They attract potential customers with outstanding expertise but then muddy the water by trying to sell anything those customers want, regardless of how it fits into their business plan. This is confusing, both for the customer, who doesnt really know what type of business you have, and for yourself. Heres how to stay on track.
Expanding A Mobile Car Wash Business
What is the best time to expand a mobile car wash business? If everything were perfect and you could choose the best time to buy a new mobile car wash rig, you should buy it in April and have it running by the 20th of May. If you have 1.5 times the business of your first unit, then you automatically have enough business for one-half of a second truck, van or trailer unit combination. In June, the seasonal increase would take care of the rest. That is the simplest way. If you buy an additional truck in November and it is ready by the 20th of December, you will have holidays and rain. Unless you have a huge industrial account base, we don't recommend this to you.
Franchise Companies Come and Go
Each day we hear of companies entering the franchising industry. This is good news for America, right? Well, yes and know. Yes, because franchising is the closest thing to the spirit of free enterprise as any other method of doing business and because franchising offers small business people advantages that they would not normally have in pursuing their American Dream. However it is unfortunate but true that the average Franchisor failure rate is 5:1 in five years. Meaning they are gone out of business in that short amount of time. This is horrific news really. Why is this? Well most often it is due to over regulation, junk lawsuits, under capitalization or greed. Having played in the franchising industry I have seen it all.
Attributes Of Companies You Don?t Want To Buy!
There are no "rules of thumb" in the pursuit of companies to buy. Each purchase opportunity has to stand on its own merits. There are, however, attributes of acquisition candidates that need to be defined for what they really are before additional, limited resources are put at risk in a potential deal. It is absolutely critical for any proactive business buyer to understand, consider and deal with specific business characteristics that add unnecessary financial risk to the investment opportunity at hand.
Small Business Vendors; Getting the Best Service
If you are a small business you know that you must rely on your vendors to make sure you have everything your customers need. Lack of vendor support can lead to upset customers or even loss of your business. Be pleasant and courteous to all vendors and potential vendors. Try and treat vendors like your favorite customers treat you. Do you remember recently when you went out of your way for a customer, the whole time knowing you weren't going to make any extra money by doing so; yet you did, simply because you liked that particular customer. That customer; whether you know it or not, probably told five friends of your gallant effort; something you may not even have thought about. This type of extra concern and effort is hard to come by these days from local business people. You will, from time to time, need this type of gallant service from your vendors, so start now by being extremely pleasant to those you do business with. Remember, also to refer your customers to your vendors whenever the opportunity arises.
Asking the RIGHT Questions
Which questions do you need to ask to even get a hint if you really want to know something about another person's business pain?
Marketing Your Small Business - The Top 10 Brilliant Ideas
A Brilliant Marketing Idea... sounds great but what is it? Is it the idea that results in the mailman ringing your doorbell, signaling in a caravan of postal workers with mounds of letters (all in response to your latest advertisement)? Is it the idea that brings a 20% response rate on your direct mail campaign?
Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages - A Whole NewVocabulary for Small Businesss
Buyers want both online and local information about where to buy Most small businesses are local in nature, serving people who live nearby. Their customers found them through traditional methods like the Yellow Pages or newspaper ads. So far, the Internet hasn't figured prominently in their marketing efforts. That's about to change, as Local Search methods become more widespread. Even for buyers expecting to spend their money close to home, more and more of them go to the Internet to locate desired products and services. They rely on search engines to find suitable vendors in the fastest, easiest way. Local Search combines the search query word or phrase with specific geographic terms, like city or zip code. That way, search results only include enterprises in that local area. Instead of information about a small enterprise being lost among millions of pages of search results, it shows up in a small pool of local providers. That's good for them, as well as the person looking for what they provide. Small operations can easily be located by a whole new group of buyers Consumers don't simply go to the Yellow Pages when ready to buy - as they once did. Studies show that an astonishing 36% of online searches are conducted to find local businesses. About a quarter of all Internet users already conduct local searches. They'd do even more of it, if the desired small business data were more complete. Local enterprises need to prepare for the impact of changing customer habits. An easy first step is to include your business in Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), along with the printed Yellow Page directory. That puts your enterprise on the radar screen. Learn how your business can make the most of Local Search by visiting http://www.yellowpagesage.com. You'll find reliable advice from experts in Yellow Pages and Local Search so you can get more mileage from your promotional dollars. Start by getting comfortable with search concepts, and improve your odds of being found when people search online for what you offer. You don't even need your own Web site to benefit from Internet Yellow Pages and Local Search. Learn the Relevant Terms Search Engine - method for locating the information available on the Internet; a program that searches Web pages for requested keywords, then returns a list of documents where the query terms were found Google and Yahoo, the major general search engines, have both shifted gears to make Local Search a priority when delivering relevant results. Spider (also called "crawler" or "bot") - goes to every page on every Web site and reads the information so it can be available to searchers; to "crawl" a site it collects and indexes information from it Specialized Search Engines - narrow focus of information crawled and indexed, like medical, business, or shopping sites Keywords - word or phrases used by search engines to locate relevant Web pages; words chosen to improve a site's search engine placement and ranking Search Query - search request, which the search engine compares to the spidered entries, then returns results to the searcher Search Results - compiled list of Web pages that a search engine delivers in response to a query; the number of items returned is usually overwhelming (in the millions), so searchers only bother to view results on the first pages Relevant Results - the test of a good search is whether the results obtained relate to what the person wanted to find, without a lot of irrelevant links Local Search - combining a geographic term in a search query to locate suitable providers in a specific area Pay per Click (PPC) - method of building traffic whereby site owners bid on search terms (keywords) that link to their site Geographic Terms - specific information about the local area that can be included in a local search: zip code, town, county, geographic region, state Top Ranking - sites shown on the first page(s) of search results Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - fine-tuning keywords and page content so the Web site rates high in search engine results Tags and Titles (on Web Pages) - provide site keywords and information to search engine spiders for indexing a site Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) - directory of business phone numbers and locations in a geographic area, organized by category; searchable data base accessed on the Internet Make your business easy for searchers to find The public is embracing the convenience of searching on the Internet to find information about local businesses. However, their searches for desired information are compromised because so many local enterprises don't show up in the databases as yet. Those that do have an edge in their local market. Climb aboard! Make sure searchers can find you. For little or no money, you can expose your enterprise to the whole world. Whether or not your business has a Web site, you need to provide the information people are looking for in the places that they look for it. Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages open new avenues to buyers ready to spend. Best of all, they support and compliment your traditional methods of finding new business. So you cover all your bases. (c)2004, Lynella Grant
Alliances: Drawing The Line
How far can you go based on your relationship with an alliance partner?
How To Choose A Franchise
You'd like to go into business for yourself, and believe that the best way for you to become your own boss is to buy a franchise. You know it will takes time and money to be successful, and that's OK. But which franchise should you buy? Which makes the most sense for you?
Who Makes the BEST Business Partner
How do you find the best business partners?
Direct Mail - For Small Businesses
We hear a lot of talk about junk mail nowadays. Many people will tell you that they dump it straight in the trash. But why do you think so many organisations send out so called junk mail - because it works!
Increase Your Profits with a Point of Sale (POS) System
Whether you operate a chain of restaurants, a mom-and-pop convenience store, or a medium-sized retail shop, you are in business to make money. And, one of the most critical aspects to your profit and loss is your ability to track information? you need to know which products are making you money, what items need to be re-ordered, who your customers are, and so on. This is where today's point of sale (POS) systems play such a valuable role.
Australian Workplace Agreements - How They Work For You
The employer / employee relations environment has been constantly evolving during the last 25 years. In Australia, as in many western nations, the balance between employers and employees has shifted back and forwards usually in response to supply and demand.
Employee Monitoring - Business Risks For Employers And How To Avoid Them
E-mail and Internet use are integral parts of the typical worker's daily routine. Because of its speed and overall convenience, e-mail has replaced the interoffice memorandum as the preferred method of communication. Employee access to the Internet also is important as a means of conducting job-related research and transactions.
Internships: Good for Everyone
Many job applicants want a job but often do not have the prerequisite experience, experience that they can only have by getting a job. Managers who take the chance and hire them may have to spend considerable time and effort training them, only to find the new recruits unsuitable or unhappy with the jobs and looking for employment elsewhere. One way around this problem for many organizations is an internship program. For professionals in career transition as well as students and recent graduates, such programs provide working experience that otherwise would never be supplied to someone interested in a specific field.
How to Become Successful in the Field of Financial Consultants
Financial Consultants are one of the fastest growing industries today. More and more people are requiring the services of a finance consultant to get out of debt, and/or prepare for educational and retirement expenses. The knowledge these consultants have creates an income potential for everyone involved.
|home | site map|