|Strategic Planning Information|
Building a Better Brick-and-Mortar with the Billion-Dollar Web
More than $117 billion passed hands from Internet shoppers to Internet vendors in 2004, according to the statistical research firm comScore. That's billion, with a B. Compared to the year before, the figure represents a whopping 24 percent increase in sales. Compared to the early 1990s, when the Web was a questionable commercial venture, today's $117 billion is proof-positive that the Web is the full-fledged money-making machine. It seems to be a big enough pie that any merchant with a Web site can cut out his heaping slice.
Not so fast. As any merchant who's tried to take a bite out of the Internet will tell you, turning a profit online is not as simple as throwing a few pages together. Professional Web sites cost big bucks for design, consultation, and upkeep. Either you have to hire a full-time editor or technician to manage your Web store, or you need to pay three-digit hourly rates to contract Web professionals. Then you have to face fees for Web hosting, broadband access, and IT maintenance.
Even after you expend all of this capital and launch your Web site, you're still not guaranteed anything. Your site will only be one among millions, if not billions. Yes, that's billions with a B again. The Internet, after all, is like a clear sky on a dark night. How can you expect a customer to pick your star out from among all of the others that shimmer for their attention?
On the Web you'll quickly learn that attracting your clientele-and building your Internet-based business-is just as tough as it was when you first started your brick-and-mortar shop. It takes smart investing, creative marketing, a little luck, and a lot more know-how.
What's great about the business side of the Web, however, is that your old-fashioned know-how translates quite well on the Web. A great example is the timeless merchant adage: "Location, location, location." This saying holds true on the Web, too. You can place your store's site in a spot on the Web where no one will discover you, or you could position it on a "busy corner" on the Internet.
One such spot are online classified sites. These sites provide similar services as you would get from a newspaper classified. Sellers can place ads online that describe a particular product for sale. Buyers browse these ads and contact sellers when they're interested. Online classifieds, though, are far more dynamic. They allow a merchant to display dozens, if not hundreds, of their goods with pictures and descriptions. And believe it or not, some online classified sites allow you to do this for free. Yes, that's free with an F.
The benefits don't stop there. As a merchant on a classified site, you can enjoy:
? A store that never closes. Your goods are for sale 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Internet never turns off.
? A mall of online shoppers. Think of a classified site as a virtual shopping mall, with your grouping of ads under your own virtual storefront. By having a storefront, this allows you to have your own web page and listings, under the umbrella of the classified site.
? A chain reaction of shopping. "Real" shoppers go to a mall to visit one store, but often they end up browsing through all of the stores in the mall. The same is true of virtual shoppers. Even when they visit a classified site looking for one particular thing, they're likely to "spill over" to your storefront out of curiosity. At the very least, it leads to advertising for your store; at best, business.
? An advantage over pure Web merchants. Your classified site will pit you against wily online vendors who only sell their wares on the Web. This is where your brick-and-mortar business comes in handy. It's proven that shoppers seem to trust online merchants that have a real address and a real store somewhere.
? A solution to the intricacies of the Internet. Many classified sites can help with setting up your ads and with designing your storefront, providing you with instant IT IQ. For your buyers, the sites offer the security that Web shoppers demand to protect them from identify theft and fraud.
As mentioned before, many classified sites charge absolutely nothing for all of these benefits. The listings, the shopping traffic, the sense of business community, the advertising-you receive all of these perks for free. Oh, and don't forget your piece of the $117 billion dollar pie.
Donald Lee is the public relationship manager for Buysellcommunity.com. Buysellcommunity provides free classified listing services for individuals and businesses to market their products and services online. For global and localized classifieds, please visit http://www.buysellcommunity.com - Free Buy & Sell Classifieds
Six Key Areas For Evaluating A Strategic Alliance
Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is good for business, good for the consumer. A strategic alliance is similar to a joint venture. Everyone remains in his or her own entity, yet come together for a single purpose or period of time to create something that could not otherwise be created.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture ? implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management ? loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers. In the typical case you should take generic ERP application, such as Microsoft Great Plains and integrate it with legacy systems or create custom piece in Great Plains to serve your association needs.
Are You Aware of Planning in Business?
Human beings are rational agents. Rationality endorses one to take up planning in every sphere of life from shifting to a new house to marriage, as well as business. A business plan is the first and most significant premise to reach and run a successful business. It is not just that capital that makes a business successful but it is also planning done in a prudent manner that plays a crucial role.
How Good Is a Business Plan To Your Business?
You know you need a business plan. You probably realize that it is one of the best ways to get your business up and running. No matter what your business is, a business plan can help to focus its direction while providing the information you need to get moving. The most important thing a business plan will do is to provide your financial backers with a reason to give you their approval. It will show them how you plan to work your business.
Offense: Beat the Odds
When in doubt, cut that out! Yeah, yea, doubting Thomas may have had a point in his day, and life may not be what you want it to be, but if you constantly doubt yourself, how can you accomplish anything?
Elite Positioning Brings Higher Profits
Imagine spending the same amount of money on marketing and performing the same amount of work to deliver your products or services, but earning more money and keeping more after your expenses. That's what happens when you institute elite positioning for your business.
Ten Steps To A Great Strategic Plan
Ask a small business owner about their strategic plan and they'll either laugh or get that stricken look in their eyes. Yet it's well documented that businesses with a strategic plan are more successful. No matter what size business, from solo practitioner to hundreds of employees, a thoughtful strategic plan will help you achieve your dreams.
Secrets Of Effective Brainstorming
Have you been in a "brainstorming" session where each person just defended their own ideas? Worse is when people don't suggest ideas at all, for fear they'll be attacked. That's no way to brainstorm. Brainstorming is using the power of many minds, and ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. How do you make that happen?
A significant advantage of some business ideas is that the venture can break even at what seems to be an easily achievable volume. A technique for quantifying that volume, called break-even analysis, examines the interaction among fixed costs, variable costs, prices, and unit volume to determine that combination of elements in which revenues and total costs are equal.
Mastermind Your Way to Success
What do Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Allen, Anthony Robbins, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Ben Franklin have in common?
Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART
We all know that nothing runs without a plan, and a plan cannot run without having its objectives set.
The Accountability/Alignment Process: Three Steps to an Accountable Organization
The Accountability/Alignment Process: Three Steps to an Accountable Organization
Why Six Sigma Will Work in Healthcare
If ever there were an industry where we want zero defects, it's healthcare. Patients, medical professionals, and healthcare administrators all want mistakes eliminated and quality and efficiency improved. Although most industries have undergone some type of data-supported, systematic, quality-improvement process, healthcare still has not. Medical and technological advances continue to outpace process and education adjustments. Demand and expectations for medical care are increasing. Inefficiency also leads to(causes, brings about, etc.) overcrowded emergency rooms, customer complaints, and lost revenues.
6 Steps To Laying Out Your Competitive Strategy
Why do so many companies languish and watch as their business turns into a zero profit zone, while others seem to thrive?
What is Your MSP?
For many consumers and producers, MSP is an acronym for Manufacturer's Suggested Price. Today, I would like you to consider a different definition for these commonly used letters ?Marketing, Sales and Profitability.
When Do I Need To Hire A Business Plan Consultant
Every new business owner knows that a business plan is critical ? it is drilled into them by potential investors and every banking officer they meet. So why is something that is so important to the launch of a new venture so difficult to write? Good question! In this article I will try to address when you should go out and hire a business plan writer versus taking on the task yourself. First time entrepreneurs often cringe when sitting down to write their business plan. Some spend 6 months agonizing over each period and comma, and even worse others spend 6 months procrastinating and do nothing. So lets break it down and see where / when a business planning company should be brought in:
Seasonality: Whats the Big Deal?
Do you work in or own a business that's affected by seasonal cycles? Do you live in a community whose population changes significantly during the year (e.g., tourist influx, students returning to college)? Do you ever feel stressed out or frustrated by the seemingly constant changes or the extreme highs and lows of your life or your business?
ERP Role in Selling Your Mid-size Business ? Microsoft Great Plains and CRM Example
If you own the mid-size business and actively work in it as executive manager or lead, say marketing, ? you probably know exactly what needs to be done on the daily basis to keep it running. However, in many cases this business critical knowledge exists in your head only. This means that if you would like to sell your business ? it has little value without your participation. So, ahead of the selling time you should "formalize" the business ? to make it work within the systems and rules, independent of people. Let's consider the parts we will need.
2 Simple Steps Before Starting Your Business
There is so much small business information available today that it's easy to be bogged down by the sheer volume of it all. Where does one start? Well, it's safe to say not all the information you'll receive will be of equal value. So it's important to be discerning when you're thinking about applying any suggestions to your new business. In many cases, you'll find some suggestions don't match your business type, management style, budget, or industry. This could lead to wasted dollars spent and time lost. So learning how to research and compile information will be key in developing a plan that is tailored to fit your business needs.
Is Your Company Growing Fast Enough for You?
Are you frustrated by the lack of growth in your firm, or the effort required to squeeze any up-tick in performance? Are inadequate policies and procedures a root cause? To find out, take this simple self assessment to see if this may be inhibiting real growth at your company.
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