Amazon Selling Machine

Who would start a retail business these days?

Running a physical retail business has become very challenging these days. Even the big supermarkets are finding it difficult but the ones feeling the most pain are the small retail businesses. Rising costs such as rent, rates, utility bills, staffing etc. contrast with falling sales revenue and tighter profit margins as the general economic belt tightening affects consumer demand.

One of the biggest reasons for the downturn in trade on the high street though is the growth of on-line retailing. The big advantage on-line retailers have is the absence of many of the fixed costs of physical premises, the very costs that hit hardest when times get tough. So you can see the attraction of running an on-line retail business. But it’s not all rosy in the on-line garden!

The big advantage of the high street retailer is their visibility and the passing foot traffic of potential customers. On-line traders don’t have this advantage. Websites are hard to find, just take a look at Google, Bing or Yahoo, thousands of results for a simple search when a customer is looking for something and very little chance of an impulse buy when they aren’t. So is on-line really the answer? Probably not, at least not if you go it alone. The costs of capturing enough visitors to make it worthwhile can be prohibitive.

So is any retail business viable right now?

Well the answer, surprisingly is Yes! If you go about it the right way.

Physical retail businesses have increasingly gathered together first there was the village or town market. This developed into what we now refer to as the High Street or Town Centre. More recently we’ve seen the growth of retail parks and giant shopping centres. The more businesses cluster together the more customers they collectively attract. So it is on-line. In the early days of the web we had eBay and Yahoo shops, the modern equivalent of an on-line retail park. Many successful small businesses got their start in one of these and some went on to become large enough to stand alone with an e-commerce website of their own.

Competitor or Protector?

There is one massive on-line retailer that many businesses, large and small, consider to be their main competitor – the retailer who’s rapid growth has eclipsed any other. That retailer is, of course, Amazon with a massive online presence and world-wide coverage. This behemoth is credited with (or accused of) changing the face of retailing forever and killing off many small retailers and even severely hurting even the large supermarkets. But there is a little known statistic that I recently came across that suggests that around 40% of Amazon’s sales turnover is not their own stuff! This huge chunk of what appears to be Amazon’s sales actually comes from an army of smaller retailers who operate in the Amazon market place. Amazon is not so much an on-line superstore but more of an on-line retail park or shopping centre. Amazon has created this huge shopping presence on-line and then shared it with other businesses thus giving them a ‘leg-up’ into a place they would struggle to be on their own. They all benefit from this amazing Amazon selling machine.

The Amazing Selling Machine

By setting up shop in the Amazon Market Place you avoid the costs of retail premises, the cost of setting up an e-commerce store or marketing costs and avoid the time it takes to get a retail business up and running. If you use their fulfillment service you save on storage costs as well as packaging and delivery costs. You can also save on credit card payment services (including the hassle of getting approved) and a variety of other standard retail costs. Of course Amazon don’t do all of this for nothing but their fees benefit from being totally sales related whereas most retail costs are fixed regardless of sales levels. This almost guarantees a profitable business. What’s more you have an instant global market presence if you want to scale up the business.

I could probably write a book on the subject  but for now get more details on Amazon’s services to retailers right here:

http://services.amazon.co.uk

10 Most Common Newbie Mistakes

10-Most-Common-Mistakes-Newbies-Make-In-Internet-Marketing

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The 10 Most Common Mistakes Newbies Make In Internet Marketing – Click on the picture to view.

One of the major issues of internet marketing is the number of aspiring new entrants to the market place that never really get started. There are still way too many failures in our industry and a lot of the reasons can be found in this informative infographic.

Just click on the graphic to view, then click again to enlarge.

Learn and Enjoy

John

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate-Marketing-6-Step-Success

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Affiliate marketing is a huge and growing area of internet marketing. There are two parties to affiliate marketing, the merchant, whose products are being sold, and the affiliate, who promotes and sells the merchant’s products.

The Merchant

Any business can use affilates to promote and sell their products with considerable benefit and no risk. Affiliates are paid by results, they are not empoyees or even contractors paid for their time. If the affiliate doesn’t produce results she/he  doesn’t get paid. This way the business (the merchant) is guaranteed the result they specify in the affiliate agreement, unlike most forms of marketing where the business has to pay whether the promotion is successful or not.

The Affiliate

Any person or business can become an affiliate. You just need to recognise that you are being paid to deliver a specific result to the merchant business. Successful affiliates can make a lot of money from their marketing skills without having the more tedious tasks of product production, delivery, customer service and administration. It is quite possible to build a full time business just promoting and selling other people’s products.

Payment

The merchant is effectively sharing profits with the affiliate and, because of the much lower risk, is able to pay a significant share of the profit on each sale. There are several ways to be paid according to the required result:

  • Payment for each visitor delivered to the merchant’s website (Pay per Click)
  • Payment per lead generated e.g. a completed enquiry, quotation request or email address
  • Payment per sale i.e. a specified amount for each sale, either a fixed sum or a percentage

The most common of these is the payment per sale though the others are growing in popularity.

Benefits

The merchant benefits by getting an independent sales force generating guaranteed results at much less risk than paying for advertising or employing  salaried sales people.

The affiliate benefits by being able to build a good income without being tied down to a business. Affiliates are able to work when, how and where they wish and thus have much more freedom than in running a conventional business of their own.

Learn more about affiliate marketing

Underachiever Secrets

Information Publishing

I’ve mentioned Information Product Publishing in a couple of earlier posts as being a potentially good choice of business. For many years it has been popular as a choice for mail order and more recently it has emerged as a top earner as an internet based business.

Information products lend themselves readily to the internet, which is a perfect information publishing platform, because the products can be produced electronically in a downloadable format. This means that production and distribution costs are extremely low giving a good potential profit on even modestly priced products.

A couple of the early pioneers of information publishing online produced a course several years ago to help others to get started with simple little websites producing information products on a variety of specialist topics, they called it Underachiever Mastery. Why underachiever? Because each website, being narrowly focussed on it’s own topic, didn’t make a great deal of money. But a whole network of these little websites collectively made quite a large amount of money.

Times have moved on and this product has been off the market for a long time. But now another prolific information publisher, Russell Brunson, has picked up the baton and is launching a revised and updated version of this course, together with the necessary software tools to make it work more easily. It’s called Underachiever Secrets and it launches today at 2pm EST (7.00pm UK time).

I’m helping Russell with the launch promotion of Underachiever Secrets and I’ve set up a new website to do this. It gives the history of the product and the concept together with launch information.

If information publishing is of interest to you, and remember many mail order millionnaires made their fortunes selling information products and they are a huge seller online too, take a look at my new site at:

www.underachieversecrets.info

Internet Marketing Reports

More and more people are looking to start their own internet business as a result of this current economic situation. Whether to guard their family income from the threat of unemployment or worse, because they have already been made redundant, or simply to top up their current earnings to give their family a better life, they see the internet as a source of future prosperity.

When I first started marketing my business online back in the late nineties the biggest problem was so few potential customers on the internet. Competition was not a problem so I found it very easy to reach those customers who did have an internet connection. Ten years on and the world’s population has flooded onto the internet, there are so many products and services available online they are all spoilt for choice. The market is huge and the competition is intense, which makes it very hard for the new entrant to internet business to know where to start. A recent comment from Dominic, one of my readers, on an earlier post said it all, “im tryin 2 start ma own business and would like 2 no the best way 2 go.

Well, I started this website some time ago to try to help people like Dominic but now I’ve gone further. After much searching I have sourced a regular supply of Special Internet Marketing Reports. They cover everything from setting up an internet business, including the basic technical stuff, through affiliate marketing (i.e. selling other peoples’ products on commission), setting up a website, getting visitor traffic and building customer mailing lists.

At the time of writing there are 29 reports, each report currently sells for $17 as you will see from the website.

The Step by Step guide to Video Marketing

You know how effective TV advertising has been in the last 50 years, the only problem has been the cost! Small businesses and especially start-ups just haven’t been able to compete with the big corporates and their big budgets for TV advertising. Promoting your business on TV was just out of the question.

Well now, thanks to the power of the internet and new video technology, anyone can promote their business using on-line video. What’s more, more and more people are watching video on the internet, turning their backs on TV with it’s mindless drivel and endless repeats. The good news is that what they are watching and enjoying is often home-made video! Just look at the popularity of YouTube, Google Video and other video websites.

So, how can you as a small business benefit from this new marketing opportunity? Surely something this new must cost a fortune. Nope! I’m using video myself, in fact I did an outside broadcast with a friend at a local business exhibition recently – just as an experiment, and the results have been outstanding. We both had stands there promoting our respective businesses. Andy was marketing his video production business, Blow by Blow Productions and I was promoting my telecom business Marketing by Numbers.

During a quiet spell after lunch we decided on impulse to take one of Andy’s cameras (any digital camcorder would have done) and I interviewed a number of other small business exhibitors while Andy filmed the interviews. Andy later edited the shots and I converted them to web video with some free software I had and put them up on both of our websites. We then emailed the links to the businesses we had interviewed and they put the links on their websites, and so did the exhibition organisers, the local Chamber of Commerce. Our interviewees are delighted with their free publicity and want some more video production work done, while Andy and I got lots of free traffic to our websites. Make no mistake – online video is going to be big!

By coincidence, just a couple of weeks later I came across a report by a guy I know who has generated a whole heap of cash for himself and his clients using online video, it’s called “The Quick Video Marketing Report” by Jeff  “Herschy” Schwerdt. You can get a free copy here:

Quick Video Marketing Report

Jeff is giving away everything you need to know to make Quality Videos and how to Optimize them for Google!

Who is ‘Herschy’?

Herschy is the callsign of an ex F16 fighter pilot, Jeff Schwerdt. Jeff retired from flying following an injury and like many ex military men really knew nothing else. He got involved in internet marketing through through a friend and took an interest in online video, eventually starting his own online video business.

Herschy has generated over $1 MILLION dollars in profits for his business and his personal clients combined in his FIRST 20 months online with multiple clients and products using Video Marketing and Free Advertising Strategies.

So how does he do it?

I’ll let you see right now because Herschy reveals everything in his latest report which he is giving away F-R-E-E for now right  here:

Quick Video Marketing Report

Go get your copy right now while you still can!

You’ll receive a 40 page report, Plus 2 hours of Training Videos, and a Traffic Generation Checklist.

The report Includes 40 Pages of Video Marketing covering How To:

– Write a Quick, Easy, Yet Powerful Video Scripts
– Maximize YouTube as a Video Hosting Service
– Rank on the First page of Google and Youtube using Video SEO
– Find the Best sites to Host Your Videos (Public, HD, and Private)
– Optimize your YouTube Videos
– Optimize Video Lead Pages
– And More…

PLUS! This weekend he’ll be releasing another set of videos showing any newbie how to increase the audio quality of their Flip video Cameras in just a few minutes. That’s Free too.

After months of testing on Google and YouTube, Herschy has developed this new strategic report on Video Optimization Strategies.

It also covers Squeeze  and Sales Page integration, exactly what to say in your videos, he’s figured out exactly what works and now he wants to make it available to you:

Download it from here:

Quick Video Marketing Report

The exciting thing is that Herschy has tested this over the past 20 months and generated over $1 Million dollars in sales for his company and clients with Absolutely Zero out of pocket costs to advertise.

Not only does video yield consistently high opt-in rates, it has increased sales conversions, driven leads, and built a stronger customer relationship.

In other words, it just works!

If you want Herschy’s tested and proven Easy Video Script, Video SEO techniques, and more go here to get it now:

Quick Video Marketing Report

Let me have your feedback in the comments area and tell me what you think of the report. I would also like to know how valuable or otherwise you would find similar reviews or recommendations in the future.

List Building

If you’ve had any exposure to Direct Marketing or Internet Marketing, you’ll know that the most successful marketers put a lot of emphasis on building up their prospect lists. Why? Because it is much easier and much more cost effective to send offers to people who have already had contact with you than to keep advertising to total strangers.

Successful Direct Mail Order Marketers have large lists of past customers and prospective customers to whom they regularly mail out new offers. Internet Marketers find it easier and cheaper still because they build lists of email addresses rather than regular mailing addresses. In fact the ‘Success Mantra’ of most Internet Marketers is:

The Money Is In The List!”

But how do you build that list?

Direct Marketers keep tabs on their past and present customers and every enquirer is added to the list whether they buy or not. They also buy or rent mailing lists from list brokers or exchange lists with fellow direct marketers.

Internet Marketers are somewhat limited in that it is not advisable to buy or rent email lists due to Anti SPAM legislation and the risk of their website being shut down because of SPAM complaints. However, they do have other ways to build their list. Just like direct marketers they have past and present customer data as well as enquirer data. The successful ones also make sure that they have a subscription or ‘lead capture’ box on their website.

By far the best way for the internet marketer to gain subscribers to their list is by giving away something valuable in exchange for the website visitor’ name and email address. This usually involves setting up a lead capture page with a ‘Special Free Offer’ on the website home page linked to the lead capture page. Some marketers even have the lead capture page as their home page!

This page is teamed up with an email program called an AutoResponder which collects the data and stores it in a databse for subsequent follow-up – the follow up mailings can even be automated by the autresponder. Needless to say, it costs money to set this up and run the autoresponder service.

However, I’ve just come across a Free List Building Service that will enable you to generate not just any old data capture page, but a video lead capture page attached to a sequential autoresponder service, completely free of charge. This service launches next week but in the meantime they are giving away a few instructional videos to teach you how to use list building to build your business. There is an upgrade to a more powerful paid for version which helps you to build multiple lists. But the free one is great for anyone just starting out with list building and who needs to do it on a very low budget. You can get it here:

Free Listbuilder

The 12 Month Millionaire

Entrepreneurial Case Study this is a case study on how offline mail order marketing methods were converted to online marketing.

12 Month Millionaire

The 12 Month Millionaire is the title of a marketing manual written by a guy called Vince James a couple of years back. It’s out of print now, though there are a few used copies selling on ebay and elsewhere online.

Vince James came from a very disadvantaged background to build a very successful mail order business back in the nineties. So successful that he became a millionaire within a year and built that up to $100 million in a couple of years or so.

But this article is not about that manual, It’s about Vince James and a guy called Russell Brunson. I don’t know Vince and I hadn’t heard of his famous manual until a few days ago. But I do know Russell Brunson, I’ve done business with him a few times over the past few years. Russell is a very talented and successful young man in his own right and a leading light in internet marketing.

Vince’s manual and his methods have been described as quite hard hitting and controversial, Russell’s methods are very straight, skillfull and, in my experience, quite gentlemanly. Yet Russell credits much of his learning and a lot of his success to studying Vince’s manual, the 12 Month Millionaire, while on holiday with his wife! It might even have been his honeymoon, I forget the details – and yes, he is still married! 🙂

But, here’s the punchline – Russell and Vince have teamed up to share what Russell learned from Vince with the rest of us. But for me it’s not even about that unlikely pairing. No, how it came about is actually a real case study in entrepreneurial thinking on Russell’s part. It happened like this….

Russell was really impressed with what he learned, but there was a problem. Vince ran an offline businesss but Russell’s businesses are all internet based. What Russell really wanted to know was, could the same methods work online? Now most people would have been stuck at that point or tried to figure it out for themselves – and maybe come badly unstuck in the process. But not Russell – he sent Vince the following email

To his surprise, Vince agreed to show him exactly how to use his methods online. The result was a six hour in depth consultation during which Vince held nothing back. The learning point here for me was, if you really want to learn something – don’t be afraid to go direct to the one person who can teach you and ASK!

You can get the whole story here www.beyourownboss.co.uk/12-month-internet-millionaire.

Be Your Own Boss Reborn!

Be Your Own Boss has had a long overdue ‘makeover’.

It’s been rebuilt using WordPress, a great tool for content managed websites, incorporating some of the latest Web 2.0 features. This makes it much easier to incorporate new content, so now I have no excuse for not adding lots of new information on the subject of starting and running your own business ;-). That should keep me busy!

The articles now give you the opportunity to comment and ask questions, blog style, so feel free to join in the business discussion. But please be nice 🙂

A few simple community rules:

  • No fighting
  • No abuse
  • No Spamming
  • No blatant self promotion
  • Don’t include links in posts, put your email address and website in the boxes on the comment form

 

Your email address remains private, it’s just between you and me. Your website will be linked to from your name on the comment.

Comments are moderated, if they break the rules, they won’t appear!

I hope you like the new site. Join in, learn and have fun!

John

Get Fully Indexed

Many websites that manage to get listed in the search engines get little or no traffic. One reason can be that only the home page has been indexed in the engines but none of the others.

This can be for a number of reasons usually attritutable to poor site structure and content. One way of helping the search engines to find all of your web pages is to provide a sitemap.

The sitemap should be at level 1 on your site, i.e. in the root directory and should list and link to every other page on the website. The sitemap page should also be linked to directly from every other page on the site.