Great Ways to Succeed in Your Online Business!

You Can Succeed if You Follow these Ideas.

In my previous article “What Does It Take to Succeed Online (or in Life)”, I listed several positive characteristics to increase your chances for success: Desire, Planning, Faith, and Perseverance just to name a few. If you believe you have what it takes to succeed online, you’re ready to find an online business which is reasonably tailor-made to meet your personality, talents, investment (whether it’s financial, in time, in talent, or all the above).

WARNING: I said “reasonably tailor-made” above, as no business is 100% perfect for everyone. All online businesses, like those in the real, 9-to-5 world, require some planning and effort. If you’re not willing to invest the time needed to adequately support and promote YOUR business, running one is NOT for you. There is no free lunch!

HOWEVER…If you do have what it takes-Desire, Plans, and Perseverance, to name a few-then, by all means, find the online business of your dreams. How, pray tell, do you do this? Well, first off, it starts with:

RESEARCH. If you have no idea what type of online business you wish to offer and promote, research is the key to unlocking a wealth of information on a wide-variety of businesses. Without research, it’s like a first-timer making homemade cookies without a recipe. Do your homework! Grab a pen and notebook, and take some notes.

Start your journey to success online-that’s right: the internet. Read articles by home business professionals-no, not the folks trying to sell you business programs, kits, and pie-in-the-sky potions. I mean real, legitimate online business professionals, such as Scott Fox, Juliette Powell, and Ewen Chia, just to name a few.

NETWORK. Whether Online or in-person, talk to area business leaders to get their viewpoints and feedback on successful online businesses. No, I am not talking about classifieds who tout their online business opportunities, but networks of local business people from business organizations (such as BNI, Business Network International), forums (Ryze and LinkedIn are good ones), or your area chamber of commerce (ask for a business directory, often free).

PLAN. Put pen to paper and carefully, thoroughly develop an online business game plan. Brainstorm with your closest, trustworthy friends and professional acquaintances to come up with a steady stream of ideas.

Together, ask several important questions:

(1). Who is your customer base and/or niche audience? Be as specific as possible, and realize you can’t serve everyone in the universe. (For example: My audience is small to medium-sized business owners in the southeastern United States.

(2) What product(s), service(s), or program(s) do you plan to offer? Again, try to be as specific as possible. Don’t overwhelm your audience with a ton of unrelated products, services, or opportunities, as this will only confuse them. (My website primarily offers tools to promote businesses, thereby hopefully increasing my customer’s image and profits.)

(3) When do you plan to purchase a domain and website? The correct answer to this two-part question should either be Immediately or Right Away. There’s no better time than the present to project a professional image. Also, be creative when deciding on a domain name. Just make sure your website is lightening fast, as many search engines can ignore slow websites.

(4) How much can you safely invest in a business? Be brutally honest with yourself. If you don’t have two dimes to rub together, the last thing you want to do is get deeper in debt. Good news: The internet lists well-written articles on free and inexpensive ways to start a business.

(5) How much time do you have to invest in a business? Read that last question again, please. If you are not willing to put (invest) time in your online business-say two or three hours a day depending on the business, then don’t waste your time. Collect baseball cards, garden, or do anything else. After all, an online business requires some sweat equity.

(6) Who is your competition? What do you know about them? What sets you apart from them? You need solid, concrete answers to these three questions, so you can beat them at their game. The best place to learn more about the competition is online. Check out their websites and information to discover how you can become even more competitive.

(7) What type of content will you offer your visitors? Many websites simply promote products, services, or opportunities! Boring! Set yourself apart from the competition with a site rich in content. Let’s say you’re a pest control operator: Write an article or blog about what causes wasp, hornet, or rat infestations. Whatever you write, show them that you Are the expert in a particular field.

(8) Have you thought about a logo, motto, or slogan? If you have, make sure they look professional and set you apart from the others. Suggestion: If you have an artistic friend or sign maker in your area, see if they can offer input.

(9) Anything else? YES: Always make sure you use spell-check. Nothing looks less professional than a website full of spelling errors!

SEARCH. Make sure the product(s), service(s), and opportunities you plan to promote interest you, so the visitor senses your passion for the item(s). Also, make darn sure these items are scam-free (so you can be proud of what you do) and marketable to your audience (so you can make money online). Whether good, bad, or downright ugly, you can find items and their reviews on the internet.

If you already have a product, service, or opportunity that can be promoted online, I would start there first. After all, you are the expert. And, hopefully, your passion and interest for that item shows.

However, if you lack passion for your item(s) or need a product, service, or opportunity to promote online, realize they fall into several categories:

(1) Affiliate Programs: A company rewards you to promote their product or products. Great for the beginner, many marketers earn thousands monthly for their efforts-even more. Hint: Don’t join every affiliate program on the planet. Join something that intrigues you. For me, it is panic attacks and relationships.

(2) Free Online Businesses. Just like the name implies, these businesses cost nothing to join or promote. Many business “owners” can generate an excellent return on their investment ( by working smart).

(3) Networking or MLM programs. Here, you help others succeed, so you can earn several layers of income. While some are free, most are not.

(4) Paid Online Products and Services. The more the internet grows, the greater the need for related services. Among the greatest money-makers online are effective tools to increase your business. Warning: Some of these products are much more superior to others.

(5) Online Businesses. These require a fee to join, but may generate the income you desire. Word of advice: Check them out before you join. Like anything, most are good, reputable businesses, but a few are rotten to the core.

(6) Direct Selling. This one is iffy. I am a business consultant by day, yet find promoting some of my services does well online. However, results do vary.

(7) eBay. Though some products are overly saturated on the site, many make a decent living on this site. Overall, it has an excellent reputation.

(8) Blogging. If you enjoy writing, this may be down your alley. Bloggers often make money from ads surrounding their blog.

(9) Referral Sites. There are numerous sites promoting networking, advertising, and free sign-ups. The jury is still out on this, but some folks reportedly make money.

(10)Everything Else. A new opportunity, product, or service pops up almost every day. Some will work; others will fail. Do the research online and you may discover a goldmine-or fool’s gold.

SET-UP. Well, you’ve thoroughly planned, researched, and listened to the experts, both online and off. You’ve asked yourself thought-provoking questions, registered a domain name, and you or a professional is setting up your website. You’ve even selected products, services, and opportunities which, you hope, will generate a nice profit.

Congratulations! You are ready to begin. But, wait! Don’t forget to:

PROMOTE. This is such a lengthy and important subject; I will discuss this in full in another article. In the meantime, I suggest you start promoting your program, business, product, or service with free online classifieds.

One thing is for sure, however: You must promote, promote, and promote in order to succeed. Don’t simply rely on basic word-of-mouth to promote your product, service, or program.

PERSEVERE. Don’t let anything-and I do mean anything-stand in your way of online success. Study your product(s), service(s), or opportunities to the point you are the expert. Avoid negative people, as all they bring to your world is negative energy. (Constructive criticism, however, can be beneficial.) Invest more time in your online business, if needed.

Do whatever it takes to succeed online. Nurture your business and watch it grow! Reap the rewards of a job well done!

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Online Business Calendar Helps Service-Based Businesses Automate, Improve Scheduling Procedures

Today’s tech-savvy customers know what they want out of their service providers. Obviously, good customer service, quality and value are important, just as they’ve always been. These are pillars that help small businesses grow and succeed. Another factor that’s becoming increasingly important for owners and operators, regardless of the type of services they provide, is the ability for their customers to interact with the business and conduct transactions online, specifically scheduling appointments and booking reservations. An online business calendar is the perfect tool to accomplish this.

ONLINE BUSINESS CALENDAR: THE BASICS

An online business calendar is a term many small businesses use when referring to online appointment-scheduling software, a cloud-based technology that offers owners, operators and staff functionality to completely automate, streamline and improve their booking procedures. Typically, these applications are classified as software as a service (SaaS) programs, “pay-as-you-go” services that usually don’t require contracts, expensive hardware, downloads or installations, or in-house or contracted IT support. All that’s necessary to implement and use the software is an Internet connection. You simply access the online business calendar just as you would any Web site.

Although functionality can vary among providers, standard features found in many online business calendar applications include:

• Online customer self-scheduling. Ask any small business owner that utilizes an online scheduler calendar what’s their favorite feature and most will say its online customer self-scheduling. This feature alone can completely automate the entire scheduling process, as it gives customers the ability to book their services at any time of day and when it’s most convenient for them. The system does the rest and automatically books the individual without any additional effort from the owner or his or her staff.

• Automated e-mail and text message reminders. Reminders continue to be an important tool in keeping open time slots full. In fact, studies show that reminders of any kind can decrease the “no-show” rate by over 50 percent. However, reminders can require a considerable amount of staff time and resources, especially if done manually. Some online business calendar applications take the effort out of this important task by automatically sending out e-mail and text reminders prior to a scheduled appointment or reservation. Owners or operators simply select when they want the reminder sent, such as one or three days before the customer’s appointment or reservation, and the system does the rest.

• Record-keeping and reporting. Another benefit to an online business calendar is data management and storage. In short, the software can centralize all customer and appointment/reservation information in one easy-to-access location. Before implanting online scheduling software into their operations, most owners and staff would record appointment and customer information in multiple paper appointment books, spreadsheets, folders and other documents. Not only is this manner of scheduling time-consuming, it forces one to juggle back and forth between pages, files and documents to locate details on a specific customer or appointment. It can also make it a hassle to compile all of this information for a report. An online scheduler calendar makes it easy to quickly locate data on an individual or details about his or her appointment. Many also allow users to effortless create and download standard reports.

• E-marketing solutions. Reaching out to customers through e-newsletters and messages keeps them the loop on discounts, specials and other news. Keeping track of their e-mail contact information, however, can be tedious. Since an online business calendar centralizes all data in one spot, customer information is easy to access, including e-mail addresses. Some online scheduler calendars even allow users to send messages right through the software, instead of having to download it into an Excel or other file (although this option is usually available as well).

Other popular functionality available in some online business calendars include online customer payment options, repeat customer reminders (sent to individuals after a specific time of inactivity), gift certificates and package bundles of several service appointments.

HOW IT HELPS SERVICE PROVIDERS IMPROVE OPERATIONS, SAVE TIME AND MONEY

In addition to making it easier for customers to book appointments and reservations, an online business calendar can help a business save time and money and, ultimately, even help it grow. Although one of the main reasons many small businesses implement online scheduling is to provide a convenient way for individuals to schedule online, they soon find out that many of the features are beneficial to overall operations as well.

When properly implemented, an online business calendar can:

• Save time. Besides being convenient for customers, online self-scheduling can dramatically reduce the number of appointment phone calls and e-mails that must be answered by the owner or staff. This, in turn, frees them up for more important tasks. In cases where a business schedules a large number of daily appointments and reservations, an online scheduler calendar can eliminate the need to bring in a new staff member solely to handle scheduling.

• Save money. As the old saying goes, “Time is money.” The time savings from an online business calendar quickly equates into monetary savings, when you factor in employee salaries or an owner’s time. Additionally, automated e-mail and text message reminders, as mentioned above, can help reduce “no-shows”. This means fewer time slots will go unfilled…and more revenue from services rendered. And since the scheduling software provider typically oversees the maintenance of the software, an owner or operator does not to budget for any IT support, since all updates, upgrades and technical issues are addressed by the provider.

• Keep a business open 24 hours a day. An online scheduler calendar can keep a service provider open 24 hours a day, even if its business hours are only 9 to 5. Many people these days simply do not have the time to book a service appointment during the day, and instead conduct most of their daily transactions in the evening or early morning. And they’d much rather book an appointment instead of leaving a message requesting one. A service that offers 24-7 booking will undoubtedly see an increase in scheduled services.

• It makes a business more competitive. In addition to those individuals who are unable to make an appointment over the phone during normal business hours, there are those who simply do not want to pick up the phone and prefer to conduct all of the daily transactions online. In some instances, an individual may not even consider a service provider if it doesn’t offer online scheduling. Not providing an online option for booking a service can put a business at a major disadvantage, especially if its competitors do offer it.

Implementing a new technology into a small business operation need not be a frightening endeavor, especially if it’s SaaS application such as an online business calendar. Online scheduling software providers have made it easy to add this technology into any service-based business with a minimal amount of effort and cost. It’s an affordable and smart solution that both customers and business owners will appreciate.

Getting Started Building a Successful Online Business!

Start Planning!

It is true you can make money on the internet. You can make a lot of money on the internet. Online business is growing rapidly and there’s a reason for that. But starting an online business and starting a successful online business are not one and the same thing. Many people ask “How can I start an easy online business?” However, like any successful business idea the notion of an easy online business is a myth. A successful internet business needs the same attention to forethought as any successful business. Whether you are looking to start successful online store or successful home business the early stages require good planning, good organization and hardwork.

You will make money online with good planning!

The first step of starting a successful business online is the same step as starting any successful business. You need to plan your new online business as much as any other business. A home based online business is going to need to planning just as much as a home based cake business or delivery firm in order to succeed and make money online!

Only fools rush in!

Often, when people are starting a new online business their first impulse is to get online! This would seem to make sense. I mean how can you start an online business without being online? They then waste a lot of time and money searching the net for good hosting and snapping up web domains so they can quickly get started in their new online business. In truth though you are already online! And you are already working on your new internet business.

What kind of Online Business do you want to start?

The first thing you will need to plan for in your online business is what kind of business that will be! Are you trying to sell items on eBay? Start an online store selling a product of your own? Or start an online store selling someone else’s products? Are you going to start a website to market affiliate products?

Get a clear idea of what kind of online business you want and research it.

Having a clear idea of where your new online business is going is going to save you a lot of wasted time and money. Good research into what you will want to market in your online business will help you to choose wisely when choosing domains. How much traffic or web space you will need for your online store or your new online business website will determine which hosting option you choose and where you plant those domain names – especially, if you plan on having multiple sites.

What products will you sell and how will you market them?

Marketing tactics are going to be crucial to your online success. Knowing which path you are taking and what marketing methods you will be using is going to save you a lot of time and money in the future. It will determine what kind of site you will need and what marketing tools you will use. Good choices early on will help your business to achieve its aims quickly and mean any money you did spend on hosting and domains starting an your business was money well spent. Having a clear business idea and choosing the right products to sell on your website will increase it’s effect and help you decide the design and content of your site.

Get the proper training and online resources.

If you are completely new to internet marketing and online internet business, one thing that often proves crucial to success is proper training. Getting help and advice form the experts can save you a lot of time in learning skills of online business and have you running your internet business much more quickly and profitably. This needn’t break the bank and there is a lot of information out there.

Decide on a budget and research where best to spend it.

Lastly, decide on a budget! If you know how much you are prepared to spend investing in starting your business and how much money you want to make online then you can research the most cost effective way of achieving online success!

So in short! How to get started in building successful business online?

1. Make a plan and research it!

2. Decide what kind of business you want.

3. Decide what products are best for your business.

4. Decide how best those products will be marketed online.

5. Get the proper training and advice form experts.

6. Decide how much money you want to invest and plan accordingly.

7. Stick to the plan and don’t get distracted.

With the proper planning and strategy your business will be a success.

Of course this is only Step 1 to starting a new business online. But if you are serious about starting a business then this should be your most important step!