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Marketing strategy to start small businesses using internet

To start small businesses you'll have to follow a strategy to reach your most basic goal: make profits. But sales are just the final step of a preselling process and the beginning of a continually relationship with your customers that can derive in further sales in the future...

If you're new here in the site, please take note this article is part of a section dedicated to learn about how to make extra money as a first action step to improve your personal finances.
For your own benefit, we encourage you to read this article and if you need more information, go to the main page of this section to follow the sequence of articles. You can use the links at the bottom. Thanks and enjoy!

Preparation of a marketing plan

In our last articles, we said that a marketing plan can be prepared in three stages and talked about stage 1 and 2:

  1. Analyze the market and the competition
  2. Choose your target market
  3. Determine your marketing strategy

If you haven't read or want to review something, please read our last article and/or read the first one. We're going to talk about the third stage in this article...

3. Determine your marketing strategy

Any marketing strategy whether to start small businesses or big ones generally is expressed in four parts: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, the famous 4 Ps of marketing. We're going to talk about them in a different order that usually they are described. Why? Because you'll see that the 4 Ps has a logic sequence, let's see...

Place

To start small businesses offline and to succeed with them, one of the main considerations is that you'll have to make is to get a good location considering your suppliers, customers, transportation costs, etc.

This aspect is very different if you want to start small businesses using the internet. You'll see...

Having a web page and/or a web store isn't enough. You have to put it in front of your potential customer's eyes. How? Just think how you use the internet when you're looking for something... Do you use Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines? I bet you do!

Also think about how you make your search; do you search directly www.anythingcompany.com? Maybe, if you already know Anything Co. but I bet that you first make a search to look for information and you scan the first results returned by the search engine to find what you're looking for, right?

That's the place where your website has to be! In the first results of search engines!

Ok, let's see the next P:

Promotion

Ok now you have understood that to start small businesses using the internet you'll have to position your site in the first results of search engines, the next thing to consider is how!

First, let's see what the job of search engines is. Since there're a lot of sites in the world and people use search engines to find relevant and useful information, then search engines' job is to return the most relevant websites that contains the information searched.

How do they determine which websites are the best? Only God and very few people know. They use complex software or algorithms that select the best sites accordingly to the content found in websites.

Therefore, to promote your website you have to create valuable and in-demand content to make your site relevant and to be found in the results of search engines.

This way you'll get traffic in your site and if you provide them what they're looking for (information and solutions) you'll establish a relationship with them building your reputation. This is a work of PREselling and is necessary because very few buys at the first time.

Whether you're going to start small businesses using the internet or not you'll have to use human relationships. The online equivalent is PREselling.

Once you have established your reputation and your potential customer is open to buy thanks to the information and solutions you have provided him/her, is far more easier to monetize making a sale or recommending others' products.

This is the called C-T-P-M methodology created by SBI! and the way how you should promote your business on the net.

You can also buy ads but this is not the more suitable way to start small businesses because bought traffic (and therefore your business) will stop once you can't afford ads. Therefore, you have to attract free and targeted traffic to make your business grow.

Let's move into the next P:

Product (or Service)

What you say to your potential customers matters as well as how you say it. To start small businesses you have to provide good products or services right? But, what's good and for whom?

We're not talking about your products' features anymore. Instead, we're talking about what makes your product attractive or what will make your products attractive for your costumers.

To do this you'll have to identify your target market and the characteristics of your potential customer first. Hey! You already did it in stage 2, right? Ok...

What makes attractive a product or service is not its features but the benefits that your client will receive from them. Just as an example:

Characteristic of a touristic service: The tour includes a CD with the best pictures free!

Benefit: You'll have a free CD with the best pictures of your extreme adventure so you won't have to worry about miss any detail or risk your camera.

In short, you'll have to answer this: what characteristics does your product have to meet the relevant customer needs?

Once you have identified all of your product or service's features and related benefits you'll have to choose the best and that's your Unique Selling Proposition (in marketing terms)

toolMake Your Words SellConsidering the importance of the communication with your potential customer to start small businesses, SiteSell (the company behind SBI!) has developed a complete guide to help you communicate effectively and persuade them to buy your products or services or simply follow your recommendations: Make Your Words Sell!

Instructions for download

To access this tool we encourage you to be part of our community by subscribing to our Financial magazine: Planning a Better Future for free. With your subscription we'll send you the password to access resources and tools on the site. For more details about the additional benefits that you get with your subscription click here.

If you are already a member of our community, you can download this free e-book by by going to www.ziddu.com/download/4639609/MYWS.rar.html.

Feel free to share it with your friends, family and colleagues.

Ok, now the last P:

Price

Everything has a price, and to start small businesses whether if it's based on:

You must you have to carefully understand how to price your products or services.

If you're planning to be an affiliate this work is already done because you're basically selling others' stuff and they have established already a price.

Anyway, there will always an opportunity that will require you to set a price. To do this, consider these tips:

  • Your price will depend on how your product or service's benefit is worth to your customer.
  • In short: the price you can ask is the price your customer is prepared to pay.

There're two strategies you can apply when you're setting prices:

The penetration strategy sets a low price in order to grow fast and penetrate the market quickly. This is appropriate if you start big or small businesses that:

  • Set a new standard that must be spread quickly.
  • Have high fixed costs and needs a large number of customers to be profitable.
  • Have high competition and entry barriers are low.

The skimming strategy sets a high price in order to make a high return right from the start. This is appropriate if you start big or small businesses that:

  • Have products that are really better than the competition's.
  • Want to finance its growth itself.

toolMYPS Masters CourseWhether you're thinking to start small businesses using the internet or traditional businesses, you'll certainly have to set prices; therefore, SiteSell (the company behind SBI!) has developed a complete course to help you determine the "Perfect Price"... the price point where both parties (the buyer and the seller) profit to their complete satisfaction: Make Your Price Sell!, The Masters Course.

Instructions for download

To access this tool we encourage you to be part of our community by subscribing to our Financial magazine: Planning a Better Future for free. With your subscription we'll send you the password to access resources and tools on the site. For more details about the additional benefits that you get with your subscription click here.

If you are already a member of our community, you can download this free e-book by by going to www.ziddu.com/download/4640315/MYPSMasters.rar.html.

Feel free to share it with your friends, family and colleagues.

Wrap Up

You have finished a subsection dedicated to learn how to start small businesses using the internet and how to create a marketing plan using the information available on the net.

Now let's back to the main page of this section to learn more about how to make extra money as a first step to improve your personal finances. Just use the links below:

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