Strategy for a Struggling Economy
by: Cary Christian
Let's be honest about something. Most Internet businesses struggle to
produce profits. Even Amazon.com made their first quarterly profit just this
last quarter. Businesses who do quite well in the brick and mortar world
often find their results lukewarm in cyberspace. If your business is the
exception, congratulations and more power to you! But you would certainly be
happy if you could do better, wouldn't you?
Today's Internet business model just isn't working as well as we'd like it
to. I believe we are in a transition to one that will work and the business
and sales models that emerge will be defined by those companies and
individuals that innovate now and find new ways to drive revenue growth.
Here is one business and marketing strategy that might help carry you
through this transition.
Every day, thousands of people decide they want to make a living on the
Internet. The lure is powerful. They can be their own boss, work the hours
they choose, and they have a real shot at building wealth. And, as you know,
most of these people are nothing more than a new mark for someone peddling a
worthless money-making scam.
What does this have to do with business strategy? Plenty! They
represent a resource you can use.
Most people who run traditional businesses on the Internet look unfavorably
on the various MLM and affiliate opportunities most of the masses flock to.
But there is something to be learned from them. Ask yourself how they
attract people to their opportunities in the first place.
Looking a little deeper than promises of wealth, many provide a roadmap to
working their program that even the newest of newbies can follow. Most of
the people joining these programs do so because it is so much easier for
them participate in them than it would be to start a more traditional
business. In fact, most of them would have absolutely no idea how to start
their own business.
A great number of these people are decent, hard-working individuals who are
only looking for a chance to succeed. These are people you could help and
who could help you.
You know your business well. I would venture to say you are an expert in
your business. Could you teach others to sell your products for a
commission? If you can't teach them to sell, can you teach them to make
intelligent referrals? Can you pay a high enough commission to serve as an
incentive to your affiliates and keep them motivated and active? Could you
provide the training and structure they would need to be successful?
If you can do these things, why not resolve to become a mentor and recruit
others to sell your products? You pay them only if they make a sale, and
every sale they make is incremental in terms of your profits. Give them an
option that is attractive and the worthy ones will choose you over the next
get rich quick scheme any day.
You have to realize that you are already part of an MLM chain. Before
you get angry, let me explain.
As an example, if you sell retail products, your products are made by a
manufacturer who sells them to a distributor who sells them to a wholesaler
who sells them to you for retailing. You are on the fourth level of a
multi-level marketing program. But there is no reason you can't expand the
program to a fifth level by recruiting your own affiliates.
Always remember that the Internet is a tremendous communication medium that
breaks down traditional world barriers. It makes it easier for you to do
business and allows you to expand your geographical reach into new markets.
But if you merely put up a storefront, promote it and make no effort to
expand your influence, you are not using this medium to its full potential.
By using the Internet, you can recruit affiliates in other regions, even
other countries, that you wouldn't be able to establish a relationship with
Your task is to find ways to use this medium to your advantage given your
specific business and product advantages and limitations. Do not rely on
what everyone else is doing. That may or may not work for you. Innovate.
Find new ways to get things done. Don't make the mistake of thinking an
affiliate program wouldn't work with your business.
If the Internet is to eventually be scam-free, or as nearly so as possible,
it will be because legitimate businesses make it possible for opportunity
seekers to invest their time and money into productive activities to a much
greater extent than they are able to today. Small businesses must lead this
charge and, if they do, they will reap the benefits.
Individual opportunity seekers have a role to play also. If you are looking
for additional sources of income, find a company you admire and whose
products you believe you could sell. Approach them with your own ideas
for becoming their affiliate. Work out the details you would like and
give them a solid, well thought out proposal. They might love it and make
you a sweetheart deal!
Yes, the economy is bad right now. But opportunities exist only where there
are problems. Identify the solutions to people's problems and you will find
yourself riding the crest of the next wave of Internet success.
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