Peak SBC, LLC  



The SBC Home Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center



February 22, 2003

Table of Contents



Quote of the Week


Featured Resource - LOOKDISK

Guest Article -  THE POWER OF FOCUS
Parting Comments

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Quote of the Week

The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.

- Ann Landers


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Featured Resource


Ever had trouble finding a file you know is somewhere on your hard drive but just can't remember where you saved it? LookDisk allows you to perform sophisticated searches to find what you're looking for and more. It costs nothing and might save you a headache or two from time to time. 

Staff Article

by: Cary Christian

It's time for another installment of reader questions. It's been a while and I was suffering from withdrawal! So let's get started.

Question 1 (Niche Marketing):

You talk frequently about the importance of finding a niche market in order to be successful. Just how does one go about doing this?

Answer 1:

There are really two key components to finding an appropriate niche market for yourself. One is finding that market segment that has needs that are not being met. The other is finding such a market segment in which you have an interest and the skills required to meet those needs.

It's not an easy process. That's why everyone isn't serving a unique niche and making millions.

The easiest part is probably finding the market segment whose needs are not being met. If you spend some time in online forums, you'll constantly hear people asking for products. They need software to perform a certain task, an ebook on a specific subject, services they are having trouble finding and so on. Pay attention in these forums and you can come away with all kinds of ideas.

You can also do some keyword research online. For example, you can download a fr*e program called "Keyword Live" from  Start up the program and it will provide you with real time combined results of what people are searching for on several major search engines. It will show the top 100 single words being searched for on the left and the top 100 keyword phrases being searched for on the right. Let it run for hours, or even days if you like, to get a good sampling. Browse through the keyword phrases and find some topics that interest you. Do those searches yourself and see how well other businesses are providing the products being sought. You will most likely have to break the subject matter down even further to truly find a niche. It takes a lot of time and effort but you will find niches this way.

Of course there are other tools that make this part of the process easier that are not fr*e, but will save you countless hours of work. An excellent one is Nichefinder which you can read about at:

The harder part is finding a niche you would enjoy serving. You need to find something that interests you deeply. It should be something that you would enjoy doing as a full time job. Think about the market segment looking for the product. Are they the type of people you can identify with? Do you have the skills, or can you learn the skills that you need to service this market segment?

I wish I could tell you there was a shortcut you could take, but there isn't. A niche that suits you might not suit anyone else. It's a personal thing as well as a market consideration. You just have to work at it until you find something suitable. But it's worth it: the right niche can make you wealthy.

Question 2 (Search Engine Tactics):

You made it pretty clear in your article last week that you don't care much for using tricks to get high search engine rankings. What do you like?

Answer 2:

Content, content and more content! I've seen the magic of it first hand. Fill your site with useful information that is rich in the keywords that describe your site and your products, and the search engines will find you!

Question 3 (Purchasing Subscribers):

I'm just starting out and would like to build a good opt-in list as quickly as possible. There are companies that will get you subscribers for a fee, but I'm not sure of the quality I'd be getting. Should I buy subscribers or pass on the idea?

Answer 3:

A subscriber you buy will never be as good as one you get as an opt-in from your website. However, that doesn't mean you can't buy quality subscribers. You just have to be careful where you buy them. There are many companies that will sell you subscribers that contain a lot of people who didn't really opt-in. These will cause you nothing but trouble. Take the time to find out how they acquire the subscribers they're sending you. Look at the process and decide if that's how you would want to acquire your subscribers.

One excellent source for purchasing subscribers is Lead Factory, which you can check out here:

They do a good job and supply quality subscribers. They're not cheap, but if you're in a hurry they are a safe bet.

There are a few specific companies I would definitely stay away from that are no less expensive than Lead Factory. If anyone wants to know who, please send me an email and I'll respond privately. For legal reasons, I don't want to trash them publicly.

Question 4 (New Scams) (Note: this question is also presented in our Small Business Newsletter this weekend. I'm presenting it in both places so everyone will be informed on this issue):

I've been receiving a lot of emails lately with no real links to click through on, just phone numbers to call. In most cases they are notifications that I have won something or it's about an urgent matter that I need to attend to. Some of them might have gotten me to call, but I've received so many of them that I've come to realize it's some kind of scam. Do you have any idea what this is about?

Answer 4:

I've received quite a few of these myself. Chances are good that that some of these are variations of the "Nigerian" scam. It's likely if you called that sooner or later you'd need to give them banking details or something similar to complete whatever transaction it is they're trying to lure you into. Then they would empty your bank account, of course.

It's also possible it's a phone scam like the "809" scam that originated in the Dominican Republic. You get a phone number to call, they keep you on the phone as long as possible, and you get billed $100 or more for the call. You're actually dialing a service that charges exorbitant rates by the minute like the 900 services here in the US.

You have to watch the phone numbers carefully because the "809" scam has spread throughout the Caribbean now. Here are the latest set of numbers you need to look out for:

242 (Bahamas), 246 (Barbados), 264 (Anguilla), 268 (Antigua & Barbuda), 284 (British Virgin Islands), 345 (Cayman Islands), 441 (Bermuda), 473 (Grenada), 664 (Montserrat), 758 (St Lucia), 767 (Dominica), 784 (St Vincent & Grenadines), 787 (Puerto Rico), 809 (Dominican Republic), 868 (Trinidad & Tobago),
869 (St. Kitts & Nevis) and 876 (Jamaica).

Under international telecommunications treaties, each country establishes its own telephone rates and there is no limit to the per-minute or total charge for such calls. There have been similar scams involving numbers originating in various Eastern European countries, and more are anticipated as many small Pacific nations begin to receive separate area codes.

When you are targeted, the number will look like a conventional area code plus seven-digit phone number. If you see one of the above number sequences in the area code section, don't call!


That's it for this edition of reader questions. If you have questions of your own you'd like answered, send them to me at

Copyright (c) 2003

Guest Article

by: Wendy Hearn

What one thing is often missing for many people who want to be successful? The typical entrepreneurial spirit of having many ideas, projects and things to do are often there in abundance. Perhaps you see many opportunities and possibilities. However, the tendency is to spread yourself too thin and 'try' to do everything. This often results in you not achieving what you say you want.

It seems that the more ideas I have, the more ideas this generates. Recently the number of ideas have increased dramatically. They're there first thing in the morning and even waking me in the middle of the night. Visualizing and journaling is bringing up even more. I feel inspired, excited and have a lot of enthusiasm for many of the ideas. However, I realised that if I wanted to turn these ideas around, get them completed and be more productive, there was only one thing for it. I needed to be even more focused than I'd ever been. A clear intentional focus that moves us towards our dreams quickly and effectively.

Although you may be very busy, when you have too many things on the go at once, they are often scattered and you end up dabbling in things. You then find you're not producing the results you want. Not only this, but you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated and fed up. The friction of being pulled in many directions, feeling stressed and heavy, eats up your time and energy, leaving you less able to be focused and move forward.

If you are someone who has lots of ideas, projects and things you want to do, acknowledge this fact. Accept that you don't need to act on them all now and be willing to let some things go for the time being. There will undoubtedly be some fear about this, which is natural. Choose to be with the fear, accept it for what it is and choose instead to be focused.

When you choose to be focused, you'll experience a sense of achievement and increased success. Focus builds momentum for faster results, leaving you more productive and effective. When you're ready and willing to be more focused, I suggest you start by examining all the possibilities. Brainstorm it all out on paper. Get it out of your head so you can see it all clearly. When you can see the bigger picture more clearly, start experimenting with being focused. Play with the idea of focusing on only 3 things. Choose the 3 ideas that either feel most important to you, or where your passion lies, or what would bring your dream alive or make your heart sing. Write down your 3 areas of focus, specifically. The more specific you are, the more focused you'll be.

When you have chosen 3 things, see exactly where they fit into your vision or dream and ascertain whether they are the most effective choice today. With each of your 3 ideas, define your compelling reason for pursuing them and identify what each will give you. Your compelling reason will inspire you to continue and be committed. Check each day on your 3 areas of focus and take actions which are aligned with being focused.

Making the shift to being focused and experimenting with the idea of only pursuing 3 ideas at any one time may be quite a step out of your comfort zone. You may start this experiment only to find yourself slipping back. If you're ready to be focused, whom do you know who will challenge you to maintain your focus? Being challenged in a healthy way by someone else can add fun to the process, keeping it light-hearted and helping you to maintain your commitment.

What I want for you is to be focused, enabling you to attract and achieve the success you want.


Wendy Hearn
Personal and Professional Coach

She works with business owners, professionals and executives to
discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take
the actions required to have the success they desire.
To receive Wendy's free newsletter, send an email to:

Copyright 2003, Wendy Hearn. All rights reserved.

Parting Comments

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