Have you ever wondered what it takes to start advertising and selling online? If you already own a brick-and-mortar business and you’ve been relying on traditional marketing, advertising, sales, and fulfillment – then this may be the most important article you’ve ever read. And..
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to get started selling products online, then we’re certain you’re going to find that this is one of those resources that keeps bringing you back over and over again.
So, let’s dive into:
CHECKLIST: The Essentials Every Entrepreneur Needs To Get Started Online
A HUNGRY AUDIENCE – there’s nothing more important to your business than a flock of hungry and enthusiastic buyers. If you already own a business, now is the time to refine your current customer list to the very best. If you are just getting started, then you’ll want to research niches and micro-niches to find the audience that’ll eat up your offer!
AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE – this isn’t giving things away for free, it’s putting together an offer they want so badly they’re willing to crawl through broken glass to get. These offers can be information, physical goods, an experience, or services.
ROCK-SOLID PARTNERS – you may think that you can do business online all by yourself, but I’ve got a secret for you…online is just like offline, you still have to rely on others to take great care of your customers along the way. Here’s a short list of service providers you’re probably going to want (and some you’ll need) even when you just get started:
- A domain provider – this is the service that lets you buy and maintain “YourStoreSite.com” from now to the end of your business.
- A web host – this is the service that makes sure everyone that wants to see your website and online offers can. Having one with an excellent reputation and reasonable prices (with fantastic service) is paramount.
- A payment processor – look, you can’t very easily take cash through the internet…so, you’ll need someone to help process payments for you.
A PREFERRED CHANNEL / DISTRIBUTION OUTLET – okay, okay… you’re right! Our podcast and services are all about digital marketing, so a website it where most will pick to have the transaction completed and digital products exchanged during the sale. But, what about physical products or services? What platform, service, tool, or distributor will you use to get your goods & services to your customer?
That’s it. Can you believe it? Above is the list of the four most critical things you’ll need for a successful business.
Now, what about the most effective use of your time? Well, that’s easy!
There are only:
5 Processes Every Business Owner Must Do to Succeed
Once you get the checklist above sorted out, you’ll want to focus your energy on the five areas below. And, while you’re just starting out, doing ANYTHING outside of these five things is a complete waste of your time and your energy. In fact, this is so important that it has been the topic of discussion during costly coaching sessions with businesses owners around the world. And, this is a topic that so important, it will keep coming up over and over on the podcast.
So, here they are:
MARKETING & ADVERTISING – this is the process of getting in front of your ideal customer with your offer. Going further, it’s about building a list of potential hungry buyers (leads) so that you can continue to present your offer over and over again.
PROMOTIONS – this is the process of letting your potential customers try you before they buy you. These promotions mean a trial offer, a presentation where you demonstrate the product or service, or some other way for your potential customer the opportunity to get to know you and how your solution might work for them.
SALES – this is the simple process of exchanging money for goods and services. Please don’t make this any harder than it has to be. But, this is the process that gives you the revenue you need to keep your business growing – so it’s super important!
FULFILLMENT – this is the process of giving your customer the products and services for which they paid. Fulfillment is accomplished through a process of sending items in the mail, a freight or shipping business, delivering something for download, or as advanced as a membership site. No matter the platform or method, you’ll want to concentrate on making this experience amazing for your customers.
AFTER SALES CARE – this is the process of showing your appreciation for your customers and taking care of their needs. To some, this might look like a customer support platform or a series of phone calls, emails, and messages you send after your customers buy your products or services. Without this, getting repeat customers is almost impossible. And, generating new customers is by far much harder than simply keeping the good customers you already have.
As the son of a Fuller Brush Salesman turned middle manager, I went rogue and did the unthinkable – I got an engineering degree. Early in my career I quickly rose to leadership positions and ended up as the youngest partner of my fourth employer.
But, the itch to sell overwhelmed me and my DNA was showing up everywhere. As a young entrepreneur, I was selling my own professional services to consumers and businesses as a computer consultant to put myself through college. Then, after going into engineering, when the technical work was done for the day, I’d pinch hit for our marketing teams. This quickly became a skill as we continued to rack up the wins. I love to win and we won big!
I have been on more once-in-a-lifetime projects as technical staff, project manager or as a principal than one professional should be blessed with. I’ve worked on huge bridges, long underground train systems, and complex water resources projects. All have been won with a clever combination of words, presentation, reputation, and many ounces of technical skill.
In all this, I’ve come to appreciate making the complex simple and communicating directly to the decision makers in words they understand with benefits they appreciate. And, I love working on teams the continue to win. I know that working together will make winning faster and easier for you and I’m excited to get started on your next project.
Other places we can connect:
Digital Main Street Media – dedicated to helping local businesses make the most of the internet to increase leads and sales.
AEC Professional Matters – all things B2B Marketing and B2B Copywriting. This site gives you direct access to the leader in civil engineering copywriting, architecture copywriting and construction copywriting.