Remember when employment packages included generous pensions?
If you hunkered down, did good work, and represented the company well, you could reasonably expect lifelong employment and a good retirement.
Those were the days when a college degree and good grades really mattered. Now, not so
Today it’s more about what you can actually do and what you have done – not where you studied and how stellar your resume looks.
It’s also about having a job for now, but no hard promises for tomorrow. Essentially, we are on our own. We can no longer rely on “the company” for job security. We must make our own story instead.
This new paradigm is framed on the power of ideas. It’s about being creative and taking initiative. Frankly, I like it much more.
So can one do get ahead? Sell online. Don’t quit your day job. Income is income. You don’t want to let go of that. But in your spare time you should find a way to sell something to others. And the quickest, least cost intensive, most scalable to set up an extra income stream is e-commerce.
Next week I will host a webinar on “How to Get Going With E-Commerce”. PBN readers are invited to join. Sign up online: http://goo.gl/FmXfsS
Here’s a summary of what you need to know:
Look at the skyline:
The juiciest businesses have the biggest buildings. Think banking, insurance, investments. All you have to do is look at the skyline to get an idea of what’s profitable.
But to set up a nice income stream, you don’t have to go large. Start where you are at.Everyone knows something about something. Whether you’re in HR or repairing VWs, there’s a basic set of questions people are always asking. Narrow that list. Answers those questions thoroughly, and sell it as an info product. If it’s insightful info, people will buy it.
Another approach is to see what’s taking hold in the brick-and-mortar world. What seems to be gaining popularity? It could be a gaming fad among your kids, or a hobby among your friends. Whatever is happening in the “real” world will almost certainly migrate to the virtual world.
Pick a channel:
You can’t be all places all the time – at least not in the beginning. Decide where you will sell and then dominate that sales channel. Focus all your time and resources in that one space. Amazon may be a great place to start. Or it could be Facebook or YouTube. It depends on your product. Sell where your buyers hangout. In general, it’s easier to piggyback on existing sales platforms than to drive traffic to your standalone website. Be the little white bird on the
hippo’s back. Leverage someone else’s reach.
Concentrate on sales:
This sounds like a no brainer, but be prepared to hustle. You must use all your tools generate interest and convert those leads into sales. Guest blogging, search engine optimization, Google Adwords, Amazon pay-per-click ads, Facebook promoted posts, etc. Find the right recipe. Get
the sales. Build your base.
Develop a lineup:
It’s cheaper to sell more to a current customer than it is to go find a new one. And if you can establish a subscription model, then you’re doing even better. Once your first product is starting to rock, you should create complementary products to sell. If you are selling socks, for example, think about selling belts, too. There’s a reason burger shops sell french fries. It boosts sales.
Also, very important: Not all customers are equal. Many customers are willing to spend much more with you, provided they can see the value. Studies show 20% of your customers are willing to spend 4x more than the average buyer. For this reason, it’s smart to offer deluxe and super deluxe versions of your products. Think economy, business, and first class seating. Zoom in on that 20%.
Build the brand:
The last thing you want is a business based on a single sales channel. What if that channel disappears? Similarly, you don’t want a business based on price. There’s no allegiance for discounters.
What you do want are 100 raving fans who are willing and eager to follow you anywhere. This kind of brand equity is a core competency. It’s portable, powerful and prosperous. The stronger your brand, the harder it is for a competitor to steal your market share. The stronger your brand, the easier it is for you to sell other products and services to your following.
To build a brand, you have to stand for something. Your company must have values and it must have a cause bigger than itself. Create your story. Be clear about your mission. Provide excellent customer service. Focus on quality. And charge for it. Your business will thrive.