Avoid These Internet Business Mistakes (written January, 2006)

Since starting my internet business back in 1998, I have learned many strategies that have played a major role in my success and I’d like to share them with you.

Strategy #1: You should be collecting all of your visitors e-mail addresses! Start collecting e-mail addresses the moment you put your site up. Developing a targeted list of customers is an absolute must. Although publishing an e-zine is usually the best route to go, it is not a necessity. You can use your list to send out web site updates, product updates or whatever you’d like.

Strategy #2: Your web site can either make or break you. A professional looking web site will play a major role in your success. If you aren’t secure in your abilities to design a professional looking site, you will be much better off hiring a professional.

Strategy #3: Create a niche to make a lot of money. A niche simply fills a specific customer need. People want products and services that fulfill a specific personal need. If you are the first to fulfill the need, you’ll reap the rewards.

Strategy #4: Generating web site traffic takes a lot of time and effort. The key to generating a lot of traffic to your site is getting your website address out in all your advertising – print, mail and Internet advertising. You can also link to as many sites as possible and also try listing your site with the Search Engines. However, just don’t rely solely on Search Engines to bring you traffic. With all your advertising, when you provide a free product or service, you can drive traffic to your site. In fact, this is a great way to drive traffic to your site. An example is when I offer my articles free – people go to my site, read my article and are immediately linked to all my services.

Strategy #5: Selling your own products and services is much more profitable than marketing affiliate programs.  Some of the top Internet sellers include: Software, Information, Private Sites and Internet Services, among others.

Strategy #6: People do not like to be sold. You will be far more successful if you have a sincere desire to assist your potential customers. This can be accomplished by writing informative articles, courses, tutorials, or even providing advice within discussion forums of your expertise. Trust plays a major role on the Internet. You must build your credibility with your target audience.

Strategy #7: Automation can save you hours of valuable time. Although there are certain areas of business that must be personally dealt with, there are many areas that can be completely automated, such as, list management, customer follow-up, welcome messages, thank you messages, order processing, order fulfillment and order confirmation. This can easily be accomplished using inexpensive auto-responders, scripts and software programs.

Strategy #8: Organization is an essential part of developing a successful business. You can create a daily work schedule for an organized approach to each day. You can use an email program that will filter your messages into specific folders. You can organize your computer folders and files for quick and easy access.  You can create a “frequently asked questions” page to lessen support requests. You can create templates for frequently used messages. You can create a page (residing on your computer) that contains a list of affiliate programs you’re promoting. Include your log-in information and hyperlinks for easy access.

Strategy #9: Customer satisfaction and support should be your top priority.

Strategy #10: You have to spend money to make money. You must be willing to invest in your Internet Business including a computer, internet access, a domain name, web hosting, education (books, course, etc.) and of course advertising.

Strategy #11: This one is important. SPAM is a four letter word and will be treated as such.

Although this list is far from complete, these strategies should provide you with some basic guidelines to assist you in developing a successful on line business.

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.