Small Business Ideas
grow your own niche market business

a wish is not enough

A dream is like a crow bar, some use it to open things - others drop it on their toes.

helping you develop your niche market business ideas

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Small Business Internet Marketing Tools

I wrote earlier about the usefulness of an auto-responder, it is a necessary e-marketing tool.

I have used an e-book, written by a successful e-marketer, in my online businesses. I have now put up some information on that free e-book at Speculation Rules - and used an auto responder to increase my effectiveness.

The basic premise is that most folks say no out of habit at least a few times before they buy. Think about it, we walk in a store looking for a particular product, a salesman walks up and asks if they can help us, and we say no.

That no was a reflex. We might even quickly correct ourself and say "uh, wait a minute - where can I find that new DVD movie Accepted."

We all say no quickly out of habit - even when we want to say yes.

As Clark Kent's editor Perry White might say "I've been in this business 50 years, man and boy, and I've never gotten yes as a first sales response."

Industry myth says it normally takes seven tries to get to yes - when somebody does want to buy. Perhaps there was a study on sales that created that number 7 - shrouded in the mists of the last century.

A surprising number of auto-responders are programed with seven follow ups; or perhaps not surprising considering the power of "old wives tales." Realistically if there was such a study it probably proclaimed an average of seven attempts were made before the sale. In that case some may have been on the second try, and some on the fifteenth.

Stopping at seven follow-ups may leave money on the table.

I've only written the first two responses for my auto-responder tool so far, I'll probably go out to ten or twelve when I finish it in the morning.

Feel free to prove me wrong, get and read your free marketing tools e-book on the first auto-response at:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

We Are All Actors On A Stage

Whether you are currently a wage slave in a cubicle cell, an independent-contractor, or an entrepreneur -- we all get paid according to the performances we give.

I recently read a trainer associated with Success University stating a thought I have heard in several guises before.

Money is nothing more than the applause you get for helping others." - Stone Evans

Stone is a helpful and optimistic guy, so he chooses to ignore the seamier performances in back alleys that are also done for that same applause.

The key though is that we all work for that same applause, and money is an applause that can linger long after our performance.

The workers in cubicles are part of a cast of thousands - and are paid accordingly. Their contribution as a crowd scene extra has individually added little value to the production. "Cut - see all of you next show."

Large solo acts generate great applause - but normally worked their way up from supporting roles in small town productions. Early small stage leading roles frequently provide the experience necessary to earn latter world wide accolades and awards.

Money won't make you happy, but it will make you more comfortable in whatever state you find yourself. Applause alone is not enough to satisfy long term - but rewards are better than rejection or being ignored.

Since you are already an actor on a stage - study your craft. Every performance is a chance to hone your skills.

Also consider attending a casting call for a different type of performance. A role much more likely to generate thunderous applause directed toward you --

one with you in the leading role.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why And How To Blog?

The following is a first draft of an introductory piece on why and how to blog for a class on blogging at Bastiat Free University.

Please feel free to contribute any information in the comments that may assist the students.

A blog is a multi-faceted Internet tool.

Many blog platforms are are available at no-cost. If you are just starting out Blogger or Blog Charm are easy ways to learn blogging basics. There will be some frustrations - but they will allow you to customize your presentation.

A few of our blogs; Speculation Rules, The Sovereign Speculator, An Online Prayer Chapel, and the BFU update blog can serve as examples.

Using the standard looking templates provided, the above show some of the different approaches available.

The power in a blog is first in its simplicity. It is easy to create a web presence with a blog - it is easy to add material. Using just a few no-charge Internet tools you can bring both search engines and visitors to your blog within a reasonable period of time.

Blogger is owned by Google - and is trying to improve. Your blog started on this platform begins with some visibility.

Your first step after creating your blog is to make a post - write a , usually short, entry. Normally a hundred words or a bit more are enough - but it is your blog, do as you wish. Now write more entries following the theme of the blog. One of the measures the search engines will use to evaluate your blog is the number of entries. For the first week or two write several a day, if you wish you can then tapper off to one a day, and once you have over fifty "posts" to your journal you can continue at whatever is a comfortable pace for you.

To get your blog noticed, syndicate your entries by "pinging" sites that list new blog postings. A good no-cost pinging services is Ping Goat, there are others. You only need to use one, and only when you have new content to distribute.

There are also several sites where folks share their favorite blogs, Delicious and Digg are two of them. Post a few key words of your choice to describe your favorite blogs. You blogs can be described by you also - adding a bit to your sites visibility.

You can submit your sites to Yahoo search and google for free, once found they will continue to return to your site looking for useful information. There are probably web directories in your blogs field that will also list your blog for free, and there are many free general directories.

As your blog grows it will likely attract links from other similar blogs, you can add links on your blog to sites you enjoy. Your incoming links, and to some extent your outgoing links, will effect your ranking in the search engines. Post a comment on the BFU blog (or here) about one of our posts - and use your blog's URL address where requested - you now have a link to your blog. If you post relevant content you can do this on many blogs - you will get to know them - they will get to know you. Avoid quick and general comments - those may be treated as spam.

You can also use the free tools of the Internet marketer to enhance your blog's impact, pick and choose from many useful sites.

Another tool is traffic exchanges - while they may have limited long term value - using them for a short while will help you discover blogs you like - and help others discover you.

Your blog does not have to be a stand alone site. The Speculation Rules blog above shares its readership with the main Speculation Rules site - enhancing both. A blog can be used to drive traffic to a more standard site, something I am sure you are already considering.

In short your new blog can do many things - you will keep discovering them as you learn.


Friday, August 18, 2006

You Can Do It

Business is not for the gambler.

Business is for the persistent.

Do your planning. Study your markets, products, and competitors.

Do it better.

But what is even more important -
keep doing it.

Keep studying your markets, products, and competitors. Learn new things to study and develop. Apply yourself to being better at satisfying the needs and desires of your customers.

and Keep Doing It.

In sports you need to keep repeating the basics to excel. Business is better than that. Yes the basics will keep you alive and help you grow.

But in business just one home run or goal may establish you for life.

Then keep up the basics to endure.

Keep swinging, keep kicking, continue running the plays.

The big one is in the percentages.

Do it.

Do it right.

Keep doing it.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How To Start Your Own Home Based Business

Have you wondered if you can have a home based business?

The first question you probably asked yourself was -- is a home based business even a possibility?

The simple answer is - yes.

But before we explain let's throw a bit of reality in here.

You will not be able to toss someone a bunch of cash and make even more cash the next day. Life doesn't work that way - you will have to work at your home based business just as much, or more, than you worked for someone else.

Any real business will require time, effort, and money.

In some instances you can replace the need for large amounts of cash with larger amounts of time and effort. If you have no business experience - it will take even more time. Give yourself at least two to five years to create a growing home based business that will support you.

The easiest real home based businesses to start are on the Internet - which is one reason there are so many scams on the Internet promising to make you wealthy tomorrow with no effort. Another reason for the scams is sometimes they work - and someone hands over money to acquire the scammer's help and experience.

It kinda works - the scammer gets the money - the scammed gain some experience.

Enough Bad News!

Yes, you can have a real home based business.

There are several routes, some of which I will mention here.

You can create your own content rich website using powerful tools alongside your effort and creativity. If you try this on your own, and study everything you can find - expect it to take five to ten years.

For about the same costs you can find an integrated suite of tools and web hosting that will both train and direct your home based business success. SiteSell provides such a suite - there are others. Sitesell is real though - that may save you both time and money investigating.

If you want to sell your product, someone else's product, or promote your existing local business - SiteSell is a great tool to use.

Perhaps the easiest product to handle is a digital product. Without inventories costs are low - profit margins are high. If this will be your first venture into an Internet home based business - use someone else's product that already has marketing tools affiliated with it.

You can develop your own products latter when you understand the world of funnels, auto-responders, lists, and splash pages.

A low cost digital product that has many benefits, besides being real, is Global Domains International (GDI). There are no start up costs, and the fees are only US$10.00 a month, almost anyone that will read this journal will be able to afford to join and start earning and learning very quickly. Ignore the mentions of thousands of dollars a week - as a beginner expect to pay $10.00 a month as you learn. Two years from now - if you put in time and effort you will have two great benefits.

Your first benefit should be a growing income, getting larger each year. The second is you may have learned enough to launch your own digital products successfully. In years two to five that thousands of dollars a week may happen, and you can enjoy your profitable and successful home based business.

Whichever type of home based business you start - stay focused. There are many tools that will support your marketing efforts, but they are just tools. Spend the majority of your efforts and planning on your primary business.

With that warning let me provide you with a set of free tools to support GDI. These have the benefit of teaching you marketing strategies that will enhance your own future product sales. If you go the Sitesell route instead - bookmark this page and come back once you are done creating your site - many of these tools will profit you also.

The integrated marketing system for GDI is called IncomeBoost, and it is well worth the time of looking to any home based business marketer, use whatever pieces will help you.


Go out and start your own home based business.



Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Distance Learning College Degree

Are you comparing college degrees from self-directed distance learning schools with formal education brick and mortar schools?

There may be
a third choice that you should consider before you make the decision. I've just updated a comparison between D/L and B&M that may interest you.

Of course if you have been reading this journal for a while you are aware of my opinions about the future of society. Your college education should probably balance the desire to survive through the declining industrial age with the need to prepare for the Netcohort Society.

As a business person your primary goal is most likely learning rather than the acquiring of a college degree. In that case evaluate your educational options with a view to growing both your business and yourself.

Compare all sorts of learning tools, not just formal education and distance learning. There may be free or inexpensive learning venues available to expand the scope and pleasures of your learning experience - use them.

In the end it is you that must decide what educational path to pursue as most relevant to your future.

Compare self-directed distance learning colleges with more formal college education - but evaluate non-standard third options too.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Deferred Gratification

This is not what you want to hear - this is not exciting.

There are
no legal and ethical ideas I've discovered that will consistently make you wealthy by next weekend.

I know of several ideas where you can apply work with creativity and you
may be making good money in two years, and possibly have found wealth in five years, but even then there are no guarantees.

What I can offer is some sound advice.

Pick a business or an investment style and get to work. Study ways to expand your reach and to improve your results. If this is new to you - start small.

After 6 months of consistent application you will begin to discover if this is the route for you. After two years of effort you will be competent and have built the skills and knowledge for success. After five years you may well have discovered and created wealth.

This will not happen with you sitting on your backside.

There will be work and time involved.

Keep working, keep learning, discover how you work best and fit the business into your life - don't fit your life into a job. Adapt as you learn, and don't be afraid to apply your growing knowledge in new ways.

You have a choice.

You can watch a re-play of the last five years unfold over the next five years - and likely end up right where you are now or worse.

Or you can change.

If you want to do the work and reach for success - I would love to work with you. Click every link in this article and investigate the various offerings - pick one and follow through.

Or click the x at the top right corner and escape to keep your life as it is.

Enjoy your life,



Sunday, August 06, 2006

We've Been Hacked

This morning I woke up and one of my sites was hacked.

We are trying to repair the site - so it may be up by the time you read this.

Life can be so centered in the now we forget all those future "nows" will be influenced by todays decisions.

If you have started an online business because of a "now" problem - your new business will probably just add to your woes.

Take another look at your business.

You can work most businesses with a two year lead time - and be reasonably confident that in two years your "now" problems will not be financial.

Discover - Learn - Act

Seek out methods that will enhance your business over the next two years and you will avoid the frustrations of the immediate.

Don't quit because you lack success this week or this month, if you do you will lack success next month and next year.

Discover tools that will build your business and grow with you, and use them.

What will you be doing in two years if you don't?


money making online business ideas