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10 Essentials Of Starting And Operating A Successful On-Line Retail Busines Part II
1) Writing Articles – Without visitors to your store – you’ll make no sales. Writing articles is an essential SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique. Learn to write quality articles covering a variety of topics relevant to your store. Publish these articles in a blog, publish them at websites such as EzineArticles.com, and submit them to sites like Digg.com. Spreading your articles around in this way will help you generate direct traffic and increase the inbound links to your website. Quality inbound links to your website are possibly the most important factor in SEO. The greater the number of quality inbound links – the better your search results.
2) Pictures – Before online shoppers will purchase your products – they need to feel good about what they’re purchasing. Good quality pictures are a necessity. You need not be a professional photographer but you can practice until your pictures look great. Try different things – be creative – don’t be afraid to experiment.
3) Cash Flow – As with any business, you need an understanding of cash flow to make the numbers work. Simply put, cash flow is the rate of money that comes into your business and goes out of your business. Good cash flow management will help you keep out of financial trouble. One of the best ways I’ve discovered to help with cash flow is by thinking of expenses in terms of revenue. More specifically, I want to know which revenue will pay certain expenses. After a while – you’ll begin to feel the cash flowing into and out of your business.
4) Persistence – Give your online retail business a chance. I would suggest you grow your business a minimum of 2 years before deciding to continue or stop. It takes time to gain good rankings with the major search engines. Giving up before you’ve given your store a good chance for success is one of the most common causes of internet business failure.
5) The “Idea Game” – Stay focused on your online retail business. Often, people don’t succeed with online retail because a “better idea” comes along and they chase after it – leaving their business behind. “Great ideas” are a dime a dozen. They come and go like the mailman. However, the businessperson who stays focused on one or two ideas at a time has a greater chance for long-term success.
6) Steady Supplier vs. Bargains – Quality internet retail is dependent on a steady source of merchandise at steady prices. Chasing after bargain merchandise is like fools gold. However, gaining quality relationships with a few steady suppliers ensures you’ll always have a good source of the products you sell and helps you maintain a reasonable profit margin. In my experience, chasing bargains are more work and less profitable in the long run.
7) Time – Have you learned to manage your time? Time is one of the most precious assets you have – don’t waste it. Learn to work in 15 minute intervals if necessary. You’ll need to find what works for you. However, time can work for you or against you. To be successful – you’ll need time working for you.
8) Reality Check – It’s important to be objective when you’re looking at your business. A good reality check every few months will help you take a step back and look at your business from a distance. Reality is often hard for an entrepreneur to see. However, when it comes down to the bottom line of the financial statement – reality never lies.
9) Perpetual Learning – Internet businesses evolve in a way that requires you to be a learner. New SEO techniques and new ways to promote your business are created every day. Don’t be afraid to try new things and have the attitude of a learner. This will help you keep from being left behind and it will help prevent you from becoming complacent. The competition will be learning – so should you.
10) Treat your business like it’s a business. – Do you treat your business like it’s a business or a hobby? Are you records up to date? Do you procrastinate? Often, your attitude toward your business will help determine its success. If you treat your business like it’s a serious business – you’ll begin to see it as a serious business. However, it you treat it like a hobby – you may see “hobby like” results.
To Be Continued...
E Lawrence Welch
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