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Top 10 Tips for a Thriving Online Business

Past history has shown that it's not ... the ... with the ... websites that do well, or even the ... with the most money. The 'small guys' -- that is, Internet home ...

Past history has shown that it's not necessarily the
companies with the snazziest websites that do well, or
even the companies with the most money. The 'small guys'
-- that is, Internet home businesses typically run by 1
or 2 people -- may not make the news like the big 'dot-coms',
but there are many who quietly and steadily continue to turn
a profit, even while big companies report huge losses or go
out of business entirely.

So what's the secret? Here are a few tips from small but
successful 'netrepreneurs' on how to build a thriving
online business:

__1. Find a niche with a demand.

Select a specific market to which you can offer unique
products or services. You can't be everything to everyone,
and trying to offer a giant selection of goods to a huge
and generalized market is the route to frustration,
disappointment, and even failure. We can't all be
Wal-Marts!

As a small business, focus on a promising niche market
and work hard to offer them the products and services
they want.

__2. Care about the quality of your product or service.

Sell only what you would be proud to sell to your family
and friends, and insist upon consistently high quality.
This will help to encourage referrals and repeat business
-- both powerful ways to keep the profits rolling.

__3. Be smart and frugal.

Avoid unnecessary expenses, and be particularly vigilant
when you're first getting started. One of the nice things
about doing business online is that it's possible to begin
earning an income while operating on a shoestring budget.
Try to minimize expenses. Once your business is pulling
in profits, you can reinvest part of it back into
marketing and expansion.

__4. Focus on marketing strategies that return the most
profit for your dollar.

One of the biggest myths beginners face is that people
will flock to your site once it's built. However, there
are literally billions of web pages available, and every
business has to find ways to attract their target
audience to their little corner of the web. Track the
success of each of your marketing campaigns. Drop those
that don't work, and focus on those that yield the best
results.

__5. Provide the best customer service that you can.

Fast, helpful replies to inquiries and requests for
assistance help to create and keep happy customers.
This is particularly true of the Internet, where people
have come to expect 'instant' responses. Genuinely
helpful answers also help to ensure customers feel as
if they're *people*, and not just another generic,
faceless entity in cyberspace. Treat customers as
you would like to be treated.

__6. Build your business slowly but surely.

Instead of attempting to build your business into an
overnight success, strive for gradual but steady
expansion. Small businesses operating on tight budgets
generally cannot afford to throw a pile of money into a
marketing campaign that's 'hit-and-miss'. Instead, they
find out what works, then build upon their successes.

__7. Create multiple streams of income.

Your business can continue it's growth by branching out
to offer a variety of products or services. For example,
an online business may earn income from sales of its own
primary product or service, sales of website or newsletter
advertising, and commissions from affiliate programs.
Start with one income stream and gradually add to it when
you have the resources to do so.

Multiple streams of income will also help to 'buffer'
your business against income fluctuations. While one
product or service may experience a downturn in sales,
the others may not. Similarly, if it turns out that one
income stream disappears (for example, an affiliate
program shuts down), then you can fall back on your
other products and services.


__8. Work together.

Use the Internet to find like-minded entrepreneurs.
Develop mutually beneficial working relationships with
carefully selected businesses. This will provide you
with the opportunity to cross-promote your products and
services, as well as give and share advice. A strong
support network can help to build your own business
as well as the complementary businesses with whom you
choose to partner.

__9. Keep educating yourself.

What works online today may not work quite as well
tomorrow. Invest in continuing your marketing education
and put what you learn to good use. You don't want your
business to simply 'survive' online; you want it to
thrive!

__10. Enjoy what you do.

If you don't, then business will only be a chore, not a
pleasure. Being passionate about what you do will give
you that extra energy and desire to build a business that
continues to offer your customers quality products and
services -- while earning a profit.

Article Tags: Thriving Online, Online Business

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


_________
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide for beginners to the 'net. Packed with instantly
usable tips, you'll love its focus on effective fr*e and
low-cost marketing methods, specifically chosen for people
operating on shoestring budgets! Get the details here:
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html



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