Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Friday, August 12, 2005

Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Becoming a successful entrepreneur in the online world is no different than becoming a successful entrepreneur in the brick-and-mortar world. Both tasks require vision, determination, and hard work.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com is worth 4.85 billion dollars. Pierre Omidyar of eBay is worth just over seven billion dollars. David Filo and Jerry Yang of Yahoo are both billionaires. These men made fortunes on the web, and so can you.


What Are You Going to Sell?

The #1 thing you need to succeed in business is the customer. Whether you have one customer, fifty customers, or millions of customers, it is critical to remember that customers are the foundation of any business. Without customers, you don't have a business; you have a hobby.


Product or Service

Every business sells either products or services, a few businesses sell both. Products are easier to sell online because they can be more easily commoditized. People have become comfortable buying known commodities online. Services which are sold online are sometimes delivered online and sometimes delivered offline.


Selling Services Online

If you choose to sell services, the next decision to consider is how the services you sell will be provided. You can choose to:
  • Sell your own services
  • Sell the services of others
  • Sell an automated service

Selling Your Own Services Online

The key to success in selling your own services over the web is to focus on the needs of your customer. For every sentence you write about yourself online, write an entire page about what you can do for your customers.


Selling the Services of Others

Selling the services of others allows us to leverage a larger workforce, and ultimately to build revenue more quickly.


Selling Automated Online Services

If you have the right idea, and the determination to follow it through to a successful conclusion, there can be no better business opportunity than selling an automated online service.

The first step, of course, is to determine what people want and what people are willing to pay for.


Selling Products Online

If you choose to sell products, you are not limited to selling products which you manufacture. If you are already in the manufacturing business, that is a significant advantage and the web is an excellent sales outlet for many products.

Greater opportunities exist for the rest of us by working with the distribution channel. We may buy products from manufacturers and sell then over the web, or we may buy products from wholesale distributors and sell them over the web. We may never even see the products we sell.


Setting up IT

The most obvious need for your new online business will be a company web site. This will introduce you to the professionals known as web designers. If your business sells more than a few products online, you will also have to work with database administrators. If you want to sell an automated service online, you will find yourself working with software architects and software developers.


Selling Online - Successfully

Once your have negotiated with your suppliers and you have you distribution system arranged -- now comes the difficult part. Now you must bridge the gap between your business and your customers.

Most Internet traffic is currently brokered by search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. To do well in business on the Internet, you must do well in the search engines.

This means appearing very early in the search results for the key words or phrases your potential customers will use to shop for your good or services.

Very few potential customers will look for you by name. You must determine the phrases which potential customers will type into the search engines and make sure that you rank well in the result listings for those phrases. Product types or names are common search phrases, such as "sleeping bags" or "bumper stickers." Key phrases for services often include a geographic component, such as "real estate kansas city" or "house painter colorado springs."


The eBay Alternative

The tasks involved in setting up a web site and driving traffic towards it can be time consuming and resource intensive for a small business. The time delay imposed by website development and search engine marketing can require many months to begin to deliver ROI.

Many web entrepreneurs use eBay and other online auction houses to short-cut this process and begin selling to online customers almost immediately.
On eBay, you create auctions for the products you are selling and potential buyers bid to determine what they will pay. You are able to set minimum prices to ensure that you will not sell products at prices below your necessary profit margin. You are also able to set up dutch auctions where you are able to sell large quantities of the same item.

For more information on starting an eBay business, visit Buying-and-Selling.net.


Summary

The options involved in becoming a successful entrepreneur on the web are extensive. Picking the right path for you own journey is your first step on the road to online success.

About The Author
Will Spencer is the webmaster of Entrepreneur Support.
entrepreneur-support.com

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