Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Current Events: eBay aquires Skype

eBay, the World's Largest Marketplace (that provides a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything), recently agreed to buy the leader of the voice-over-internet market, Skype, for up to $4.1 billion.

Skype, released by the owners of Kazaa, is a program that allows anyone from anywhere to call anyone else over the internet who also has Skype.

In The News: Canadians of all age groups are not saving enough

Read the following article posted by CBC Business News, "Canadians of all age groups are not saving enough".

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Current Events: Delta and Northwest Airlines file for bankruptcy

There should be no surprise here that two major U.S. airlines have filed for bankruptcy protection. Why did this happen? Because of fuel costs! The entire airline industry has been hit hard by the soaring fuel costs.

The cost of fuel has affected all methods of transportation leading to the cost of many consumer products to increase. This will take a huge toll on how we will live our lives from this point on. Somehow we have to come up with more money. I can see the future of real estate being affected. People will not be able to afford the high costs of homes. More people will buy already built homes as the cost for building homes will increase. This will be due to the high costs of retrieving lumber.

Anyone could write a million words on this topic as the consequences of rising fuel prices are immense. Delta and Northwest Airlines filing for bankruptcy is just the beginning of the long line of businesses that are following close behind.

Current Events: Google launching search engine for Blogs

Google, the internet's leader of search engines, have produced a search engine that will allow users to sort through millions of blogs.

Google was introduced to the world of blogging in 2003 after it's acquisition of Blogger. There are other search engines that exist for sorting through blogs, however, those other search engines don't come close to bringing the sort of traffic that Google does.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Summer Business Ideas

Need to make some cash over the summer? Then start a business with little to no money. Make a profit immediately and walk away in September if you please.

Quick summer business ideas include Lawn & Yard care, house or pet sitting, and going where it's hot and keeping people cool. For more information on these ideas plus others, read the article, "Create Your Own Summer Job: 6 Ways to Make Money This Summer". Learn what you'll need to start the business, estimated start up costs, how much you can make, how to grow the business, plus more.

The 10 Secrets of Selling Online

1. Work Works:

If there is a single secret to selling online, it is to work hard. Hard work is the secret to succeeding in almost anything, but it is especially important on the Web.

There are millions of consumers out there, but lots of other Web sites are competing for their attention. So you can't just build an online store and walk away from it. You have to work hard to draw visitors to your site, work hard to create a site that those visitors want to buy from, and work hard to give those buyers such good service that they and their friends will buy again in the future.

2. Choose the Right Niche

So you have to choose a niche small enough that you can dominate it. For example, if you are a tiny company, it would probably be a mistake to try selling top-40 CDs online. You would have a hard time competing with CDNOW. But you would probably have a chance at becoming the site for European folk music.

3. Make the Site Easy

The average visitor to a Web site looks at only three or four pages before going somewhere else. Visitors will leave at the slightest obstacle.

So if you want people to visit and order from your site, don't put any obstacles in their way. Whatever you do, don't force visitors to register. You have to create yourself an account, with a user id and password, before you can even order from Wal-Mart. Do they expect online shoppers to remember a userid and password for every online store they visit?

4. Emphasize Service

Your site should offer secure online ordering, and you should say so to visitors. But If you try ordering online yourself, you'll find the biggest concern that you have is not security. I bet what you'll find yourself thinking is, who are these guys? Did they actually get my order? Are they going to send me the products? When?

When someone places an order from a Yahoo! store, we always generate a confirmation page thanking them for their order, and telling them their order number. That is a good first start, but you as the merchant should also send them an email thanking them for their order and telling them when it will arrive.

And make sure that you ship orders quickly. Web users want fast results. They don't want to hear that they should expect to wait 4-6 weeks for delivery. This is not 1910. Tell them they will get their order in 3 days.

5. Promote your Site

One thing not to do, if you want traffic from search engines, is use software that generates your pages dynamically. Search engines don't index dynamically generated pages. As Internet World points out, a dynamically generated site is "all but invisible to search engines."

6. Patience

A few lucky merchants get a flood of orders the day they open. But for most online stores, growth is slow and steady. In the first couple weeks, you see a trickle of visitors, and, if you're lucky, one or two sales. If you work hard, six months later that trickle may have turned into a small but consistent stream.

Copyright © 1999 Paul Graham. Feel free to reproduce any of this text on your own Web site, so long as you reproduce it verbatim, and include this message. For any other use, please contact the author. Yahoo! and Yahoo! Store are trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.