When I was a small boy on my Grandmothers ranch in Montana I was given a funny little device called a B.S. grinder. I’m sure some of you have seen or at least heard of one. It was a small block of wood with two grooves routed in it, one grove extending horizontal and one vertical. It also had a crank with two small rectangle blocks attached to it that were connected into each of the grooves. On the back it had these words. “In Case Of B.S. Turn Crank.” The object of the small contraption was to crank it whenever you heard someone that was full of B.S. Ahhhhhhhhhh! You do remember it now.
Well that is not the kind of B.S I am going to talk about here. The B.S. I am going to discuss with you is Business Success, particularly Internet Business Success.
There are 280,000,000 Internet business success listings on Google, 48,000,000 listed on yahoo and 5,450,725 listed on MSN. Each and every one of these listings offers insight into Internet Business Success in one fashion or the other. Listings like information about Internet Marketing Business Success, Internet Business Success for work at home Moms, MLM Internet Business Success and Internet Business Success for the Affiliate Marketer.
Each and every one of these Internet Business Success arenas has one thing in common. That commonality is Education, education for the Internet newbie and education for the seasoned Internet veteran alike.
The importance of education in Internet Business Success is so major that is has spawned the largest education market in the world with 1,440,000,000 listings on Google 210,000,000 listings on yahoo and 31,175,263 listing on MSN.
Like with any business with out the proper education success is impossible. One thing to consider in business education, Internet business education included is the education required to succeed is not single faceted. There are many different areas that need to be learned.
I consider these areas to be key elements to successful Internet business education.
· Business planning
· Marketing concepts/strategy
· Target Market
· Product knowledge
· Internet Security/ Link Protection
· Basic accounting/bookkeeping
Creating a business plan is probably the most important thing you can do for business success.
Having a business plan defines your Business. It identifies your goals, and serves as your companies resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.
The best place to get information about starting and writing a business plan would be. The United States Small Business Administration, starting your business plan basics Webpage.
Do your homework. Learning all of the different ways of marketing your Internet Business. A few great ways to market a successful Internet business are, newsletters, blogs, RSS feed, email campaigns through opt in list or safelist, (remember never SPAM it is against the law and you will lose everything.) Also search engine marketing; PDF ebook marketing & branding or free giveaways. Another great way to marker your Successful Internet Business is to market out side of the Internet. You could place ads in newspapers, local publications and magazines. There is snail mail or Direct mail, as it is known in off line circles. And don’t forget television and radio ads can bring a lot of new business to you website.
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia defines Target market thus. A target market is the market segment, which a particular product is marketed to. It is often defined by age, gender and/or socio-economic
Targeting strategy is the selection of the customers you wish to service. The decisions involved in targeting strategy include:
· Which segments to target
· How many products to offer
· Which products to offer in which segments
There are three steps to targeting:
· Market segmentation
· Target choice
· Product positioning
Targeting strategy decisions are influenced by:
· Diversity of buyers needs and preferences
· Strength of the competition
· The volume of sales required for profitability
Targeting can be selective (e.g.: focus strategy, market specialization strategy or niche strategy), or extensive (e.g.: full coverage, mass marketing, or product specialization).
In a nut shell Get to know your customers. Are they male over 25, females with small children, do they use MSN chat or Yahoo? Find out whom you are selling to and what their needs, wants, and desires are.
Get to know your competition. Do a bit of research. Get to know what’s hot and what’s not. What are other Internet marketers successfully selling to your customers? How much is your competition selling their Gizmo for? It is as sturdy as your Gizmo. Your competition can get it in green. Your customers want it in green. Can you get it in green?
Find out what your customers want and Sell it to them.
Product knowledge comes in many various forms. For example the products features and its intended purpose. The products association, how it works and what goes where. A successful Internet marketer should know their products features and how to use it well enough to convince their customers how worthy it is for them to buy.
Internet selling eliminates the human representative though. So in order to anticipate the customers’ needs, suggest support products and services and how the product features relate to use of the product. The successful Internet marketer must translate his/her product knowledge into content.
One thing to mention is that when you are creating the web content about your product. Ask your self this, is there any other product or service that my customers might need or could use, is there anything I may be able to link to my product/service that will enhance it or make it better? If so you could offer it as a reduced rate special or use it as a free gift to help close the sale and get a name and email address for your opt in email list.
Internet Security/ Link Protection
It doesn’t matter if you are into Internet marketing or just like to play the occasional game and chat with your friends. Internet security is the very first thing you should consider.
What it is and how it can affect you are of grave importance.
Computer security also known as Internet security prevents and detects unauthorized intruders from gaining access to any part of your computer system. It can detect whether someone is attempting to break into you system or if they were successful, it can also tell you what they might have done or what type of Spyware/Malware they may have placed while on your system.
There are a number of ways an intruder commonly known as a black hat hacker or cracker can gain access to your computer. Some of these ways are through.
Including key loggers and backdoors, which open up your PC to attackers control or use your PC to send spam emails.
Bagle & others are worm viruses, which usually arrive as an email attachment. Worms can destroy all your saved data.
Change the dial-in number of your modem connection to premium rate numbers causing high phone bills.
Adware and Hijackers continuously show annoying popup ads and spy your private data as well.
Once a black hat hacker gains access to your computer. They can hijack your desktop and perpetrate all sorts of computer crime. They can place spyware, viruses, worms, and other nasty malicious parasites, stealing your passwords, credit card and bank information. They can view every keystroke that you make from you key pad or they can hijack your computer completely.
Adrian Ling in his wonderful e-book, Spyware Secrets Exposed writes that “Today, security professionals estimate that over 91% of all Internet connected PCs are infected with spyware!”
This is just the tip of the iceberg for these black hat hackers and crackers, for they can place a piece of code onto you computer called a logic bomb enabling them to exploit your computer at a later date. This code will set off a malicious function at a specific time or when a specified condition is met. This method of hack is usually done to mask the location and the identity of the black hat hacker and the point of their attack by using your computer as the send off point for their cyber crimes. It makes it next to impossible to trace any malicious behavior back to the black hat hacker.
Another growing problem black hat hackers and crackers pose is to Internet marketers and affiliates. This problem is Website pay gate page, download page and affiliate link theft.
Website pay gate page, download page theft is where a black hat hacker creates a mirror pay gate page then reroutes from the website owners website pay gate a customers payment to theirs. Then the customer is sent to a mirrored download page, downloads the digital product. The black hat hacker does this by a process called Pharming.
In a recent article on a US Government info website an FBI warning stated. Pharming is setting up a fraudulent Web site that contains copies of pages from a legitimate Web site in order to capture confidential information from users. By hacking into DNS servers and changing IP addresses (see DNS hijacking), users are automatically redirected to the bogus site, at least for some period of time until the DNS records can be restored. Unsuspecting Internet users will type in a web address only to be redirected to a website that looks just like the real thing.
A black hat hacker can use this same process to steal you hard earned profits.
In affiliate link theft the black hat hacker hijacks the affiliates id number or name and replaces it with their own and the unsuspecting customer buys the product and the black hat hacker link thief gets the credit and the commission for the sale and nobody is the wiser although the black hat hacker is the richer.
There are a multitude companies dedicated to help you find the best possible way to protect yourself and fight back against black hat hackers and crackers and the spyware companies.
For anti virus protection and computer intrusion Norton antivirus and Norton security would be at the top of my list. The No.1 anti-spyware, anti-malware program that I have seen to date in my opinion would have to be a program from emsisoft called a-squared.
No matter what type of computer security you choose the fact is if you don’t have it you will be invaded. Protect your self.
Aside from Internet security a basic knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping is the most important education you can have to succeed in any business. Knowing what you bring in and pay out and keeping track of it on a ledger is Basic Accounting/bookkeeping.
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting or if you have been at it for may years, keeping a record of what you have coming in and what you are paying out are of grave importance.
Not only for Profit and loss determination but also it is imperative to have records when it come to tax time. Because Uncle Sam wants to know how much of your hard earned money he gets.
You could keep a small ledger or you can track everything on your computer using Microsoft Excel. Even better yet you could purchase an accounting/bookkeeping software package such as Quicken or Quick Books, Microsoft Money is also good.
If you don’t have the time or if you just can’t figure out the complicated programs you should hire an accounting/bookkeeping firm to keep track of everything, your budget permitting.
I do how ever recommend that when it does come to Tax Time no mater how you keep track of your books, you go out and have your taxes done by a professional Tax company or your accountant.
Internet business success has no guarantee. For that matter there is no particular guarantee for life in general. Success is how ever what you make it.
There is one final form of business education that I have not covered. That is the school of Hard Knox.
They say that experience is the best teacher. You can’t put a price on it. You can’t order it on line or learn it from a book. You can’t sit in a classroom and get it. The only way to get your diploma is to go out and experience it first hand, Live it!