The hope of making a fortune on the internet for many small business entrepreneurs has become something close to a nightmare, and there are known reasons why this is happening. Yet if you listen to the internet marketing gurus you would think the internet is a pot of gold waiting to be taken.
For one thing, the number of people looking to the internet with hopes of making it big has risen exponentially over the past five years. The downturn in the national economy beginning 2007 was a contributing factor. Many who thought their jobs were secured are beginning to wonder how long before they lose them.
For another, unlike the early days of internet marketing, big retail businesses which didn’t see the internet as a viable marketing tool have now created very impressive presence on the internet. This has convinced the public to buy from established retailers with long track records rather than from small business entrepreneurs who nobody knows except their family and friends.
The big retailers have the resources to do extensive market research to find what customers want, where to find them, and target products to them at prices, including other perks that the small entrepreneur cannot match.
In other words, the big retailers are eating the lunches of the small entrepreneurs. The talk about finding a niche market and developing it, for many small entrepreneurs has not produce the promised results. The tentacles of the big retailers have already extended into the profitable niche markets.
In the face of this predicament, the obvious question is, should the small entrepreneurs fold up their tents and go home? No, entrepreneurs who give up that easy never had the entrepreneurial spirit to begin with.
Going forward the new paradigm taking shake among dynamic small entrepreneurs is to make the old new again. This involves reinventing the concept that made the mom and pop stores successful in the mid 20th century. It was a simple concept: building good business relationship between the buyer and the seller.
Although building good relationship with your customers is time consuming, it is less expensive; demanding of inter-personal skills, it is more enduring; difficult to pass bad products as good products, in the long run it is more profitable.
Search the internet and join as many internet communities related or slightly related to your line of business. Don’t go in with the immediate goal to sell your products, that’s a recipe for failure. Become an active participant in the forums, contribute quality ideas to the discussions, offer help to those who ask questions on issues about which you are well informed, and overtime establish a name for yourself as the ‘go to’ person.
Be prepared for the long haul. It takes time to earn the confidence of total strangers, you maybe looking at a year or so of dedicated hard work, but once you earn it, the reward from being known by a large number of people who see you as a trustworthy person will translate into increase sales and profits on products and services you introduce to them later. They will be buying from you; someone they know and trust, and that will make all the difference.