Did you know only half of the businesses that start will make it five years?
And only one-third of those that make it five years make it to 10 years.
Today we're talking all about why businesses fail, and how you can make sure that this doesn't happen to you. You can watch the video here or read below.
One of the top reasons businesses fail is they have a complete lack of a unique selling proposition.
What is a unique selling proposition? It is what sets you apart from the competitors. How do you run your business in such a unique way that you're different from the competitors, or how are your products different? You want to be thinking about this because this is one of the most important things for you to do to make your competition irrelevant. If you don't have a unique selling proposition, then you're just a me-too and part of the pack. You want to be figuring that out so that you can separate yourself from the competition. I did a webinar on this, Blueprint To Building A Product Brand That Lasts. You can watch it FREE right here.
The second reason businesses fail is the failure to communicate their unique selling proposition.
You've figured out what your unique selling proposition is, but then you fail to communicate it to the customers. It's so important that you communicate what it is you do, and the way you do it that's different.
Listen to your customers, and use their words. I like to keep a running list if I come across something that my customers would be talking about. It's could be a keyword, or it's something that I should remember in my marketing materials, I'll write that down. Let me give you a perfect example. I'm a coach and a consultant for product-based business owners. I was using the word, "Product-based business owners," in all of my marketing.
Then I started realizing a lot of the people that would benefit from my products and services were not calling themselves product-based business owners. They're calling themselves online shop owners, creative entrepreneurs, makers, designers, and the list goes on just to give you an example. I've started making a list, and when I hear something and go, "Ah, that's how I should be communicating with my customers in their words," I write it down. Some of the places that you can find your customers, in Facebook groups, or at events, things like that. Think about where your customers hang out, and then what are they saying? Another great place to find their words and what they're saying is social media. Make sure that you're communicating your unique selling proposition in the voice that they would be looking for.
The third reason businesses fail is not listening to the customers and offering products or services that they are willing to pay for.
This sounds so easy, but so many people miss it. As business owners we fall in love with our products and we just assume everyone's going to love them like we do. We should test the market and make sure that the customers are willing to pay for what it is that we are selling. Find a way to communicate with the customers. Use focus groups, use surveys, email marketing, go to meetings, anywhere where you can get in front of the customer to find out what it is they want. The best advice for your products and services comes directly from the customer because hopefully, you're solving a pain point for them.
The fourth reason businesses fail is they do not have a clear business model with revenue streams.
This is VERY important.... revenue streams. You have to nail the market where your product fits in so that you can make money, or you're sunk. You run out of cash. Running out of cash is one of the top reasons businesses fail. Decide, what is your business model? Are you an eCommerce shop, are you a wholesale shop, are you a retail shop, are you a subscription based business? Whatever it is you are, decide that, focus on that, and make sure that your products or services are wanted or needed in that space so you have revenue.
The fifth reason businesses fail, they run out of cash.
Businesses run out of cash when they haven't done the things that we've been talking about here. If you don't have cash, you can't pay your bills, and then you are out of business.
Make sure that you can make money from the products or services that you sell. Your business has to generate revenue or it won't succeed.
The sixth reason businesses fail is poor management, and lack of skills to managing your business.
You're the founder, you have to gain the skills, and you have to gain the knowledge to navigate the issues in your business. You have to spend time on personal development, you need to read to succeed.
I like to say, "Turn your car into Drive Time University." I don't listen to the radio in my car, I listen to books, or I listen to podcasts. I try to always listen to something where I can learn something new to help my business grow. That's one of the things that you'll find all successful people do, they continually read and learn. Make sure that you are always developing your leadership skills so that you can grow your business.
We've talked about a lot of ways that you can avoid your business being one of the statistics where your business fails. I have lots of information for you over in ProductBizMadeEasy.com. I have mini bite-sized lessons to help you grow your business.
I also do FREE weekly webinars to help you learn all about sales, marketing, strategy, and systems. You can find them here, register for my next one today.
Are you the best-kept secret in your business? Do you know that the product that you sell, or the service that you offer would give amazing results and people would just absolutely love it?
Well if they don't know you exist, they're never going to find out. Today we're talking all about how to get visibility for your business. You can watch the video here, or read below.
The first thing that you can do to get visibility for your business is to have a website.
You need to have a home base or a hub where people can find you when they Google your name or your business name. If you're selling on Etsy, Amazon, or another platform, but you don't have your own website people can’t find you. You need a website, even if it's just a landing page or a one-page website.
I know this is a place that a lot of people get hung up, but there are amazing resources that are available. There are drop and drag websites that give you the ability to build your own website and your own landing pages. Some of the resources that you could check would be Weebly.com or Wix.com. You can find something like that, or even lead pages where you could have a simple landing page if you don't want to go to the trouble to do a website. Do something though because you need to have a base for visibility.
The second thing you can do to gain visibility online is start a blog.
You don't have to blog every day. You don't even have to blog every week, but what you do want to do is be consistently putting content out there on a regular basis so that once they find you they can continue to come back to get more information. It also gives the search engines the ability to go through and search, and find you, and update your website. So starting a blog is really important if you want to have visibility.
The third thing you can do to gain visibility online is join some Facebook groups.
Get in the Facebook groups and start engaging and talking to people. It's not just about going in there and then throwing your information there. You've got to be a lurker, and then start getting into the communicating and participating, and then people are going to find you. So communicating in the Facebook groups is a really good place to start. Now if you want a really good Facebook group to get started, go ahead and hop on over to our Facebook group, Product Biz Made Easy, and we'd love to have you there.
The fourth thing that you can do to gain visibility online is be consistent on one social platform.
If you're on social media pick one platform and focus on it, do it really well, and be consistent. Facebook is where most people are hanging out, so Facebook is a good place to start if you're not on Facebook or not actively engaged on Facebook. Facebook is the number one driver to websites, so I would definitely be using Facebook. If you're already using Facebook then pick another one and become very well versed in it. Pinterest is another really good one for product-based business owners to participate in.
The fifth thing you can do to gain visibility online is get out locally.
Get out and get active in your community and participate in some events and some meetings and groups of different things that are business associated, or associations that are affiliated with your type of business where it would be a good fit. It's amazing how when you start local it can branch out further from there. So that's a really good place to go.
Success leaves clues...
This is the one thing that I'll tell you over and over. Success leaves clues. Who is doing what you want to do really well? Watch them. See what they're doing. What platforms are they engaging in? What groups are they in? What events are they attending? How often are they putting content up on their websites? Don't copy them, learn from them. Success leaves clues.
I have given you six great ideas on how you can get visibility for your online product-based business. Now, remember, if people don't know you exist they don't know your products exist. They can't buy them. So don't be the best-kept secret in town. Your action item for this week is to get out there and be visible. Then I also want you to make sure that you come on over and join our Facebook group, Product Biz Made Easy, to get started.
What are you going to do to be more visible? Please share with us what you're going to do. You can start by leaving a comment....you'll be visible. 😀
Do you sell your products on Etsy, Amazon, or eBay? Maybe even Zazzle, Redbubble, or Society6? Well, today we're talking all about why you need your own website, and if you're serious about your product based business, you're going to want one. Today I am sharing with you eleven reasons why you need your own website.
You can watch the video here or read below.
People take you seriously if you have your own website.
It means you're a real business with a real brand. You can have your own storefront, people can go directly to your business name and they can find out all about you in once place, as well as your products, are right there and easy to buy.
You're building your brand, not someone else's.
When you're selling on Amazon or Etsy or another platform, all the traffic and all the business that you're giving them, you're building their brand, not your brand. It's important that you're building your brand for longevity and health of your business.
You keep control of your business and you can't get shut down.
Believe me, you hear all the horror stories of people getting shut down from Etsy or Amazon for minor infractions. I have seen it firsthand as I have had clients who have experienced this and been shut down on Amazon for something as simple as answering a customer service email a couple of hours too late. When you have your own website you don't run the risk of losing your business overnight for virtually a minor infraction.
You keep your customers focused on your store and your product.
When they're on another platform they're constantly being bombarded by, "Go here. Check out this store. Do that. Buy this product." When they're on your own website shopping, you keep control of where they're at and what they're looking at.
List building is easier with your own website.
You can market to the people that you have email addresses from. When you're on another platform you cannot gather their email addresses. It's really important that you're able to collect those. When you have your own website you have a hub where they can come. You can collect their information, and then you can target them with email marketing, which is one of the top ways to market your business. It's a lot easier to do that when you have your own website because you're able to collect the addresses. The value of your business is almost in the size of your list because your sales become very, very predictable based on the number of people you can market to when you know your average conversion rate and the average number of people that you have on your list.
The fees associated with owning your own website are much less.
Amazon or Etsy both take a percentage of your sales. Imagine if you were able to take all of that money that you would pay Amazon or Etsy or another platform for being on their website and you put that into marketing your website. Can you imagine the extra traffic that you would get and the extra sales if you had that money to put right back into marketing?
You can use an abandoned cart app when you have your own website.
When people go to your shopping cart, put products in and then get distracted and walk away, you can target them. You can remind them about what's in the shopping cart and that they started purchasing from you. You will be able to recover some of those sales with this app.
You can attach your blog to your store.
You can get more traffic through blogging and will be able to expand your reach. When you have the other stores you cannot attach your blog to it.
When you have your own website you can use your platform such as blogging and keywords and other SEO tactics to drive your business to the top of Google. When you're on the other platforms you're building their business, not your business, so SEO is another reason to have your own website.
You can have better promotions.
When you have your own website you can do promotions whenever you want. You can change your website. Use the front page of your website to attract the customers and notify them of the promotions. It's a lot easier to do that kind of promotion and marketing tactics when you have your own website.
You can run ads to your opt-in on your website so that you can list build, hence get more customers and grow your business and sales.
That's eleven reasons why you should own your own website. If you want to dive deeper into sales and marketing strategies and systems, come on over to beckyjanderson.com/weekly-webinars. Every Thursday I do a webinar all about sales and marketing and strategy and systems for product based business owners.
You can also join my Free Library and Resource Center here.
So you have an online store and you're getting some traffic.
For anyone that owns an online store, you know that traffic and conversions are your top priority. By now, you've been thinking of ways you can promote your store. If you haven't thought about or checked into affiliate marketing, you need to. Today we're talking all about affiliate marketing and how you can grow your business using affiliates.
Watch here or read all about it below.
You know me, I want you to have five different revenue streams, or as I call them sales buckets for your product-based business.
Affiliate marketing is a really great way to add another revenue stream.
What is affiliate marketing and why should you consider it?
Well, affiliate marketing simply put is a reward based system that incentivizes your customers or your marketers to promote your products in exchange for a commission. The idea of affiliate marketing may seem daunting but it is really rather straightforward. You pay out a fee when a sale has been made and you generated revenue.
Your customer or your marketer signs up for your affiliate program. They send visitors to your store and any sales that you get as a result of the traffic that they brought you, they get a percentage of the sale.
It's just this simple, the affiliate puts a link to your website on their website or on their social media. Then a customer clicks and buys your products. The conversions are tracked and the affiliate gets a commission on the sale.
Bottom line, you have other people doing your marketing and bringing you new customers.
Some people may balk at the idea of paying a percentage of the sales but look at the return on the investment. Remember, you would pay a sales rep commission off of wholesale. You are paying a smaller amount because you're paying an affiliate a commission off retail.
You have better margins when you're retailing your product and yet you're getting more traffic because of those affiliates. You are expanding your brand.
You have to do the math to figure out how much you can afford to give up to do affiliate marketing. Can you afford 5%? Can you afford 10%? Can you afford 50%?
Think about it when you're deciding and figuring out what you can afford to pay. The more you pay, the more traffic you're going to get because the affiliates are incentivized to drive traffic to the programs where they get better commissions. That's a point to think about as you're deciding how much you can afford to pay and what your commission rate will be.
How do you get started?
You can start by adding a plug-in to your website or by joining an affiliate network. If you don't want to join an affiliate network, you can do your own tracking by downloading an app. Say you're using Shopify for an example, there's a few apps or plugins that you could use.
You install that affiliate software onto your website and then it's up to you to advertise that program and drive traffic to your program. Some examples of apps that you could use would be Referral Candy or Lead Dyno.
The pros are, it's not as expensive to get started, but the cons are you have to drive the traffic and you have to promote your own program. If you want to do the easier way that costs a little bit more money, you can join an affiliate network. They provide a marketplace where your affiliate program will be advertised.
The Network already has the marketplace and they advertise it. They have the marketers who have signed up with them to do affiliate marketing. All the marketers have to do is sign up to your program and then the network that you've joined will track the traffic and commissions. They issue commission checks and reports. It's a lot easier but it's a little bit more expensive.
For example, some of the networks you could join would be Share a Sale, Commission Junction or Linkshare.
If you decide to do an affiliate program, be generous with your commissions.
Think about how much are you spending on ads and what does it cost you to bring in a new customer? The affiliate is doing the same job but probably for less than it would be for the ads. Think about that as you're deciding on commission rates. Just be generous.
Don't forget the key point with affiliates is they are bringing you, new customers. That's what's important. Think about the value of a new customer and what it costs to bring a new customer in.
I think it's worth it and I think you should consider doing an affiliate program. I want you to come on over to my Facebook group, Product Biz Made Easy and tell us are you using affiliates or are you considering using affiliates?
Make sure that you sign up for my weekly webinar series, Product Biz Made Easy where we talk all about sales and marketing strategies and systems for your product based business. You can find that at beckyjanderson.com/weekly-webinars.
Is your business on Pinterest?
Well if it's not, it should be. Today, we're talking about reasons why your business should be on Pinterest.
When it comes to Pinterest, there's a lot of misconceptions.
Only women are on Pinterest. That's not true. There's a lot of men on Pinterest, and more and more getting on every day.
People only pin food things, and wedding content, and girl stuff. That's not true either. There's all sorts of businesses on Pinterest that appeal to both men and women.
My target audience isn't on Pinterest. Yeah, guess what? They are. Just about every business model is on Pinterest.
Another thing I hear all the time is, "I don't have time for another social network." Well, you need to take time for this one. The user base of Pinterest is growing so fast. Right now, there's 150 million users with over a billion boards on Pinterest. That is something you don't want to miss out on. You want to jump on that while it's hot.
Let’s talk about reasons why you should be on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a visual search engine
In fact, it's one of the largest traffic drivers in the world. Pinterest is 80% more viral and three times more effective at generating leads than Twitter.
Pinterest is great for link building
The pin takes you back to the original source. Pinterest helps reduce the number of steps from discovery to conversions. It makes it easier for people to get straight to the source. When they hover over your picture, there's a button they can click. It takes you right back to that link. It's incredible.
Pinterest drives traffic, and a lot of it
My clients are always surprised to see that Pinterest is their number two source of traffic next to Facebook. A lot of them are really surprised when I take them in and show them how to read Google Analytics that they see that. If you're using Pinterest, and pinning regularly, and haven't looked, I'll bet you'll find the same thing. Pinterest will be your number two source of traffic. Facebook definitely has a lot more people, so it will usually be number one, but Pinterest is number two. Think about all the other social platforms there are, and for Pinterest to be the number two, you need to be on Pinterest if you're not.
You get free marketing from your fans on Pinterest
The more your pin is repinned by others, the more others know about you. You just have to invest in the right descriptions and good quality images of your products that others will want to repin.
Benefits of SEO on Pinterest
Pinterest works with keywords, not hashtags. Remember, it's a search engine. If you google keywords, most of the time a Pinterest page comes up with numerous pin boards in it containing the products or the search terms that you were looking for.
Pinterest integrates with your website and your social profiles
It enables users to automatically post new pins to their feeds for others to see. You know the little hover button that's over your products? All your customers have to do is take that and pin it, and it puts it right on their board. It is so easy to use and it integrates so well with your website and your other social platforms.
Pinners buy spend more that Facebook users
Sure, pinners love to buy stuff, but do they buy expensive stuff? The answer is, yes. They do. According to Shopify research, the average order value from Pinterest referral traffic is $58.95, compared to Facebook's average of $55.
The staying power of the pin
The life of the tweet or Facebook post is extremely short. About 24 minutes for a tweet, and 90 minutes for a Facebook post. A pin? Try about 3 1/2 months. That's right. It's because a pin that is repinned even once will be seen over, and over, and over again. Pins are more accessible. They can be found and seen on a user's home feed or on the others' boards. Not only does a pin stay around longer and get more views, the folks looking at pins are more actively wanting to buy.
The amount of time that people spend on Pinterest
The average American Pinterest user spends about an hour and 17 minutes on the website. Rather than just popping in for a few minutes here and there on other social platforms like they do, once a person's searching on Pinterest, they kind of get sucked in. It's like that rabbit hole that you keep going deeper and deeper into. The more time they spend on the site means that there's more of a chance that they're going to see your content.
That's a lot of reasons why you should be using Pinterest for your business. That's it for today. If you want to dive deeper into how to use Pinterest, I'll be doing a free webinar on Thursday all about how to use Pinterest for you business. beckyjanderson.com/weekly-webinars to register.
If you're not already in our Facebook group, go on over and join our Facebook group, Product Biz Made Easy.