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Abbie's Column : Starting a Business


Improve Your Online Small Business Profits
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10 New Tactics for Online Business Success

By Abbie Drew
May 3, 2007

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I have a great free resource to share with you today.

If you haven't read the book - "Getting Real" by 37signals
you need to do so. ( http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php
)

37signals' book gives you a step-by-step formula to create
and sell your own products / services in the online
marketplace.

Why should you listen to their strategies?

1) Their tactics are designed for small business,
i.e. one and two man shops like yours.

The 37signals business was started with a team of 3 people.

2) 37signals' online services are used by more than 350,000
people and small businesses.

They have been hugely successfully and written up in the
Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Week
and more.

It is obvious there strategies work!

Here are the top 10 points I took from their book:

1) Less is more

When designing a new product or service or writing an
ebook, don't get overwhelmed by everything you think
should go into it.

Instead focus on putting into the product what is truly
essential and make what you do deliver excellent.


2) Build a product / service that solves your own problems

When thinking about what to create consider your own
issues and problems. Most likely if you're having the
difficulty so are others. Design the product to help
yourself and when you do your product will help others as
well. What's more when you build something that helps
yourself you will be passionate about it!


3) Enjoy what you do

If you are passionate about the product you create it will be evident. You will deliver a better product. You will market it more effectively! And you will be happier. So make sure you enjoy what you make!


4) Set limitations

None of us have enough time or money to build our dream
creation. So limit yourself to what is absolutely necessary
to get the job done.


5) Promote that you are a small business

Differentiate yourself from big business by being a small,
personal and friendly organization. Don't pretend to be what
you're not and try to look like a large company. Instead
market that you are small with less bureaucracy. And
because you're small you really care about your customers
and will work with them directly.


6) Stop focusing on details

Yes, details are important but if you start listing out
everything that needs to go into your product you will
become overwhelmed. Start by thinking of the big picture.
Then work from the big issues down to the small.


7) Find the right customers

Your product / service / ebook will not be right for
everyone. Focus on your niche. Cater to those who are like
you, i.e. have the same problem as you. You will know this
marketplace and thus be able to market to them effectively.
Your product will also be perfect for them and they will sing your praises.


8) Take a side

Your product / service / ebook should have a vision. It lays
out an approach to handling the problem. Its approach can
not be flexible and meet everyone's needs. For those who do
not like your vision, do not change your product / service /
ebook. Take a side and stick with it.


9) Say No

As a small business you can only do so much. Therefore
you will have to say no to customers. You have to learn to
skip putting in the new product feature or additional service offering or extra informational ebook chapter. Even when a customer or two makes a special request, learn to say no.

Only when many customers demand the feature, should the
extra item be added.


10) Build what you can manage and then grow

Start with a small concept. If you start out trying to make
the Hoover damn, it's likely you'll never finish.

Instead, stick with a basic idea and create it. Get your
small new product / new service / new report finished and
launched. When it works then go back and do more.

So if you have an idea for an ebook, just write the first
chapter and sell it as a report instead of an ebook. Then
when it works write more and sell the entire ebook.

Similarly if you have a web site you want developed, keep it
small initially. When it works then start expanding and
growing.


These 10 point are only a taste of the terrific information in the "Getting Real" book by 37signals. So go take a look and review it today. You'll be glad you did!

Again the book is freely available at -
http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php


###
Abbie Drew
DEMC Editor



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