By Derek Gehl
In the last issue of The IMC Insider, I gave you a surefire strategy for improving customer loyalty — and keeping your profits STRONG — during the current economic chaos.
Since I published that issue, I’ve been getting LOTS of emails and calls from subscribers who don’t actually have sites up and running yet, all asking the same thing:
“Sure, your strategy is good for people who are ALREADY making money online…
… but what about those of us who are still THINKING about starting an Internet business? Isn’t this the WORST time to launch a new website?!”
Believe me, I understand your fears…
With all the current talk of failing banks, collapsing real estate markets, and imploding stocks, I wouldn’t blame you if, right about now, you feel like taking every spare penny you have, stuffing it in your mattress, and waiting for this entire mess to blow over!
But the truth is, starting an Internet business is something you should consider, no matter WHAT the economy looks like.
First, online sales have never been STRONGER!
In fact, a recent report published by Forrester Research indicates that, despite the ailing economy, online retail sales are expected to INCREASE by 17% in 2008, bringing the annual amount spent online to $204 BILLION (click here to read the report).
Second, remember that, unlike local brick-and-mortar businesses, which are typically at the mercy of the local economy, you have access to an entire GLOBAL market. So even if U.S. shoppers are feeling pinched, you’ll still have plenty of other customers to turn to.
Next, consider the start-up costs of an Internet business. Unlike traditional businesses, you can get your website running for less than the cost of a couple of nights out on the town, so you don’t need to tie up your “emergency” cash — or go into debt — to get started.
And speaking of debt, with such low initial cost, you’ll have no concerns about trying to qualify for a start-up loan, something that’s likely going to get much tougher during the current credit crunch.
And finally, remember that you can start your business even while you’re working your “day” job, so you can continue to enjoy a regular source of income while you work to make your site successful. Try that with a regular brick-and-mortar business.
At the end of the day, starting your own Internet business during a recession — or whatever they’re calling the current economic situation — is an excellent form of job security!
BUT before you jump in and start your website…
… remember that there’s one big (and I do mean BIG) newbie mistake you MUST avoid if you hope to build a successful online business during this turbulent economy — and in fact, lots of established site owners are getting this wrong, too.
To start a TRULY successful online business right now, you must FIRST identify a “niche market.”
And yes, I know I sound like a broken record! You’ve likely heard me preaching and ranting about niche markets at least a dozen times already, but the truth is, no matter HOW often I talk about it, I still see so many well-intentioned people getting this WRONG.
When I chat with people at industry events, when I read the questions from members of my “Internet Entrepreneur Club,” when I look at comments on my blog, I hear and see the same things all the time:
“My niche market is young business professionals.”
“My niche market is women over 40 who are interested in their health.”
“My niche market is people who like to garden.”
These are NOT niche markets!!
These are HUGE and UNDEFINED groups of people who all have different goals, interests, and experiences, and trying to sell effectively to a big, diverse group like this is going to be an exercise in failure!
In fact, you’ll likely find yourself competing directly with the likes of WalMart, eBay, or Amazon (or all three)…
… and something tells me their marketing budgets are a just tiny bit bigger than yours, right?
But that’s the beauty of marketing to a true niche. It’s a MUCH smaller, more defined target, so you can figure out exactly what everyone who visits your site wants… know where they hang out online… understand PRECISELY how to speak to them… and offer the specific products that will make a difference in their lives.
At the same time, you can really concentrate on becoming a recognized expert in your chosen market, so you’ll be able to build really strong relationships of trust with your visitors, which is the key to success.
And best of all, these smaller markets can often be virtually ignored by the big guys, so you’ll end up with MUCH less competition! So even though you’re selling to far fewer people, you’ll actually end up making MORE sales.
Make sense so far?
So, if groups like “parents over 35” or “balding men” aren’t niche markets, what is? Well, let’s look at some examples. These are actual niches that real people are getting wealthy in right now:
* Spanish-speaking architects looking for software, training, and resources
* People who want to make crafts with dried poppies
* Heavy metal bands looking for sponsorship and branded clothing and accessories
See the difference?
A niche market is super specific, and caters to a group of people who are all looking for the solution to a common problem.
And if you’re worried that narrowing your market like this will limit your sales, consider this:
In a typical town, a business selling nothing but organic parrot food would likely struggle. There’s probably not enough demand, and even the local pet store couldn’t sell enough of it to make it worthwhile.
But online, with over 1.3 billion people worldwide on the Internet, even if only one or two people in every town want that specific, hard-to-find product, that’s more than enough to make up a market for a profitable business!
So by all means, start that website now, even though it may seem like the timing is bad… but make sure you do your homework FIRST.
By identifying a solid, tightly-defined niche market, and then building your site and products around the problem that your market is trying to solve, you’ll be taking the first GIANT step toward profits…
… and AVOIDING the kinds of disasters that typical small business startups can experience during uncertain economic times.
And that’s what I call job security!
Charles Kaluwasha is pleased to offer you a successful home business and a proven Marketing system that has already helped thousands of ordinary people around the globe reach their goals and create financial freedom. To subscribe to a Free Home Business Secrets Course and have a look at what we have to offer, visit: