Long Tail Marketing

If you have been doing any reading at all about marketing, you must have come across this term in marketing articles and even books – long tail marketing.

After Chris Andersen’s The Long Tail was published in 2004, many people believed that this was a “gold mine” that had been left untapped. Well, I believe Alex Iskold of ReadWriteWeb has hit it dead center when he pointed out the difference between being IN the long tail and LEVERAGING OFF the long tail.

Actually, if you thought about it, this is no different from any other “get rich” or “make money” ideas. The ideas themselves are good. But putting them into practice is the challenge. And usually, there is a linchpin which many miss. Either they over-look it or the ones sharing the secret failed to highlight it. In this case, this long-tail golden goose can be missed or caught on the back of a preposition.

I would suggest that most of us, like it or not, live in the long-tail. We are the 80 in the 80-20 rule. But what is crumbs for the elite could work out to be a nice little nest-egg for us. After all, if you are looking to bolster your main income with a little long-tail stuff, then, a couple of hundreds a month is not too bad. But if you were looking for your fortune, then maybe you have to start looking for the big head and aim for the heart.

Entrepreneur Tip – Don’t Take Credit Card Loans!

When running a small business, many small business owners rely a lot on their credit cards to see them through tight corners. This is actually fine. But there is one thing that you should never do. Never take cash out on your credit card!

Compare loans to get the best interest rates and terms. There are really many other options when you are looking for unsecured loans that are much more viable than using your credit cards. Of course, we all know that when you are looking for homeowner loans, you shop around. Should be no different when you are going for small loans for your small business. Don’t pay huge interests, there are other options!

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[tags]personal loans, unsecured loans, small business loans[/tags]

Entrepreneur Tip – Online Phone Cards Sales!

This is really interesting. Just a few months ago, I was speaking with a friend about how lucrative it was selling phone cards. Then, here is this site offering a phone card business all ready to go! Believe it or not, this is surely the coincidence of a lifetime. Or maybe, it’s a message for me.

In the online world, I have seen such turnkey solutions for dating sites, gambling sites, shopping sites even. But this is the first that I have seen for phone cards. Going through their website, it seems like this is really a full-fledged online sales system that allows you to actually create a phone card business. One of the biggest challenges when setting up a phone card sales business is the inventory of phone cards. All the other stuff like the shopping cart system, payment and security are chicken feed compared to the hassle of getting a decent inventory of phone cards to start the business. That problem is solved with this turn-key solution.

Checking out the Frequently Asked Questions, the commissions range from 16 – 41% with the majority falling in the 20% range. Considering my own market research when me and my friend were considering starting this business on our own, those are decent margins. For those who are not aware, phone cards are one of the most popular means of calling overseas. If you think about the highly cosmopolitan US population and the fact that everyone loves to call home; you will realize just how lucrative this market really is.

[tags]phone cards, calling cards, online store[/tags]

Update – Shopping Cart Solution

Some time ago, I reviewed a shopping cart solution that was pretty comprehensive and professional. I liked the fact that it had a free trial where you could actually use the shopping cart for 10 days, which should be enough time for you to figure out if this is a solution for you.

But more importantly, when I re-visited the site, I noticed that they have revamped the look and feel of the site. But the one thing that made me smile was the addition of a Live Sales & Support button! This is fantastic! I do not know if you have ever experienced buying stuff or services online, but one of the biggest headache is always access to support.

In the “real world” that we live in, support is a phone call away; or we take the train and bang on some tables. But online, it is sometimes tough to get a hold of anyone when you need help. Features aside, this one single button says to me that this is a really serious company that is committed to helping its customers.

That, is good enough for me.

[tags]shopping cart, ecommerce software, shopping cart software, online store[/tags]

Entrepreneur Tip – Get a Business Card Reader!

Here is a really simple, yet often overlooked tip for business owners – collect as many business cards as you can!

OK, for those who are asking “why?” I would then say, because…

– you need to know more people who might become your potential customers
– you need to know more people who might know your potential customers
– you need to know more people who might be able to help you in your business
– you need to know more people who might be able to invite you to more parties

But as any avid business card collector will tell you, the challenge is not in collecting cards. People are more than happy to pass you their cards. It has become an auto-reflex. The real problem is, what do you DO with all those cards? It is going to be hell trying to type in all the contacts.

Nice Toy!To the rescue, comes the business card reader. As an employee, you might wave it off as a frivolous toy, but as an entrepreneur, this is your lean, mean, lead-generating machine!

Of course, this is not the only model available out there. But this model, Scan2Contacts from ScanShell integrates with your Microsoft Outlook and scans those addresses and other information directly into your Outlook. Talk about saving time!

If you speak with any internet marketing professional, you will always hear “… the money is in the list” kind of talk. Well, in this case, it is easy to create that list. Just feed those cards into the reader. If that is too technical for you, then you must be that 5-year old lemonade king that everyone is talking about down the block!

[tags]business card scanner, entrepreneur, small business, start up[/tags]

Your garage could be the start of your future!

Besides parking your car, what else do you put in your garage? What is it good for? For some, its just another space to clean. For others, it was the start of a multi-million dollar corporation!

This could be you! If you can just upgrade your garage into an office and have a proper garage storage system in place, that little space could be transformed into the first step towards your success.

Many entrepreneurs who just start out spend way too much trying to get a spanky new office. That can come later. While you are starting, the garage could be your ideal choice. It sits outside of your regular living space, thus giving you the feeling of “going to work” and it is near enough not to require excessive time wasted in office commute.

See you at the top Steve!

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[tags]garage storage, entrepreneur, small business, start up[/tags]

Entrepreneur Resource – Cash Advance

Sometimes, as an entrepreneur, we fight bravely against all odds. From chasing clients who prefer to work with “bigger” companies to keeping our operations running smoothly. With such a heavy load, sometimes, we get overwhelmed by one of the most basic of needs – cash.

That is where the Internet comes in. It is rather easier to get a cash advance on the Internet than through any other means. Also, as a small business owner, there are times where we might not want the whole world to know that we are taking small loans. We are already struggling with the whole image thing, and such short term, almost anonymous loans can be a great help. This company specializes in payday loans, but the small businesses can certainly make use of any resource that can help.

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[tags]quick cash, loans, internet loans, cash advance, payday loans[/tags]

Entrepreneur Resource – Computer Based Training

One of the biggest advantage that large companies have over smaller companies, is the fact that they have better staff. While it is true that top graduates naturally gravitate towards the Fortune 500 companies, the reality is that these companies invest in training their staff.

For smaller businesses, computer based training could be the ideal answer. Web based training mean that employees can take the training any time that they are free to do so, even at home. In this way, the staff gets to learn more and expand their skills and knowledge, and the employer gets better skilled staff. Now, if anyone says “… home is MY time!” then the only thing I have to say is that training, your knowledge, your skills are yours. The company can take away your paycheck, but never your skills and knowledge. And if a company cares enough about you to provide you with training facilities, be grateful. You are correct. It is your time. But then, it is your future too.

Companies who invest in the training and upgrading of their staff will invariably fare better in the long run. There is no fluke. It is a commitment and an understanding that building up the individuals will build up the company. If you are running a company and wished you had better staff, well, build them up.

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[tags]training, small business, skills training, computer based training[/tags]