There has been discussion about what is selling versus what is marketing for many years.

We can start by taking a quick look at the definitions…….

Marketing

The commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service

Selling

The exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money

If you accept these definitions selling is part of marketing. Over the years, I have met several people who were selling products and described their business as marketing. It seemed as though they wanted to disguise the real business.

As time went by, it became obvious that the description they offered was accurate.

How does this apply to your business?

Well, you have a product (or service) that you would like to exchange for money. That is pretty basic. Selling in its purest form.

Getting your product in front of potential customers, that is marketing. You market, so that you can sell….

Does that make sense to you? I would certainly hope so.

I know…..you can’t sell.  You can’t sell five dollar bills for a buck a piece.

Then……..find another business…..in fact get a job. It all comes down to selling….and spins off of marketing……

Passive Selling

Really……..although, on the bright side, there is such a thing as passive selling.

You find a place where a large number of people pass by during a given time frame. Display your products and then wait for someone to pass by and buy what you have to show.

Like a flea market, busy street corner……..or a store…….

You could also use a website, where the potential exist for millions of people to stop in, examine your products and hopefully buy some of what you have to offer.

Now Marketing

OK…we have solved your selling problem, now let’s figure out how to get all those people to see your products.

That would be marketing. Actually a little more complicated than that sounds. It covers a broad array of subjects. I can’t really cover the whole process in a blog post but I can touch some of the basics.

Marketing includes the appearance of your product, the name of your product and the advertizing of your product. Just to point out a few segments.

The product must “look” good, must be attractive to your prospects. The name must also be attractive and accurate.

Try to but yourself in your prospects shoes and view your offering from their perspective. Would you be interested in it? Does it fill the prospects need?

Who would buy something named “Glop”? Then consider, there is a product named “Gunk®” that has been around for years and sells well. Go figure…..

The advertizing part can be very involved and expensive….or not. Again depending on your choices. Television ads and commercial production can be costly, while free classified ads on the net are…well, free…

With practice, you can write your own copy for your advertizing and promotion. It does take some skill but you can learn.

Here is where your motivation and drive come into play. You can study and learn the methods available to promote your business both on line and off line. That will be up to you.

Or you can pay someone to do it for you. Again, that can get pricy…..

That is just a taste of marketing…a small taste…….

Probably the most important part is determining that salability of your product. Do people actually want to buy what you have to sell? If that answer is no……move on.

I hope, once again, that this post can help you a little. Building and operating a business can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

Remember, take the time to do your research and spend some time learning….It will pay off in the long run and the short run………

Best to you

Jim Gillum

Since the beginning of this blog I have made some attempts to follow a logical path of progression to build your business….

 

That has failed miserably….. (Following a pattern)

 

So I may as well continue that pattern and just dump out some more information, which I think will help you along your way.

 

Most businesses, on line and off line, provide a product or service. You give something in exchange for money……….

 

There are those sites that contain something of interest like games, sports scores, how to articles and other similar such information. Some are membership sites and charge a fee. Others place ads all over their site in the hopes that you will click on a link and buy some product. That way the site owner can collect a commission for sending you to the sales page.

 

We are all probably pretty familiar with those kinds of sites. They do make money. But….that is a subject for a whole nother article…..

 

OK…your product….we have touched on this before…I think…

Anyway…….you can take a look at your skills and hobbies. Is there anything marketable?

Do you make something that people will buy…Will it be practical to sell it from your home, either out the front door or on the internet?

Is it something you can make at your home?

 

Think about it from the business owner point of view.

How many cookies can you bake and sell in one day from your kitchen? Enough to develop into a fulltime business?

 

In the real world…most likely not….

In many jurisdictions, the standard home kitchen would not past health department approval. Get the point.

 

Can you make and sell 50 pound flower pots and ship them to your customers? Simple answer is yes….from a practical viewpoint….probably not.

Fifty pounds each……hard to handle …a real pain to ship or deliver.

 

Bottom line…….choose things that make sense……things that a normal person can do.

It will help to prevent you from quitting after a few days because your project is too hard.

 

Hey, I am not suggesting that you are dumb … but in the excitement of moving forward with a new project it is easy to sometimes overlook the obvious.

 

That is a good reason for a larger project to take on a consultant. A fresh pair on neutral eyes can many times see things from a different perspective. Be careful asking family or close friends, that can backfire…big time.

 

I can not tell you exactly what you should select for a product or service. If I could predict the best products, that would be a great business for me.

 

The great predictor ….send me money and I will give you the winners…..Duh… It does not work that way……sadly for both of us.

 

Let’s pretend that you need a product….

You have limited special skills…….

What to do?

 

There are several methods that have worked for many years with some degree of success. The first is to find a product that is selling well and duplicate that product.

 

For instance, hamburgers. There are many places that make and sell burgers. Most are making money. Mainly because people buy and eat hamburgers.

 

Or, develop a better version of the popular product.

 

For example, a bigger better burger. One that has extras that are not available from the other burger companies. Maybe different ingredients or “better” ingredients.

 

Or develop a completely new burger. One made out of turkey instead of beef.

 

Or….present the old product in a repackaged upgraded version……Print new in red on the package. Give it a new name. “The Florida Burger.” Now better than ever. Point out the features that have been obvious for years but not mentioned by your competitors.

 

Like…made fresh daily…..served hot……free dressings…….packaged to take home. All things that were normally always available, but never pointed out.

 

STOP…..I am not suggesting that you should go into the burger business. Simply replace the burger with the product that you are considering, to try to generate some ideas that will work for you.

 

As in past posts, I am trying to help you get some of the creative juices flowing. I don’t have all the answers. And do not claim to have.

 

But, in the past fifty years I have seen a few things that have helped me…..I hope they will help you…

 

Until next time,

Jim Gillum

Once again we will go over some of the information that we touched on an earlier post….. 

Of course, work at home is basic. Then we discussed whether or not you wanted an internet business or a business that is simply advertized on the net. A web presence, so to speak.  And…Will you build your own site or have it built for you. 

In either case there are some basic things, components, which we all need to get the web thing going.  After you have chosen your domain name, you will have to have a hosting service to host your site or blog. It is probably going to be very helpful to also have an autoresponder service. 

I highly recommend the service in this banner….from the unselfish marketer. I have been doing business with his company for quite some time….the service is awesome, for the rare times I have had to contact them. Click the banner now!!   hosting2.gif

Not only is the service excellent….but the features that are included in the low fee provide everything you need to get your site up and running in no time………autoresponders, site builders, data bases, and much more….. The prices offered are some of the most reasonable available on the web today…..and tomorrow for that matter. 

 Everything you will need is include in the hosting package…..payments can be made monthly, semi-annually or annually…and discounts are available.  The whole system was put together by an award winning marketer and assembled for use by marketers.  Blog or static website all the tools are there, as well as, detailed instructions on the whole setup……   

Take a quick tour and you will be as impressed as I am about the whole system….

The best to you as you continue to work on your business…

Until next time….

Jim Gillum 

I am an affiliate of this service…have been for a long time.

Your work at home business needs a product or service.  A very simple statement and something that we have discussed before.
 

Fact is, to have a business; you have to offer something in exchange for money. That is a very basic part of your business.
 

Of course, there is nothing to say that you can not offer a value for free. For the basis of this discussion, we will focus on a business that we all hope will make money.
 

In some earlier posts there have been mentions of a business plan. Step one would be to determine what product or service you will offer as the base of your work at home business.
 

Obviously you should pick something that you are familiar with and can discuss in an intelligent manner. Maybe from your hobby or a prior business experience.
 

Then you will have to decide what your position will be in the supply chain.
 

And what the heck does that mean? If you are going to be in business it is helpful to understand some of the terms.
The supply chain is the “life path” of your product. It would start at the raw materials used and move on through manufacture, sales, (wholesale or retail), distribution and affiliation or franchise.
 

Wow….not really that hard.
Now you have to pick a spot in that chain. Will you mine the raw materials, make it into a product, do some of the processing or just buy the product and sell it.
 

You decision is one of the most important parts of starting your business. It will determine many components of your business. The amount of space needed, any special tools or storage needs….. And the amount of money you will need to get started.
 

Another consideration, and an important one, is whether or not you will have an online or offline operation.  Maybe you will want a combination of both.
 

For example, you can make a product and sell it directly to consumers through a website. Or simply us your site to advertize your product for local sales. Or both.
The choice is yours and will effect how you construct your business plan.
 

Selecting that product or service can be tricky. If you select something that people do not want or will not pay to have, then your business will fail.
 

Remember, just because you like it does not mean that others will, not only like it, but will pay to have it.
 

Time to do your research. Some businesses are obvious. A lawn service is normally accepted by most people. In certain parts of the country it is very seasonal and very competitive. It is however, an acceptable business, from a business point of view.
 

On the other hand, if you like to collect and polish snail shells, you would have to determine that there are enough buyers for polished snail shells to support your business.
 

OK …Ridiculous, but you get the idea.
 

You have to find out what people are buying and then determine if you can provide the product at a better price or with better service.
 

Not all good ideas are sellable; some have a very limited market. For example, Wave Energy Harvesters are a very limited specialized area.  (I am working on a marketing plan for those.)
 

So……To repeat what has been written in several earlier posts. Do your research. It can make the difference between failure and success.
 

Until next time,
To your success,
Jim Gillum

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How do I make money from home? 

A very commonly asked question……..I see it in some of the blog comments and in posts on some of the forums.

Think about it…..

I have posted this before….maybe it was too complicated to understand or my explanation was not quite clear………

You can work at home by running a business from home. Simple enough. And yet…..not all that simple.

First you will have to decide on what type of work at home business you want to have. Then you have to figure out what you can actually do. What skills do you posses that are worth money?

If you are new to my blog or have not read all the posts (yeah right)…this has been mentioned in several posts. But worth touching upon again.

Since you are reading this on the net, it may be safe to believe that your interests my lean toward something internet related. (I did not say assume…never good to do that..lol.)

Of course, offline business can benefit greatly by using the web to advertize.

At any rate, basics first.

If you want to use the net to “get rich quick”, forget it. It just does not work that way.  Most of those offers are not realistic and many are just plain scams. You would probably have a better chance to win the lottery. And not be as frustrated, after all gambling is gambling. 

There are many opportunities to actually make money. There are a ton of “jobs” that can be found by doing a Google search.  But, (the inevitable but) you MUST do your research to find the ones that are legitimate. Do not pay anyone to give you a job.

Hence, your skills. Can you write? Do graphic design? Build websites? Do SEO?

If your answer is …Huh? Then, consider network marketing, affiliate marketing or maybe blogging.

You can find the definitions for all of these by doing a Google search. In some later posts I will give some definitions and explanations. However, if you are really serious about doing something to make money, you have to learn, now, to do your research. Learning is a strong key to success in any business.

For your offline business, the questions are still basically the same. What skills do you have that can make money?

This can be a little broader. Again, think about this. The list of businesses that can be done from home is only limited by your imagination.

Again, any business that you can operate from your home is a home business. It does not have to be complicated.

A lawn mowing service based in your home is a home business.

Some businesses require a sizable financial investment, while others require very little. The more you are able to do on your own, means less that you will have to pay someone else to do. Very basic common sense…

The Secret

Start by thinking. Think about your skills, the tools or products needed to start. The work area required. The laws and rules that govern your type of operation. The amount of time needed to get started. The expenses involved to get started.

Write everything down….make a list….

A business plan…….then do your research…..

Until next time

The best to you in your quest for success…

Jim Gillum

Wow…the calendar moves as fast as the clock…..  I really need to stay on top of this blog…..    

Can’t help you very much, if I don’t post.

One question that seems to come up on a regular basis…..”Where do you get your information?”

And…….”What if I have no technical skill?”

First…and this may be repetitve….some stuff I just know…..no I was not born with it…..I lived it….It is hard to imagine that so many people overlook a massive source of information ……I spend a fair amount of time on a few forums….Getting information and many times giving some…

A lot of the questions that new folks ask, could be answered by a simple Google search…In fact Google can be an excellent source for offline information as well…..For offline business you can not only find product information, but you may also be able to find a related forum………

Some of the forums have members with years of experience and may already have made the mistakes that you can avoid….Give it a try.

For online……I have listed some where I try to stay active and that normally have good information…

.http://www.v7n.com/forums/  
http://www.honestworkfromhomesuccess.com/index.php?referrerid=16386 
http://www.marketersspaceforum.com/forum/index.php?referrerid=388
                   

      OK…tech skill…..Will depend on your product…and your skill level…If you make and sell hand blown glass…you must already have some good skills…Other areas may require the use of power tools or other dangerous things…….learn how before you try….There is always the option of farming out some of the work……But that will eat into your profit….And could affect your quality…An advantage to a home business, is to do as much as you can your self……that will equal more profit…  

  Online can be even more difficult, due to the number of varied skills needed to bring all the parts together.Considering, building a site, working with graphics and writing the content. Add that to site promotion and engine rankings and much more….BUT…You can learn it all…or at least most of it…..OH yes…Google is a good place to find all that information…too…. Until next time,

 Until next time,To your good business

Jim

   

   

   

            

                  

                           

                                        

                                                        

                                                                               

                                         

                                                         

                   

   

The work at home area is open to a lot of questions.

And I would love to tell you that I can answer those questions.

I can answer the easy ones and maybe some of the harder ones, as well. You simply need to ask.

OK….

Can you use my blog content on your site/blog? I answered this before. The answer is still yes. Just link back to my blog and give me credit. I will not be able to respond to individual requests, simply because many of the addresses listed with the comments are bad or fake.  And I get hundreds of comments weekly.

What kind of blog is this? It is a WordPress blog and is hosted on a paid hosting site. You may ask about free blogs. I will say this. Maybe as a quick sample site or to see if you can really blog.  But, with free hosting, you have no control over your own site. It can be deleted without notice.

With paid hosting, you can post anything that you want, as long as you follow the TOS of the hosting company.

If you are going to own a business……own the business. Do not let anyone else control it. Understanding that you may have to outsource some of the work, at least at first, keep your hands on as much as possible, to be certain that it is developed according to your plan (dream).

This is a good rule to follow regardless as to whether it is online or offline.

Do you code your blog and header? No, because I am not a tech person. I know how it works, but I don’t know how to do it. Now, my regular sites, those listed in the blog roll, are built by me. I have software that does the coding and I do the design, the graphics and the content.

On or offline, depending on your choice of business, you can learn the technical things. Again, depending on your product or service. If you were selling hand painted IPods, you would probably have someone else make them for you to paint.

Links in comments. Come on now, you get a back link with the comment. Other links cause the comment to be deleted. Every post on this blog gets indexed in Google as well as Yahoo and Bing.  This is a moderated blog and I read every comment and check each site.

(If any of you spammers are actually reading any of this, you are wasting your time and wasting the time that I could be using to do something more productive, to try to help the real readers.)

Where do you get your information? Much of it comes from my experience. 50 years in business and over ten years on the net. Plus, I read. I read a lot. Have for years and my retention is pretty good. I read ebooks, paper books, forums and blogs. Mostly related to marketing, business and webmastering.

Some final words.

In the past, I have written about learning about your business and I will undoubtedly write about it again. Knowledge is power. Right now you are sitting in front of your computer. You have access to all the information anyone could ever ask to find. Use it to your benefit. When you have a question, do the research. It will expand your ability to learn and to do research.

Draw from your past experiences in life and apply the lessons learned to your current project. Solid business principles apply to all businesses. Things like spend wisely and only for things that make a profit or improve your ability to make a profit.

There are probably many non business experiences that will help you to make your business more successful. I once had a job and specialized training, that although not business related, have helped me tremendously in business matters. (Can’t post about it.)

You should put some effort in to trying to “think business”. I always watch commercials on television. You can analyze the how and why. Might just stimulate some ideas for your own operation.

Thanks for visiting. I hope that it will help you a little.

Best to you,

Jim Gillum

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Well then…   

This is your first visit or….you came back for more…

Either reason is just fine with me……and thanks…

Let us take a look at the answer to the title question. How or why?

First consider this, when someone goes to school it is usually to learn. But more importantly, to learn what?

In the early years it would be things like reading, writing, grammar and mostly the basic fundamentals.

In the later years, the subjects get more complex. You get into the formulas and theory. Those are the why answers.

Several years ago….more than I care to think about…I used to teach. Junior college level courses.

My favorite was criminal law. The reason was very simple. It covered two areas that where different from other courses. One was that it focused on why and the other was research.

Many people will agree that education is to learn. I do not totally agree with that. My theory is that it is to teach you how to think. And to teach you how to research and find the information that you need. At the time you need it. Again, at the time you need it.

For example.

You learn how to make little green boxes. One size and one color. In one kind of wood. A customer wants to buy some in a different color. What do you do? Research. You get a color chart and show the colors to your customer. Simple but basic.

The whole point is this. In any business you do not have to know all there is to know about everything that has to do with that business. You have to know where to find the information, the answers to the questions.

There is no way possible that I could have taught my students every criminal law in Florida. But I could teach them the basics AND where to find the rest….when they needed them.

Your business should be the same. Put together a small collection of reference material for those situations that only come up occasionally. Then you can concentrate on the daily needs and not worry about the “what ifs” that might happen. Remember, you can always use the internet as an information source, it is a great library.

Now…the how and the why……

At this point, if you have probably decided on which business you a going to pursue, you should know most of the how. How you are going to produce your product or how to provide your service.

Time to think about the why. The can also be the key to your marketing.

Why are you doing this? To make money and to provide something people need or want.

A successful business will provide an answer to a problem or fulfill a desire. It will make something better for your customer either by fixing something or providing pleasure.

That will cover a pretty wide variety of subjects. In some cases it will provide for both areas. An example would be a weight loss program. Your customer wants to lose some pounds. They want to look and feel better. Plus, from the health angle, they can be healthier.

Some products only do one thing for them. At least only one obvious benefit.  A flea solution for their dog may only appear to give one solution. No fleas on the dog. When in fact, the aggravation of not fighting fleas in the house and having a dog that scratches all the time is more of a hidden benefit.

From the pleasure angle, your product may only be intended for that purpose. Your homemade cookies, taste great and they do not have any preservatives. Many people like that. Obvious benefit is great taste and the hidden benefit is the health perspective.

The Marketing Side….      

You are producing your product or service because it solves a problem….or gives pleasure.

That is exactly what you use in your marketing campaign. Remind your prospects of the problem that they have and how you can help solve that problem.

Do not forget the “hidden” benefits. All the good things that your product can do beyond the original problem solution.

And do not overlook the obvious areas that many people take for granted. Things like handmade, produced by the inventor, non-toxic coatings, more colors available, free shipping, multi item discounts or anything that will increase the perceived value of your offering. They will not know if you do not tell them.

I hope this helps you on your journey to a successful work at home business…..

Until next time,

The best to you,

Jim Gillum

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