Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Using Trading To Gain An Advantage Over Your Competition

If you have a business on the Internet, you should be
trading goods and services with other businesses. You
should always try to trade first for something before you
buy it. Barter deals usually require no money, though
sometimes you may need money to offset the value of the
goods or services being traded.

Keep in mind that a joint venture is an agreement in which
two or more businesses work on a project for a set period
of time. Joint ventures can be long-term, like promoting a
product together, or some can be short-term, like bartering
or trading products and services. Joint venture ideas are
virtually endless.

Trading will give you many advantages over your
competition. It can save your business money. You can spend
the extra money to buy paid Internet advertising. It allows
you to offer your products and services at a lower price
than your competitors. You can afford to get the more
expensive goods and services to compete on the Internet.

There are numerous ways to find trade deals online. Set up
a barter message board or chat room on your web site to get
more barter offers. Note on your web site or ezine you are
willing to barter for goods and services. Join newsgroups
or email discussion groups that deal with bartering.

Join an online barter club to meet other businesses that
barter. Find web sites that barter by looking up the
keywords “barter,” “trade,” or “swap” in your search engine
of choice.

There are a few things you should do before trading.
Compile a list of your goods and services you are willing
to trade. Make a list of goods and services you need or
want for your online business. Know the approximate cash
value of the things you are trying to trade and the value
of the things you are seeking in return.

All of this information can help you negotiate a successful
trade deal.

When proposing a trade offer, tell the person the benefits
of the deal. Explain to them why it would be a win-win
situation. Give their business many compliments in your
proposal. Prove to them why it would be a fair trade. This
type of proposal can increase your chances of them saying
“Yes, I will trade with you.”

Trading can build long-lasting business relationships,
increase your credibility by teaming up with other
reputable businesses, you can have access to free products
and services, and you can construct most joint venture
deals with little or no money. Also, you can gain new leads
and customers and you get discounts on products and
services.

What are the ten things you should trade for before buying?

1. Information Products – it could be ebooks, “how-to”
videos, cassettes, magazines, newsletters, paid e-zines,
courses, etc.

2. Advertising Space – it could be banner ads, ezine ads,
ebook ads, magazine ads, newspaper ads, tv ads, fax ads,
online classified ads, etc.

3. Web Hosting – you could offer a free advertisement for
their web hosting service on your site in return for free
or discounted hosting.

4. Software – it could be for tax software, website
authoring software, accounting software, newsletter
software, graphic design software, etc.

5. Writing/Editing – it could be for website content,
promotional articles, press releases, e-zine articles,
promotional ebooks, etc.

6. Accounting/Bookkeeping – you could offer a no-cost
advertisement in exchange for their accounting and booking
services.

7. Consulting – it could be market consulting, legal
consulting, computer/software consulting, business
consulting, etc.

8. Copy writing – it could be for brochures, business
cards, classified ads, sales letters, product packages,
banner ads, promotional products, etc.

9. Merchant Accounts – you could offer no-cost insert ads
in your product packages in exchange for the option of
accepting credit cards.

10. Internet Access – you could offer a no-cost pop-up ad
on your web site in exchange for free or discounted
Internet access.

Bear in mind that if you have a business, you should be
trading goods and services with other related businesses.
Try to trade for something before you buy it. Barter deals
usually require little or no money. It might just work
wonders for you and your venture.

Part 2 of the 2,000 Page Marketing Lesson

Well, here it is, as promised.

Yesterday…I promised that I would tell you why good Yellow Pages Advertisements separate themselves from the rest of the very large pack.

Two primary reasons:

1) Benefit – laden headline instead of the “Dr. John’s Chiropractic Clinic, Open 7,000 hours” typical headline you see. Get to the benefits, what does your product or service give me? That should be the first thing I see as a consumer, not the name of your business and phone number. I am looking through the phone book…I will find the phone number on my own thank you. 🙂

You can also take a “news story” approach to the headline…which leads to the number two separator from other ads…

2) Editorial – style advertising. Come on now, we have all caught ourselves reading the “article” that is actually an advertisement, haven’t we? Well…actually putting a tidbit of useful information leading to the only next conclusion being to call you is an excellent way to increase response and catch the attention of those looking for that solution (here is where you get to put the phone number and name of the business…at the END of the advertorial).

Tell me if you can think of other ways that Yellow Page advertising “catches” your eye.

Feel free to comment.

And, quit using cookie cutter style advertising in the Yellow Pages. 🙂

Get creative, or hire someone else to get creative (like me).

Joseph Ratliff
Marketing Consultant, Copywriter, and Speaker

A 2,000 page Marketing Lesson…

I am just sitting here tonight, getting ready to “close up shop.”

BLAM! I had an idea for another post…

A marketing lesson that few mention, tell anybody about, or probably even use for that matter.

Guess what?

There is a 2,000 page marketing lesson right in your house. It sits there every day, just waiting for someone to unlock the information within. What I am speaking of?

The Yellow Pages in the phone book!

I know, I know… huh?

Do this for me tonight…it won’t take but 10 minutes of your time.

1) Pull out the phone book.

2) Open it, and skim the yellow pages…notice I said skim.

I don’t want you to read every ad…

But pay careful attention to the ones that get your attention. Ask yourself:

Why did that Yellow Pages ad get my attention?

Well…why did it? That is the marketing lesson for tonight…why do certain ads grab your attention?

What style are they written in? What about them gets you to read and possibly take action? What separates them from the crowd of other businesses that are waiting for their responses?

Stay tuned tomorrow…and I will tell you. 🙂

Remember, I was closing up shop.

For now…just skim those ads, and feel free to leave comments as to what your finding.

Joseph Ratliff
Professional Marketing Consultant