You Don’t Have Much To Worry About If You Want To Start A Business Online…

It’s sad…but also good at the same time (for you)…

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, now is the time to do it in my opinion.

Why?

Because your competition is placing themselves at a total disadvantage.

From what I’ve seen in continually analyzing marketing processes, customer “helpdesks” (more like help-less desks), and overall practices in online business in a general sense, you could have a distinct advantage if you just meet some rather simple criteria:

  • You actually deliver on ALL of your promises. Not just some of them, not the biggest ones…but all promises made in your sales letters and marketing.
  • You or a member of your staff reply to helpdesk inquiries (or any customer service inquiry), good or bad, with a solution or simple “thanks.”
  • If you are going to fail to deliver (on anything), you let your customers know why, and what you’ll do to make things right.
  • Have your entire product that you promise to deliver in your marketing material ready to deliver before you start marketing.  Some “test markets” before they have a product ready to go to ensure sales success, I’m here to tell you there are other ways to test a market that are just as effective…the added bonus being you won’t fail to deliver.
  • Prepare enough of your product to deliver to paying customers with special offers. A particular Internet Marketing print newsletter company once went through HUGE losses of time and energy (and profits) because they didn’t have enough to meet the need.
  • Check your vendors out thoroughly to ensure they can deliver. The same particular Internet Marketing print newsletter company didn’t check out their delivery house thoroughly enough…and pissed off countless loyal customers with delivery issues.  The least expensive option isn’t always the best option folks.
  • Communication overall is VERY important, quit trying to hide. Instead of avoiding customer complaints, either refund and “fire” problem customers or address legitimate concerns head on…over-delivering in your solution and quit delivering the “cheapskate impression” (i.e. give a special bonus, discount, etc…as part of your solution).
  • Make it easy for your customer to buy from you. Holy crap, this is a BIG one…quit trying to “lock down” your Internet business like Fort Knox.  98% of all people are honest, period.  Quit acting like it’s the other way around…and make it easy for your customers to give you friggin’ money.  If you’re guilty of this, you know who you are.

And on, and on…

If you allow your mind to expand on these ideas, and begin to think of ways to actually deliver value and help people, your profits will thank you (mine do).

It really does work…and no one ever said you had to do business so efficiently that some arbitrary “acceptable percentage of customers” had to suffer.  And if you don’t believe business is conducted that way (especially online, where it’s easy to hide)…you need to take a look behind the scenes of businesses the way I have for only 90 days to discover this for yourself.

It’s sad, really fucking sad, that you can grow a business just by paying attention to your customers, and actually delivering on ALL of your promises…all of the time.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Business is about people, people.  Is your business about your people?

Joseph Ratliff - Business is about people, people. Is your business about your people?

P.S. By the way, if you would like to drastically increase your profits, and can repeatedly “look in the mirror” at yourself with my brand of “in your face” business growth coaching for online businesses…check out my JosephRatliff.com coaching page and join my A-List of clients today.  It’s NOT cheap, but nothing that delivers exponential online profit increases is (small budgets need not apply).

Also, please keep in mind I’m usually booked 3 weeks to 4 months out…so please don’t be disappointed if you haven’t contacted me at the right time and “can’t get in the door”.

Are You Doing The Right Thing…Right Now…In Your Internet Business?

Here’s a scenario…

You have 5 phone calls to make, but one will move a money-making project forward after you take a little more time to finish that project after the phone call.  Or do you focus on “getting the remaining 4 done.”

Are you using your time to manage tasks?  Or to achieve goals?

Examples…

One phone call moves the money-maker forward, and the rest of your day devoted to finishing that project = Goal Accomplished.

The next day you repeat, focusing on accomplishing goals instead of just completing tasks…but you might miss some comfy admin time.

Or…

All 5 phone calls completed, all tasks completed, so more admin stuff completed and day over.

Then the next day is started finishing the money-maker from the day before (maybe), then more tasks to complete.

See the mindset shift here?

2 days = 2 days of $$$ if you’re focused on accomplishing goals instead of completing tasks…

…or 2 days = possibly 1 day of $$$ if you like completing tasks for the sake of completing tasks (or because they may seem important to you)…

Which would you rather have?  2 days of money?  Or 2 days with all tasks completed, and possibly one day of money?

Think about that today.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - What are you doing right now?

Joseph Ratliff - What are you doing right now?

The Entrepreneur’s Disease You Haven’t Heard Of Until Now, And One Thing That’s Killing Your Online Business…

Entrepreneurs have a disease…at least the unsuccessful ones do.

What follows is a combination rant / business lesson (if you “get it”).

We’ll start with the “entrepreneur’s disease” which kills your ability to absorb useful information and make decisions based on that information…

The disease is called inuititis.

(pronounced i-knew-it-itis)

You see examples of this disease everywhere information in different formats is reviewed…but I am going to point to one example in this post…

Amazon.com

Look at any entrepreneurial book review (on a book that has many ratings)…and you’ll find profound examples of this disease…

“I knew that already…”

“The information is a little basic but…”

“This is a good primer for…”

“Nothing spectacular in these pages…”

“I didn’t learn any real “secrets” in this book…”

Or a variation of the above.

Unless you own an ultra-successful business already (not just income, but total success)…what gives you the right to judge (or rate) the info contained in any author’s work, even if they hype the content a little?

(obvious scams do not fit into this category…but those quickly get discovered and eliminated in most cases)

Classic symptoms of inuititis include…

  • A serious “I am better than thou” ego. It’s almost as if this ego allows the reader to try and put the author of the information “down to their level” by discrediting the info.  What’s really funny…is this person is typically NOT an author themselves…so they really haven’t put themselves in the same public light to be criticized…yet they feel they can be a critic to the extreme.
  • Always looking for some magic “advanced level” of information…when that info really doesn’t exist. For the most part…this is the basis of their criticism, that the information they just read didn’t have anything beyond “basic info” to them.
  • When they go to a seminar…they always complain about the fact they were “sold” instead of being delivered the business world’s secrets on a silver platter for $99, $500, whatever the price is.  Look, seminars are sales and marketing devices, period…get used to it.  There is a little useful content (even in free seminars)…but then be prepared to be pitched, or leave.  What’s funny here, is a seminar can be a good place to secure a life-changing business relationship…yet the person looking for the wrong thing (a magic button) will be disappointed.

I think you get the point now, if you have inuititis, try looking at things in a different light…because it’s killing your business.

Why?

Your focused on the wrong things.

For example…here’s one thing that’s killing your online business right now:

Hunting for secrets.

They don’t exist, quit hunting for them…and go fail fast to get to success faster.  Plus, when you’re always on the lookout for the “next big secret”…you severely lose focus on the more important parts of your business…like building it.

One of the side effects of inuititis, is the constant need to inject yourself with the latest information from the latest product launch, new release of a book, or other “magic pill”, looking for  a shortcut.  It’s like crack…do just a little…and you’ll never be able to wean yourself off of it.

But you have to start today, if you suffer from this disease.  Many do, because this recession places additional mental strain on many people…so it becomes an “easy way out”, or to mask the real problem with growing your business further.

Get rid of this disease, as soon as you can.  If you don’t think you have it, you probably do to some degree (still gets a hold of me once in awhile).

You can choose this path right now:

hunting for secrets —> get excited —> try to implement something at the wrong time in your business —> criticize the author for the “basic information” —> repeat this process until your business dies (and it will, I guarantee it)

Or you can choose this path right now:

Quit hunting for secrets —> instead, focus that time and money on growing your business —> make a thousand mistakes that will be better education for your business growth anyhow —> discover your own secrets to growing your own business —> retire to a beach on a remote island and sip Budweiser 🙂

Oh and if you choose the second one, both a newfound clarity for your business growth, and a cure for your inuititis will be discovered…I promise.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Your Doctor To Help Cure Inuititis

Joseph Ratliff - Your Doctor To Help Cure Inuititis

Why Ebooks and Home Study Courses Might Be Doing You More Harm Than Good…

Free for all…a “Hall of Fame” post I shared with the folks at 5-Star Affiliate Forums.

Our brains are a wonderful creation.

We do not understand the full power, capacity, or imagination capable of the gray matter in between our ears.

And when it comes to affiliate marketing, and the business you should be creating around it (you are creating a business and not chasing money right?)…the brain is our most powerful ally.

In fact, you probably already know everything you need to start an effective affiliate marketing business as you read this. Many won’t believe this as they read this post…but it’s true.

If you were to sum up all of the knowledge and experience you have gained over your lifetime (even if you’re young)…and then added in the latest “secrets” ebook…you’re only ever going to use about 5 – 10% of all of that knowledge to start being successful.

It isn’t the knowledge you gain, it’s the action you take that makes you successful…Period.

So why would most ebooks be doing you more harm than good?

Because almost every ebook or course you read limits your thinking in some way.

Think about this for a second, really put some thought into it.

It’s not that ebooks and courses don’t contain good information, it’s that the author is only presenting that information in one way, from one point of view (in 99% of the cases, there are exceptions).

Only considering that one point of view limits your creativity to taking action on only that one point of view…and nothing else.

Here’s an example from my online affiliate marketing business (yep, I run an offline affiliate marketing business too)…

I used to market with PPC, articles, and blogs and the like from online review sites. Everything I did to market my affiliate offers was online.

Until about 18 months ago.

I got curious…and thought to myself (the best kind of thinking, as long as you don’t answer yourself )…

“What if I ran a classified ad in a newspaper, with a call to action leading to my reviews site?”

And my brain answered myself (oops, that must mean I was insane).

“Try it Joe.”

It worked. So I expanded on the idea and let my creativity take control…failed…succeeded…and ended up formulating the business plan that does well for me today.

What ebook or course has taught you to use offline marketing methods to market online review sites? Not many.

Just try stuff.
Fail numerous times.
Do what others won’t do.
Don’t be afraid to break out of your shell and grow your business.

You’ve heard variations of these phrases from successful people already, if you haven’t, you’ve heard them now. That’s golden business advice…better than any ebook or course can provide (unless they provide it).

The following quote sums it all up…

The only limitations to the mind are those we acknowledge. Both richness and poorness are the offspring of conscious thought.
–Napoleon Hill from “Think and Grow Rich”

Ebooks and courses have their place in the learning process, but can also help you acknowledge a limitation to your mind.

Don’t let them.

Education is important, but action is what brings home the bacon every time…period.
–Joseph Ratliff from “How To Make This Year Your Best Year In Business”

What action are you going to take right now that’s big and bold?

Why You’re Totally Lazy If You’re Cutting Your Prices During This Recession

I am tired of hearing this shit on the news.

“Wah, we have to cut prices to compete any more…”

Or some variation of that business-killing statement.

That’s the friggin’ laziest way through this recession.  I mean really, don’t you feel like doing any work at all to try and prosper in business?

Ok…rant over.

The top companies that will prosper in this recession will be those who start to do what I will call “market flexing.”

What is market flexing?

It’s flexing with the changes in your market right now.  The economy has only changed the way people are spending…not how much they spend (spending might be down, but could that be due to poor marketing?  Hmmmm…..).

The news media might have you believe otherwise…by picking out the select examples of people who are “hard on their luck” and flashing them right in your face.

(sidenote:  why do you watch the news, except for weather and sports? Think about that today)

Onward…

You simply need to flex with how your market is spending money…and adjust your value proposition accordingly.

Quite honestly, for some businesses online this isn’t even that complex…you may just get away with finding another market of buyers, and adjust your offering to what they are buying (which is the secret to marketing anyhow right?  Find a market that wants to buy something).

So, if you need to flex your marketing…or flex your offer…why is price the first thing you give up?

That’s actually the last thing you should give up…if at all…because reducing price is never the permanent solution to the problem…and responsible for more business deaths than anything else.

Ok…so what are you to do then?  How do you “flex” to your market?

By finding out how and what your market is buying right this moment.  One way to do this (there are hundreds of ways) is to go to Google Trends and type your market into the search bar there.

See what you can find.

You can also go to Ebay Pulse and find out what’s hot on Ebay related to your market or industry.

You can go to Shopping.com’s top searches to find out if your industry is on the list, click it…and you’ll see what people are searching for in your niche.

I can sense a question this might bring up already…

“But Joe, I don’t want to change what I am selling…or how I am selling it!”

If you’re thinking any variation of the above…then you need to go to Dictionary.com and look up the definition of insanity.

In other words…are you going to flex to your market?  Or are you going to close up shop?  It’s that simple of a choice.  Beef up your offers, get crazy with customer retention, and just friggin’ take over your market…because no one else is doing it.  Many are just cowering in fear about the next drop in the DOW JONES.

Look, the Internet gives you so much power, it’s not even funny…you can start a video-blog and rebrand yourself or your business.  Do a weekly video-show on your topic (industry) that your market will be interested in watching…and don’t sell a thing during that show…make it valuable content…but have a link to your selling site somewhere in the vacinity.

Viral video marketing is powerful.  Gary Vaynerchuk does it…I will be doing it…you need to start doing it too.

You gotta do what you gotta do.  Go out there and kill it.

Laugh in the face of this recession, don’t cower in whiny fear.

You can do it. 🙂

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Internet Business Growth Specialist

Joseph Ratliff - Internet Business Growth Specialist

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