7 End-of-Year Helpful Tips

When I see the year coming to an end, there are two business-related thoughts that enter my mind: taxes and starting a new business. Can’t do anything about taxes other than pay them – but starting a new business is another story. For those that have existing Internet businesses or are looking to start a business online you may find my experience over the years helpful.

Existing Business

1.   If you have an existing business that has a lot of traffic – or maybe you see the traffic steadily increasing, think about expanding your current business into new related areas. For example, in my case, we had an existing antique site – that over the years we’ve expanded to cover antique shows, trade days, flea markets, ‘how to’ articles on different antique related topics and now . . . we’ve created an online store.

2.  Aside from expanding into niche related areas, look for ways to monetize your site if you’re not already doing so. The obvious being AdSense or some other PPC (pay-per-click) source, offer direct advertising on your site for a fee. This advertising might be banners, or maybe something similar to classified ads. You might even want to offer ‘rental’ space on your site for people who have something to sell. They send you the info and pictures, and you upload.  This allows you to maintain control.

3.  If you have enough useful information or can offer a useful service – useful being the operative word – and your market is broad, you might think of having a membership site where your members can get updated material on a set schedule or you offer a pre-determined, scheduled service, i.e, search engine optimization for example.

4.  The main thing is to branch out and then link all your sites together.

New Business

Starting a new Internet business is an exciting experience – but for those who want to sell a product, it can be quite a challenge. Over the years we’ve found that one of the most difficult parts of selling on line is keeping track of the inventory. So we’ve developed the following methodology which we wanted to share with you.

5.  We’ve found that assigning a category, inventory number and box number to each item works the best. Once you have the item listed on line, it goes into a box with each item labeled individually bearing the same category, inventory number and box number. We always list the box number, because if we have to return it to inventory for any reason, we know exactly where it goes.

Using this method would result in the following example.   Say the next item you’re selling is the 109th book in inventory in your book (BK) category and it’s in box 5.  The name for this item might look like BK-109-5.

6.  We would also use this same name for the image file as it helps eliminate getting items confused.   And, if you have more than one picture associated with the item, give each additional picture the same name but add on a letter to make it unique,  i.e,., BK-109-5 being the primary picture with the following images being . . . K-109a-5; BK-109b-5, etc. This keeps all the pictures for each item grouped together but allows you to tell the difference.

7.  For boxes containing inventory, put a large label on each end with the domain name, website,  or category   along with the box number. If you have more than one site or category selling products, you’ll find this box labeling method very helpful.

We’re all hoping that our economy stays healthy, but even it it’s not as strong as we’d like, getting an online business started now will mean that when things do turn around – you’ll be ready with your online businesses up and running.

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