Creating cash flow through internet marketing for your business Part 2

Selling! The most efficient way to generate cash flow

 Few weeks back we discussed on Creating cash-flow through internet marketing for your business part 1 . It was pointed out that Cash flow is King, it is the lifeblood of every business. Entrepreneurs use their initiative to manage risk and generate profit but their focus is on acquiring or creating cash flows not on creating endless business plans that look good on paper but deliver nothing of value in the real world. In this article i conclude on selling as the most efficient way to generate cash flow.

Are you aware that entrepreneurs don’t think about creating cash flow as essential to the life blood of the business? For that matter, they really don’t give a lot of thought to long term profits as they start out in business. They think the product should sell itself but that thinking is simply not true.

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In his book Ready, Fire, Aim, Michael Masterson outlines the OSS (Optimum Selling Strategy). “To determine the optimum selling strategy for your business, you need to answer four questions that will have a profound impact on how successful you are at developing the positive cash flow your business needs to get to the next level. These four questions are:”

  1. Where are you going to find your customers?

  2. What product will you sell them first?

  3. How much will you charge for it?

  4. How will you convince them to buy it?

The first question about where you are going to find your customers mean they can come from various sectors; radio, TV, magazines, newspapers and more. Are they only searching the internet to buy? The best answer for new entrepreneurs is to follow what successful competitors are doing. Give yourself the opportunity to apply, learn and then adjust later on. Just remember, without customers, you have no cash flow and that equals disaster.

The second question relates to the product (s) you are going to sell. Are you starting with a single product or multiple products? The suggestion here is that you may want to test market various products and make your determination from that exercise. Is the product (s) popular in the market and does your product fit the trend. Identify how the product (s) is scoring and study the results carefully.

The third question is about pricing your product. Should you be high or higher than the competition or lower in price? If you are just starting out, the suggestion is that you offer the same price. What happens if meeting the competitive price means not enough cash flow? Look carefully at your operational costs and perhaps make a cosmetic change in the looks of your product and go back with a higher price. Remember, you are marketing to get new customers. New customers will mean more sales growth, not less. Study your niche carefully and try to determine just how successful companies selling the same product have handled their pricing. Has there been a change recently? In what direction?

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The fourth question is about how you convince people to buy your product? This question often brings chills up the spine of a lot of people that don’t want to sell. The truth is, as the entrepreneur and leader of the company, you have no choice! Probably the most important part of a campaign of selling is the choice of copy used in your presentation. Whether the presentation is on the phone with people as in direct selling or in printed advertisements, you as the entrepreneur must choose the format and content used and must be responsible for copy generated by inside sources or by professional copywriters.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.

Online marketing system as a catalyst to your business cash flow

A wonderful revolutionary phenomenon is happening online. People are making money online and generating cash flow online. Where small time financial visionaries were making a lot of money flipping houses, Wall street and other money making and cash flow generating ventures, a new fad seems to be emerging, making money and generating cash flow online.

One of the best way to Creating cash flow through internet marketing for your business is taking advantage of internet marketing. If you’re not using internet marketing to market your business you should be. An online presence is crucial to helping potential clients and customer find your business – even if your business is small and local. (In 2017, one third of all mobile searches were local and local search was growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall.) Online is where the eyeballs are so that’s where your business needs to be.

How Important is Internet Marketing?

As of October 2018 almost 4.2 billion people were active internet users and 3.4 billion were social media users (Statista). China, India and the United States rank ahead all other countries in terms of internet users. This gives a marketer an unprecedented number of customers to reach with product and service offerings, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The interactive nature of the internet facilitates immediate communication between businesses and consumers, allowing businesses to respond quickly to the needs of consumers and changes in the marketplace.

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“Everyone has the internet in their pocket all the time, and this changes everything for small businesses” (Cory Capoccia, Forbes).

Online reviews have become one of the most important components in purchasing decisions by consumers in North America. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research which included over 1000 participants, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Interestingly, negative reviews typically came from online review sites whereas Facebook was the main source of positive reviews. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be from customers who are influenced by web product research.

The Impact of Social Media

According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant – as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage – 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices.

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Other popular social media platforms for marketing include WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, TwitterLinkedInPinterest, and YouTube.

From an internet marketing perspective social media is becoming more and more important. However, many businesses are unsure whether embracing social mediahas improved the bottom line as it is difficult to correlate social media marketing  activities with increased sales. According to Business 2 Community:

  • 90% of adults aged 18 to 29 use social media (compared with 35% of those over 65)

  • One third of millennials say that social media is their preferred way to communicate with businesses

  • 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions

  • All 100 of the top global brands maintain at least one company YouTube channel, and more than half (27 of 50) of CEOs in top global companies have appeared in a company video

  • Despite the lack of metrics or executive involvement, the share of overall marketing budgets devoted to social media marketing is expected to increase from about 10% on average to nearly 25% by 2021

This kind of growth explains why online marketers are constantly devising new internet marketing strategies in the hopes of driving more traffic to their websites and to their offline stores and making more sales.

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