Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Begin How You Plan to End

Begin How You Plan to End. What does this mean? It is simple. If you want a great ongoing success as an online seller you need to start out with that thought already in your head. It means you do the research ahead of time so that you are knowledgeable about what on line selling is all about, what a particular venue may require of you, having a firm knowledge of where you will source your inventory from, and be willing to charge the prices that make you a profit. By the way, profit (in my opinion) is not clearing $0.25 when all is said and done.

Over the years, those of us that have taken some newbies under our wings to help them have tried to get some of them to understand that the prices they are charging isn't going to make them any money at all other than the quarter I mentioned. I've even found sellers that were losing money when all was said and done! That isn't the point of selling on line! The point is to make money! We have frequently been told that they aren't doing this (selling) to make money. It is just a hobby. I can understand crafters that love to craft selling their finished articles to make enough money to finance another project or two. But I have a hard time understanding most of the 'hobby' sellers, selling what they do just as a hobby. I sell sewing patterns on line and have for years, I have run into other pattern sellers that list patterns for a tenth or less of what I sell mine for. Yet again with the excuse that it is only a hobby. I have proved through my sales that people will pay more for a pattern, so why not price them accordingly and make much heftier hobby money instead of pretty much nothing? If you want to sell on line as a hobby and you don't care at all about profit, please be considerate of those that sell on line to keep a roof over their head or food on the table, and don't sell at give away prices.

All this comes back to begin how you plan to end. If you can see yourself, or even if you don't have the self-confidence to see yourself that way yet but are hoping to do well, as a successful seller, think about what you need to do to get there. You need to learn how to take excellent photos of what you have for sell or else learn how to get someone to do it for you. You have to learn how to write good titles and listings, paying attention to spelling and grammar so that your listing looks professional. You have to learn how to write up your Terms of Service (TOS) so that you are fair to both your buyer and yourself, you have to be able to write up an About Us page so that potential buyers will trust you and see the link between who you are and what you are selling. You need to learn to spellcheck, proof read, and throw out the texting dictionary since believe it or not, not everyone has a cell phone and don't understand all those cutesy abbreviation. You want to write everything clearly so that they understand what you are selling even if they can't see the picture, and take your pictures clearly and well enough so that they don't really need to read the listing although you hope they will!

Set up a book keeping plan taking advantage of your computer. When I was first selling on line another seller admitted to keeping track of all her sales in a paper notebook! Use the resources available to you. Think up ways to promote your goods to your world wide market, not just the folks in your town. Think of what truly interests you or what you know a lot about when deciding what to sell, as that makes it much easier than trying to learn and understand a product that you don't understand what it is for and you have to write a convincing listing so that someone will buy it. Don't look at this as an opportunity to get rid of the yard sale leftovers that haven't sold at your last three sales. Unless you have researched the articles and know they should be worth something, don't bother trying to sell trash. Trash belongs in the trash.

We will be talking about all these issues over time, in the meantime put your thinking caps on and think of it this way. If you got hired as a lower level manager with a chance to climb the ranks to eventually be CEO of the company, would you come to work the first day on the job in dirty, holey blue jeans and a ratty T-shirt. If your answer is yes, this blog isn't for you. If your answer is a resounding no, then keep following. I will be posting as time allows since I am busy with my own successful business. 

Thought for the Day: Don't forget that the moment you start your business you have just become a CEO!

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