3 Barriers to Break and Get Your Service-Based Business E-Commerce Ready

You might not think your service can be sold online but here’s 3 reasons why you might be wrong!

We’ve all seen how rapidly e-commerce has taken over but many service-based small business owners and entrepreneurs are still gun shy about taking their business to the next level online.

Whether you sell a physical product or provide a service you could benefit from online sales.

In this post we’ll look at the barriers presented by e-commerce for service providers and how many perceived obstacles are easily and affordably addressed by planning your approach like a pro (or with one) and using third party tools that make the whole process much easier.

Want to use sponsored posts on Instagram to grow your business? Try our post: 3 Beginner Steps to Building Your Business on Instagram Using Sponsored Posts.

Here’s 3 common barriers business owners face when contemplating adding e-commerce to their business tools:

1. You Don’t Sell a Product

Many businesses sell a service that can’t draw a clear line between the user and the service.

Whether it’s consulting, speaking, coaching, or any other industry where you are the product, the perception is that e-commerce isn’t something you should pursue.

In reality you do sell something, but you’ll have to be an out-of-the-box thinker if you want to use e-commerce to build your business and your personal brand.

Are you a consultant? Consultants tend to adapt to the project and use their experience to guide business owners or other service providers through a lengthy process that evolves as the problems are discovered.

Sometimes there are consistent problems that are encountered and that’s where you will see your opportunities.

If you see that company after company is hitting the same wall and you have helped previous clients get past it, then that solution can be a product you can sell.

Get creative! Many successful apps started because someone like you saw an opportunity no one else was addressing and pounced.

This can be said for other service industries as well. It’s not the only approach though; if you’re a coach or a speaker you’ve got potential for e-commerce as well.

Speakers and coaches undervalue themselves habitually. Your value is clear to many other businesses who have hired you so understand that your personal brand makes a big impact.

Take that knowledge and monetize!

Write a book, have shirts and mugs printed, or look at any other way to turn your knowledge into tangible items. These could be promotional items or anything else you think of.

You’ll then not only be making money through sales but building your brand at the same time.

The big point here is not to limit yourself to your service and to recognize the potential of your knowledge. If you’re having issues with this, we have a great mentoring program that can help you discover the hidden potential for e-commerce your brand offers.

2. You Don’t Have the Time

This is the biggest reason most people don’t get into online sales.

The setup, the maintenance, and the eventual product shipping all look like major time commitments.

The new reality of e-commerce for small businesses is these things take very little time.

The setup can be quick or take a long time and the barrier will actually be you. Being overly picky about design elements or quirky functionality always hold businesses back.

Always put the emphasis on your business servicing the user.

Really all you need to do is make sure your website can take and process an order and the information and products are presented clearly with as few steps as possible for the user to complete their purchase.

Maintenance can vary and often it’s a good idea to start things yourself and then hire a third party or freelancer to handle the maintenance.

Sometimes there isn’t much required other than logging in a few times a week, though once you see it all working you’ll likely be inclined to check all the time (in a good way).

Shipping is as easy as applying an app to print shipping labels and then having the item picked up for delivery or taking the items to the post office.

Look at your potential profit margins and see what selling could mean for your business. You might be surprised at how much revenue you’re missing out on!

3. It’s Too Expensive

This is a major obstacle for many service-based businesses because they’ve seen how expensive it used to be to get into e-commerce, but it’s not anymore.

We looked at the barriers such as making your service viable and how time can factor in. Both indicate loss of revenue for the existing business if you split your time and start up some e-commerce.

In reality it’s unbelievably cheap to start selling online.

Whether you choose Woocommerce https://woocommerce.com/ for your WordPress website, open a Shopify https://www.shopify.ca/ store, or opt for BigCommerce https://www.bigcommerce.ca/ you won’t have to break the bank to get up and running.

With Woocommerce the expense is whatever your professional web developer costs. This system works with WordPress so if you’re already up and running with WordPress then you’re cost will either be your time in trying to set it up yourself or the cost of getting it done professionally.

Shopify and Bigcommerce both make it much easier but they’ll also either need to be installed as a subdomain of your existing website or you’ll be setting up a whole new one.

These two have near identical pricing starting at $30 per month and this includes your hosting. They take care of everything such as credit card processing and there is no shortage of apps to handle functionality not native to their platforms.

Taking this approach will be time consuming though.

If you hire a professional developer for any of these systems, make sure they really know the platforms beforehand because they differ greatly right down to the programming languages they’re built with.

Of course, there are plenty of other options to consider such as 1ShoppingCart or even Infusionsoft and Magento, which are considered to be higher-end options for large-scaled shops.

Ultimately, the short answer to the question is: no, it’s not too expensive. This is because the price range starts with FREE.

The real cost is your time and the only risk is wasting it.

If you do elect to explore e-commerce as an option, put a lot of time into the planning. Not just one day of grinding out ideas but weeks of spit balling and brain storming.

Look around at what others in your industry have done and even more importantly what they’ve not done and plan everything out properly.

Hiring a professional business mentor to guide you can be the best decision you ever made. You’ll be walked past the typical hiccups and hurdles and on your way to launching your e-commerce project much faster and with much less effort.

More and more service-based businesses are seeing the potential of e-commerce so the quicker you jump into the ring the better. For many, the e-commerce even takes over as the primary revenue driver.

Bulk Email Marketing 2010

Bulk email marketing is by far one of the most effective marketing and advertising campaign choices for business owners all over the world. Bulk email marketing is based around using ethical and genuine methods of reaching out to a enormous market and should not be confused with SPAM. As with other marketing and advertising methods, the success of bulk email marketing will depend on the techniques that are used in the campaign. Generally, business owners implement bulk email marketing campaigns for list building purposes so that each future mass email campaign is more successful than the one before.

The benefits of bulk email marketing are numerous. One of the most significant benefits that bulk email campaigns offer is the ability to pre-sell to your targeted market. This sort of marketing gives the business owner the opportunity to build trust with their visitors before they ever have the chance to interact with the business owner and their business. When constructed properly, bulk email messages can help to ensure those on your email lists that you are genuine in wanting to provide valuable products and services to these individuals and also to help them find whatever it is they are looking for. Small business owners should not miss taking advantage of this aspect of bulk email marketing as it is one of the best ways to build a platform for a business. Mass email messages are a great testing platform as well. This type of marketing allows the business owner to conduct surveys amongst their targeted market as well as giving these individuals important information about the business, products and services. Businesses who are using mass email marketing campaigns will be able to test a variety of subject lines for their email messages to see which subject lines receive the most attention from the targeted audience. Testing subject lines will give a business owner a better idea of what attracts people to open their email messages and this can help business owners to refine their website’s to make them more attractive to customers as well.

Mass email marketing campaigns also carry the great benefit of being quick and easy to launch. Even the most major bulk email campaigns can be constructed and launched within a short span of time, especially if the business is working with a mass email service or good mass email software. With the help of a mass email service or the proper mass email software, a business owner can pre-set mail formats and pre-set other options for their email campaigns and can essentially sit back and relax from there. Opt-in newsletters are the most effective and efficient form of email marketing and these newsletters will ensure that the email messages are not classified as SPAM.

Why Obama’s Email Changes Business

The fact that the electronic message was sent before the historic moment is symbolic of the power the communication medium and what it meant to Obama’s campaign. This observation serves as a notice for businesses: Emails are more than just a means to communicate.

The campaign’s use of electronic messaging to amass strong support also provides businesses an excellent example of how those rising into positions of authority recognize, reason, and decide on the choices they need to make. Exploiting the full understanding of this can translate into a huge competitive advantage. Yes many people use electronic means to communicate today. But how many CEOs use electronic messaging to connect directly with their customers and partners to drive their product and service messages?

Companies now have a success story and a blueprint for transitioning their use of electronic messages from a fringe “one of” a number of ways to drive products and services, to “the” way to anchor a marketing campaign. This is a culture change not a technology change. Clear constant communication between recognized leaders in the company and their customers by electronic means is the new way to reach “buyers” and win.

So how do companies make this transformation? Here are two suggestions:

1. Overhaul the product or service development process. Most of the way companies take an idea to a product or service is based on methods borne out of the industrial age. That does not work anymore in the Digital Age. The market dynamics have changed and the traditional methods are no longer efficient. Constant interaction with the customers is necessary to ensure the product or service hits the mark when it is released.

2. Design launch campaigns that enable executives to use electronic messaging and connect directly with the customers and partners. Then build a more rounded campaign using the other mediums. This is a cheaper, faster, and as we just witnessed, more effective way to scale and drive your messages.

If this transformation seems hard to grasp, just take a stroll on a high school or college campus and watch how students use their cell phones to text message. Then imagine if they are in the work place and the text message they are reading is about your product or service. The genius of the Obama campaign was in visualizing this, making the personal connection through the electronic medium, and driving a message of change. Now this change includes businesses.

Email Marketing – Avoid Getting Left in the Spam Folder

With all the different kinds of ways you can market your product or service, one of the best ways to do this is through good old fashioned email. It’s a great way to market without spending a ton of money, and keep track of what audience you are targeting towards. But more often than not, most emails are simply waved passed and ignored, ending up in the ever-increasing void that is the internet. With these tips, you’ll find that your customer count will get larger and you will have a much larger subscriber count.

1. Make it easy to subscribe to emails – It may seem tedious, but it pays to have a subscriber form everywhere you possibly can. If you run a blog, post it there. If you run a website, have it at the end of every possible page. If you run social media groups, have referral and signup links everywhere you can. People won’t subscribe if you don’t have an ease of access, and if it’s difficult to sign up, then its obvious that your business won’t be booming with customers.

2. Make easy to unsubscribe – If you make it easy to subscribe, then unsubscribing should be just as easy for clients. If clients decide that they no longer want your services, then don’t make it difficult for them to opt out. It may feel like you’re cutting the conversation short, but if your e-mails are reported as spam simply because a client couldn’t unsubscribe, then it will just spell more issues in the future for your business.

3. Make sure subscribers know what to expect – Whether you run a blog or a business, it is always important for your subscribers to know exactly what to expect. When you gain a subscriber, it may pay off to send a welcome email. This makes sure that they’re aware of what they’re getting themselves into. If you specifically market baby items, then make that clear when people sign up. Customers won’t subscribe if they are constantly sent the same stuff over and over again, so be sure to mix it up now and then, but keep it so that your customers know what they’re signing up for.

4. Make it mobile friendly – This tip should be a given. Statistics show that over 60 percent of emails are dealt with through handheld devices, including smartphones and tablets. If your emails are friendly to these devices, then your customer base has already become much bigger than you anticipated. If your emails aren’t optimized for these kinds of devices, then odds are that you’re going to miss out on a massive number of subscribers, lowering your client count by margins.

5. Encourage customers to reply – Largely unlike old fashioned paper mail, email provides a large opportunity to open a world of meaningful conversations between both parties. This can lead to gaining one more valuable subscriber, and in some cases, business partners. Simply loading up your emails with information and sending them out can sometimes end up being a bit of a bore, so make your emails fun and entertaining to read, most likely securing another person to add to your client list to market toward.

Best Email Marketing Software – Engage More Customers

In the age of the modern company, email marketing is vital to results. Along with social networking advertising, a powerful email campaign may draw customers to your business and build connections with coworkers and clients. However, it’s not as easy as shooting off several messages into a subscriber list. Not only would you need to draw in readers with an attractive message, however, you have to keep them curious therefore that they do not click on the dreaded “unsubscribe” button. A quality email advertising service will offer you the templates and tools that you want to not only create attractive emails but to easily manage your subscriber list and track your own progress.

MailGet Bolt

MailGet Bolt can be an emphatic email marketing assistance, with which you can send bulk emails to all of your prospective users, in just one click and then change your promotion strategy by linking with them online.

It’s a lifesaver for several of the non-tech savvy people as it removes lengthy procedure for linking SMTP and later causes confusion. Since here in MailGet Bolt, there’s no necessity to connect any SMTP that means you can simply verify your email and begin sending emails to mass audience fast.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact’s email marketing service will simplify and streamline your business. It provides multiple choices for assessing your email marketing campaigns and planning ahead so you can concentrate on running your company. You have hundreds of templates to customize depending upon your preferred market and special objectives. You can even schedule emails in front of time based on special contact information.

Benchmark

Benchmark gets you started with a totally free plan that manages up to 2,000 subscribers. If you are a small company just starting out, then this could be just what you want. It sets you up with a customized signup form on your website so you are able to lure your subscribers. You do not need to provide a bank card to begin and may wait patiently to upgrade whenever your subscriber list surpasses 2,000. Benchmark provides mobile-friendly features, therefore, your emails are easily read anywhere. You will also get regular updates regarding how many folks are opening and reading your emails.

iContact

iContact offers two free trial options with a variety of features. You can try standard iContact or iContact Pro with no credit card. iContact offers personalized customer support which can help you make a customized email effort to best reach your target audience. iContact lets you set email marketing goals and reach them effortlessly. You may receive comprehensive reports concerning the results of your advertising and marketing campaigns and may track opens, clicks, and landing page views all in one spot. You can even integrate present campaigns and that means you are able to track everything.