On LinkedIn, read Mayor Bloomberg’s tips for becoming a successful entrepreneur based on his experience of building a company from the ground up, leading New York City as mayor, and founding a philanthropic organization:
- Take risks.
- Make your own luck.
- Be persistent.
- Never stop learning.
- Give back.
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ~Bill Cosby
Conventional wisdom suggests that when seeking customers, ecommerce merchants should pursue teens and people in their twenties. These are the people who own the most electronic devices, are the most comfortable with technology, and do the most online buying. However, you may be overlooking a large and neglected segment of the U.S. population that is eager to spend money online — people over 50.
Advertisers ignore them, concentrating mainly on the 18 to 34 age group. Nielsen, the research firm, estimates that only about 5 percent of advertising dollars are directed at seniors. Merchants too tend to offer products that appeal only to younger shoppers. Marketing efforts are directed mainly at this group.
Myths about seniors abound. Among them are that most seniors are poor, they don’t shop online, and they only buy necessities. Yet statistics show that this overlooked segment of our society has money to spend. Ecommerce vendors that can reach out to older Americans can be richly rewarded.
Why Target People Over 50?
Quite simply there are a lot of them and they have money. Nevertheless, brands focus on the under 50 age group. Yet the almost 78 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. — those born between 1946 and 1964 — are fairly affluent, well educated, comfortable with technology, and willing to try new products. They were raised in a spending-driven economy, unlike their parents who grew up during the Depression.
Yet the almost 78 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. — those born between 1946 and 1964 — are fairly affluent, well educated, comfortable with technology, and willing to try new products
Indeed, according to Nielsen, Boomers’ online habits are similar to those of the 18 to 34 age cohort. Boomers represent 38.5 percent of all consumer packaged goods expenditures. Research firm Ipsos, in cooperation with Google, conducted interviews with 5,100 Boomers and seniors in April 2013 and found that while the most common reason to use the Internet was to find out about the news and weather, 57 percent shopped online in the prior month and 45 percent looked for coupons or daily deals.
“It may not always be profitable at first for a business to be online, but it is certainly going to be unprofitable not to be online.” ~Esther Dyson
There are many financial, organizational and technical difficulties each startup business has to overcome. It is a very rare case when a business starts generating profits soon after its launch. On the contrary, building a new business always requires continuous efforts, time and funds.
There are so many things a new entrepreneur have to do - establish business contacts, find reliable suppliers, grow customers’ base, create brand authority and many many more. In recent years, creating a decent online presence has become one of those “must do” tasks every emerging business has to cope with. Some business owners still believe that the Internet, along with all web-based applications, social networks and media websites, are mainly related to entertainment and have nothing to do with the serious business. But times have changed! In spite of its virtual nature, online space provides quite real opportunities for growing business and generating income.
Certainly, establishing your brand in the “unreal” digital world requires quite real expenses and there is no guaranty that an investment in building your online business will bring revenue. However, doing nothing will not yield any results for sure. Besides, even though going online may not bring immediate profits, it is a great way to build your brand awareness, increase customers loyalty and earn lots of other intangible but valuable things each successful business needs.
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Just 5% of retailers to remain faithful to daily deals
With mobile shopping more popular than ever, it’s no surprise retailers are planning to focus more on mobile this holiday season. But according to research, their focus may also be qualitatively different.
Data from BDO USA suggests that retailers’ primary mobile efforts this year will focus around the comparatively unsexy channels of text messaging and mobile coupons. Last year, far and away the winner in terms of attention was flash sales and daily deals—which hardly any retailers expect to focus on again. In fact, aside from flash sales and daily deals, all mobile marketing channels were expected to gain in popularity this year, suggesting the limited-time offers did not perform as well as hoped for in 2012.
But keeping the focus on saving money tracks nicely with what consumers appear to expect. Data from Placed indicated that getting coupons or other discounts was the most common way smartphone owners would use their devices to shop on Black Friday. Nearly half of all smartphone owners planned to do this as of October.
Early research returns from the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend indicate mobile has been a major source of web traffic to retailers, and a sizeable share of holiday commerce so far has been conducted via mobile. eMarketer expects overall holiday season retail ecommerce sales, which includes all US retail ecommerce sales for the months of November and December, to reach $61.8 billion this year, up 15.1% over 2012.
Here are the Top 10 biggest mistakes made when starting an online business:
1. Waiting too long to launch a product/service
When you start blogging or podcasting to build an audience, it’s easy to get stuck on the content “hamster wheel” for months or years without ever offering something for sale.
2. Solving an unimportant problem
If the problem your business solves is important enough, you won’t even have to look for customers. Imagine if you had a cure for cancer, for example.
3. Not really listening to customers
How do you know if the problem you solve is important enough?
4. Not being different
In most markets, customers have different options to choose from. If your business has competition, you have to give your potential customers a reason to choose your offering over another.
5. Choosing a topic you don’t care about
Whatever you choose to focus your business on, you’re going to need deep subject knowledge, fresh creativity, and unwavering stamina.
6. Starting with vastly wrong expectations
This won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick.
7. Spending too much time thinking and not enough doing
Not much to say here that isn’t perfectly summed up in this quote: Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. -Thomas Edison
8. Going it alone
The only reason my business exists today is because other entrepreneur friends wouldn’t let me quit. Seriously, I tried to throw in the towel and start over with something else, but they wouldn’t let me. They talked me out of it.
9. Confusing “blog” with “business”
Repeat after me: a blog isn’t a business. A blog isn’t a business.
10. What would you add to this list?
This is my list, from what I hear and see in the entrepreneurial world.
Is your list different?