is really involved in running
a Scottish Online home business ?
wrote this web page in response to numerous requests for information
about running a Scottish Online Travel Business. Contrary to
popular belief nothing is as simple as buying a magic e-book
or joining the latest online network marketing craze, to suddenly
owning a wee Scottish online business such as Tour
Scotland. It just doesn't happen that way.
In a nutshell,
it takes a lot of time, a little money, tons of effort, dedication
and a lot of skill and planning. If you are looking for a quick
fix, then I am afraid that I simply can't help you. Oh, I forgot
that the most important skill first of all is juggling.
juggling. You need to prepare yourself for the long haul. My
first online tour business, took nearly 6 months before it even
covered startup costs. If indeed, something like 3 out of every
4 small business's fail, it is simply because they have very
large startup overheads, with little or no immediate income.
You don't need an accounting degree to work out if your expenses
are larger than your net income, the business is not in good
shape. Hence, so many people end up closing their small online
business and going back to their "day job." I was
determined that this would NOT happen to me. So, at first, like
me, you will probably have to juggle your day job, with developing
your Scottish Online Business in the evenings and weekends.
And if you start a tour business you will still have to juggle
touring throughout the day with developing your web site and
answering e-mails in the mornings and evenings.
there was lots to learn, and learn as fast as possible. Basic
accounting, advertising, marketing, business practices, web
page design, web page optimization, web page promotion, email
marketing, web page statistics. The list was endless. Oh, and
customer relations. So many folks focus too much on meta tags,
keywords etc, etc, and not paying much attention to the customers,
and the people actually looking at your web pages.
for years though in optimizing my web pages, using submission
software, swapping web page links. Nothing has worked better
than continuing to add web pages and detailed
itineraries and photographs
after each tour of Scotland. I try to update or add content
to my web sites every day. I spend at least 2 hours every day
improving the content, changing the content, looking at ways
to streamline the HTML code, checking what the competition is
doing, looking for the latest innovations in the travel industry.
This constant tinkering with my web pages seems to interest
search engine spiders like Google to return more often. I'd
see google crawlers in my site stats maybe 1-2 times a month,
its now nearly 100 times a month. So changes to my web pages
are quickly indexed.
It is also
important that you sign up to Affiliate programs. These are
also known as associate, reseller, or referral programs such
as those offered by Amazon. These are revenue sharing programs
between companies (the merchant) and individuals (the affiliate).
You can then offer products and/or services of other reliable
and well known companies. This allows you to add valuable and
appropriate content onto to your web site, and get paid a small
percentage based on the value of each sale.
to convince a real person to travel with your Scottish tour
business, they must be assured that you are, in fact, also a
real person. You need to speak with them. You need to answer
their emails fully, honestly, promptly and also follow up on
your emails. If a new customer on Monday asks you to confirm
a price, availability and total cost. Email the information
ASAP, address the customer by name, and sign the email with
your name. If you don't hear back from the customer, follow-up
with another e-mail. Who knows, if you don't follow up with
the potential client, they could already have their wallet open,
credit card out, and ordering from your biggest competitor.
Best you get back to them before somebody else does. And it
will happen! I started this policy after the exact same thing
happened to me. I learned quickly and made sure that I will
never lose a sale to a competitor again by not following up
with EVERY potential customer.
also important. You need to respond to emails ASAP. If you consider
that most people login to the internet, do a bit of web surfing,
send some emails and then logoff. Their home computer is switched
off, and may not be turned on again sometimes for days. So if
you take a day to respond to emails, there is every possibility
that your potential client may not actually receive your response
for some time, maybe a week. The best way to grab this potential
client's attention is to response to their email at once. They
will receive your reply during their same internet session.
It also sets their expectation on your high service levels and
speed of responsiveness. Answering their first question, which
must be "how good is this person anyway" and "do
I trust them with my money?"
you need to build a strong loyalty with your customers. You
can do this by responding to them fast, giving them accurate
information. You need to spell out exactly why they should buy
your Scottish Tour or product and chose your company, over the
1,000 other similar firms. Most importantly of all, in the long
run, is the ability to be able to provide references from past
customers. To start a successful Scottish Online Business, you
need to prepare for an initial dry spell. Remember, nothing
just happens over night.
you need to pick a niche market. You need to make yourself known
as an expert in this field, you need to get your name out there
and you need to convince potential customers to become real
customers. This all involves the W-word; WORK.
To Scotland Lifelong Learning