by Eric Pratt
There's been a lot of hype lately over Social Media. Many businesses are rushing to build a Facebook page, get a Twitter account, and build a network on Linkedin. While the jury may still be out on how measurable returns are and what industries have had the best success I think there is another format that can provide instant returns and metrics.
Most of you probably know Craigslist and Ebay. Craigslist is very basic but highly successful internet classified site. Ebay is the top dog in online auctioneers. You may have bought or even sold personal items through Craigslist or Ebay but have you ever thought about generating revenue and profits for your business?
Obviously this is most relevant to companies that sell a good and carry inventory. If you have inventory you have no doubt dealt with stales or dead inventory. What if you could slowly get rid of unneeded product, increase cash flow, and invest nothing on the front end? That's what Craigslist and other sites can do.
Let me give you a real life example that you can apply your specifics to. My Dad lives in WA and owns a transmission shop, Snohomish Transmission. Over 20-some years he has piled up a lot of car parts. Some of them very valuable, the pack rat in my Dad always saves stuff in the event he might have a use for it later. Many of his parts, especially the hard to find specialty parts, are very rare.
My idea for him was to start listing things on Craiglist. His shop was slow at the time, money was tight, and his receptionist just played Solitaire when it was slow. Why not put her to work? Sure wouldn't be any harm in trying right? He's already paying her to sit there and it certainly could be put on the back burner when a customer came in right? After debating the details he finally figured he'd give it a try.
It actually worked. He started getting interest and making sales. Most of the stuff he's selling isn't going for more than $50-$75 bucks. He isn't getting rich but he's putting few extra hundreds in his pocket every month, reducing inventory and increasing cash flow.
Every little bit counts for small businesses, especially in current conditions. Everyone is counting pennies, reducing overhead, and generally running a tighter ship. If you have some stuff laying around your office or warehouse that isn't going anywhere soon, why not give Craigslist a try? If you want to get real crazy spend a few dollars on Ebay to post your items and open up your demographics even more.
Another option would be to reinvest those dollars back into your business. Why not save for a month or two, give QeH2 a call, and let us show you how to make your website work for you with our online marketing services. Maybe a fresh and relevant site coupled with some monthly SEO could bring additional clients to you. Might be worth a shot, especially if it starts with "free" money you made online.