Selling on the Web - The Self Defense Product Industry
Over five years ago I decided to get into the non lethal self defense product business. You know...pepper spray, stun guns, taser devices, personal alarms, etc.
I did my homework and felt as though this would be a great business fit. What I didn't know and no one bothered to mention; is the countless hours required to make it all go!
I have an Undergraduate degree in Business and an MBA, so I consider myself to be a knowledgeable business person. In the self defense product industry there are many different approaches to a business model. I decided that selling via the internet would be the best and most cost effective way to grow Guardian Self Defense & Security Products.
Since the time I started this business I've watched literally hundreds of competitors start up, then pack it in. I know exactly why and they probably feel just like I did 5 years ago.
The work load required to make a business in this industry successful is extremely heavy to say the least. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy every minute of it and if I didn't believe in the products we sell I would have never started.
The fact is that most businesses in the industry are started on the assumption that you can run them on a part-time basis. You can run one part-time, but you'll likely run it into the ground!
When I started I was working a full-time job and putting in about 50 hours per week. As soon as I got home, my second job began. I would work from 7 pm to 1 or 2 am each and every week night. Then on the weekends that is all I did.
Today I get lot of calls and emails from individuals wanting to open a similar business or see if I will franchise Guardian Self Defense. The first thing I tell them up front is that this isn't a part job.
You see first you have to learn about the products, which in it self is a task. Next you have to know what the competition is doing and make sure you stay one up on them. The most important and also the most time dominant task is that of search engine optimization (SEO).
When I started, I had no clue about SEO and the time required to optimize your site. To keep it simple SEO, is the science of making your web site search engine friendly. So when you "google" the keyword "self defense products" the results return over 2 million but truth be told if your not on page 1 or 2 most people will never know your site exists.
So you have over 2 million sharks in the water but only about 20 will have the success everyone dreams about. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. It's not easy and it takes a whole lot of time and effort.
You see just to get your website indexed by Google could take over 6 months. Then you try to figure out what aspect to tackle first. There are so many pieces to the SEO puzzle. You have your meta tags, then you have your content, images, links - inbound and outbound, tags, etc.
Lots to do and so many differing opinions about what works and what doesn't. In addition, the SEO companies will begin calling and promising to put you on page one of Google in 30 days, blah, blah, blah. Hang up on them!
There is no short cut or quick way to get there. Too many factors go into the equation. So if your serious about running a successful business on the internet you have to take it one day at a time.
Set a goal like I'm going to learn one new thing about X each and every day. Don't let your expectations get in the way of your success. It is going to take time, stick with it and do something everyday.
See you at the top!