This excerpt is part of Entrepreneur.com's Second-Quarter Startup Kit which explores the fundamentals of starting up in a wide range of industries.
In Start Your Own Information Marketing Business, the staff at Entrepreneur Bookstore and writer Robert Skrob explain how to start and run a successful information marketing business. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain the six advantages of running an information marketing business.
Let's talk about why you'd want to build an information marketing business. Here are six advantages of such a business:
1. It replaces manual labor by "multiplying yourself" and leveraging what you know. Whether you're working for someone else or you're a professional selling your services by the hour or by the job, you're being paid for what you produce. The moment you stop producing, you stop getting paid.
Trying to multiply yourself by hiring employees to increase the amount of product you can sell is also full of hassles. Employees leave and take clients with them. You have liability issues even if the employee does a good job. There are hundreds of ways an employee can get a business owner into trouble. The work and the aggravation never end.
With an information marketing business, you create a product once, and you're done. It takes a lot of work to create the product, but you can sell it many times, often over a period of several years, without having to do any additional work. Creating an information marketing business is a terrific way to multiply yourself in a way that few other businesses allow.
With an information marketing business, everything you need to create a new product is already inside you. You don't need dozens of experts or newfangled distribution methods. An information marketing business allows you to take the information, the secrets, the techniques, the things you already know, and leverage them. That's the easy way to multiply yourself.
2. Buyers of your information products will buy more. The people who buy your information product will buy other information products from you, whether they're products you create yourself or products you license from others. You can also partner with other information marketers to sell your products or pay them to create products for you. Once you find a customer who wants information about a particular subject, that customer will continue to buy information from you on that subject.
Encouraging repeat business helps you further leverage yourself. You spend a certain amount upfront to identify potential customers and sell them your information product. That first product can then be used to sell them other information products. Once you've gotten a customer, you're going to be able to sell that customer many things as long as you continue to provide high-quality information at a good price.
3. A small amount of interaction with buyers is possible. One of the best things about the information marketing business is that very few customers insist on coming to your business location to buy your products. This means you can work at home and you don't have to worry about customers showing up at your door to buy your new book. You can create products and sell them online from your beach home or as you vacation around the world. As long as you've got a way to create a product, you don't have to be in any particular location for people to buy it. Not only is this exceptionally convenient, but it helps you get into this business with very little overhead expense.
4. Few staff members are necessary. The information marketing business is a terrific business because you don't need a lot of people to run it. Many info-marketers have no employees and instead pay an independent contractor to help maintain the customer database, ship products, and handle customers' questions. This is known as "outsourcing." You can literally operate a business that makes well over $1 million a year with very little staff and very little operating overhead.
5. It takes just a small investment to get started. The information marketing business doesn't require a lot of equipment, fancy offices, furniture or multiple computers. It doesn't require special licenses (in most cases) or special education or degrees. You just need to leverage the information you already know. How? By identifying a market of people who are excited about the information you have, creating a product those people want, and offering it to them in a persuasive way. That's why you can get into this business with a low startup budget. Of course, you must be willing to put some money on the table to find potential customers and market your product to them. If you try to do this business without any investment at all, you're certain to fail.
6. There's a large profit potential. Many info-marketers are making million-dollar incomes through their information marketing businesses. They researched potential customers, found out what those customers wanted the most, offered it to them in a compelling way, and then continued to sell their products until they were making a lot of money. This is a business that's completely scalable; you can make it as small or as large as you want.
But don't think an information business doesn't require work. It does. You'll have to work hard, just the same as any other entrepreneur does. The good news is, if you put in the necessary work, you can eventually replace your manual labor by multiplying yourself and leveraging what you know to create new products. Your customers are going to buy more from you in the future. You can run your business with little interaction with your customers. You can be successful using a very small staff. It takes a small investment, and the payoff can be huge--if you stick with it and continue to develop your business.