Downtime Strategies For Building eBusiness

    June 23, 2003

When I first began my business I would freak out every time the phone stopped ringing, until I learned the importance of the down times. Now whenever they occur, I simply get away from it for a little while. It seemed that whenever I watched and waited nothing happened but when I left the situation and put my mind on something else, things shifted. By changing my focus, new ideas would bubble up and I would feel more creative. So although it may seem as if you’ve done all you can, more than likely there’s a whole lot you haven’t tried yet.

As an example, this week I decided to use my creativity by trying a new marketing tool. Since I’m in my car so often I thought it should be utilized more efficiently for my business, but I didn’t want it to look tacky or overdone. So after giving it a little thought, I took the frame of my license plate to a sign shop and had them imprint my web address attractively across the bottom of the frame. A small thing yet now whenever I drive, the person behind me is aware of my business. Best of all the entire investment cost me about $15.00.

Taking Advantage of the Media:

Keeping your name, product or service out in the marketplace as much and as often as possible is crucial to the success of your business. Often smaller companies think that a press release is only for the big guys and hold back from using the media. But press releases are for everyone. When Jeff Weaver, Marketing Director of realized that his company wasn’t taking advantage of the media, he decided it was time to try a press release. The results were overwhelming. ” It is a never-ending task trying to find ‘better ways’ for keeping up with current trends, said Jeff,” but we have found that submitting press releases periodically and seeking and using new marketing tips are what keeps us on the cutting edge.”

Spending Your Advertising Dollars Wisely:

When Shanette of found her business slowing down, she decided it was time to try something new to get the creative juices flowing. One of the things she discovered was that she was spending a lot of money on advertisements that weren’t working for her plus her site wasn’t getting the amount of traffic she hoped for. Drawing upon the wisdom of her peers from her favorite e-zine, instead of focusing her attention on reaching everyone, she started investing only in places that were associated with the beauty industry. “I found that once I began focusing my advertisements specifically to the cosmetic, health and beauty industry,” said Shanette, “many more people started visiting my site. Since I strongly believe in my product, I also give out samples to anyone who would like to try my products. Since utilizing samples as a marketing tool, I’ve started receiving tons of requests for samples with a follow up of more sales.”

Connecting with the Right People:

So often people neglect the great opportunities to support each other by connecting with compatible sites. Recently, I made a connection with Bill at The unique site addresses a market that is often left to fend for themselves. Offering tips and tricks for those who are unemployed, the site is jam-packed with ideas and strategies from how to deal with the stress of unemployment all the way to starting your own business.

After communicating with Bill via e-mail I found that his site and service were extremely beneficial to the unemployed market and very complimentary to my services. I then suggested to Bill that we add each other to our sites which we’ve done. I’m now looking forward to the added exposure that we can provide each other.

When Dave Tishendorf of, recently launched a gardening site he found getting the word out a bit challenging. Offering a great product and service, he knew it was only a matter of time before people found him, but he was at a loss as to how to reach the masses. So he decided he would try connecting with a web site that had a common interest and found it when he hooked up with Chris from

Because the two businesses have a compatible market, each was willing to help boost the other’s business by including information on their respective web sites. The result for both has been a far greater range of exposure and an expanded opportunity for reaching their target audience.

The Importance of Your Web Site:

Although you may have been online for a while and realizing a degree of success, it’s possible that your site needs some refreshing or revamping. Try looking at your web site as if you’re seeing it for the very first time. Review it carefully and notice if it still appeals to your eye and your ear. If not, add a new article, change the verbiage or add some new pictures. Become your own and strongest critic.

Colby Smith of is CEO of a web development and Internet Business Strategy Company. As a specialist in relationship marketing, Colby has a passion for helping her clients find and use the right Internet tools and highly recommends investing in a web site as well as revamping it as needed. When she encounters clients who don’t recognize the importance of a web site, she helps them see just how important it is as a marketing tool. Not only does it make communication more efficient and cost effective, but a dynamic web site is highly efficient as a relationship builder.

Keeping Track of your Marketing Efforts:

Do you ask your clients and customers how they discovered you? Do you follow up with progress updates? It’s a great idea to keep track of how and where people found you and how well they’re doing after you’ve worked together. Find out if they are happy with your services. In that way you maintain good relationships with your customers, plus you always know which of your strategies are working and which ones should be eliminated.

Gordon Vasquez Co-founder & CIO of and offers a complete online solution for Hotels, Hotel Guests and Travel Professionals. The two web sites present an array of products from web site analysis, e-mail capture and database management all the way to search engine optimization, surveys, ratings, guest recognition programs, online booking engines and even hotel dcor.

“As you can imagine, said Gordon,” there is tremendous competition for our applications and although competition is good, it’s important to stay one step ahead by getting lots of feedback from our clients and customers. Nothing works better than showing genuine interest in regard to our customers.”

I hope you are permitting yourself to be creative in your marketing efforts and not allowing fear to hold you back from trying new things. By using what’s already available to you more efficiently, your promotional efforts can bring great rewards. When you consider the companies and individuals that reach great heights, it’s clear that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to maximize their opportunities.

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer/consultant. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans, resumes, web site content and all other forms of marketing material. To speak with Charlene you may contact her at or write her at You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844

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