Porter’s Five Forces Model And Internet Competition

According to Porter’s Five Forces Model, in my opinion, competition has increased overall as a result of the internet and e-Commerce. The internet and IT has made it possible to both focus on the top and bottom lines and market share is expanded and costs are cut. Many products and services exist just online, major companies have gone online to successfully augment the brick and mortar corporations, and the playing field is all the way to edges of cyberspace, wherever that is. We will further evaluate this stepping through all five forces.

Buyer power is higher when buyers have more choices. Businesses are forced to add value to their products and services to get loyalty. Many loyalty programs include excellent services that customers demand on-line. Customers want to solve their problems and many times they are more successful on-line than on-phone. Also, we see internet savvy businesses springing up offering more valuable goods and services at lower costs. Now with the advent of eBay, many people are assuming roles as drop shippers. Individuals can have a thriving business selling goods of larger companies without having to carry inventory.

Supplier power is higher when buyers have fewer choices from whom to buy. As mentioned earlier, drop shipping has increased the amount of suppliers available. All an individual has to do is form and agreement to sell products for the company. The company takes care of all the logistics. The same is true of associates programs that Amazon.com and Google.com offer. Associates allow a webmaster to earn money by recommending products from others. This increases supplier offerings.

Threat of substitute products or services is high when there are many product alternatives. This is different than having many suppliers. Examples of alternatives are exchanging brand names, substituting credit card capabilities, and looking at better values from cheaper sources. The internet allows this with the “global economy”. I can substitute my product by purchasing from companies overseas where labor, services and products are cheaper, but of comparable quality.

Threat of new entrants is high when it is easy for new competition to enter the market. Well, what have we been talking about? Now, small operations can open shop with less than $10.00 per month and make a lot of money. As inventive as people are, there are always opportunities to do improve a product or service or just create and sell something new. Recently, many new entrants have made even more money authoring Ebooks that tell others how to do what they did. Rivalry among competitors is high when competition is more intense within industries.

On-line book stores and catalog companies are an excellent example. Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com are very competitive. However, there are many also smaller niche affiliate bookstores that when combined take a great deal of market share. They offer even more competition. However, both major bookstores have used IT to create value for their customers. These values include associates programs, ease of payment and shipping and many, many others.

The internet offers avenues of competition to existing companies and opportunities for start ups. Now businesses can enter the market on-line with few barriers to entry. Porter’s Five Forces Model can help demonstrate the attractiveness of starting your on-line business. A business person should use the model to identify competition, make a plan, and implement the process.

Traditional Marketing – An Introduction to Offline Marketing – Part 1

The Art of Marketing as a whole

Marketing is the process of establishing which products or services that might attract certain customers, and then determining what strategy to use to promote them. This mutual procedure is intended to create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to obtain trust and recognition within a business. The main purpose of marketing is “to attract” a target audience or specific individuals who are interested and want your product or service that you offer. That then leads to the primary goal of any business which is to ultimately make sales, or in other words, “to sell”.

While referencing to customers, it can be said that they are the main focus of marketing activities. It is pertinent to ALWAYS do these three key things:

  1. Identify the customer
  2. Maintain the customer
  3. Satisfy the customer

With these key factors in mind and the impact that advertising has on the potential success or failure of a business, it is correct to say that marketing in general is one of the most vital pieces of the business world.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is also referred to as “offline marketing”. The term traditional simply means the “passing on” of something, such as beliefs, customs, or practices. So when you think of traditional marketing, you should comprehend that it consists of techniques and strategies that have been used for a very long time. In addition, you can think of its relative term, “offline marketing”, as any method or means of promotion that does NOT include the internet.

Traditional marketing mainly focuses on the company and the product, as where online marketing centers on the customer and their interests. So basically, you would use traditional marketing to expand your business and strive to distribute your product through the three main geographical levels (local, regional, national) and ultimately worldwide. There would apparently be less focus on the actual customer and their needs although some might disagree with this logic.

The Four Ps

The four Ps, also known as the “marketing mix”, was developed by Jerome McCarthy after the term became widespread in the early 1960s. The four Ps are the four essential ingredients of marketing. They incorporate the following:

1. Product – All businesses revolve around a product or service. You must first develop a unique and quality product or service that you intend to sell. Here are other aspects:

  • Brand name
  • Purpose
  • Style
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Support
  • Warranty

2. Price – Second, you should investigate the price value of your competition (if any), and then determine the cost of your own product or service that’s both affordable and will earn you revenue. Other things to consider are:

  • Discounts
  • Types of payments
  • Seasonal pricing

3. Place – Third, you have to decide how you will distribute your product to the customers or where you will offer your service. More decisions to be made include:

  • Market coverage
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centers
  • Order processing
  • Transportation

4. Promotion – Lastly, the marketing and campaign portion comes into play. You must determine who you will market to and what advertising methods and strategies you will use to acquire potential prospects. This is the most important piece of the marketing mix and can make or beak a business. Additional things to take into account are: 

  • Workforce
  • Publicity
  • Marketing budget

All four elements of the marketing mix must be completed and well thought out before you can think about starting any campaign for your product or service.

Is traditional marketing beginning to slowly disappear?

Traditional marketing is becoming a lost element in the business world. Many people are now marketing their businesses online as the number of internet users grow substantially every year. To give you a quick insight, there are currently over 1 billion people who use the internet today. I mean how can the offline market even compete with that? But just because a new revolution has arisen doesn’t mean the old ways are no longer effective. Traditional marketing can still produce plenty of customers and lead to major profits if it is used correctly. So don’t think that you should just market your business only on the internet. The idea is to incorporate both online and traditional methods to see maximum results.

Things to remember

The crucial points to keep in mind is that in order to achieve success in the business world, you must always do the key three factors of identifying, maintaining, and satisfying the customer and you have to constantly fulfill the four Ps of the marketing mix. The more often and the more effective you complete these two tasks, the higher amount of profits you will see yourself earning in your business.

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The Most Important Things to Know Before Potty Training Boys

Is potty training boys harder than potty training girls?

Some say "Yes", I say "No, not really."

I only add the "not really" part because potty training boys properly requires a bit more preparation only because parents have to make a few more decisions before beginning (which I'll discuss below). But the basic approach is exactly the same for potty training boys and girls.

So, in spite of what you may have heard, the following "myths" are not true:

1. Boys are more stubborn and less motivated than girls, and therefore harder to potty train.
2. Potty training boys is a lot longer process than potty training girls.
3. Boys are less motivated and therefore less cooperative during potty training.
4. Boys can not be potty trained until they're three.

If you believe any of the above statements, the first thing you should do is erase them from your memory bank, because they're simply a bunch of hooey, and if you buy into any of them, you're doing your son and your Wallet a big disservice.

Therefore, let me set the record straight. If your son is a normal, healthy toddler he should be ready for potty training at about 18 months (average) although some boys are ready earlier or later – anywhere from 12 to 27 months.

Boys who are ready for potty training will often begin to imitate their fathers or brothers (it's as though they realize the differences in genders) and may even start to stand at the toilet like them (even if they have no idea what to do once there !). And once the potty training process begins, they may also ask to use the toilet like them. If so, go for it!
If your child wants to be like daddy or like his older brother and believers, by all means, then let him stand! Power struggles are big no-nos in the potty training world …

So, what is the biggest difference between potty training boys and potty training girls? In my opinion, the only significant variance between the two is that parents need to decide ahead of time if they'll train their sons to urinate standing up or sitting down, so they'll know what kind of equipment they'll need.

My advise? Teach boys to urinate and have bowel movements sitting down. Period. (By the way, The American Academy of Pediatrics supports this advice).

Here's why:

1. You'll need less equipment. You can begin training using a potty chair only – no need for stools, urinals, and the like.

2. They'll learn "potty basics" faster. Remember, your son is learning a brand new skill – one that requires his – and yours – complete concentration and cooperation. So, why complicate the process by introducing too many things at once? Once your son has learned to use the potty, the big learning curve is over and it's reliably easy to teach them to urinate standing up, when the time is right.

3. Potty chairs are much "friendlier" when children are sitting. Consider this … potty chairs are low to the ground (purposefully, so toddlers can get on and off them easily), less "weak," and have much smaller openings than traditional toilets. Therefore, when children pee standing up, there's likely to be a good deal of splashing. The alternative is a urinal for peeing, and a potty chair or toilet for poop; A toilet for both; Egypt a potty chair for both. If you choose to use a toilet, you'll need to make sure you have a step stool (so your son can get on and off the processed by himself) and should consider purchasing a seat reducer (or else there's a better than even chance That your son may be frightened by the large opening – a very common fear).

4. You'll have less mess. Just put, potty training boys standing up is just plain messy, because little boys are notoriously bad aims – even with the best of intentions – so you can expect lots of dribbling down the potty chair, on the seat, and yes, all over the Floors and walls. It just comes with the territory.

5. Potty chairs are more flexible. One of the very best things about potty chairs is their portability. That's right … you can load them up and bring them with you, and your son can pee pee or poop on the fly (no pun intended:>). Trust me, this will come in very, very handy during your potty training journey. For whatever reason, you'll find that your child suddenly has to pee (and I mean, "really, really bad.") At the most inopportune times and your portable potty chair will be a Godsend. Yes, little boys can urinate in a potty chair standing up, but you'll need to bring lots of wipes with you!

Please also keep in mind that regardless of whether you're potty training boys or girls, consistency is king (in fact this is one of the core principles of our potty training system)! So, please see to it that whichever method you use, it's reinforced by all of the other adults who come in regular contact with your son.

This is especially true if your son is enrolled in pre-school, day care or has a nanny or babysitter. In fact, some organizations have very specific rules regarding potty training – especially as it relates to potty training boys. Therefore, it's a good idea to check with your childcare providers beforehand, so you're all on the same page.

Once again, I hope my advice on potty training boys has been helpful and you'll take the time to check out my other potty training articles!

Thinking Like An Online Entrepreneur – E-Commerce Tips

So much has been written about entrepreneurial thinking that I won’t try to distil it here. However, there are certain behaviours I have noted about how some web owners approach the development and running of their e-commerce websites which deserve a little discussion.

Let me start with the most important, influencing factor to any web owner’s success: belief.

Belief

Starting your online entrepreneurial activity with the right mindset and beliefs is like winning the match before you’ve stepped out onto the court. It’s what separates the really successful businesses from the average ones.

Ask any sportsperson or sports psychologist and they’ll tell you that your beliefs profoundly affect your performance.

What we believe is possible in our online entrepreneurial life is the limiting factor in our success.

Let’s take an example. Lots of people wish they were millionaires, but of those who want to become millionaires, very few actually believe they will be millionaires. Those that do, however, stand a far greater chance of becoming what they believe. Why? Because at a conscious and subconscious level they are doing everything they can to pursue that one objective. Now I’m not suggesting that being a millionaire should be your life’s goal; I’m just using it as an example. The point is that your underlying beliefs in what you are capable of fundamentally affect the actions you take and the choices you make.

All this may seem more like some New Age incantation rather than hard-edged business-speak, but there is good reason I mention it. Owning and running an e-commerce website is not for the faint-hearted. It is complex and demanding and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long hours, headaches and hard work, but also be prepared for more customers, a growing bank account and a sense of achievement. Your belief that you are doing the right thing is what will see you through and keep you on course for success.

Owning an e-commerce website can be a wild ride but how you handle it is totally dictated by your mindset and your beliefs. For example, many e-commerce websites fail because their owners give up – they lose confidence, interest and commitment, especially in the early days of their website’s life. It’s easy to give up if you’re struggling or faced with outright failure. However, those who believe they will succeed don’t see failure as a setback but as a learning experience – they have the right mindset and they will do well because of it.

I’m telling you this because you know that success isn’t a set of purely mechanical step-by-step processes. (If it were, we’d all be millionaires.) Success comes from your mindset: what you believe you can achieve and the expectations you set yourself. This mindset is as important as knowing how to Search Engine optimize your e-commerce website or write compelling sales copy.