Automotive advertising agencies who expect to be here tomorrow must apply tomorrow’s technology today or they will follow their shuttered auto dealer clients into the ranks of the unemployed. The consolidation of the auto industry is a necessary reaction to a shrinking economy and the proof of two basic rules of business — supply must follow demand and survival of the fittest insures that it will. The secret to survival for automotive advertising agencies and their auto dealer clients in a challenging market is to offer more for less and the technology being designed to improve sales processes on the Internet provide efficiencies that will determine the winners and the losers.Integrating proven real world automotive advertising best practices with maturing virtual world selling processes that rely on developing technology on the Internet allows forward thinking automotive advertising agencies to blur the line between the real world of brick and mortar auto dealerships and the new virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway. Automotive advertising 101 teaches that you must go where your customers are if you want to reach them and with 93% of car shoppers confirming that they start their car buying process on the Internet that part of the marketing and sales process is easy. The hard part that automotive advertising agencies must recognize is that the one constant that has survived on the World Wide Web is human nature. Customers empowered by the easy access of information on the Internet are no longer dependent on auto dealerships — real or virtual — to determine what vehicle they will purchase and who they will buy it from. Online shoppers are looking for a new or used vehicle, not an auto dealership, and automotive advertising agencies need to convert from push/pull advertising methods to pull/push techniques preferred by an educated consumer.Of course there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water! Automotive advertising agencies must use conventional wisdoms built on the stable foundation of human nature supported by the efficiencies offered by new automotive advertising applications designed to crash through the glass wall of the Internet to preserve both market share and profits for their auto dealer clients. The easiest way to satisfy the customer and the auto dealer — in that order — is to give the customers what they want, when they want it — which is immediately — and to do it in such a way that the customers feel that they are buying a vehicle vs. being sold one. That is where the use of new automotive advertising technology and the related improved selling processes come in.Giving the customers what they want — which is a vehicle not an auto dealership — suggests that automotive advertising agencies must promote individual vehicles on the Internet, not their auto dealer clients. While this may seem counter intuitive to old school car guys who presume that they must sell themselves before they can sell their vehicles, it is in keeping with equally established wisdom that suggest that automotive advertising doesn’t sell cars it just attracts customers who want to buy one. Simply put, the best advertising message in the world has no value if no one sees it and since customers are searching the web for individual vehicles that is the bait that will have them bite the hook that has the auto dealer on the other end of the line.It is an accepted fact that cars sell cars and brick and mortar auto dealerships have gravitated to car rows or auto malls to take advantage of the attraction of having as many vehicles as possible in one location to draw real world car shoppers to their individual facilities. The leveraged advertising of multiple competing dealerships and the added value and convenience of one stop shopping for comparable makes and models at one central location is a value for consumers that has survived on the Internet Super Highway. Established third party inventory based websites have a proven place in today’s online automotive advertising plans. Most auto dealerships already rely on the leverage of their collected inventories of literally millions of vehicles from thousands of auto dealerships to attract online new and used vehicle shoppers. The search engine optimization, S.E.O., realized by these third party sites coupled with their localized search engine marketing, S.E.M., investments drawn from the collected revenues of the auto dealer clients that participate in these communal sites provide a competitive advantage that no individual dealer or even a large dealer group can compete with. New technologies being applied to this established business model promise an even better return on investment, R.O.I., for the auto dealers that participate.ronsmap is a game changing online car buying/selling site for both consumers and dealers that exemplifies the value of improving technologies in existing Internet based marketing platforms. It makes car buying fast, comprehensive, transparent and live. What makes it unique is their new technology that gives consumers unparalleled buying and negotiating power over the car buying/selling processes including the opportunity to accommodate For Sale By Owner listings. Their unique value for dealers is that it provides them with an unprecedented level of sales intelligence on consumer leads, and it enables automotive advertising agencies to promote and engage consumers via social networks.With existing search engine filters and third party websites online shoppers have to scroll through lists of hundreds of vehicles while clicking and drilling down on each site since not all vehicles for sale are aggregated on any one exit on the Internet Super Highway. Auto dealers that pay the most are typically promoted in the top listings limiting honest competitive comparisons and auto dealers are often non-responsive to general inquiry leads sourced from these lead resellers. Auto Dealers are equally challenged by existing marketing platforms that do not provide visibility or insights into consumer’s other vehicles of interest discovered during their online shopping trips and their communications are often mid sales cycle starting long after the initial research by the consumer has been completed. The R.O.I. for auto dealers for leads purchased from multiple third party providers are reduced by duplications and smaller dealers not willing or able to pay for a premium position can’t compete equally with the larger advertisers on these sites.ronsmap is a new technology driven Internet solution scheduled to launch at the 2010 NADA Convention in Orlando, Florida. They provide the leverage of multiple inventories posted on a unique map-like internal search engine driven by consumer preferences on a local level that places all vehicles that fit the consumer’s search criteria on the same page with no prejudice to premium positions purchased by the dealers. Their proprietary application provides a level playing field for auto dealers while offering consumers one stop shopping across multiple brands, models and dealerships with the added value of comparisons to For Sale By Owner listings.ronsmap also accommodates today’s consumer preference for pull/push marketing by integrating a unique social networking application into their platform. Marketing to consumers in social networks requires resources, tools and skill sets to compliment and supplement auto dealer’s existing online selling efforts. ronsmap provides all of these elements in a cost effective, scalable manner while delivering consolidated market intelligence not currently offered through other resources.Their vBack application enables auto dealers to multiply leads by leveraging the word of mouth, W.O.M., phenomenon associated with viral messages distributed through social networking. This proprietary process embeds a social media engine directly within the vehicles posted on their community site as well as on the auto dealers individual websites. It extends the auto dealers reach, promotes confidence for consumers through their solicited comments from their online friends in response to their request for feedback on their intended purchase and it drives more consumers to the auto dealers websites.Another unique value added feature provided by the new technologies implemented by ronsmap is exemplified by their SellersVantage application. It allows auto dealers to communicate with online consumers in real time early in the decision cycle. It offers auto dealers a comparative view of what other vehicles and feature/benefits the consumer is looking for, market availability to determine if they have the only vehicle that fits the consumer’s stated needs and comparative pricing analytics to know how they rank in the market before they start negotiations to improve closing ratios and preserve profit.The Intelli-Leads offered by their applications are very robust leads that go way beyond the typical customer name, email address, contact information and questions about the vehicle that they are interested in. They include market intelligence, comparative intelligence, social demographic and social profile intelligence that define the prospect and that allows the dealer to insure that their first offer in the online negotiation process is competitive while preserving gross profit.Technology as applied to enhanced marketing platforms like ronsmap addresses the new opportunities for auto dealers to improve their R.O.I. from third party lead providers and inventory based websites but it doesn’t reflect the equally valued benefits being offered to improve their R.O.I. from their individual S.E.O. efforts and improved conversion rates from their own websites. Once again, conventional wisdoms must be applied by automotive advertising agencies to provide more for less for their auto dealer clients by recognizing the need to establish brand identity and top of the mind awareness for long term dealer recognition in the market tempered with the need to increase sales and profits today so the auto dealer — and their automotive advertising agency — can survive until tomorrow.Since consumers are looking for vehicles on the Internet vs. auto dealers it is only logical that the auto dealers should post their vehicles online individually. The trick is to get a single vehicle to stand out from the traffic on the Internet Super Highway. Once again, technology has provided the solution.Video has surfaced as the media of choice for today’s consumers who grew up watching T.V. and who have applied their preference for Video to their attraction to Internet channels like You Tube and all things video. The search engines role on the newly emerging World Wide Web is to facilitate the consumer’s online search by giving them what they want and since consumers have selected video as their media of choice search engines like Google have decided to give it to them.The algorithms that drive Google have been adjusted to provide a weighted value to video, a fact that has not escaped automotive advertising agencies responsible for improving the S.E.O. for their auto dealer clients. Video presentations have shown up on auto dealers websites with file names that integrate key word phrases to match the auto dealers websites chosen online identity along with similar embedded meta tags and they are even being pushed onto the search engines through You Tube with their own URL’s to extend the SEO of the auto dealers virtual showrooms. The value of this enhanced S.E.O. solution is that all of these postings are sourced back to the auto dealers websites which supports the automotive advertising agencies desire to build dealer branding and top of the mind awareness. The ability to take this exposure to the next level is realized by applying the same philosophy of extending the dealers online exposure to their individual vehicles since, after all, that is what the online customer is searching for.SiSTeR Technologies is an automotive advertising vendor using proprietary cutting edge technologies that has introduced an automated video production platform called VideoCarLot with associated applications including vShock and VidBrid. They are able to convert the still pictures already posted on the dealers websites into professionally produced videos using human voice and existing video footage with integrated search words, meta tags and individual URLs. These finished productions are then placed onto the auto dealers own websites to increase their highly prized and search engine favored video content plus they are individually pushed through their dedicated API with You Tube to post each vehicle to all linked third party advertisers and to the search engines directly onto the You Tube channel. Since You Tube is a growing search engine second only to their parent company Google the enhanced S.E.O. to the dealer is obvious. More importantly, it allows the auto dealer to present their vehicles to online consumers vs. their auto dealerships while anchoring the associated lead back to the sourcing dealer. Once again, technology has provided a win-win scenario placing the consumer’s interests ahead of the auto dealer’s while satisfying the needs of both.The automotive advertising agencies of today that apply the cutting edge automotive advertising technologies of tomorrow are guaranteed a seat at the table in the future. Today’s justified consolidation in the auto industry has opened problems for many and solutions for the few that are determined to survive. Just as the forest fire burns the trees to allow for new growth, the key for automotive advertising agencies to survive to grow another day lies in the automotive advertising technologies and applications that they use today.
INTRODUCTIONPerhaps I should start by asking the question “What is a Home Based Business? This is any business operated from the comfort of the residential home of the owner.The next question is who is a Home Based Business owner? This refers to an Entrepreneur who decides to run his business from the comfort of his home.I decided to clarify these terms because there is a huge difference between a Home Based Business owner and a Home worker who might be working with a government/private organization but decides to be working from home once or twice during the week.Evolution of Home based BusinessMany businesses operated from home usually start as a Micro or Small Enterprise. Some eventually metamorphose into Medium Scale Enterprise and others eventually grow into quite large companies.The desire by Entrepreneurs to start operating businesses from home actually started in the 1980s. During this period, a lot of things combined to precipitate this massive desire by people to own Home based businesses.In the main, the combination of many factors like socio- economic change, improved technology and new management thinking resulted in the loss of otherwise permanent paid employment and this encouraged people to attempt to revalidate their freedom by opting to set up a business at home.The advent of new management thinking and theories like downsizing to make an organization Lean and more agile and efficient created fears in the mind of the average workerSo mass lay- offs helped create the right environment for some workers to go it alone and set up a Home based business.The period of late 1990 to 2010 can be appropriately described as the period of massive explosion in the establishment of businesses at home. The use of Computer, Internet and Mobile Technology helped in the growth of this idea.I strongly believe the idea of setting up business at home will continue to be positive and will remain so for a long time.The continued upsurge in the desire of people to own businesses has attracted the attention of Universities and other higher institutions. They have responded by introducing different courses and programs on Entrepreneurial studies to cater for these needs.Unlike earlier belief that businesses run from home are not well managed and don’t make good money, the present situation is that many Entrepreneurs motivated to set up business at home now have college degrees including a lot of high level professionals with business exposure.The entrepreneurial spirit is innate in all of us and we only need to be adequately motivated to take the necessary action.It’s really an exciting world out there.THE HOME BASED BUSINESS EXPLOSIONAs stated earlier, though the crave for running businesses from home started way back in the 1980s, what can be termed the explosion of this way of doing business was between the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium.(2010+)This coincided with the time when the setting up of a Home based business became a Fad. According to Mr Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, Home based business in the United States grew from about 6 million in 1984 to 23 million by 2007.With the help of modern technology like computers, mobile phones, printers and the huge power of the internet, more work is being done virtually than ever before and more global businesses are routinely being run from home.According to the 2012 GEM report, 69 percent of American entrepreneurs start their business at home from either a spare room in the house, the dining table or from the garage. The report further revealed that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs continue to operate from home even after the business has taken off successfully and stabilized.Again according to Mr. Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, his own companies do training in 20 countries, import eyeglass frames from China and also develop condominiums.Mr. Nuyten of the Home Based Business Statistics in America quoted the following statistics as at 2012:38 million Businesses were operating from residential homes in AmericaA new business is started from home every 12 seconds in the United StatesThe Home Based Business sector in the United States earned Four Hundred and Twenty Seven billion dollars.It revealed that 70 percent of Americans would like to be self- employed.Entrepreneurship has become entrenched in the psyche of the average person. The Baylor University study of 2005 revealed then that more than 5 million jobs had been lost in Fortune 500 companies since 1980 while 34 million were created in small businesses.The United States Census Bureau data of October 2012, also revealed that the number of businesses being operated from home have been on the rise since 1999.The United Kingdom ExperienceThe continued growth in the Home based business sector appears to be a global phenomenon as the report from the United Kingdom will show shortly.The United Kingdom department of Business, Innovation and Skills released a report titled ” Backing for Home Business” which revealed that 2.9 million home based businesses in the United Kingdom contributed 300 billion pounds sterling to the UK economy. The report also stated that 70 percent of all new businesses in the United Kingdom started from home.According to Home Business report compiled by Enterprise Nation, 1,400 new businesses are started from home each week.This report also confirmed that out of a total of 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, 2.1 million are Home based businesses.Factors contributing to the growth of Home Based BusinessesThere are many factors motivating people to set up Home based businesses such as:
Losing one’s job
Being laid off in a time of economic downturn could be very devastating. With difficulty in getting new job offers, the next best thing would be to start a Home based business.
You are your own Boss. Literally, you can come and go as you please. You maintain better work/family balance. There are no set opening and closing times. You go for lunch and vacation when you feel like
Reduction in Stress level
The daily commuting, especially with the present heavy fuel costs is avoided. Also those train/bus rides to and from work with all sorts of characters is avoided.
No corporate office politics
You are not thinking of how to always please the boss and climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to engage with difficult colleagues. Best of all, there are no dress codes.
Cheaper start up and running costs
It’s cheaper to set up a Home based business. A serious entrepreneur can get started with just $5,000. The main requirements could just be a computer, mobile phone, printer and a good internet connection. No rent of physical store space.
Some entrepreneurs set up business at home to bring in extra income to support a day job. Some people start the business as a part time hobby. Eventually the business may become very successful and the entrepreneur will now take the decision to resign from the day job.
Be your own boss
You are your own boss. You have the freedom to do things the way you want. There is nobody breathing down your neck reminding you of targets.
An otherwise loyal employee may become unhappy with the company for lack of promotion and motivation. The next thought is to set up a Home based business.
Opportunity to achieve Self actualization
Having your own business gives you the opportunity to make as much money as you desire. This of course depends on how much money you want to make and the amount of time and effort you decide to invest in the business.Advantages of running a business from homeThe desire to get out of the rat race, avoid the daily grind coupled with the power of modern technology make telecommuting more productive.Together with some of the factors already mentioned above, listed below are more advantages:
You can deduct some of your expenses as business expenses. These could be utility bills, insurance, mortgage and property tax.
Opportunities for Professional improvement
It is safe to assume that with the day to day running of your business, you will develop more business management skills.
Multiple streams of Income
With more time to yourself and the freedom to follow your lead, you can decide to explore other areas of interest and create multiple streams of income.Disadvantages of running a business from home.In spite of the almost glamorous attraction of Entrepreneurship, there are some disadvantages which must be effectively managed in order to improve the chances of success.
For some one that had been used to regular pay checks, having to go through some weeks without income could be a huge challenge.
Lack of adequate space
This could arise where work sometimes spills into the home space
Nearness of Family and Friends
The nearness of family and friends could become a distraction if not properly managed.
Lack of Fringe benefits
Fringe benefits like health and dental insurance and paid vacations which were hitherto being enjoyed in paid employment are no longer available.
Friction with neighbors
The type of business you are involved in could create friction with neighbors due to noise pollution and lack of packing space
Staying glued to the computer screen and in a small space may affect health and fitness. So try and create time for exercise and recreation.CONCLUSIONSo as the French would say Voila! There you are! The idea of starting a business at home has become engraved in the mind of people. Every day, people are starting thousands of businesses in their residences all over the world.Though there are disadvantages in running a business from home, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.Some industry watchers believe that crave for setting up businesses at home is waning and the general trend could be heading downwards.However, I personally believe that the trend can only continue northwards. Why? Because I see all the indices still pointing positive. The factors that motivate people to set up Home based business are still very much around. There are still massive lay- offs going on in many companies and workers are still feeling short changed by employers.To crown it all, the technological tools like Computers, Mobile Phones, Printers and the Internet which assist Home Based Business owners to work smarter and achieve more with lesser effort are still evolving.Therefore I’m of the view that the trend of setting up businesses at home is still on the upward swing.So, how about you? What do you think? Is the trend moving up or going down.Let’s have your thoughts.
Home based business opportunity, what does this exactly mean? A home based business opportunity can represent a number of ways to start your own business from the comforts of home. You could decide to become a freelancer and write articles as a ghostwriter or make a website and sell your products that you have created as a home based business opportunity.A business operated from home can give you the freedom to work when you want to, as much as you want to, and wherever you want to. You can log in at a library and check your email and your website while being on the road if you don’t have a laptop. You can visit a friend and check on business and even attend a web conference while visiting with family during the holidays. The type of business is yours to choose and yours to control.A business operating from your home comes with great tax breaks. You can claim a home office whether it is a room, or ten feet by ten feet of space, by using a home based business. You can deduct whatever you use for the home office along with any equipment you had to buy to start your home based business opportunity. A great example is a brand new computer. You can use this for your new home based business opportunity and let it depreciate. Take all your pens, copy paper, and everything and claim as a business expense.You could be introduced to a business opportunity by a friend or something you were reading online. Maybe selling vitamins caught your attention or learning internet marketing as a great potential business opportunity. Or, perhaps you wanted to try affiliate marketing as a business based out of your home and not even touch the products or services at all. With this type of business, all you have to do is place classified ads and get internet users to click on your affiliate link. There are many great ideas to think about when you have a business you can run from your home.There are a lot of businesses available today that you can operate from home and they are structured to quickly get you on your feet and keep you financially stable. All you have to do is set goals every day, every week, and every month to achieve them and then once achieved; live your dream life.When looking for a home based business opportunity, be realistic about the goals you have set. It takes time for things to fall into place. Look for something you love to do in a home base business. If you are not sure about a specific type of business, try another idea that you are more comfortable with. You can start slow in your business by reading and learning before the actual doing. There are plenty of eBooks and how to websites to give you help and ideas to make your business a success.A Home Based Business can give you the freedom you need to have more time with your family. You never know, a home based business opportunity may entice some of your family members to start their own venture alongside you!