February 18th, 2009

Online Business Tip #1: Be a Joiner

I just interviewed Kenneth Markley, a 75-year-old entrepreneur who has sold (with his wife, Susan) more than $2 million worth of old clocks, most online. The Markleys run Old-Timers Antique Clocks. I’m going to profile them on the WorthPoint Web site, so watch for that.

Markley’s #1 tip: Participate in groups that pertain to your area of interest. He’s not just talking about online groups. Join your Chamber of Commerce; join any user groups that your customers and your fellow sellers/collectors will join. Be a joiner and network. Attend their meetings and conventions. Along the way, you’ll be able to publicize your business and make sales. The Markleys are active in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. And they are on the GoAntiques site. These two associations provide them with a good deal of their business.

As Markley points out, people don’t join their local Rotary Clubs or other groups any more, and these groups are dwindling as a result. This can be just the thing to revitalize your business, however. In other words, mix online networking with real-world networking and advertising and simply talking to people. It will jump start your business.

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