There are loads of advice on how to attract and sell to the coveted Millennial market, the generation born between the mid-1980s and early-2000s.
Going into business brings no promise of success, and when you compete with other sellers, not everyone gets a trophy
But who's talking to the Millennials who want to become veteran online sellers in their own right? Too few.
So, for those Millennials with an itch to go into business, here's some useful advice to help you decide if you're really ready to become a businessperson in a new world that still runs by the long-proven truth: Success equals work!
The purple dinosaur lied
Let's just get this out of the way: Despite bubbly Barney's promises that you're special, gifted and entitled to unbounded love, support, and preference, things won't be that easy.
You're unique for sure, but business life is particularly daunting. As you get ready to venture into it, be sure to pull up your big boy and big girl pants. Going into business brings no promise of success, and when you compete with other sellers, not everyone gets a trophy.
Start by working for someone else
Once the sting wears off that you're not guaranteed anything just for being you, then you can direct your energy toward finding and attaining what you want through hard work.
You should dream big, but before you can discover the next big seller, develop the next killer app, or something similar, you'll need to learn the ins and outs from others. You might even see if you can work for a seasoned online seller.
Before you can discover the next big seller, develop the next killer app or something similar, you'll need to learn the ins and outs from others
Learn how to work and discover exactly what it takes to work for someone else—and by his or her rules. If you're going to become a seasoned online seller, it's a good idea to work in that field as soon as possible to begin to learn how the game is played.
Visit online selling groups on Facebook to see if you can find a selling mentor or if anyone is looking for an assistant.
Learn these essential skills
So if you're listing items or fulfilling orders for someone else, you're getting to the good stuff. Not only are you learning how to sell online, you're also learning other skills, including:
How to be social: As social as many Millennials claim to be, many are actually pretty secluded and even among their friends. Working in a public- or private-sector job will put you into a team of strangers where you'll not only learn how other people behave, but you'll also learn how you behave in such situations and how you're perceived by others.
What customer service really is: It's easy to roll your eyes and turn a deaf ear to customers' needs when you're working for someone else, but just remember that it will be your company that you're running someday, and you cannot afford to ignore anyone who might be willing to make a purchase. Learn how to engage with customers—even charm them—while your employer is taking all the risk.
Learn how to engage with customers—even charm them—while your employer is taking all the risk
What your barriers and shortfalls are: What is it that keeps customers from being fully satisfied? What sorts of limitations (self-imposed or otherwise) prevent shoppers from having a near-perfect experience? And, if you were a customer, what do you wish would go better if only someone at the top would decide to make a much-needed adjustment? Look, listen, and take note of everything you experience and that you see the customers experience.
Working for someone else lets you learn, practice and consciously plan what you would do differently, maybe even better. Yes, you will need to follow someone else's rules, but try to learn why those rules exist, and if they truly put the customer first in all that is being done.
Yes, this will work
These tactics can help anyone, no matter how old you are. They've worked for years! Actually, the fact that they've been around forever means they're tried, tested and hardened. They work, and they'll be your secret weapon in an age were too many new entrepreneurs think this will be easy pickings.
You, of course, will be thinking much, much smarter than they.
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Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.
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