Starting a small business has to be one of the most courageous things a person can do. There are a lot of unknowns that can strike fear into the heart of any small business owner. Issues of labor, supply, and demand, and the market always are a concern. And even if you do all of your market studies and prepare intensively, launching that business is sometimes an act of faith.
The modern era has opened up a new frontier for small business owners and that is the internet. But even there, risks exist and if anything the unknowns are even more exotic. Because the online marketplace is vastly distributed, estimating the market need as well as the potential demand for a product can seem like a cryptic exercise. In the early days of the Internet, the costs of handling money and the resources to help small businesses succeed were few and far between and hard to use at best. That is why by comparison the modern internet marketing world is a relative heaven for small businesses due in no small part to online marketplaces and resources such as Clickbank.
One of the ways Clickbank and other online merchant accounts smooth the road out a small business to get started is by making it possible to accept payments online even when you are just getting started. Most online purchases are done with a credit card. But, especially at first, doing business directly with credit card companies to accept payments online was a nightmare. They required a lot of capital and proof of the health of the business both of which are in short supply when you are just starting out.
Clickbank puts all of that at your disposal for an amazingly low investment. You can join Clickbank for a simple one-time fee of $50 and a small commission on each sale. For that they operate virtually as your online banker accepting payments, managing the credit card transactions and the relationship with the credit card companies, and faithfully handling the money to be passed to you on a routine basis. If you are selling products through Clickbank, you might have hundreds or thousands of transactions per day from just as many customers. But all of that financial management and customer interaction is handled by Clickbank so you just offer your product and then sit back and collect the returns on your sales.
The marketplace dynamic on the internet is as different from the traditional business model as night and day. Small business people must already be light on their feet and able to adapt to change and new things quickly in any market. This requirement of an online entrepreneur is even more crucial. The business model for running a business with Clickbank at the heart of what you are doing does require a massive paradigm shift in how you do business. But most of the ways you change your approach to small business mean giving up some of the aspects of small business that you probably won’t mind giving up.
For one thing, while you can always be actively involved in sales, it is entirely possible to run a healthy and very active and prosperous small business selling digital products to a huge customer base and completely give up the sales side of the business model entirely. That is because on Clickbank, as a merchant, your primary responsibility is to put the product on the market. Once your product or products is “out there”, there is an army of salespeople called affiliates who are ready to pick up your product and promote it to their large existing customer base. By army, we mean that a staggering 150,000 internet marketers are on Clickbank and every one of them can sell your product if they wish. There is no risk to you and Clickbank manages the relationships with this marketing army and the collection and distribution of their commissions.
To take advantage of this army, you will have to grant a slice of profit in the form of a commission to the affiliate as his reward for doing your sales for you. You can consider it a business expense and even record it to deduct it as such. But because that commission will draw this huge and highly specialized mob of internet marketing gurus to your product, that is a pretty good use of a commission.