Doing Business Where Capitalism Is Coming of Age

Launching a website for your new business is one of the most exhilarating experiences you’ll ever have. Don’t believe us? Try it.

Getting the website up and running is the culmination of all the hard work and time you’ve put into building the graphics and writing the content. It’s also the moment of truth…to see whether or not your idea, your passion that you want to share with others, is something people want.

Our target market is Poland. We chose to get into Poland not only because we’re Polish but because Poland is just coming of age in terms of capitalism. (Remember, not too long ago the Berlin wall came tumbling down – and with it, restrictions on commerce. People were allowed to buy what they wanted, when they wanted it, and in whatever quantity they needed.)

We wanted to show wannabe entrepreneurs exactly how to start a business in Poland. And we wanted to do that by giving them the kind of tried-and-true information that comes from first-hand experience. In other words, we wanted to offer the kind of workable advice that ETR has been giving its readers for years.

How were we going to formulate our idea into something tangible on the Internet? We weren’t sure. And in retrospect, we can see that we made it more complicated than it needed to be. We were worried about getting our material translated perfectly into Polish and having the right number of words… that sort of thing.

If you’ve read Michael Masterson’s book Ready, Fire, Aim, you know that he makes a big point of the importance of just getting your stuff out there and working out the kinks as you go along. But we kept getting hung up on details.

Meanwhile, we had a chance to work with the ETR team. (We were even able to run a few things by Michael Masterson himself to see if we were on the right track.) As a result, they asked if we would do a presentation at the next ETR Internet marketing bootcamp about what we were working on.

We were very happy to do it, because we wanted to let the bootcamp attendees know about the great support we’d received from everybody over at ETR.

Though we didn’t feel that we were ready to launch our website, we decided we had to do it so people could access the site at the conference. And we were totally wigging out, because there were still some imperfections that we were working to correct. We were afraid that going live at that point might have a detrimental effect on our credibility.

We quickly learned that our fears were way overblown. We also learned that the Internet is extremely dynamic. Even after a site is up and functioning, you can go back and fix problems within minutes.

For us, this was very empowering. It got us out of our “Make sure it’s perfect” mindset and got us started on a URL buying spree. We wanted to set up multiple landing pages in order to attract as many subscribers as we could to our site. (By the way, Wczesny Ranek is Polish for Early to Rise.)

To track our progress, we set up analytics through Google. Once that was in place, we set up a Google AdWords account for marketing our site. (Putting up a site without having any advertising is like building a store on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.)

When you set up an account with AdWords, it allows you to create a little advertisement for your website. To make the ad as effective as possible, you include keywords that people are likely to use when searching for the kind of information that’s on your website. And you can actually research those keywords using Google’s keyword search tool.

We researched about 15 different keywords, including “business ideas, “home business,” “how to make money,” “start a business,” and “make money” – in Polish, of course. We found out how many searches per month each one got on Google… whether the overall trend of those searches was up, down, or flat… and how competitive the bidding was to buy them. “Business ideas,” for example was getting 500,000 searches per month on Google and had an upward trend. Plus, competition for it was pretty low, which meant it wouldn’t cost us a whole bunch of money to use it to drive traffic to our site.

The folks at ETR were great at helping us through this. (It’s the sort of thing they teach at their Internet marketing bootcamps.) And when we put our ads on Google AdWords, we saw our traffic go from nobody to 300-500 hits PER DAY.

We also saw our organic rankings on Google rise – mostly (we think) because of the frequency with which we put new content on the site. And this is huge! The traffic you get as a result of organic searches is free. So it made our cost to acquire new subscribers go down dramatically. It also allowed us to stretch out our marketing budget.

We had followed ETR’s model to a “T” – which is to say we created a website that is solely to provide information. No hard selling of any kind. We want the people who come to our site to want to keep coming back. And we want them to give us their e-mail addresses so we can send them our e-mail newsletter.

Turns out ETR’s model was FAR more effective than we expected. About 10% of the people who were visiting our site were signing up for our newsletter. And we went from having no one check us out (because they couldn’t find us) to getting about 600 subscribers to our newsletter in about 1 month.

And the results seem to grow exponentially. The more landing pages we get up, the more people we can direct to and ask them to forward our e-mails to other people who they think might benefit from the material we put out.

The feedback we’ve gotten is very encouraging, too. Here are just two examples (translated so you can read them):

Please, give us as much information as you can. I’ve had a great deal of financial trouble the last several months because I lost my job. I need to stand on my own two legs again and really hope you can help.

– Tadeusz

The content of your articles fits my approach to certain goals exactly. I often put off ambitious goals for later, even though they could probably be done right away, with the excuse that tomorrow is better than today. The truth is tomorrow never comes because I put it off another day. I think about it sometimes… that I have low motivation… and I think a lot of people have the same problem. I don’t think it pertains to people who have already achieved success because low motivation would not get them to where they are today. I really hope that your newsletters will help me accomplish my goals and overcome my weaknesses.

– Teresa

So as you can see, we seem to be accomplishing what we set out to do: to help people realize the power within them to be able to achieve whatever they want.

We never imagined how fulfilling and thrilling it would be to turn our idea into a business. It amazes us even now. To know that you have a passion for the content and products you’re putting out there – and to be a benefit to your subscribers – is one of the best feelings in the world.

[Ed. Note: Henry Tutaj has spent the majority of his career in the financial sector and has owned and operated his own businesses for the last 30 years. As an experienced banker, Henry has always understood the benefit of being entrepreneurial and has spent most of his time helping small business owners overcome their short-term obstacles. Henry has been a big fan of ETR, which prompted him to pursue a partnership in bringing it to Poland. Henry the president and business guru for Wczesny Ranek, Inc.

Anthony Tutaj has spent his entire career in the banking sector. After graduating from college, he went to work with his father right away at his father’s banking firm. He has always ahd a passion for writing and helping people achieve their goals. Anthony is the Managing Editor of Wczesny Ranek, ETR’s Polish Affiliate.]