The Savings Highway Discount Club Presents How The Mistakes of One Website Owner Led to Success

My name is Nancy Vacin and I am one of the owners of the business and website, Discount Clubs Info. This commentary is about, “things I learned from making marketing mistakes in my home based businesses”. Or maybe I should say it’s about, “how not to succeed in marketing”. After five years and $10,000 with no return in trying to market home based businesses, I think I have learned everything there is to know about what “not” to do, if you want to succeed in a home based business. Of course in the process I’ve also learned some things you need to do, before starting your own business from home or from a storefront for that matter.

My husband’s and my first venture was in Cheney, Washington. We opened a small Christian bookstore. Cheney was a college town, of about 8000 residents, with quite a few little surrounding towns. Spokane was 15 miles from Cheney. We thought we would get a lot of traffic from Cheney and the surrounding towns. That was not the case. We found that people would drive to Spokane to do their main shopping, and while there, visit the very large Christian bookstore there. Needless to say, we closed the store at a loss after one year.

My Mistake: Not doing research or market analysis for need of a Christian bookstore in area.

Our second main venture was flipping real estate houses in a depressed area. My husband and daughter did this as a join venture. Learning from our first mistake, my husband did research on the market, lined up an investor a head of time that agreed to work with us, and printed off forms needed for the business. This business actually made a nice income for one person, but barely enough for two. Unfortunately, the state decided to redevelop the area and offered thousands more for the houses than would have been profitable for us.

There was no mistake here: The only cost involved was for fuel for the car to check out the houses. My suggestion on this would be to always line up an investor before attempting to flip houses in any area.

At this point, we decided to work online. We attended a workshop about working from home. The presenters were excellent and we invested $6000 for 6 licenses for online store type websites. This turned out to be a total disaster. We knew nothing about advertising online. I picked my template for my site and located the products I wanted to sell from seven different drop-shippers. I made one sale in a year. Fortunately, I had a full time job, so our only loss was the investment of time and money. At least we were not out on the streets.

My Mistakes: Not learning what was involved in setting up a business online such as: research on marketing, advertising, having a web presence, comparison of hosting vendors, and not writing down a business plan with goals and a budget.

While embarrassing to admit, I tried several other MLM online businesses that failed. I finally started to learn that if I wanted to be successful I needed to do my research. The first thing I did was to write my business plan. I picked a nutritional company that had been in business for 10 years and had a good compensation plan, offered a second stream of income, with no extra work, and offered a lot of bonuses. Through trial and effort, I slowly built my business. I really enjoyed educating my downline leaders how to train their people on the business. Unfortunately, my downline slowly quit, and when the second stream company did a major revision in their compensation plan, my team builders also quit.

My Mistakes: Rather than go into extensive detail, I will summarize them as follows:
1. Bringing people in through the second stream of income business, instead of the nutritional business.
2. Spending my whole annual advertising budget during the first two months of business to buy leads. (Buying leads is the same as flushing money down the toilet.)
3. Buying a 4 Gig laptop, when I had a desktop.
4. Not doing a Google search for free advertising and leads.

My husband and I are currently doing an online business together. Through my mistakes, I have found that I hate having to do anything that is technical with the computer, like setting up web sites and capture pages. I enjoy talking to people and writing blogs and articles. My husband enjoys the technical components and is very good at it. But for me, if it were I alone, I would never be successful in business online, because I would not do the technical things necessary to be profitable online or even break even.

So, in summary, we have finally found a home business that lets my husband and I use our own particular talents in the area we are good at. He does all the promoting and designing and we both do sales. We have learned how to get ranked with Google for free, advertise for free and get free leads. We have learned the biggest secret is not only knowing your strengths, but to have a mentor team, who are doing well with their business. Learning all this, we are finally on our way to retirement and helping others do the same.

Ed and Nancy Vacin are the webmasters of Discount Clubs Info and Nancy is the author of this article. Did you find these tips on marketing helpful? If so you can find out a lot more about this and other subjects by visiting both the above website and The Savings Highway or by calling 918-955-8978 or email:

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