The Definition of a "Bottom Dweller" and How Not To Become One


The term has been used in many different ways, but for some reason no one has written a report about it. I just thought it was time.

A bottom dweller is a business that deals in low-quality products and services or products and services that carry no actual benefit to the customer.

A company advertising a 50,000 print and mail of your full-page circular for $10 is a bottom dweller operation. The turn-a-copy from The Simmons Company is a bottom dweller product. A typesetter charging $1 per inch for typesetting is offering a bottom dweller service. Rumors, lies and gossip are all bottom dweller characteristics. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

However, just because someone is a bottom dweller doesn't necessarily mean they are poor. There is money to be made running your company in the bottom dweller market if your only goal is to make money and not have any concern over the quality of your product or service. But if you want to form a solid company that will reward you with a good customer base you will want to stay get away from the bottom dweller crowd.

I am personal friends with a good lady who started her own typesetting business. Now this, in itself, is a fantastic money-maker. The overhead costs are low and the business can grow really fast! (Ask any good typesetter and they will tell you they are swamped with business. Many even quit advertising because they have more business than they can handle.)

My friend though was impatient. She didn't want to take time to read any books, do any research, study the market and plan a successful marketing strategy. Instead, she just wanted to get going now.

In order to do this, she sought out the low-cost publications to cut corners on her advertising. In these publications were other typesetters charging $3 or $4 per 1" ad. She felt the logical move would be to provide the same service for only $1 per 1" ad and grab the market. After she made some money, she thought she would raise her prices.

Unfortunately, what my friend didn't realize is that her low price could only attract the bottom dweller crowd. Solid companies who take pride in their products and services would NEVER place an order with her. Why? Because most established companies want QUALITY. They know they cannot get quality for $1 per 1" ad. It's impossible. A good typesetter will spend 30 minutes or more on designing a good 1" ad. They will select the proper graphic to reflect the content of the advertisement as well as the correlation of the fonts that are chosen to compliment that graphic. This takes practice, talent and creativity. No one is going to provide that quality for only $1, so why would the solid-based company consider placing an order with my friend? That's why she ended up attracting the bottom dwellers.

If you have read this article so far and things are making sense to you GOOD! If you look around and see that most of your customers sell bottom dweller products, promote junk and have horrible looking circulars, you have made the first step in opening your eyes. But now, what can you do about it?

Rather than close up shop and start all over again, you need to find or develop a REAL product of your own and sell it to a SPECIFIC crowd of people interested in buying it. The first mistake people make is developing a product and then looking around for people to sell it to. This is totally backwards. Instead determine what people want to buy and then find the product or service to fill that need. That way, you already know you'll make money before you start.

But in the meantime, continue doing what you have been doing with the bottom dweller base to keep money coming in. This way, you don't have to close up your business only slowly change it.

Keep your eyes open for other bottom dwellers who are growing and changing and hook up with them so you can help each other.

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