Cyberdosh

27 Feb 2015

A Little Bit of History and More ... About Cyberdosh. The Cyberdosh Challenges have been around since 1999, so we've tried many different methods of promoting the concept. Then along came social media...

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A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Initially, the Cyberdosh site was set up as an online game, combining free to enter, cash prize competitions with sponsor advertising. The initial experiment met with some success, more so because it was, inadvertently, mentioned on the FT.com website. The event caused great hilarity in the office at the time, as prospective investors were emailing to ask when there would be a share issue!

This was never going to happen, as we were merely promoting a dozen or so local businesses by offering a £100 prize fund by way of an online treasure hunt. Most of the represented businesses were home-based. I intend to recreate this simplistic marketing 'toy-ploy' soon, in a bid to compare results with those from 15 years ago!

Following on from the game, we then took Cyberdosh to eBid, the UK based alternative to the globally famous eBay. It was an ideal platform, offering free membership and a secure platform on which to build a small business. Most people automatically assumed that eBid was the poor relative of the better known online auctions, but there's so much more to the site than first meets the eye, especially when you start considering the huge potential it offers for serious frugal entrepreneurs harnessing free advertising, marketing and promotional opportunities. Of course, it is still an auction-based selling platform, so jumping in with both feet at a whopping great cost of less than £50 for a lifetime membership was a no-brainer for someone like me.

Forums, blogs and social media were still a long way from where they now are but in the year 2000, I dipped my toes into the public forum foray, eventually running Cyberdosh challenges on a monthly basis. We succeeded in proving that sales increased accordingly with any increase in advertising, marketing and promotion, even when no money was spent. Not exactly rocket science, you may think, but for many newcomers to online cash generation, it convinced them to take the plunge and start a small business. From late 2007, part of the challenge was taken to Martin Lewis' Moneysavingexpert forums, where it still continues, albeit in a slightly different format to what was originally intended. Nowt as strange as folks, as they say, changes were brought about owing to circumstances beyond my control.

A DECADE LATER

Much happened over the next decade. For home-based, working parents, family commitments often took over, more often than not at the expense of starting up or succeeding in business. Nowadays, opportunities abound for everyone and anyone with a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and it is my belief that this is still only the tip of the iceberg.

NOW

Cash, or more specifically credit, isn't quite as readily available, so budgets can be squeezed and stretched to breaking point. But times continue to change. I'm not rich, but NYK Media is still here. I was able to do enough to survive, but what of the future?

How can any small business expect to survive, let alone generate a healthy profit, when there are so many restrictions? What makes the difference between success and failure? What are the incentives for bringing great ideas, services and products to market if the essential investment capital is unavailable? In order to get started and to survive during any economic slump we need to think outside the box - we need to be prepared to jump at every opportunity for extra exposure and ensure that every minute spent in doing so is geared towards benefiting your long-term business plan.

ABOUT THE CHALLENGES

For the purposes of the 2012 challenge, we were looking for a few enterprising individuals to join us in a bid to create, maintain and/or grow a small business of their own. It may have been something already started or it may even have been a brand new business idea. The main point wass that it fitted in with the concept of the 'frugal entrepreneur', otherwise known as the frugaleur.'

The Cyberdosh Challenges are FREE. Anyone is welcome to join at any time and no business is too small. If you choose not to take part, you are more than welcome to observe from the sidelines or throw in your tuppence worth if you see anyone making any glaring mistakes or taking any expensive wrong turns.

At the end of the day, it is about how much you can generate from how little and use it to sustain your chosen lifestyle.

I almost forgot to update this to mention the fact that we ARE working on bringing back the free to enter treasure hunt sometime soon.

1998 - 2015 (c) by NYK Media

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