When you first start your business online, chances are, you’re going to have to do everything yourself — at least at first. You see, unless you’re ready to shell out a shed load of cash to hire a full team, you’ll have to personally fill every “department” your business operates. If you’re going into business alone, be prepared to “wear all the hats” so to speak. You’ll have to be the product creator, salesman, JV recruiter, customer support, affiliate campaign manager, accountant, and janitor. That’s a lot of hats! Fortunately, there are a few benefits to doing everything yourself.
First, you’ll gain a ton of experience in all areas of your business. You’ll get first-hand knowledge of how the different departments of your business work. You may already be familiar with some departments because of your previous work history, but doing every other job will truly connect the dots for you. You’ll also be able to form better plans for business growth.
Running your own show will help you stay on track. You won’t have to worry about coordinating a team. You don’t have to spend time managing that team, holding meetings, and waiting until they come online to discuss issues. You’ll be able to concentrate on what you need to do to be productive.
Finally, you’ll have a deep understanding of how your business operates. You’ll also be way more familiar with the tools and services that help you run your business. This means you’ll be able to make future business decisions based on firsthand knowledge. Your experience will also help you hire and manage future employees, as you’ve been in their shoes before.
You’ll gain lots of business experience when you start out wearing all the hats. You’ll know exactly what works in your business because you’ve personally put in the work. You’ll know what tools and services will help your business grow, and why some tools may not be good for the job. And while building your business, you’ll be able to stay focused on your goals instead of worrying about employees. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to get familiar with all the tasks of your online business.
SOLID SUCCESSFUL HABITS OF SERIOUS MARKETERS
Being a fulltime, self-employed Internet Marketer has a ton of advantages. You get to call your own shots, collect the profits, and blend your personal life and business together for a more comfortable lifestyle. However, there are a few habits you’re going to want to maintain if you want to keep the cash rolling in…
Get out of bed at a decent hour. When you work from home it’s easy to lose all regimen. In the beginning, you may be tempted by the idea of not having to set an alarm clock. You still have to be available to communicate with customers, partners, and affiliates. If they generally operate during standard business hours, then you’ll want to be available during that time as well.
PRO-TIP: A decent hour of the day is relative to what time zone you live in and where the majority of your business allies live. You may find that working at night is better for your business.
Be prepared to work odd hours… including evenings and weekends. To put it mildly, expecting to put in a couple hours of work to become a millionaire is misguided. Owning a business with a 7 figure potential requires more than 40 hours of work per week. Your week will be packed with:
★ Communicating with customers
★ Answering emails
★ Creating content for your next product
★ Releasing public relations and brand materials
★ Setting up your email campaigns
★ Designing your bonuses
★ Planning your business
★ Hiring and managing employees
★ Accounting or working with your accountant
★ And so much more!
You’re never going to fit all that into a 40 hour work week. Especially when you have to get on Facebook, only to get distracted by the latest news!
Create an optimal operating environment. We all have different environments in which we work best. Some people prefer completely silent environments. Others like to play music or have conversations with coworkers. If you’re working from home, it’s easy to be distracted by your pets, children, spouse or roommates. It’s even easier to be tempted to spend a pretty day outside doing nothing when there’s no boss to stop you! So consider what environment is the best for your success.
PRO-TIP: Some online entrepreneurs rent a small office to get away to. This is especially true if your home environment is too loud for recording quality content. Although the office expense will lower your profits, you may find the write-off as helpful as the quiet environment.
Keep your phone charged. You’ll want to make sure you’re always able to be alerted to issues whenever you’re away from your computer. You’ll also want to use any downtime you have to catch up on emails and communicate with partners, vendors, and affiliates.
Like a mobile-ready website, you’ve got to be responsive. When you’re running your own business, you’re never really off the clock. But you’re not bound to the clock either. You’ll be able to take care of appointments, errands, and even go to daytime family events without needing to ask permission. At the same time, when you’re on vacation, you’ll need to be able to respond to server issues and other critical events, so take your laptop on vacation… just not to the beach!
These are a few habits that you need to maintain even when you are an independent marketer. A regular schedule will help you coordinate your business with other people. The ability to respond to issues that come up or merely keep them from piling up like emails is also important. Even though being an Internet Marketer is a rewarding path, it comes with responsibilities.
FORECAST YOUR YEAR WITH SMART GOALS
When you’re ready to sit down and commit yourself to building your business, you’ll need to set some goals. Many people make the mistake of setting their dreams as goals. There are specific requirements that your goals need in order to be ascertained. So when you’re sitting down to commit to your success, try creating S.M.A.R.T. goals to ensure you get the results you want!
✭ Elements Of A S.M.A.R.T. Goal ✭
Specific – Paint a picture of what you’d like to achieve in every single detail possible. Being as specific as possible is the best way to achieve success. The more realistically detailed your goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Measurable – You need to establish a system of metrics to determine whether you’re going to meet your goal or not. You’ll want to review your progress and make corrections as necessary to stay on track to meeting your goals. NOTE: Once you’re committed, your goals don’t change… only your dates may change.
Attainable – The goal you’ve set needs to be attainable. Your goal should be something you can actually achieve. To determine the achievability, you should get a clear picture of the requirements needed to be successful. You can then decide if you’ll be able to meet the goal before committing.
Realistic – Make sure that your goal is possible for you personally. You have your own strengths and weaknesses that will influence your success. For example, if you’re brand new to making money online, it’s unrealistic to believe your first launch will generate a million dollars… Yes, it can happen (it’s attainable), but it’s not likely. Instead, a better goal would be to make $10,000 in gross sales and a full notebook for your next launch.
Timely – Put exact dates and times on your goals. You’ll also want to give yourself a reward for meeting your goals on time. This will help you establish boundaries with your time and keep you focused on achieving your goal instead of procrastinating. Setting a reward such as going out to a fancy dinner will help keep you on track!
The difference between a dream and a goal is the date. If you do not set a specific date for your goal, it will forever remain a dream and you’ll never achieve it.
S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you make your dreams come true. Remember that the date and time make all the difference between a goal and a dream. You also want to make sure you’re focused on a goal that you can actually achieve. Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses that influence the achievability of goals. By carefully considering the elements of a S.M.A.R.T. goal, you’ll set yourself up for the best chance at success.
YOUR BUSINESS PLAN WILL FAIL WITHOUT THESE 4 KEY COMPONENTS
When planning out your business, don’t abandon conventional wisdom. You are embarking on a journey here, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you are a techy or a technophobe you are setting out to build an online business now and you’ve never done it before so you need a reliable plan. There are four components to every journey including this one. ESPECIALLY THIS ONE. There’s a start point, an endpoint, a vehicle, and a map.
This isn’t psychobabble. Pay attention because this way of thinking may shave YEARS off your learning curve. These four components are necessary on any journey not just your online journey BUT any instance where you want to successfully arrive at a destination.
START POINT – This is where you are right now. You have to know EXACTLY where you are or there isn’t a map on the planet that can help you get to where you want to go. Identify your skills, your strengths, your weakness what you can, can’t or won’t do. You need to be real with yourself here because if not you’ll just end up creating a bunch of unachievable goals that “sound nice”.
ENDPOINT – This is the destination. It’s amazing how many people set out on a business journey without a destination. Think about that for a minute. Would you ever get in your car to drive without a destination? And if you did… would you ever get anywhere unless you eventually decided on a destination? NO. You wouldn’t. You’d drive around aimlessly until you ran out of gas. Sadly, that’s exactly what many people do in their online business.
MAP – This is the way you plan a route from where you are now to where you want to be. A map is so that you can understand the TERRAIN. You’re still responsible for the route you take but a map is an essential part of any journey. Without a map, you can’t plot a course without a course you’re just shooting in the dark hoping to hit something.
VEHICLE – This is your method of travel. In your online business, this is your chosen niche, your product, your idea YOUR “THING.” The vehicle is that thing you’re going to use to get you from point A to point B. You can drive it or you can ride it but without it, you’re just stuck at your start point holding a pretty map with only a vision of your destination.
All four of these components must be present for you to successfully embark on your online business journey. Without them, it will be impossible for you to track progress and see if you are headed in the right direction. Without these things, you have no checkpoints no way to triangulate your position or destination. You are lost in the struggle and you are easily distracted and easily marketed to. You jump onto any shiny object because you are missing one or more critical components of your journey.
All good business plans start with identifying these four things, what are they for you?
REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
As you design your business, you’ll want to look at the entire process of what you’re looking to achieve. If you try building your business front to back, you’ll likely lose your direction. However, if you start with the end in mind, you can determine what products to create and how to sell them. The clearer the picture you have of the destination the easier it will be to find it. Many experts plan their business funnels the same way they engineer their products.
You’ll want to decide how much money you’d like to make in a year. Let’s say you’d like to hit a modest goal $100,000 in revenue. (NOTE: We’re going to ignore business expenses and taxes for the example.) Reverse engineering with this goal means you should design a $100,000 offer. Imagine an offer SO BIG, so robust, SO VALUABLE that someone would consider paying you $100k for it. Kinda like a buying a house, if you sell just one of these packages, then you’ve met your $100k goal for the year.
Obviously, it may be difficult to find someone who’s ready to spend $100,000 on your package. No problem… let’s continue reverse engineering this process by taking a few things out of your $100k to create a $75k offer. And while you’re at it, take a little more out to create a $50k offer. Now you just have to sell two $50,000 offers to make your goal. Now keep cutting your offers down… reduce a few services, tools, or other components to create smaller offers… all the way down to a Free Report or other giveaway item.
That’s one method that experts use to reverse engineer a deep product funnel and there is a VERY VALUABLE LESSON here that can be applied to your entire business. The point of breaking down a big, package that is likely to sell few units, if any, is that you’re able to create free, low, and medium ticket offers that have a pedigree from the biggest package you offer.
YOU ARE BREAKING DOWN BIG GOALS INTO SMALLER MORE ACHIEVABLE AND MORE MEASURABLE UNITS
As part of your business planning, you need to determine the products and services that you can sell to meet your goals. By starting with the amount of revenue you’ll like to earn, you can create a package that meets that need. Then, simply remove items, services, or other features from the offer to make smaller packages. Once your customers enter your low end, they’re ready to climb the ladder that you’ve engineered.
DIVERSIFY YOUR BUSINESS PLAN – CREATE MULTIPLE PILLARS OF INCOME
Just as you would reverse engineer your product portfolio, so should you reverse engineer your business development. This is not as simple as cutting packages… rather, you need to determine what your business will look like when you’re at the endgame. So if your goal is to sell your business for $10 million, then what does your business look like? How is it generating money?
You’ll want to consider developing your business in stages. Each stage should be designed to develop a pillar of income that makes up a portion of the company’s revenue. Each of these pillars should also be designed such that if one fails, the other pillars are not brought down with it.
✭ The Five Pillars of Internet Marketing ✭
Launches – A product launch will help you build a list of targeted buyers. This pillar is the most time-consuming as you need to create an information product or software to launch. You’ll also need to recruit affiliates and build buzz for your product launch. We also consider webinar offers to be part of the launch pillar because some vendors just dop webinars instead of launches or they do both.
Continuity – Continuity allows you to charge your customers on a recurring basis — typically monthly. Continuity programs can be created by offering information or software that justifies a monthly payment. For example, software as a service could require a monthly payment in order to maintain access to the software.
Affiliate – Affiliate marketing is highly profitable as there are relatively little development costs. However, it is also time-consuming to execute well as you will have to evaluate multiple products, choose one to promote, set up your email campaign, and prepare a bonus offer.
Services – Offering services allow you to apply the knowledge that you’ve acquired by handling portions of the business for your clients. These are excellent mid to high ticket offers. You may offer web design, funnel creation, video creation, and so many other services that are needed in marketing.
PRO-TIP: Offering internet marketing services to brick-and-mortar businesses is a great way to find high paying clients.
Coaching – Coaching is the highest-price offer you can make. It involves one-on-one time with you. It’s best to offer this only to your most serious clients because it cannot be outsourced or otherwise scaled like a digital product.
You do not have to build your pillars in the same order laid out here. However, you will want to remember that how you build your first pillar will impact the development of the other pillars. You will want to look at your exit strategy and determine which pillar to start first. Develop wisely!
THREE THINGS TO HELP YOU PROPERLY BUDGET FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Even though your business is on the internet, it’s still a business. And like a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll need to set a budget for your business. Some of the items you’ll need are monthly expenses. Others are one-off purchases. Your business plan will determine what you need and when you need it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re determining the budget for your business.
First, you’ll want to make sure you know the business you’re entering exceptionally well. Be a student of the business first. Invest in quality training from the industry’s top mentors. Learn the business and more importantly, the tools they use. From there, you can get a good idea of what specific services and tools you should invest in and you’ll know why (which is super important to know if the tool is expensive).
There are some great free tools out there. The Google tool suite is perhaps the best toolset you can get for free. It’s great for email and creating docs and PDFs, and spreadsheets. However, other tools like your hosting are not free. While you may be tempted to find a free or super cheap solution to every problem, please understand that some of the best tools to use can be pricey. And some free tools are not worth the time. You need to research your purchases carefully and make informed purchases!
Some of your tools and services will need to be scaled up as your business grows. Tools like your hosting, auto-responder service, and your help desk software may need to be upgraded to bigger accounts when you grow. This is a high-quality problem to have. You’ll need to refer to your business plan and check your milestones to determine when you need to upgrade.
PRO-TIP: When you’re first starting an account on that may need to be scaled, choose a service provider that will make scaling easy for you. The last thing you want to do is change to a new provider when you’re busy growing.
When planning your budget, take in every possible expense your business will need. You’ll be able to figure this out by studying the business prior to jumping in with big investments. Learn from the industry masters what tools and services they prefer and why. Then go price out all of those tools and when you’ll need them. This way you’ll have a well-informed budget that you’ll actually be able to keep, plus you won’t waste time and money on the wrong tools! Be frugal, buy products because your business plan calls for them instead of just because they’re shiny.
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