I’ll like to wrap up this series by looking at the 5-6 factors which are the MOST important when starting an online business. I’ll admit if you have NO experience it can be tough, however this is NOT the case anymore because you have so many guidelines you can follow along the way to help you out. For example, if you do a quick search online, you’ll be able to find almost any type of information you need to help you along the way.
It’s awesome what search engines can provide you if your completely lost about your entire process. With that said, let’s look at the following today:
- Learn from Mistakes
- Think Bottom-Line
- Always Test and Tweak
- Be Creative
- Feedback Matters
- Know When to Stop
Just like if you’re a human your going to make mistakes, and you just have to learn from themâ€¦right? The same can be applied to your business because you are going to make mistakes along the way. You’re just starting out and NO matter how many guidelines you have it’s going to be hard to get everything right the first time around. However, you’ve only failed if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. You have to understand why you made certain mistakes, and find ways to correct them going forward because if you don’t the following will happen.
First, you’ll keep pushing yourself down because continued mistakes are bad for business. Secondly, your leaving yourself open for your competition to catch up with you. When you make mistakes, you’ll slow down your progress and allow for your competition to catch up. Next, these mistakes if made over and over again can cost you enormous money going forward. This monetary loss can come in the form of customers or even bottom-line profits.
If you see yourself make a mistake just go back and understand why it was made. You’ll also want to analyze what was the result of your mistake so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. Here’s the cool thing,
A mistake can be a blessing in disguise because it can teach you a lot about your business. However, the only way you will prosper from these mistakes is if you don’t do them again.
Here’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life â€“ I simply didn’t think bottom-line with every decision I made. You have to understand when you start a business online that you are trying to grow customer base, and make moneyâ€¦right? It’s important you keep this focus so you don’t stir off track. If you start thinking about other aspects, then you might forget what the main purpose is of your business. In the end, your business is around to make money, and if anyone tells you something different they simply don’t understand economics. I know when you first start out, you’ll have so many things on your mind so forgetting your bottom line happens easily. However, if you can train yourself to think about bottom-line or write on in big letters on your desk, it’ll be much easier to focus on all the time. Next,
Since your trying to reach your bottom-line, you want to make sure you don’t forget about others things which are important i.e. product quality, content, customers, etc.
Testing Makes Perfect
As your business grows you’ll be introducing different channels to your model. For example, you might start to focus on other services, products or even content writing strategies, and it’s important to test what’s resonating with your audience. Keep in mind, the channels which are NOT resonating must be eliminated from your model because it can cost you enormous money to keep them in the loop. This is another reason why you have to keep testing because a bad product can do you more harm then increase your bottom line.
Now the question becomes: How can you test and tweak what’s working? Here’s what I recommend.
- Have a budget ready for testing and tweaking because you’ll need money to find out what’s working. It just like testing different marketing channels because this task will be impossible without having the right cash flow.
- If you are creating a list, it’s important to split test opt-in forms. Remember that every serious blogger will tell you the money is in the list which will help increase the bottom-line.
- Breakdown what’s important to your company because this should be your focus going forward.
In the end, here’s what’s important to me which I think will apply to you too. I look at how the products and services I’m offering help my customers. They are the MOST important commodity to achieve success in any business.
Whenever you are trying different things, you want to be creative in your approach. Apple’s slogan is Think Different, and this can apply to your business too. For example, one of the things I kept doing when starting out was copying my competition. It’s true you can learn a lot from your competition, but if you are NOT doing things differently you will have a hard time getting a competitive edge on them.
I believe it’s very important to be creative and think of ways to be different compared to your competition. This will help you stand out, and even build traction with your audience going forward.
Above I have mentioned several times how important your customers are to your success. It was a huge mistake that I didn’t get customer feedback more quickly because I kept making fundamental mistakes over and over again. By simply getting feedback I was able to improve things like my website, products and services. Remember that if your customers build your business, then they have the power to destroy your business. The only way to avoid this is by asking for feedback from them each time they make a purchase. This doesn’t have to be a difficult task because you can do one or both of the following when starting out.
First, you can send them an automatic message when they make an online purchase. This message will include a link to a form which will get feedback from them. Simply create an auto-responder sequence to send a message to customers who have purchased a product or service from you. Next,
If you have manpower, then you can shoot them a quick call to ask them a series of questions on how you can improve their experience. Make sure your questions are direct, and when answered they provide the value you need to improve your products and/or services.
Know When to Stop
The point of every business is to make money, and if you find after months of struggle that you fail to make a profit then you might have to stop what your doing. At this point, you have a few ways to approach this situation. First, you can adjust your strategy to see if it helps product the results you are looking for, or completely shut down the business because you don’t have any other backup plan. Whatever you decide to do it’s important you stay focused and understand the decision you are making will impact your business. For example,
Adding new products or adjusting your strategy may require more of an investment, employees, etc. If you close down your business, then you’ll have to seek employment somewhere else which can be tough for you to do. When I first started a company around 10 years ago it was doing very well in the beginning. This lasted for about 3 years, and then I started to lose enormous money. My emotional attachment with my company forced me to hold on, and I had lost all my money throwing it back into a business model which was NOT producing any results. Here’s the point I’m making
You are in business to make money, and if you feel your business is NOT doing this then it’s time to throw in the towel. DO NOT have an emotional attachment to your business because this will make it much harder for you to pull the plug.
I hope you enjoyed my series on- Important Things to Consider When Starting an Online Business. I’ll admit I started my business at a time where information was very scarce, and I needed to learn much of it on my own. However, many of you are lucky because you have online resources available which were NOT available to me when I needed them. If you do a quick search online, you’ll be able to find enormous resources to guide you through the entire process. However, here’s the secret when searching online:
First, you have to be as targeted as possible when starting out. Make sure each search you perform is highly targeted so you get the right results back. There is no point looking for information which doesn’t reflect your end goal right? Next,
When you find the handful of blogs you know are relevant to your bottom-line, I would go through them all looking for ways I can network with the blogger. Remember what I said within this series â€“ Outreach can build enormous momentum to your quickly. You’re using other peoples traffic by directing them to your blog through value provided within the content you have written. Here’s something funny,
I’m surprised at the amount of people who still fail at providing value through outreach and guest blogging.
We covered enormous information on how to get started, and implement the following strategies. It’s time to go back, and read over the content so you’ll have an easier time applying it into your blogging. I suggest all of you should make quick notes on each element discussed and create a spread-sheet to easily follow what has been implemented. This way when it comes time to analyze what is working, and what not, you’ll be able to follow through easily.
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