Lack of fundamental business building knowledge is really the primary cause for so much struggling and time wasting, it’s sad. It’s the reason why the overwhelming majority of people new to running businesses will fail in achieving their dreams even if they plan their products, study the market religiously and work extremely hard.
In this article, I’m going to address the issues I see. And you will gain clarity about your relationship to your business that you’ve never had before.
Putting it Into Perspective
Before we dive in, we need to step back and put business into perspective. You need to see how it fits into the larger world of “business.”
Looking at how traditional business evolves will give you some idea of where the current state of business is, and how it’s changing. Understanding the current state (maturity) of online and offline business is critical to your long term success.
Practically every week, I see business that are successful offline that want to bring their niche marketing online. You also have very successful direct response companies that have already made the transition to the online world that are continually looking for hot niches where they can point their deep resources of talent. Oh yes, let’s not forget you also have all the other Internet marketers who are looking for hot niches, too. This means there are an awful lot of people out there looking to take your lunch money!
But before I go any further, I want to share what a shoplifting prevention expert once shared with me. He told me that the sensors on the clothing and the guards roaming around the store were not really about catching shoplifters, it was to make your store less appealing than other stores to shoplift in.
Ultimately you want to create the same effect in the niche that you operate in. You should build a business that works so well, where you are so strong, it makes competing with you undesirable.
The good news is that you still have time. You can still stake out your niche and build a real business in it, but the opportunity won’t last forever.
Obstacles To Achieving Your Business Success
Now that you know you should be focused on building a real business, let’s take a look at the obstacles you might face in actually creating a real business that has staying power.
Here’s an example of one fundamental problem most Internet marketers experience.
Symptoms: Selling anything that looks like it’ll make you money, and getting no results.
Cause: Opportunistic thinking.
Business Problem: Lack of Strategy
The very first obstacle we need to look at is you and your thinking.
The way I see things is that there are two different diametrically opposing ways of thinking when it comes to building a business and making money . There’s opportunistic thinking and strategic thinking.
An opportunity seeker is always looking for their big opportunity to make lots of money from the hot opportunity of the moment. Their only criteria is, “Can I make money from this?” So today it’s this bright concept, tomorrow it’s something else, and yesterday it was some other hot concept already forgotten.
A true entrepreneur, on the other hand, has a clear vision of what they want the business to become. Because they have a vision, they can analyze their own strengths, their competitor strengths, the marketplace preferences and devise different strategies for achieving their vision. The entrepreneur knows that their biggest opportunity is always inside their business, following their ideal strategy, and not the hot product of the week.
And here’s the rub. The overwhelming majority of businessmen are nothing more than opportunity seekers.
They have no strategy, they hop from one approach to another, and while they may have some arbitrary income goal they have no vision of the business they would need to create in order to achieve it. And since they don’t have a clear vision they cannot follow any sort of detailed plan to accomplish it.
Poor Business Design Results In You Doing All The Work
But we can dive a lot deeper into a business. It’s not so simple. We can break out each of these areas into smaller functions – the actual stuff that needs to get done.
Let’s take a look at what each of these activities consists of…
Marketing activities include: Articles, Products, eBooks & Physical books, apps, Content pages for SEO, Graphics, Blog Posts & Podcasts.
List activities include: List building tactics, List management, Segmenting, Deliverability.
Finance activities include: Merchant accounts, Paying affiliates, Accounts payable, Vendor sourcing, Budgets, Taxes, Insurance, Payroll, Accounts receivable.
Traffic activities include: SEO, Link buying, Link building, JV recruitment, Viral programs, Pay-per-click, Blogs, Buying existing and expired domains, RSS feeds, Banner advertising.
Client relationships activities: Getting testimonials, Customer service, Free offers, Return processing, Fulfillment.
Marketing analysis includes: Niche detective, Surveys, Keyword research, Up-sells, Backends, Bumps.
Business building activities: Acquisition of related business,
Affiliate marketing activities: Scanning of programs, Finding out which affiliate programs you should be a member of so you can promote other people’s products.
And after breaking out all the activities that need to take place in your Internet business (and by no means is this exhaustive) you are left with a business model that is quite ridiculous.
Now isn’t that ridiculous?
And here’s the really crazy part, even though this is the model that most businesses are following, do you know what they spend an overwhelming amount of time on? Searching for more activities, tactics, and tricks to squeeze in to the chart above… its crazy isn’t it? It screams OPPORTUNIST!
Let me clue you in on a small piece of advice. As long as your organizational chart looks like the “YOU” chart that just blew you away, you’ll always be spinning your wheels wondering why you are not achieving the level of success you’ve always wanted.