I recently became the tax advisor for a group of online business owners who all make at least 7 figures. I posted that status on Facebook and was deluged with questions. What do they do? How can they make so much? And I also received a note from a frustrated business owner that asked how anyone could make money in business today.
I’ve been asked to write a blog post about what I learned from this 7 figure group. But, I want to start with some basics of business.
You have to sell something to stay in business. You are selling a service, a product or maybe both. But the bottomline is that you have to be able to explain the advantages of what you have to a group who needs and/or wants it. That explanation is usually in the form of effective marketing and perhaps some personal conversation.
You can NOT build it and expect them to come. The days of the better mousetrap are gone, if they ever did actually exist. No one is beating a pathway to your door, especially in this crowded marketplace.
I think the hardest way to make a buck in business today is to build a new product. You have to build a model, test it, change it, test it and then make up a limited quantity. Most likely you’ll lose money when you sell that first group of your product because you created it in a small batch and costs are high. Plus you don’t know what your price point will be, who your target market is and it’s quite possible the product isn’t even right when you first start off. But if you’ve got a dream and enough money to float you through the process, you can indeed succeed.
If you sell a service, you’ll get cash faster and you won’t have the bigger start-up cost. However, chances are your first (and maybe only) service provider will be you. Congratulations! You’ve created a job! Well, actually, you’ll be self-employed but the fact is, if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. That sounds a lot like a job, only with a whole bunch of bosses. It’s a great place to start, but I don’t think you’ll want to stay there.
The third type of business, an Internet Marketing company, is really a hybrid. You may sell your own products and services using these same principals, but many Internet Marketers never create a product or service. They simply sell other people’s products and services and receive a referral or affiliate fee. It works because the business is marketing and selling, which is the one thing that most business owners hate. And because it’s on the Internet and is technology driven, it’s possible to find the right message for the right niche and then scale up quickly. You have to stay nimble, watching your numbers, but you can make a whole lot of money. I’ve had clients make $100,000 or more per month doing this kind of Internet business. The key is you need to be a good copywriter and know how to test a market and watch statistics. If you’re not dedicated to testing what works and what doesn’t and able to quickly shift, this business will drive you nuts.
You may have an online business, like I do. You have your own products and services that you then sell. You could also create an app you sell. Maybe you could learn to sell better, doing what an Internet Marketer might do. That’s my personal goal for 2015. I want to market like a successful Internet Marketer would do, only selling my own products.
I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about sales. That’s because I see so many new business owners get hung up here. They don’t want to be considered a salesperson. They don’t think about marketing and before you know it, they are broke.
The other challenge for business owners is the need to track and decipher their stats. In any business, you need to have some current and accurate financial statements. This includes a profit & loss, balance sheet and statement of cash flows. Plus, you need to be able to read the story of your financials. What do you do more of? What do you do less of?
That’s just the beginning if you have an online business. An online business owner will also need to check traffic, conversion, opt in rates, engagement plus customer satisfaction.
What does it take to have a business that makes money? You need marketing, sales and fulfillment and a way to track the effectiveness of all of it. Find the winning formula and scale.
Next, I’ll go over the specific things that this 7 figure group has done that set them up to get such huge success. Check back on Friday for Part 2.