January 21, 2009
An often-quoted statistic is that that 95% of all Internet businesses fail. The reality is that the vast majority of businesses in the offline world fail too, so the picture is not bleaker online. In-fact, it’s better online since most aspiring Internet marketers could never even find sufficient capital to start a business in the offline world.
The sad part is that many of these failing online businesses fail for readily identifiable reasons. Often the business owners are even aware of the reasons but do nothing about them.
Let’s look very briefly at four of these reasons:
1) Selling The Wrong Products
Once you have identified a profitable niche, one in which customers happily spend money to solve their problems, then the next step is to identify what is it that they really, really want.
If you offer your customers what they tell you that they want, and what they are already buying, then they will buy it from you.
If you try to convince your customers that they want something that they’ve already told you that they DON’T want, then you’ll soon be out of business.
Many failing marketers simply need to drop “a loser,” and start marketing something that is WANTED!
2) Trying To Do Everything Yourself
In “Think And Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill taught nearly a century ago that “specialized knowledge” is a success essential. You need to find one or two things that you do really well, and that people are willing to pay for, and then you need to do only those things.
Everything else involved in operating your business should be done by someone better at doing those tasks.
The disconnect we run into there is that, as a business owner, your job is to grow and manage the business. So what if that’s not what you’re good at? Then you may need to find a way to market whatever it is that you ARE good at. You may also need to hire a business or operations manager!
In a recent mastermind call with Rich Schefren, where he interviewed a dozen top Internet marketers, most earning over $1 million a year online, we all shared that our greatest business growth started when we stopped trying to do everything ourselves.
If you’re still trying to do all of your own programming, copywriting, graphics, customer service, database management, script installations, article writing, video creation, traffic generation, product creation, audio/video editing, pay-per-click management, etc., then you are so bogged down in the minutiae of “working in your business” that it’s impossible for you to even identify which things are essential for “working on your business.”
This is a tough decision for many of us, but you absolutely have to identify the things that you MUST do, and then you need to outsource most of the rest. As an example, my talent seems to be copywriting, so copywriting is really the only thing that I focus on aside from planning and managing business growth.
I do plan product launches for client, but that still falls under planning and managing business growth.
3) Very Poor Time Management
Dan Kennedy once observed “You will never finish all of the things on your to do list.” That tells me that I shouldn’t try to, but should instead frequently ask which things I personally need to do, which things I need to get others to do, and which things don’t really need doing at all.
For the online marketer, good time management is really just establishing some new habits, and breaking some old bad ones. Common habits that need changing include:
- Don’t let email dominate your time. Many online marketers spend many hours each day just digging out from under the deluge of email. For help in that area, I highly recommend that you checkout http://TamingTheEmailMonster.com
- I spend about 30 minutes per day on email. The course at the url above is what allowed me to take back control of my life.
- Turn off the television during work hours. If you were working for someone else, say in an office, I’m sure that you wouldn’t expect to be allowed to sit in front of the television all day with your laptop perched on your lap.
- Unless you are VERY different from me, you cannot focus on your work while watching television. Not only that, but watching a lot of negative programs (news included) will completely zap your energy and shift you out of a productive mindset.
- Establish work hours. Tell your family and friends when you’ll be working, and let them know that when you’re really focused on work, you shouldn’t be disturbed any more than you’d expect to be disturbed if you worked at a regular job.
- Explain to them that you can get more done in one hour if you really concentrate that you can in five hours with frequent interruptions. Explain that letting you really focus at designated times gives you MORE free time to spend with them… and you’ll have more money to spend on them too.
4) Too Many Projects That Are Never Completed.
My friend Mike Filsaime likes to point out during seminar presentations that if you have a dozen projects started but not completed, you’ll make less money that having just ONE project completed and on the market.
CHOOSE one project that you want to get completed and on the market. Focus exclusively on that one until it is finished before doing anything else.
Since you are an entrepreneur, and probably come up with a new idea “once every five minutes,” keep a note pad handy to jot down new ideas. When you get a new idea, jot it down on the note pad, and then knowing that it won’t be lost, go back to what you were working on previously.
Another option if you’re an idea person, or great at starting projects, is to partner with “finishers.” Instead of letting projects bog down, and never reach the market, partner with someone who will push it through to completion, splitting the profits with them.
If you don’t like that idea, consider how much those unfinished projects are making you. Would you prefer 50% of whatever that finished project makes, or 100% of nothing (which is exactly what most of your unfinished projects earn).
We’ve just looked very briefly at four reasons why most Internet marketers fail miserably. Now that you have acknowledged that these ARE problem areas for you, the question becomes what are you going to do about them.
Sadly, many people will read this article and then choose to do absolutely nothing about these problems. Nothing will change! However, you’re different, and therefore destined for online success.
Willie Crawford is founder of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle a membership site where he frequently brainstorms solutions to problems such as those discussed in this article on the discussion forum. Join that discussion now http://TIMIC.ORG