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 the Internet will fail in achieving their dreams even if they buy lots of products, study them 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 The Internet Into Perspective
Before we dive in, we need to step back and put an Internet marketing 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 Internet marketing is, and how it’s changing. Understanding the current state (maturity) of online business is critical to your long term success.
Practically every week, my office receives several calls from 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 (like Agora Publishing) 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 when I was in the clothing business. 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 I promise you 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: Buying anything that looks like it’ll make you money, and getting no results.
Cause: Opportunistic thinking.
Internet 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 online. 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 Adsense, 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 Internet marketers are nothing more than digital 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
Below you will see that I’ve broken up the traditional Internet business into twelve critical areas. All of them are important.
But we can dive a lot deeper into an Internet 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…
Content activities include: Articles, Products, eBooks & Physical books, Audio & Video Software, Content pages for SEO, Graphics, Free reports & eCourses, eZines, Bonuses, 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.
Technical activities include: Software development, Site maintenance, Computer maintenance, Tracking, Whitelisting, Server maintenance.
Systems activities include: Internal systems, Software development (If you’re trying to build your own business, at times you want to create your own software to automate recurring tasks).
Copywriting activities include: Sales letters, Order pages, Affiliate recruitment, Pay-per-click, Banner ads, Emails, Opt-ins, Name captures, Testing.
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 Web sites,
Buying sites offering what people would buy before or after they buy your product, Product licensing.
Legal and compliances: FTC Regulation, SPAM issues, Terms of service, Business licenses, IRS filings.
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 Internet marketers 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.
[Ed Note: Get the rest of the story from Rich Schefren… including how to change everything you’re doing for the better… when you attend Rich’s Free Access Accelerated Business Course – “From Frustration to Freedom… The 3 Strategic Pillars That Take the Mystery Out of Succeeding Online in 2011″. Claim your free spot at http://www.strategicprofits.com/attend]