Running an online business gives entrepreneurs an incredible chance to expand and scale their operations. While an offline business requires a physical presence — offices, retail outlets, and kiosks in every location — an online business can operate virtually and via digital real estate. Expanding is simple, and scaling businesses can be achieved without the need for expensive physical locations.
Still, there are some major errors that newbie online entrepreneurs tend to make when they scale their businesses. The road to running an online business is paved with lots of potholes, from expanding too quickly to moving in all the wrong directions. These five strategies are designed to help you achieve worthwhile business optimization, and take your business to new heights without endless setbacks.
1. Stick to the 80/20 Rule.
Pareto’s Principle — known as the 80/20 rule — dictates that 80% of your returns — in this case, business profits — will come from just 20% of your actions. Your goal in running an internet business is not to do as much as you can, but to achieve as much as you can. Focus on the ultra-profitable 20% that contributes to your business, and eliminate as much of the fluff as you possibly can.
2. Whenever possible, add products to service businesses.
Service businesses are a good short-term model, but as a long-term earning option alone, they are not. The main issue with service businesses is the lack of scalability and long-term earnings potential. By running a service business, you are essentially tying a value to your time and working to that alone. It would be an effective use of your time to create a product to enhance your sales.
3. Package and sell your information.
Informational products are extremely popular, especially in the online world. From guides on mastering online business to simple how-to sets for learning a new skill, informational products make up a huge percentage of online sales. If you have got skills that would otherwise only be valuable in a service business, consider turning them into an information product that you can sell online?
4. Focus on marketing before you start your business.
One of the major things my clients need and the make-or-break component of any online business is marketing. The internet is crowded, and there is no chance to survive without a large customer or client base that knows how to find you. The world’s most profitable companies invested in marketing before they expanded their businesses. You should too.
5. Set a value for your time, and don’t waste it.
You have set up your online business, invested in some manual and paid marketing options, and have started to earn over $100 a day. The only problem is that it is taking almost 12 hours to do it. There will be times, especially when running an online business, that you will rack up a reasonably impressive daily earnings total. Ignore it. Daily totals are deceiving and are not an accurate metric for judging online business success.
What is much more valuable is the amount of time that goes into that income. Set a minimum value for your time, and create an online business that gives you options on where to spend it. Sometimes services might be worthwhile, other times product-based work might be the best solution. Either way, set a minimum cost for an hour of your time, and design a business that allows you to earn above it.
Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com