16 January 2011 ~ 3 Comments

Starting Own Business Online – Know Your Numbers

When I first started writing about the 5 Gold Rules to build an Online Business, back in June 2010, I never imagined that the last post of the main series would be published only 7 months after! Especially because the post regarding the 4th rule, Identify the Resources, was publish in August.

Know Your NumbersFor the last 5 months, excluding a brief period for rest with family, I’ve been searching my way in the IM arena. This means I’ve been trying a lot of things, tactics, products, tools and usually with the same result: zero dollars.

I realized I needed focus and follow my own rules, otherwise all the effort and investment would be just time and money sent through the sink. That’s when I joined a mastermind group that formed spontaneously in MWA 3.0 Forum and that gave me a sense of purpose and some kind of direction.

From that small mastermind group I made a JV with a fellow student and since mid-September we’ve been working together and building the foundations for what I believe will be a prosperous venture in the near future.

Why I talking about this in a post called Know Your Numbers? Because you must understand that knowing your numbers is not the final step of the strategy. Yes, I was wrong in my approach. I should have know better, because I have some experience managing small business in the offline world and the strategy principles are the same.

Knowing your Numbers must be a practice and not a step. What I mean with this is that you must search, measure and consider the results in all the steps.

If you say “I want to make a million dollars in 1 year” you can’t just check your bank account after 1 year. You have to plan expenses, investments and results every month, every week, to see if you’re in the right path or if you’re doing something wrong. You must act continuously based on your daily and weekly results to adapt and adjust your strategy.

If you create a website and you plan to have it in the first page of Google for a specific keyword, you must understand how many competitors you have, how many backlinks they have, how many delicious, digg and stumbleupon links they have, how many articles they publish, and so on, if you want to beat them.

And you must estimate your effort, in terms of working time and money investment you need to do to achieve those results. And you must test continuously your efforts and investments to see if they are producing the expected results.

And this is just a parcel of the equation. To decide what website you’ll develop you must see if you have a market, if your keyword is a buyer keyword, if your visitors will spend money with you or if they will just browse for some information.

I know what it takes, the effort needed, the amount of work. And for almost zero dollars profit. Yes, it’s true. Me, and my partner, work like crazy and in three weeks we managed to dominate first page of Google for a search term with more the 100,000,000 results! But we made less then $100 from all of this work. What a deception.

From that great piece of SEO work, because all we did was SEO, we learned a lot. We know tactics, we have tools, we developed checklists, we created mind maps, we discovered tricks that few people talk about. And we learned about numbers.

I’ll finish this post today without a rule for checking your numbers, like “do this, check that” because all of this forced me to have a new look at things I thought I understood. My 5 Golden Rules are still valid, but the 5th rule is not a step like the others.

I’m rethinking my whole strategy. I’m developing strategic thinking instead of jumping for the next new course, tactic of software that will make me “1 million dollars tomorrow”. I, we, already have too much in our plate. And like Rich Schefren says, since when adding more to too much is a solution?

I’m changing my way of thinking, consolidating all the notes (and they are many) I took in the last months and building the foundation of a business. And I’ll share with those of you that come to visit this blog.

Happy 2011 to all.

Cheers

Jorge

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3 Responses to “Starting Own Business Online – Know Your Numbers”

  1. Cheekeong Tan 17 January 2011 at 5:27 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    Thanks you for sharing your experiences. I know it maybe insensitive of me to say this but…

    “Do not confuse activities with results”

    It would be a better strategy to built a list first and get some income flowing in, any amount is fine before going to ‘experiment’ (learn new stuffs) online.

    “In internet marketing, you do NOT experiment, you use proven methods”

    Having a clear definite chief aim is very important in this success journey. You don’t want to burn out yourself like I did between Sept – Nov.

    Cheers,
    Cheekeong Tan´s last blog post ..Golden Voice Ted Williams Uses Law of Attraction

    • Jorge 17 January 2011 at 10:04 am Permalink

      Hi Cheekeong

      Thanks a lot for your comment.
      That’s my point, you need a clear objective and you need to constant measure your progress towards that objective. Otherwise you may miss it by miles if you only look at the numbers by the end of the trip.
      Results, specially final or intended results, must be set and you should break them in small chunks that you can measure and test during your journey. They will act as milestones, telling you if you’re in the right path or if you’re changing direction.
      To build a list is not a trivial task, in my opinion. You must have valuable information to give to your list and you can’t just look at the list as a group of people to whom you’re going to sell stuff. It will be a non-responsive list or a empty list very soon.
      And, from my experience, it’s much easier to setup a small site selling some affiliate product or CPA offer to make some dollars then creating, nurturing, growing and profiting from a list.
      But of course I might be wrong.
      I have a small list of people but I just mail them when I really have nice content or some exciting news or a free and valuable piece of software. Creating a list just to send email after email with affiliate offers is destroying a relationship instead of building a relationship.
      So, yes, building a list is important but as a middle/long term strategy. In my opinion, you must study, test, learn, make money and them share those results with people. They will jump to your list because you’re providing good content and real life experiences. They will laugh with you when you make great sales and they will be sad for you when you have failures. With a list like that you can really make a lot of money.
      But that’s my opinion which can be completely wrong.

      Let’s see what other people have to say about this.

      Cheers

      Jorge

      PS: IM is evolving at light speed… isn’t that the result of continuously experiment and that yesterday proven methods are not valid anymore today? I agree with you that we shall follow a proven framework but if you do not do a little experimenting, here and there, you will never differentiate from your competitors.

  2. Priti 14 March 2012 at 6:01 am Permalink

    Although this is an old post. Very well put. Having a clear vision of the target is only half the battle, we must take well calculated steps and frequently check if we are proceeding in the right direction.

    Also I can understand the disappointment of putting lots of efforts and not getting good results. Anyways, I am going to check your 5 rules right away and apply in my blog.


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