This is an amazing industry with boundless possibilities.
You’ll soon see that there is so much incredible information out there , but you’ll also find a ton of fantastical garbage online.
My best advice … treat your new business AS A BUSINESS.
and that means starting with a strong foundation.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen over the 10 years I’ve been around internet marketing and mlm is how people enter the industry with a perspective that this is some sort of magical little club or something. I honestly believe it has a lot to do with the recruiting methods used by the majority of network marketers and it really is a shame, but none the less it’s your responsibility to use your head and look out for your business.
The best thing you could do and the most valuable foundational principle you could ever learn then pass on to your new business partners when you find them, is how to setup and operate your business properly.
My goal here is to give you some cornerstone elements that every legitimate enterprise should have.
Here’s a basic checklist of the first things you should do:
1. Open a separate business checking account.
This will surprise you how such a simple step will change your mindset of how you view your business. This is serious now – you have a business bank account. Somewhat trivial, but powerful. Not to downplay the step however, this is vital for accurate business accounting practices. Keep business banking separate from your personal banking.
2. Create a legal entity such as an LLC* (optional)
*I’m not an attorney so seek your own legal council on the matter.
Again, this will step it up a notch on how seriously you view your business, as well as legitimize your new enterprise where it counts.
You can very quickly get some great input from Legal Zoom, which I use myself. For me personally I prefer LLCs; but like I said do your own due diligence on the matter.
3. Draft a Business Plan
This is so critical I can’t stress it enough.
This will be the blueprint you refer to constantly as you move forward.
The key here is to identify several elements of your business to focus on. Once you have these things clearly defined you commit to stay focused. If you find yourself in a place where you become confused about what you should be doing, you simply come back to your blueprint for guidance and clarification.
It will morph as your business does, but don’t worry about that – hammer one out now.
A few crucial pieces to include and define in as much detail as possible are:
- Your Allocated Monthly/Daily Marketing Budget
What ever you have to work with now, put it down. Don’t exaggerate, if you have $200 month, put that down. This is so vital. Be honest and work within the boundaries of that budget until you can increase it. This will ensure you don’t self sabotage your business by over spending.
- Your Target Market
There are several aspects to this, but the basics comprise keyword and demographic research to get a solid picture of exactly who it is you intend to target as your ideal customer. Once you have this, you will create a strategic marketing plan to go after them. There’s an old saying to remember when you think about this part “If everyone is your customer, no one is your customer” so get specific.
30 Days, 60 Days, 90 Days, 6 Months, 9 Months, 12 Months, 18 Months
The Romans used stones embedded in the roads as mile markers for troop movements; hence the term “mile stone.” This was a major element in the movement and infamous military precision of the Roman army.Without this system in place, troops would easily get lost, generals had no idea where forces were located in proximity to each other and basically the military force would have been easy prey for gorilla forces looking for weaknesses.The point is you won’t know where you are going or where you are on the journey if you never define where it is you want to go.
- Mission Statement
Keep it short, sweet and focused. Something you could relay to someone in 2-3 concise sentences to explain exactly what it is you are going to accomplish. Notice I said “you are going to accomplish.” It’s a statement not a wish; so write it as a bold passionate statement backed with unwavering belief that IT IS.
- Hours Of Operation
This should be pretty self explanatory. Create a schedule. Then stick to it.
Trust me on this one, I’m speaking from over 15 years of being a freelancer and entrepreneur, if you do not control your time everything else will. Make a schedule and do everything within your power to stick to it; on every point … including when your business is closed.This is one aspect of working from home or being a business owner that I personally have fallen prey to as well as seeing numerous colleagues do the same, and that is to not “clock out” when we’re scheduled to or miss a day off. DON’T DO THIS! If you are scheduled to quit working at 9pm on weekdays or spend exclusive time with your family on Saturdays – DO IT!If you are supposed to work from 8pm -11pm – Go To Bed at 11pm! Believe me, this may be one of the most important things you get from this whole list. Without time management a business can and will absolutely overpower your life and it gets ugly!
4. Draft Your Strategic Marketing Plan
This is where the rubber meets the road.
Now that you have your target market identified in your business plan, it’s time to create your plan of attack. You have milestones to identify where your troop movement should be going and what the mission is … this is your strategy for the battlefield.
What you need to do to start this process is create a quick list of your strengths and weaknesses in regards to your skillset as it pertains to marketing.
Are you a good writer or do you have copywriting experience in the realm of advertising, etc.?
Are you artistic, or are proficient in graphic design, maybe Photoshop etc?
Those are just a couple of examples but you get the point. Make sure you create 2 colums – 1 you’re good at, 2 you aren’t. This will play a vital role in understanding what you may be able to do yourself and what you’ll need to outsource.
Now cross reference that list with the various methods of marketing that are popular in the “attraction marketing” principles. If you don’t know what attraction marketing is buy Magnetic Sponsoring now. This is a basic overview of how the entire concept works. It will also help you identify the marketing methods I’m talking about.
The most common today, in the realm of internet marketing are:
- Solo Ads
- Social Networking
- Web 2.0 Publishing
The list goes on and on, but those are some of the most prevalent in today’s marketing arena.
Go through the list and pick a couple that you feel would be a good match for your skillset. If you have no experience at all that you feel could be utilized within one of those avenues, then you need to pause and get educated OR whip out the credit card and start outsourcing.
What – outsource – me? But I can’t afford it!
Au contraire, mon frère …
Remember that budget you just created? Remember that list of strengths and weaknesses you just created? What do you think those are for? What is the whole point of this exercise?
You already have a budget and you know what you aren’t capable of doing on your own – so there’s no room left for whining about the money. You have some allocated and you need help – get it done – end of story.
This is where the power of having a plan shines beyond measure. Everything is there in black and white to help you MOVE FORWARD. Don’t question your plan until you’ve put it to use. Once you’ve tested something and have data to analyze, then and only then should you question it’s effectiveness. Only then should you sweat something like “Can I afford outsourcing?”
But anyway, back to business …
Let’s assume you have some basic skills that could be used. I would say the top performers today are video and blogging incorporated with Twitter and Facebook. That combination can create an extremely powerful and profitable sales funnel. If you need to brush up on the technical aspects of either, there are a multitude of courses and free training available on the web which I’d be happy to point out to you as you need them. Just leave me a comment below.
5. Stay Focused
- Will organizing your desk move your business forward? NO
- Will checking email for an hour move your business forward? NO
- Will losing $50 on your first PPC campaign move your business forward? YES
- Will writing a 400 word article and submitting it to article directories move your business forward? YES
Again the point here is to stay on track and stick to your plan – that’s what it’s for, USE IT!
Don’t waste a weekend setting up your office if you don’t need to. Remember, setting a foundation is only a small part of the equation. You’ve got work to do, so get this part nailed down as quickly as possible then get to the business at hand … marketing, building your network and growing your business … i.e. Bring Home Some Benjamins!
6. Write Down Your Dream Lifestyle (Your Vision)
This is such a critical element, but I chose to leave it as one of the last things on the list. Why is that you might ask? One simple reason … It’s one of those things I see people put so much time into that they wind up wasting time.
Here’s a simple premise to get you started:
List all the details of our DREAM LIFESTYLE with annual expenses …
Make a list of everything you want to own or do within a twelve month timeframe.
Be very specific …
Typically people start with a house – where is it exactly (california on the beach, montana in the woods by the lake, etc.,) how many bedrooms, how many baths, pool, gym, gourmet kitchen, garage stalls, etc., etc.
Next is the car(s) – what year, make, model, color, accessories …
Just remember to be as specific as possible and don’t hold back.
Don’t let your mind start to tell you “Oh I could Never Have That.”
The key is to let your inhibitions flyout the window and list what your heart truly desires no matter how extreme it may be.
NOTE – here’s a couple of sites to help you figure payments:
Here’s my personal example:
Family Compound in the Woods – $156,000 per year
35 wooded acres adjacent to BLM and forest access bordering national forest, private fishing, access to private runway, helicopter pad, 4 car garage with utility vehicle storage (jet skis, atvs, snowmobiles, boat), 4200 square foot home with rough sawn hardwood floors, 5 bathrooms, fully self sustained power grid (solar, wind, geo thermal), a large entertaining deck with gazebo and sunken jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen and entertaining area with stone fire pit, 4 – 2 bedroom guest cabins, large hydroponic-organic garden greenhouse, barn+stables, corral.
2010 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid 4WD 3 year lease – $16,000 per year
White Diamond Tricoat, Cocoa Cashmere Perforated Nuance Leather, DVD high-fi entertainment system, power sunroof, captains chairs, remote start, 22″ high performance black wheels.
2010 Lincoln MKX AWD 3 year lease – $13000 per year
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Panoramic Vista Roof, Dual-Headrest DVD Entertainment System, Remote Start, THX II Certified Audio System, Stone Premium Cashmere Leather-Trimmed Seats, 20″ Chrome-Aluminum Wheels
Vacation 4 months out of the year – $136,000 per year
30 days, once per quarter. A ski trip, a surf trip, a European trip and a random “surprise” family adventure.
Full Time Personal Assistant / Nanny – $85,000 per year.
Someone to run errands, laundry, dishes, tidy up the house, watch the kids, file this and that, etc.
Personal Chef + Organic Food – $78,000 per year
A chef to prepare organic, whole food meals for the family 5 days a week, plus organic groceries for the entire month.
House Keepers – $40,000 per year
2 part time housekeepers to keep the place clean and tidy.
Private school for the kids – $50,000 per year
Bling Bling – $36,000 per year
miscellaneous shiny objects … personal trainer, jewelry, clothes, art, etc.
NetJets Private Jet Membership – $195,000 per year
Charity – $250,000 per year
Insurance (Health, Life, Business, etc.) – $34,000 per year
Taxes – 20 gazillion dollars per year
Now you add all that up …
$1,089,000 per year
Divide by 12 for monthly total = $90,750 per month
Divide by 365 for daily total = $2984 per day
For me, I now know that my business empire needs to generate roughly $3000.00 per day to afford the lifestyle I want to have.
7. TAKE ACTION
Plain and simple.
This is by far the most important part of anything I covered so far … raw, uncut, unadulterated ACTION! Massive action.
Donald Trump says “If you’re going to do something, why not do it BIG?” And it’s my personal mantra. If you want to be a player, you’re gonna have to go big.
What does that look like?
I love the way Gary Vaynerchuck puts it … (paraphrased)
Do whatever you have to do to build your business. If that means you come home at 5pm, do the family thing till 7:30pm, then work from 8pm to 2am, get up, go to work at 7am, then come home and do it all again – then so be it. You’re going to have to bleed through your fu**ing eyeballs if you want to dominate your market. There is no middle ground. You’re either a major player or you’re just another .com lost on the web.
You may have heard the saying “Small time action creates small time results.”
If you want big time success, well …. You do the math.
If you invest 4 hours a week in your business (and it IS an investment), that’s what you’ll get out of it. If you put 20 hours per week, that’s what you’ll get out of it. And I’m talking about laser focused effort and forward moving action. Again looking at things from a military exercise perspective, your goal is to move forward and conquer. Retreat is not an option. If you’re going to fall, and you will, fall forward. Always do the things that will move your business forward.
Well, that’s probably plenty for you to work on right now. In most cases it takes the average bear a week or two so to get all that put together – which is fine. You’re in this for the long term right? So put the time in, in the beginning and make a great first impression on your business. You’ll be glad you did down the road.
What’s Next? … Gitter Done!