Many people trying to build an internet marketing business or run any business, whether trying to start a business or improve on an existing business, never really give themselves the gift of “Brutal Honesty,” and this is never to be underestimated. It is just too important to miss. We can all learn a great deal from the experience, be it in an existing marketing career, start a web internet marketing business, or improve last year and build a better business on the internet for 2011. People don’t think about their internet marketing business much beyond the idea that they’d like to make more money, and let’s be honest with ourselves, we would all like that. Still, a better business requires an improved business plan constantly evolving and focusing on strengths and weaknesses; this enables analysis of what is working and what we may be wasting our time on.
Without a doubt, everybody wants to improve their business model, but if you really want to achieve your income goals, you need to be brutally honest about yourself and your business plan. You need to think about your business, assess your business and make wise choices to increase your income in 2011. Now, as I said earlier, these principles apply to a career as much as they apply to a web internet marketing business.
Now let’s get started analyzing and creating a better Internet marketing business model. What I’m going to talk about right now totally fits in with any business on the internet. This is a monumental fact and philosophy that, if followed, will allow you to achieve your goals automatically every day. I’m going to tell you how to plan your business on the internet for 2011. It may well not sound like an obvious topic, but I can guarantee you that analyzing and eliminating what did not work last year is the single best way to increase your success.
When I first started in my business on the internet, I didn’t plan at all, literally. There was so much to learn, and I was so confused that I didn’t know what to do. I now know this to be “information overload,” and information overload restricts your thought process and prevents you from focusing on what you know you need to do to achieve the results you deserve.
How many times have you finished your day and thought, “My objective today was to achieve X, but I was distracted by Y and did not complete my intended task for the day,” well my friends, this is something that has happened to us all, and it’s something we all need to try to eliminate. You see, when I first started an internet marketing business plan, I was constantly distracted by a learning plan. All that I really knew for sure was that I wanted to create a business on the internet that allowed me to live the life I wanted to live. So I muddled through, trying this and that, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I bet this sounds all too familiar to most people reading this article, am I right?
It wasn’t long before I realized that I was going nowhere, it had been a year or two, and I felt like I’d made little or no progress at all; sure, I had learned a lot, but I had neglected to take decisive action. It was very frustrating, but I wasn’t sure what was wrong. Then I asked some friends what they thought about what I was doing and how I was doing it. A couple of years ago, there were not so many successful internet marketers and business coaches. Now I needed some brutal honesty, so I asked some friends who were having similar issues to be brutally honest with me.
It was clear to most of my friends that the actual problem was not sticking to a real internet business plan. I was chasing anything that I thought would work consistently, which meant that I chased just about every web internet business model I could find, and as a result, I failed to focus long enough on any one of them. Let me save you some years of frustration by telling you that you MUST have focus and MUST have a business plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be original or something fantastic. It simply, oh so, just has to exist. An internet marketing business plan plus a learning plan equals a business model that should not be distracted.
You may well be surprised at just how easy this is to do. There are only five steps, and they build on what you probably already know, but information overload has prevented you from implementing this as an actionable business plan. There are entire books written about this topic, but I’m going to give you a short plan for simply getting things done. Maybe that will save you some reading. Right then, here goes, let’s get started; here are the important steps that will improve your Internet Marketing business and your personal success.
Assess Last Year Now, I know that’s a bit obvious, but all too many people miss this point; this is what most people know they should do but fail to do now. Can I go into a little more detail? If you had a plan for last year, ask yourself (and your friends) how things turned out, ask yourself these two simple questions, and be brutally honest with yourself about your answers!
* Did you achieve your goals?
* If you didn’t achieve a particular goal, why do you think you fell short?
Many people may not have had a plan last year; if this is the case, it’s just a matter of comparing your results to your goals. Even so, you owe it to yourself not to skip this step. You have to do something different, maybe even something a little easier or simpler that you can really focus on. What you need to do is analyze what you want to achieve overall (success as you see it) and what you actually achieved last year to progress toward that goal. You need to focus on the steps that you took last year that had any sign of successful results before you were distracted or moved on to something else.
Sure, you may not have made it yet, but ask yourself if you really tried, I mean really tried, and if you really focused on things that achieved even the smallest of results and just how hard you tried. I strongly suggest that you need to be very specific here. Ask yourself what you did specifically to achieve your long-term goals, and be brutally honest with yourself (again) and figure out if you wasted time, or lost focus, or whatever may have been responsible for preventing you from achieving your goals. You will probably realize that you had little or no web internet marketing plan. This is the exercise I recommend all, be it a simplified version, but I want you to look very deeply at what happened. Talk to friends and mentors. Talk to your family if you feel comfortable doing that. Figure out where you’ve been for the past 12 months, so you can set yourself up to figure out where you’ll go in 2011.
Now go and select three big goals for 2011 Goals that you know that you can achieve if you put your full focus onto them. You see, a year is just an arbitrary target. You can have lifetime goals if you want or perhaps even your goals for the next decade. But focusing on 2011 can help you start achieving goals regularly, which is what success is all about. So choose one, two, or three big goals to accomplish next year, and then you will quickly learn to recognize exactly what success looks like.
You can have a single goal. That’s fine, and it might actually make you more focused. But if you have two or three, that’s good as well. However, please do not pick any more than three goals as to do so is just setting yourself up for failure. That will hurt you more than you can imagine in the long run. Having too many goals is like having too many television channels to choose from. You end up hopping around looking for something good, and you end up not really watching anything. Quite similar to information overload, now do you understand what I’m telling you? Too many goals are a distraction. Between one and three, well-defined goals let you focus like a laser beam. Here’s what a well-defined goal looks like.
First, it will be concrete, not fluid. That means it’s clearly something you want, and it’s specific enough to mean something in the real world. It’s all well and good to say, “I want to be wealthy,” but what does that mean? Put a number on it. Flesh it out. Make it as concrete as you can make it. Second, it has to be actionable for you, meaning that you can progress toward that goal. It’s fine to say you want to fly a plane, but are you really equipped to do it? Most people aren’t, and it’s probably not a good goal for your internet marketing business anyway.
These or these goals must be achievable with a stretch, maybe but achievable! It is also important to make your goals something that stretches you a bit, sort of like athletic training. If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never achieve more in achieving a better business. However, be realistic. Don’t push yourself to the breaking point. Push yourself hard, but not enough to get hurt. This is a judgment call, for certain, but it’s also something you can both measure and feel.
Here’s an example for you, if you failed to make any profit last year, saying your goal is to make five thousand dollars a day next year is clearly unrealistic. Suppose you get there, great! But maybe consistently making $100 a day is a nice stretch goal and would give you a great lifestyle. I’m sure $36,500 is not to be sneered at but is realistically achievable in today’s web internet marketing business world. Whether you are building a traditional brick-and-mortar business, a business on the internet, or maybe even an e-bay or e-commerce business, it doesn’t matter $100 a day is realistically achievable, and that’s what counts every time.
It needs to be exciting. I can’t emphasize this one enough. If your goals don’t motivate you to get out of bed in the morning, get other goals. Really, that’s what goals are all about. Make sure your goals engage your mind and get you fired up. Once you’re armed with your well-defined goals, it’s time to plan how to achieve them.
Again I don’t want to overemphasize this, but I now have a philosophy in life, if I don’t enjoy doing something, then I don’t do it, simple. I love my work and enjoy everything about my internet marketing business. I enjoy helping other people, which is why I have enjoyed writing this article, and I truly hope you find benefit in reading my articles and books. There is an ancient saying that applies to you if you are starting a business, and here it is:
“God will not get you out of bed in the morning; you have to do that yourself.”
Determine Each Goal’s Success Factor,” which means that you have to figure out what you need to do to achieve each specific goal. If your goal is to make $100 a day, you need to make $100 a day to achieve it. But I’m talking about going beyond that. For example, the success factor for that goal might be for you to
* Sell your own product for $27
* Sell eight copies per day to net $100 after you pay 50% commissions.
If it’s not a web internet marketing business that you are building, then branch out, find new products or services to sell, remember new business is additional business, and please never neglect your existing customers, bring them value because it is far more difficult (and expensive) to find new customers than it is to look after your existing customers. Banks take note! Notice that your marketing business plan is now particular.
It talks about your business on the internet model (selling your own product) and what kind of results you need to get. You’re not to the place of defining how you’ll get there yet (that’s next), but you’re clearly saying what you need to achieve to accomplish your goal. “You just have to have faith; you do not need to see the whole staircase; you only need to take the first step,” Dr. Martyn Luther King.
There are no right or wrong answers here; your internet marketing business model might be affiliate marketing or selling your own product, a mixture of the two, or even something else. Oh yes, and the goal you’re trying to achieve needs to influence the success factor that you come up with for that goal. The example I just gave you was a specific revenue goal. But your goal could be something like building your list to 10,000 subscribers. In that case, your success factor could be:
* Give away something for free, a free report on the front end may be, always aim to under-promise and over-deliver, go that extra mile.
* Attract 100,000 visitors, so a relatively low 10% conversion rate will be good enough.
Different types of goals, different success factors. Now that you know what your success factors are for each goal, it’s time to determine exactly how to get there—Yep, time to take action.
Unit Management: In other words, break down your goals into smaller, more manageable parts that you can focus on and give yourself time targets to achieve them. There are two flavors of this; the first thing to do is break your goal into smaller, more manageable, and achievable chunks that you can work on throughout the year. The second thing to do is break those smaller chunks into specific tasks so you know what to work on today.
Maybe you’ve heard this old saying how do you build a house? The answer is planning, design, and then building bit by bit, foundations, walls, roof, windows, plumbing, now do you get the idea? You see, you cannot do everything at once, so break it down into smaller, more achievable, more manageable segments that you can easily achieve daily. Anything else that you achieve is an additional triumph for that day, and boy does that feel good; it makes your mind go into the over-achievement mode, and this state of mind is very sticky, even more, sticky than the mindset of I. Haven’t achieved!
Start with time. Break each of your big goals for the year into quarters, as in calendar quarters. If your goal is to make $100 a day, maybe you should be making $25 per day after the first three months, then $50 per day after six months, and so on. Then break each quarter into monthly goals. So maybe you should be making roughly $8 per day after the first month or something similar. There are several ways you can break your goals down into quarters and months, based on the type of goal you’re dealing with. The two most common are:
* You can “ramp” the numbers you want to achieve, such as ramping up your subscriber count each month.
* You can set milestones, such as how much free time you have per day at the end of each month.
Now, once you’ve broken your goal into smaller chunks, it’s time to develop the daily and/or weekly tasks necessary to achieve each smaller goal. For example, to get to your $10 per day after the first month, you might say you’ll get, on average, one new sale of your $27 product per day (that will do better than $10 per day, but you get the point). If you assume a one percent conversion rate, which is pretty conservative but also pretty common in today’s web internet marketing, you’ll need 100 people to see your offer every day; you then need to specify how you’ll make that happen. Maybe you’ll write a new article to publish or make some more forum postings, or whatever it is that is needed to improve your business on the internet.
This is where you get to use your head and ANY other resources you can draw on to figure this out. Of course, until you have some real numbers to base your estimates on, you’ll have to guess. That’s fine. Go ahead and guess and learn. Sometimes it’s easier to think of things every week. In this example, you might say you’ll shoot for about 50 sales per week and do the daily tasks necessary to make that happen. This is where the dog sees the rabbit, so to speak. It’s where you do the relatively simple daily things to help you achieve your big goals. You’ll be building the house one brick at a time.
Build-in accountability: This is the step most people miss, and it’s a killer if you overlook it. It would help if you were accountable for doing the daily or weekly stuff necessary to achieve your goals. I’m not saying you need a babysitter, but you do need to recognize that you’ll tend to neglect your tasks. Understand that it’s happened to all of us – however, In the end, there’s no substitute for being accountable to you. You have to commit to doing what you need to do and stick with it. But sometimes, a little external encouragement can give you a big boost. So find a mentor or a friend to help you stay on track. Here’s how I suggest you do it:
* Tell this person that you want to get some friendly nudging from time to time, so you don’t neglect what you need to do to succeed in your internet marketing business.
* Schedule a periodic meeting or phone call with this person to report your progress.
* Be honest with this person about what you really did or didn’t do since your last conversation.
* Tell this person to slap you on the hand if you don’t get the job done really; if you don’t care about accomplishing your goals, having this kind of accountability partner won’t help you.
Now, if you do care (and I know you do), knowing that you’re going to have to admit to somebody that you fell short could give you the motivation you need to stay focused. Every little bit helps. And you can use your regularly scheduled accountability conversations to assess your plan, too. If it needs changing, change it. It’s a plan, and it’s not written in tablets of stone. That’s what this entire planning process is really all about “making progress,” assessing progress, and achieving things, so it gets to be a habit. As I said, I previously failed to do this, and my results were anything but impressive. Once I started planning like this, I very quickly realized that success isn’t hard at all. It’s a matter of breaking things down and accomplishing smaller goals. Over time, the small goals add up to bigger and bigger goals.