Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Simple Plan

Over the last 5 years I have been working with a lot of people who expressed a desire to own their own online business. Nearly all of them had no visible signs of a disability but none the less then all did.

What disability was that?

They all believed that running an online business was simply a matter of getting a product or service, creating a website, printing out some business cards, and throwing their virtual doors open. It didn't take them long to realize that the money wasn't pouring in. You see they thought that running a business, was just like working a job, but they couldn't be further from the truth. I know, because I did the same thing.

Job mentality and business owner mentality, however, are as opposite as North and South and until this fact is learned a business will never succeed.

Let's Build A House -

Let's say you own a Construction business and someone hired you to construct their home. They informed you that they had done all of the preliminary work and all you had to do is show up with your crew and get to work.

And so you arrive on the first day with your crew and you look around the site. You noticed piles of material neatly stacked all around, such as, wooden planks, bags of cement, boxes of nails, shingles, etc. Every supply you need.

A short time later, the person who hired you drives up and gets out of his car with a great big smile on his face. He comes over to you, says hello, and then points to the spot he wishes the house to be built and tells you to get started. You nod and turn to walk towards your crew and then you pause and turn back to the smiling man and ask him one question. Do you know what that question is? Of course you do, you'd ask him?

"Where are the plans?"

You see, when it comes to building ANYTHING, whether a physical structure or a virtual business nothing can be accomplished right without a plan! As the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

And that's why many business are doomed to failure from the start. They don't have a well thought out plan. Without a plan you simply don't have anywhere to go.

Now you may recall a time in your life where you have constructed something "off the cuff" so to speak, and I will admit that many people build their business that way, and may even, eventually, build a successful business. However, they tend to compromise two simple things: money and time. And so, if you have plenty of money and plenty of time, by all means, just jump right into business building. However, if you are serious about building a successful, long-termed business, I would suggest that your First order of business be making a plan.

Parts of A Plan

In putting together any worthwhile plans you need to answer three basic questions:

- What do you want?
- When do you want it?
- What are you willing to give up to get it?

Until these three questions are addressed nothing can move forward! Some sample answers might me:

- What do you want? I want to establish an online business that will generate a net annual profit of $60,000 a year.

- When do you want it? I wish to have the "foundation" laid and in place within 12 months from today.

- What are you willing to give up to get it? I'm willing to get up 2 hours early each day to work on developing my online business, as well as postponing some of my weekend recreational activities and evening hours to work on it as well until I reach my goal.

You get the idea. Also it may not come as a surprise to you but usually the last question is the one that throws most people. It's what I call the deal breaker because most people are willing to add on extra but they aren't willing to give up anyting they already have. And without committing to this last question they will never truly have a successful business.

And so that is the reason I start out with this simple plan. (I said simple, not easy.) Because I figure to commit to even doing this little bit of planning would separate those people who are serious about a business from those people who are fooling themselves with a hobby.

Whether someone builds a "brick and mortar" business or a virtual business they both take work! And that doesn't always mean physical work, but it is important to know that until these 3 simple questions are answered, your new online business will never be able to move forward.

So, take some time, and really think about how serious you are about doing what it takes to becoming a successful online business owner and if you still wish to move forward then come back and we'll talk some more.

A Blind Leader

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