Online Business is Two Words
Here's the thing about online business.
It's two words.
Most information about creating an online business focuses on the Online part.
The worst of them totally ignore the concept of building a business.
They try to tempt you with impossible dreams.
No website, no mailing list, no nasty SEO, just buy this $27 product, click an the magic button and watch the money roll in.
It's all bullshit. To succeed with internet marketing, you have to build a business.
The Simple Business Cycle
There are two differences between an online business and a bricks and mortar business.
1. An online business is much, much easier and much, much cheaper to start.
2. Starting an online business requires technical skills that are beyond the experience and capabilities of many people who would otherwise be able to create a successful online business.
Now it's not my intention with this post to sell you anything, but as it happens I do have two products to help, so it would be remiss of me not to give you the links here.
DIY Online Business
I've written a series of books called Internet Marketing FAST. There are 16 books in the series and they are available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.
The first half of 8 books lead you through all the technical issues of selecting a niche, registering a domain name, hosting your website and building a website that will underpin your business now and in the future.
The second half of 8 books show you how to monetize your business. This is where we highlight the similarities of all businesses, whether you are Amazon just starting up or your own online business looking for the way forward. This is where I shine a flashlight onto the similarities between online and bricks and mortar businesses.
The big difference is the wonderful array of tools available to online businesses.
DFY Online Business
OK, I understand that you may not wish to spend weeks, months or even years acquiring the technical knowledge needed to launch an online business.
I get it.
Your strengths line in the "business" side of "online business".
Don't worry, I've got you covered.
One of MY strengths is the ability to create a beautiful website in your chosen niche, complete with profit-pulling SEO, in a very short time frame.
You can circumvent all of the technical stuff and be ready to monetize your new business in the next week or so.
Back to the Business Cycle
What I really wanted to emphasize in this post is how, once the technical differences are accounted for, are how all businesses are fundamentally the same.
Step 1. Acquisition
You must acquire people who are interested in what you have to offer.
In the bricks and mortar world, you might take out an ad in the local newspaper or you might hang out a sign "best breakfast in town + free coffee".
In the online world, there are a lot more options.
But the aim is the same. Convert people who don't know who you are to people who know who you are and who are interested in the product that you have to offer. You are acquiring potential customers.
Step 2. Conversion
This is the process of converting potential customers into actual customers.
Clearly, this is crucial.
It's much easier to sell more stuff to existing customers than to make the first sale to a new customer.
An online business with downloadable digital products has an enormous advantage over a traditional bricks and mortar business.
And it's this:
One of the best ways to convert prospects to customers is with giveaways.
With a traditional bricks and mortar business, every giveaway impacts the bottom line. It reduces profit.
But an online business can give away as much digital product as you like. It doesn't matter how much, as it costs nothing. And what's more, the entire process can be automated. It's set and forget. You end up with new customers on your mailing list who have already been warmed up to become buyers. Which brings us to...
Step 3. Value Delivery
Here's the crucial thing. Both your giveaway and every product that you sell to your customers must comprise a value delivery.
What this means is simply that the customer must perceive the item they are receiving to be of greater value than the money they are spending. Relatively easy if it's a giveaway but even so, the quality of the products you're selling will also be judged by the quality of your giveaway. It can't be rubbish.
The moment you don't deliver value is the moment you lose the customer.
Step 4. Profit
Here's what it's all about. You need a reward for your efforts and that reward is the difference between income and expenditure, also known as profit.
But notice that profit leads back to acquisition.
This is because for a business to grow, its new customer acquisition must increase at a greater rate than its customer attrition. Other factors, such as an increased product range and higher profit products, will also contribute.
But a meaningful percentage of profit should be plowed back into the business.
For the first several years of its existence, Amazon was mocked because it didn't show a profit.
But that was because Jeff Bezos was reinvesting all of Amazon's profit back into the business.
As an online business, it's a model that seems to have worked.