CHAPTER THIRTEEN – OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW
There are several aspects of Business that are present in EVERY Business.
In the most general terms, of course, Your Goal is to do one thing effectively. As we have discussed numerous times, the Number One Goal is simply this:
GENERATE THE DESIRED AMOUNT OF PROFIT!
Based on what we have learned thus far, we now know that a more complete Goal is to generate the DESIRED AMOUNT OF PROFITS based on Your adjusted Budget to Include Your REWARD GOALS.
Shortly, we will discuss why the Amount of Profits that you generate is TRULY UNLIMITED, which is a Very Exciting and Very Real!
In the course of Operating Your Business, while you must focus on Profit generation, there are also key factors that must be addressed in order for Your Business to remain both viable and healthy.
In short, there’s more to running a business than deciding on a Product, executing a sound Marketing plan to generate Traffic, building a sound Site to Maximize Sales, and run an Affiliate Program and an After-Market campaign to increase Back-end Sales. These are the fundamental mechanics of the Business as they relate to generating Profits.
Just as a car has a thousand parts that must work together in unison in order to function, the same is true of Your Business. Think of your coolest Dream car, and imagine it with every conceivable option. It’s got everything you want except for just a tiny amount of air.
In one tire.
All of a sudden, you’ve got a beautiful car that’s not going anywhere!
If you don’t have every piece of the puzzle in place, then as the saying goes:
Axiom Number Sixty-Four – YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK
THERE ARE MANY ASPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS. EVEN THOUGH IT IS CRITICAL TO PRIORITIZE, IT IS JUST AS CRITICAL TO MAINTAIN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR BUSINESS SO YOU DO NOT HAVE A WEAK LINK.
In terms of prioritizing, that’s EASY!
Axiom Number Sixty-Five – UNLESS THERE IS AN URGENT SITUATION REQUIRING YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION, YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY WILL ALWAYS BE TO GENERATE PROFITS.
There are times when a licensing issue, or a tax issue, or a customer issue, or a Site issue, or a banking issue, or a computer issue, will become the hot issue of the moment and need to be dealt with. If this is the case, never ignore a problem in the hope that it will go away. Life doesn’t work that way, and neither does Business. But unless you have a non-profit-generating-issue that is in IMMEDIATE NEED OF ATTENTION, ALWAYS FIRST EXECUTE WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO GENERATE PROFITS.
Specifically, this means to work on either Your Cold Marketing Campaign, Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign, or Your Repeat Marketing Campaign, in order to Generate More Profit.
I have seen this time and time again. Because most people are not Marketing and Sales People, they find paperwork or research or Something that is NOT Marketing Related to do to keep themselves busy, and they build the busywork into a large part of their day. In actuality, they’d rather do everything they can do to keep busy, look busy, and act busy, but when they are done, they didn’t do one thing to Promote their Business and Increase their Profits!
AND THAT’S THE WHOLE REASON FOR BEING IN BUSINESS!
If you are NOT doing something that is DIRECTLY or INDIRECTLY GENERATING PROFIT, then you are doing something that is NOT YOUR PRIORITY. It might be more comfortable, more familiar, or even more enjoyable, but if it’s not INCREASING YOUR BANK BALANCE, it’s simply NOT YOUR PRIORITY!
I make this point because psychologically, you may not want to risk failure by working on Your Marketing Plan, or testing the SALES Strength of Your Site. It’s psychologically safer to file a bunch of papers, or open a bunch of mail. But if you get into the habit of coming into your office and looking for things to do ASIDE FROM:
- PROMOTING YOUR SITE,
- IMPROVING YOUR NEW SALES, and
- PROMOTING ON THE BACK-END to your existing Prospects and Customers,
You aren’t doing ALL THAT YOU CAN to MAXIMIZE YOUR PROFIT GENERATION!
Think about this for a second, because it is a CRITICAL CONCEPT:
IF YOU AREN’T YOUR BEST PROMOTER, THEN WHO?
Make sure YOU give 110% to YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Don’t sit back and “wait” for things to happen. Take the bull by the horns. Take the confidence that You will have when you have completed this Course to know Exactly what you’re going to do to GENERATE YOUR DESIRED PROFIT, and don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING STOP YOU, UNFOCUS YOU, OR UNMOTIVATE YOU. NOT EVEN YOU!!
Now that we have made this point, let’s take a look at all of the other tasks involved in the day to day Operation of a Business, some of which are either directly or indirectly related to the GENERATION OF PROFITS, and some of which are more administrative in nature.
When you prioritize your tasks, make sure that the tasks that are the least associated with the GENERATION OF PROFITS are recognized as the tasks with the LOWEST PRIORITY.
Task One – MARKETING
First and Foremost, EVERY BUSINESS IS A MARKETING AND SALES BUSINESS, AND YOURS IS NO EXCEPTION.
ON A DAILY BASIS:
Make sure you spend time EVERY DAY managing Your Marketing Strategy. Remember, it has 3 facets:
- COLD MARKETING, of which there are 5 tasks that must be maintained in accordance with a Schedule (recommended in the TOOLS Section upcoming) as well as 5 additional Techniques discussed in Chapter Seventeen.
- REFERRAL MARKETING, of which there are a series of letters, faxes and phone calls that need to be made in accordance with a schedule to Increase your base of Affiliate Sites that promote Your Site, and
- REPEAT MARKETING, of which there are a series of Autoresponders with multiple purposes ranging from selling a Prospect the original product to offering a New Product or a Special Offer to an Existing Customer.
Every day, you will want to quickly review Your Statistics. These should be accessible by your host in real-time (we’ll talk about this in the TOOLS Section as well). This will tell you how many Visitors you have had, and how much time they have spent. From this information, you will be able to determine the amount of Prospects out of the number of Visitors, determine Your Prospect-To-Visitor Ratio, and log the results into Your Daily Spreadsheet for this purpose.
You will also calculate and record Your Sales-To-Prospect Ratio.
You will then go into Your Banking Program (also in more detail in the TOOLS Section) and see exactly what was purchased yesterday, and for what amounts. This information will go into Your Spreadsheet for Your Projections so you know exactly where you are in terms of generating YOUR DESIRED PROFITS! Check on any collection issues that may need your attention.
Next, you will check your Customer Service Mailbox to help any Customers in need. ALWAYS PROVIDE GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE – FAST, FRIENDLY, and UNDERSTANDING. BE THE BIGGER PERSON AT ALL TIMES.
These Operational Tasks, DONE DAILY, accomplishes the following:
- Keeps Your Marketing Efforts alive,
- Checks your two Most Important Ratios, Prospect-To-Visitor, and Sale-To-Prospect,
- Relates Your ACTUAL GENERATED GROSS SALES with YOUR DAILY GROSS PROJECTIONS,
- Handle any Collection issues, and
- Provide Your Customers with GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
THESE FIVE TASKS MUST BE DONE DAILY IN ORDER FOR YOU TO MAINTAIN YOUR HANDLE ON YOUR BUSINESS AND TO BE SURE THAT YOU ARE CONSISTENTLY PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS AND CLOSELY WATCHING THE RESULTS.
Depending on what kind of business you have, you may need to check on such items as Product availability, shipping, manufacturing, etc. If you are working with a Product that is produced or drop-shipped as opposed to an electronically downloaded Product for example, you’ve got to keep a tight hold on your Product line. This will ensure that your customers get timely delivery of their Product.
ON A WEEKLY BASIS
Axiom Number Sixty-Six – TEST ONE VARIABLE EVERY WEEK FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK
The Scientific Method is the accepted manner for conducting tests to see what if any effect there is when one and Only one variable is changed.
Let’s say that for week one, you have 1000 Prospects and 10 Sales, so Your Sale-To-Prospect Ratio of 1/100. And let’s say Your Headline for Your Site is:
“EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD WIDGET”
For week number two, your ads remain the same, and Your Site is the same, with ONE VARIABLE. The ONLY THING YOU CHANGED IS THE HEADLINE. THE NEW HEADLINE READS:
“THE NEW WIDGET X-100 INCREASES YOUR PRODUCTIVITY BY A WHOPPING 250%!”
At the end of week two, your Sale-To-Prospect Ratio has gone from 1/100, meaning 1 of every 100 Prospects to Your Site made a purchase, to 1/50, meaning that now 2/100 Prospects made a purchase. You had about the same amount of Prospects, 1000, but you had 20 Sales instead of 10. This is a 100% increase, from 1/100 to 1/50. The ONLY VARIABLE that was changed was the Headline, so you can draw the conclusion that Headline Two works better than Headline One.
Be careful not to draw conclusions based on really small samples. Out of 50 Prospects for example, if 1/50 or 2/50 buy, the sample is too small to draw any conclusions. When in doubt, Repeat the Test. Don’t jump to conclusions!
Each week, take ONE ASPECT, ONE VARIABLE, and change JUST THAT ONE. If you are changing a Marketing ad, don’t change the ad AND the Site in the same week. If you do, you won’t have clear results. If it is more of a priority to increase Traffic, test the number of Visitors and the Prospect-To-Visitor Ratio based on changing ONE VARIABLE. If the Traffic numbers are in line with Your Projections, but the Sale-To-Prospect Ratio is lower than you expect, change ONE VARIABLE on Your Site and track the results.
On a weekly basis, make your bank transfers. Don’t run every day to the bank, creating 100 transactions to track as to where the money went. As a Business Owner, you are responsible to keep ACCURATE RECORDS for all government and regulatory agencies. You may THINK you work for yourself now, but NEWSFLASH! You just became a LOT MORE RESPONSIBLE than you EVER WERE as an EMPLOYEE of someone else’s company!
The Legal and Financial aspects of running a Business are not so cumbersome as to be a deterrent, but they definitely are a new responsibility if you have never before been in Business for yourself.
By making bank transfers weekly, you have a lot less banking transactions to account for in the event of an audit. (Once again we will talk about the right program for the job in the TOOLS Section.)
When you own your own Business, you should operate it as if you are expecting an IRS audit on any given day. It should never be a frightening thing. If you keep accurate track of the money, and handle the money properly, then your records should be able to be checked and given a clean bill of health at any time.
Part of the problem that often occurs with New Business Owners is a lack of recognition that you are responsible to government agencies for the accurate reporting of income, expenses and taxes. You cannot just start taking cash out of your Business and spending it with no receipts. This is a recipe for disaster. REMEMBER, YOU’RE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK! Don’t make a mess of your records!
You’ll want to set up your banking at the beginning so that on a weekly basis you transfer 25% into an account for income taxes, and 25% into an account for savings. This will leave you with control of 50% of the Profits that Your Business is generating. As we discussed back in the budget section, 10% of the Gross Income should be for short-term savings. This would be for brakes for the car, Holiday gifts, etc. Another 10% would be for long-term savings, to be invested in a Portfolio, land, etc. By putting 25% into one account for taxes, and 25% into another account for Savings, you have a 5% “fudge-factor” built in just in case your taxes are more than 25% for example, or you have more expenses than 10% to exhaust your short-term savings.
But it is CRITICAL that you understand NOT TO SPEND EVERY PENNY, BECAUSE IT DOESN’T ALL BELONG TO YOU!!! Even though you are in Business for Yourself, you DO HAVE A PARTNER.
Their cut in general is 25% of the profits in return for doing Business in their country.
If of course you are NOT a United States Citizen, since this Course is Sold worldwide, you need to calculate the amount that gets paid to Your Government and make sure to put it aside.
Perhaps on Thursdays, you’ll work on a SPECIAL PRODUCT, SERVICE, DISCOUNT, or OFFER for either Your Cold Marketing Campaign, Your Affiliates, Your Repeat Business, or Your Site, to promote more Traffic and more Sales.
YOU ARE TRULY LIMITED ONLY BY YOUR IMAGINATION.
You can actually offer Discount Certificates (which will also be in the TOOLS Section).
In addition to Discount Certificates you can:
- Create Special Pages for Traffic to go to get a Special Giveaway,
- Sign up for a Special Drawing,
- Run some type of contest,
- Offer an additional discount in return for a 25-word testimonial
There’s literally an endless array of Promotions. AND ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN:
IF YOU DON’T MAKE YOUR MARKETING AND SALES PROCESSES EXCITING, ENTICING, AND DYNAMIC;
IF YOU ARE NOT EXCITED ABOUT IT,
IF THE PASSION IS NOT THERE,
IF YOU CAN’T FEEL IT,
NEITHER WILL YOUR PROSPECT!
Whether or not you have your own unique Product or a Product line, there are those who have visited Your Site who are no longer interested in Your Product. Either they have already purchased it, so they are not going to buy it again, or they felt it didn’t fit their needs.
These folks are on Your Opt-In List. You need to have a RELATED PRODUCT to OFFER TO THEM in an Autoresponder. In either an Ezine, a Newsletter, a Bulletin, or a Special Promotion message, they need to be advised of this SPECIAL OFFER and be given a link to go to a SPECIAL PAGE to learn more about this offer. (The program that develops the special page for you is one of the programs already in the TOOL Section.)
In order to do this, you need to have another Product to sell. What you need is to be a part of someone’s AFFILIATE PROGRAM that sells a Product that is RELATED TO YOURS but NOT IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH YOU.
You want to sell a related product, and earn a commission, BUT YOU DO NOT WANT TO LOSE YOUR CUSTOMER!
So, on a weekly basis, you need to be looking for Affiliate Programs to join so that you can offer Additional Products. This becomes a PROFIT CENTER for Your Business. In addition to YOUR OFFER, you now have an UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL OFFERS!!!
One way of finding out more about Affiliate Programs is to go to Google and entering the keyword “Affiliate Programs”.
By constantly expanding your Product line, you get closer and closer to MAXIMIZING THE AMOUNT OF PROFITS THAT YOU GENERATE!
An Affiliate Program really works from BOTH Directions. YOUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM allows others to link to you and to allow them to promote YOUR OFFER for a fee.
Other Site’s AFFILIATE PROGRAMS do the very same thing for YOU!
There are a few things to watch out for, however.
- Make sure you do some research with regard to the accuracy and completeness of the Affiliate Software they are using. You want to make sure that you get paid for the Sales that you generate through the Traffic that you create.
- What is the percentage of the Sale that you will receive,
- When will you receive it,
- Is there a minimum amount under which you will not get your money, and
- For how long will the Prospect that YOU CREATED earn income for you through their purchases from that Site. If the Prospect that you generated to their Site doesn’t buy something today, but comes back in 30 days, do you still get Commission? In 90 days? In one year? For as long as you are an Affiliate of that Site?
The stronger Affiliate Programs track and allow a commission to be paid if the Traffic that you send to their Site buys the Offer you are promoting for at least 1 year as a minimum, and generally for as long as you are an Affiliate.
There’s a big difference between having 20 years of experience doing something, and having 1 year’s worth experience repeated 20 times. The distinction is simple. If you Stop Learning after one year, you will repeat only what you have learned, over and over and over again.
If on the other hand you CONTINUE TO GROW BY LEARNING, not only through Experience, but also through Reading, you will one day have 20 years of Experience, not one year’s worth repeated over and over again.
There are a lot of good Ezines out there, and depending on what field you are in, you will not only be gaining Knowledge in your field, you’ll also be keeping an eye on your Competition. You’ll get to see Special Offers and Promotions and decide if you’d like to do one like it.
Part of your reading material should always be about new ways to Market on the Internet as well as different Affiliate Programs to belong to and what they offer. For a list of Ezines, just go to Google and enter the keyword “garden Ezines” or “garden newsletters” if you are in the gardening field. If not, substitute the field that you are in for the word garden!
On a daily basis, you are entering your information for the number of Visitors, Prospects, and Sales, as well as for the dollar amount of Your Sales.
On a WEEKLY basis, it won’t take you long to set up an Excel type spreadsheet, enter all of your Daily columns, adding your Advertising Expenses, Overhead Expenses and Product costs, and determine your Profit for the Week.
Then bring your total for the month, the quarter, the half of the year and the annual projection up to date and see how it compares to the DESIRED PROFIT.
If the Generated Profit is NOT meeting Your Projection, then you need to make some adjustments.
If the profits are not meeting Your Projection, here are some of the adjustments that you should make.
- You need to increase your response in each of the three Marketing Areas
- You need to strengthen the Sales Ratio on Your Site.
- You need to look for related products with high profit margins
In each Marketing area, there is ALWAYS ROOM TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE. Increase the following:
- The number of Ads,
- The Strength of your Offer to draw them to Your Site, or
- The STATED VALUE of the Offer itself.
If you are not ranked number one on the Pay-Per-Click engines, bid yourself up to number one as long as it is feasible in terms of the Cost per Visitor as it relates to Your average Profit per Sale.
If you have confidence in your ads, consider placing some PAID Classified ads, and/or consider renting a bigger Opt-In List.
Additionally, you can actually submit an ad to an Ezine editor and have that Ad draw people to Your Site. The reason why this wasn’t suggested earlier is that if you can get that Editor to become an Affiliate, he will promote Your Site for FREE and be paid only on Sales. Not only is this more cost-effective for you, but the Ad will pull a heck of a lot better when the Editor of that Ezine is promoting it himself, telling his readers in his OWN WORDS why is impressed with your offer. It’s not the same amount or level of interest when it’s a paid ad verses when its an AFFILIATES TESTIMONIAL!
Be more aggressive in Your RECRUITING of Affiliates. Not enough Sales means in part that there may not be enough Traffic to Your Site. What would the addition of 100 more Affiliates promoting Your Site do for your Profit Generation? Send out your letters to potential Affiliates. Strengthen your copy and/or your offer to them. Fax them. Call them. Get them to sign up. If you’re not generating enough Profit, you NEED THEIR HELP!
Strengthen your Autoresponders in every area. From responding on a no-sale, to offering a Special Discount, to offering a New Product, Your Opt-In List is worth GOLD to you IF AND ONLY IF you use it to your optimum advantage. There are indeed Sales on the Back- end and its Your Job to find them!
Now take a look at Your Site for the Sale-To-Prospect Ratio.
Have you tested your Headline? How about your Sub-Heading? Your information line?
Does your first paragraph develop interest?
Does the passion of Your Belief in Your Offer come through?
What would lowering the price do? Would it increase Sales enough to Net more money to you? How about Raising the Price? Have you tested either of these?
Marketing and Sales, and Sales and Marketing, and Marketing and Sales.
Get the Picture?
ON A MONTHLY BASIS:
There are three main tasks that need to be done on a Monthly Basis.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND MONTHLY REPORTS:
On a monthly basis, you need to produce your Financial Statements. If you are unfamiliar with this aspect of Business, don’t panic. The program that will be recommended to you in the TOOLS Section makes it easy for you to enter information and then it produces your Financial Statements based on that information.
The idea of the Financial Statements is of course to know your Financial Condition. It also creates a track record of the growth of Your Business so that when the time comes that you’d like to sell, you can get Top Dollar for it!
In addition to the monthly Financials, you’re going to want to complete Your Projection for the Month, and how the reality compared to it. This will give you a percentage of the projection that you achieved for the month. Your goal of course, is to reach 90% of your goal at the minimum. Why 90%? Why not 100%?
Well, if you are achieving 100% of your goal EVERY MONTH, you may be setting your goal a bit too low. Reach for the STARS! PUSH YOURSELF! WHY NOT GENERATE MORE PROFIT THAN YOU NEED?!
Make sure that Your Financial Statements are set up to break out your various costs, so that you can see what you paid for the month, quarter, and year to date for specific types of Advertising. If for example, you have 5 pay-per-click engines that you pay monthly, do not lump them into one account. If you do, you won’t know how much you paid for each one. Only by tracking the costs separately, and then following those Visitors through your system to see which Sales resulted from that source, will you know whether that source is an effective source to spend your Advertising dollars on.
If you need to generate $10,000 per month to reach your goals, and that’s what you enter as your number for the month that you are shooting for, and you reach 100% of the goal, then you hit your $10,000 for the month, which is good.
But if you set your goal for $12,500 for the month, and you only reached 90% of goal, that’s $11,250. In the first case, you reached 100% at $10,000. In the second case, you reached $11,250 at 90%. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather REACH FOR THE STARS and come up a bit short, but HIGHER than I would have if I set my goal for the actual number that I needed without adding in a “fudge-factor.”
On a monthly basis, it’s up to you to evaluate Your Business. How is the Market for Your Business? Is it as big as ever? Bigger? Shrinking? Do you need a new approach? A different “lead product”? Has there been damage to your name? Do you need to change Domain names? Is your Site layout stagnant? Or passed by with new technology? Is your product outdated? Is there more competition that ever? And if so, how are going to meet that challenge? Sell more benefits? Merchandise more imaginatively?
Axiom Number Sixty-Seven – IF YOU AREN’T STEERING YOUR SHIP, EVENTUALLY YOUR SHIP WILL CRASH AND BURN.
Businesses will run on autopilot for a short while when times are good. But they will not run that way indefinitely. There are way too many hungry newcomers who want what you have. And the Market is constantly changing. If it were the case that Businesses could run forever on Auto-pilot once they are cranked up, there wouldn’t be nearly so many Businesses that go out of Business, especially after many years in Business. Often times, once the money starts coming in on a consistent basis, the owner gets sloppy
And that’s when bad things happen.
Don’t let this happen to you!
So, now you know how to run a Successful Web-based Business. You may or may not be generating the Desired amount of Profit, but you have this one down to a Science and you’re good at it. You know the ins-and-outs now. You know how to set up a Site, how to Market it, how to build your Affiliate Program, and how to make your After-Market Sales through the use of Autoresponders. You know how to make your adjustments, track your profits, review your Reports, add new Products, and earn a strong income.
WHY NOT DUPLICATE YOUR EFFORTS?
Axiom Number Sixty-Eight – IF YOU ARE EARNING $200,000 A YEAR FROM YOUR ONE SITE, IS THERE ANY REASON WHY ANOTHER SITE WON’T ALSO MAKE YOU $200,000 A YEAR?
IS THERE ANY REASON TO STOP AT JUST TWO SITES?
If you can develop Your Site to earn $200,000 per year, and then you could develop a second site to earn $200,000 per year, THEN YOU COULD DEVELOP AS MANY SITES AS YOU WANT, TO EARN $200,000 PER YEAR EACH!
WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING IN THIS COURSE TRULY IS YOUR WAY TO EARN THE AMOUNT OF PROFIT THAT YOU DESIRE TO REACH YOUR GOALS AND LIVE YOUR DREAMS…
AND THEN SOME!
This new technology, known to us as the INTERNET, has created the opportunity for regular folks to learn how to Market and how to Sell without having to knock on doors or dial phone numbers. And because of the INFORMATION AVAILABLE on HOW TO DO IT, and the TOOLS AVAILABLE to GET IT DONE, NOW MORE THAN EVER, YOU REALLY CAN, FOR A PRETTY SMALL INVESTMENT, GO INTO YOUR OWN INTERNET BUSINESS AND BE SUCCESSFUL AT IT BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS!
On a personal note, I cannot tell you how good it feels to be the one to help you along!
In Chapter Fourteen we will discuss some of the legalities involved, things that you may not be aware of, and everything that you need to know to run your business legally, legitimately, and in accordance with rules that you may not even know exist!