How To "Reboot" A Struggling Online Business
Avoid Time-Wasting Activities
Most of the fixes or hacks offered in the marketing community are great in theory, but difficult to execute in practice. That’s because what works in one market and in one campaign won’t necessarily work with another. So, if it takes you too much time to put any particular strategy or method into place… and it doesn’t work, you could be out months of work with little or nothing to show for it.
For example, let’s supposed you want to build a landing page for an offer. Then, it takes a month to create the design.
And another month to find or create an offer for the page.
And another month to get the sales copy just right.
By that point, an entire quarter has past. If the finished product doesn’t produce results, you’ve burned ¼ of a year – just to test something.
This process can be repeated over and over again in other areas. Maybe it takes another three months to create your website. And then another three months to research how to set up a membership site or create the right content.
You get the idea.
I’ve been there, so I feel your pain. I know exactly what it’s like to meticulously build something only to discover it doesn’t really resonate with the market. At the end of the journey, you can feel completely burned out by the entire process. You can spend years repeating this process from one project to the next. Some do.
Fortunately, there is a better way. You can turn what used to be a 3-month project into a ten day project. That way, whatever happens next, you still have more of your most important commodity.
You can lose money and recoup it. You can lose just about anything in this world and get it back again. Time, however, is the one exception. If you lose a year of your life, it’s history, plain and simple.
For most of my online career, I’ve been the type of entrepreneur who’s enjoyed “building stuff.” But, no matter what I build, especially my own “stuff,” I’m always left with the feeling that it could be better. In the past, I’d spend the extra time to see that it was as perfect as perfect could be. As I’m sure you can imagine, I lost invaluable time in the process.
I can’t beat myself up for what I did in 2002, 2008 or 2012. Those 36-months are gone, never to return. Today, however, is completely in my control. So, with my current projects, I take a much different approach.
I USE TEMPLATES:
Today I use templates for just about everything. Totally customized web design is great. But here’s the thing, is that something you really want to invest months of your time creating or having created? I spend hundreds of dollars instead of thousands of dollars building my own websites. Are they exactly what I want? Not exactly, but I know ME. If I spent $10,000 building my perfect website, there would still be things I’d be unhappy with. It may take a month or two to get to that point, but I’d get there.
I FORGET ABOUT CREATING THE PERFECT OFFER:
Do you know what the ultimate offer is for your market? I don’t. Let’s put it this way, the offer that works incredibly well for a month suddenly stops working. Was there just a “pocket” of people interested in it? Or was it something else? You can go back to the drawing board and become immersed in the think tank for the next six months looking for answers, or you can just go ahead and create another offer. Guess which option I choose these days?
I DON’T DWELL ON WHO UNSUBSCRIBES OR EVEN WHY:
If everyone unsubscribed from my mailing list, I’d definitely want to know why. Otherwise, I just keep moving forward. In the past, when people unsubscribed, I’d wonder about all sorts of things. Did the email not resonate with them? Did I say something they found offensive? Do they think the information I’m sharing sucks? Again, unless you see a mass exodus from your mailing list, this is how life and business work. You will get new subscribers and lose some old ones. It’s just the nature of business. Don’t take it personally.
I DON’T THROW GOOD MONEY (AND EFFORT) AFTER BAD:
This was a hard one, because somewhere along the line, I finally become the type of person who never quit anything. That’s good in one way, but bad in others. There is definitely a time to walk away from certain things in life and business. The question is, when? For me, the answer is – when my heart is no longer in it. Sure, you can have a bad day. Maybe even a bad month where you question what you’re doing and why in business. Maybe you’ve sugarcoated something and once it wears off, you don’t like what you see. I’ve found from experience, though, that quitting can be a good thing sometimes. How long you invest in something before it produces results is up to you. Just realize that what you’re doing doesn’t have to be “forever.”
NOT FANCY IS BETTER THAN “ALWAYS IN DEVELOPMENT:
A simple landing page is always better than a fancy one that’s never quite finished. A basic headline for your product is better than none at all. Research has a beginning, middle and end. Just about everything you can think of is time sensitive because you never really have “all the time in the world.” All you have is today. It’s better to put one foot in front of the other than spending too much time thinking what might happen if you put one foot in front of the other. You get the point.
Today, I know what it takes to create a fast, lean business. I’ve been learning since starting this journey in the 1990s. You have to keep things simple. That may mean focusing on one social media platform instead of trying to do all of them well. Maybe you leave all but one of the social media platforms off your radar. There’s no rule you have to follow, right?
If it’s too hard writing articles or keeping a blog for your business, try video or podcasts. The more fun you have, the better job you’ll do. Also, if it’s in your budget and you have trouble finding the time, go ahead and outsource that part of your business. If the method works, you’ll get your money back and then some.
If you’ve tried everything and nothing works well, consider building something in another market while your current business keeps whatever cash flow it generates coming.
I know that whatever you’re doing, the chances are – you want to do it in a big way. You’re looking for a payoff of some kind – even if it’s not 100% financial. That’s great. I don’t believe God wants anyone to live a life of frustration. Even so, this is a learning process that requires patience and a whole lot of persistence.
If you see others taking the elevator to the top while you only seem to have access to the stairwell, don’t be discouraged. There may be something there you need to see on your way to the top. Something that you would have otherwise missed had you been on the elevator. Who knows, maybe that elevator you’re looking at doesn’t go as far as it seems?