DailyMorningCoffee welcomes Nigel on-board with his Guest Article on Online Business Entrepreneurship.
I had failed. Everybody knew this except me. I was amazed at my abilities, I closed a $10,000, $5,000 and several $2500 deals within the first 90 days but I was a complete failure. The calls stopped coming in and the business seemed to wither away. The stupor of this moment had not sunk in properly and I was nailed, looking at my website to see if I can see some new figures, new orders or anything. I was just confused to say the least, but I was told that the product has been an amazing piece for a solopreneur.
Failure in the world of business is something that I was never familiar with because I was a magnet to pull off strange little gigs so this was my first big bo bo and while my wife was eager for me to move past this bump and on to the next project, I choose to stay here, plant a flag and complain about no support, no friends and all the possibilities to blame someone else.
It finally hit me around 3 am one morning while reading one of Rich Schefren’s report. I had failed to develop systems that made the difference. I had no system to measure, streamline or put this business into a category. I know what I was doing and that was about it. No one else mattered, I was there and the flag was firmly planted on the moon or so I think.
Many of the online business owners are guilty of this simple sin. We read a lot, looking for a magic bullet and always got our hope for the next blah blah blah. But when your income move from $10,000 a month to $100, that’s when you know you got trouble and like many people we stand there to see if the rabbit will come back at the hole or if all the carrots are really gone.
Building a better business is the simple result of systematizing your company and this can remove half of the heart aches and give us many options to live a freer healthier live to use our creative juices.
Systems align business and optimize performances. Every online entrepreneur want their business to be a well-oiled machine that allows them to have vacations, work from Saturn, Spain or Sydney while all the profits are poured in by a small (or big) team of staff who follow the blueprint and keep the profits coming in. That’s the language we hear often but not the reality we see. We are not bringing in enough money, we are stressed out about our business and we need to find a way to sleep comfortable at nights. That’s why the rate of business failures is that high and the reason why most business fold in the first to five years.
What would happen if your business was like Starbucks? Every barista know the recipe to make your favorite beverage the same way each and every day? Now imagine for a minute, that that was your business and they were doing the same task in meeting all the customers, delivering the products, answering the request and servicing them with ease. That’s an ideal business right?
But if all the know-hows is locked into your head or laptop, no one is ever hired, you are the everything or if you have a small team and everything is outsourced, we are at the mercy of the contractors to deliver like you with precision, in a timely fashion and meet the every need of your clients or customers but everyone is coming in with their own personality, ability, knowledge and you have total disorganization. And if you are ADD, OCD, or completely carefree after a while, you become stressed out and even if you are well balanced this happens too.
I recently met with a gentleman who is in the midst of creating his 7th product and has not sold any of the first. After he went into his 30 minutes spiel I simply asked him how is the first product selling? He stopped and stares at me as if I am crazy or if I did not hear him. I heard him, I was careful in asking that question too. Why would you head to number 2 if number one is not selling? Why would you head to number 3 if number 1 &2 are not selling? Or number 4, 5, 6 or 7. The sad part was that he was at his lowest point and I really was trying to ask him some reflective questions.
You see I see all kinds of people in this world and today I don’t know what systems they are working with. In a previous life, I worked as a Psychiatric Counselor and after seeing people who “swallowed scissors”, or “heard the cat talk to them”, I am careful of the things I allow to drain my energy. So I ask pointed questions and give people a chance to hear themselves…. (sounds strange right? That’s OK)
The easiest way to improve your online performances, increase your revenue, develop a new product or maximize the current performance of your business is to develop workable systems. These require little changes but they result in big differences. I learn this the hard way, FAILURE. With a kick in my chin, I went to work at developing mine and can honestly say, it’s the best thing I have ever learned.
What are systems?
For definition: A system is a collection of interrelated, interdependent components or processes that act in concert to turn inputs into some kind of outputs in pursuit of some goal.
So based on the definition above a system has two primary features:
1. It has a goal, and
2. It has interactions among interdependent parts
But, why do systems exist? In the most basic sense, systems exist “to achieve a goal.” So, if a system’s purpose is to achieve some goal, who decides what that goal should be? In business systems, the goal setter ought to be the system’s owner – the entrepreneur. And when the system you’ve built consistently achieves its goal…you go from stumbling forward into a successful entrepreneur. This was all I did to change things around for me and if I can do it so can you!
Nigel Williamson is Founder of Youth Connex and provides training and programs and blogs at Men and Mentors. An author of Life’s Ultimate Ticket, Nigel enjoys time with his kids and wife and lives in Washington, DC metro area. You can follow him on twitter and facebook.
This is a great topic Praveen and one that I blog about now and then. Systems are critical for success. I recently ran into a huge problem with my WordPress blog. After making one simple change to my Thesis design, my entire website became illegible. Restoring from neither my SQL database nor my entire website solved the issue. (It turned out to be a conflict between Thesis and the W3 Total Cache plugin.)
I ended up having to recreate my design. Thankfully, I’m a spreadsheet junkie and I had tracked all of my design settings. It wasn’t pretty (because I had never anticipated having to need this information) but without it, I would have been totally lost. Having systems in place has saved me more than once.
Sherryl – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
I should say that Nigel did a pretty good job at explaining the importance of “adopting a system” in his blog here.
Nice to hear about your experience with your design change and the after-effects. Gives us all a word of caution before doing anything such.
Wonderful post Nigel and I totally agree with you. It’s something I share as well because if you want to have success online, you have to have a duplicatable system. I know that’s sometimes hard to swallow for many but it’s so true. Make it easy for people to follow so that they can also build their business and the rest will fall into place.
That’s kind of sad about the guys who was on to product #7 after all of his others failed too. We always think it’s going to be the “next one” that will work or people will like or people want to buy. Sometimes we just have to go back to the drawing board.
Enjoyed the post and thanks for sharing this topic with us as this year comes to a close. This might help others understand what they need to have in place should their own business not be where they had hoped up to this point.
Hope you’re both enjoying your week and Happy New Year!
Thanks Adrienne for visiting and leaving your comment.
It was indeed nice to read about some practical experiences of Nigel with setting up an online business and how many others fail due to some mis-conceptions.
Glad you enjoyed this post and have a great year ahead.
Having a goal and a drop of ambition is already half of the process you need for success. Rest will come by itself.
Very true Radu. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.
Have a great year ahead.
You are right. Every business must have a system.