Building A Business In The Online Space – Part I – Introduction
I see lots and lots of people in the online space and I doubt most of them have a plan about how to make a business out of posting, engaging and shooting selfies.
The common slogan constantly appearing „work smarter not harder“ is easy said but what is smart in the online space.
Many listen to Garyvee these days and he is without a doubt a genius but I think sometimes he gets way over the head of somebody who is just starting and trying to get a business running in the online space.
It is hard to work smart and I still have no exact formula but I want to bring up some ideas about what does not work and what is proven to work.
What is your plan to make it?
Engaging with the crowd is quite easy these days but what is it worth, if you can’t generate money for yourself to bring food on the table.
Just being patient does not seem like a great answer. Gary is a great salesman and I am sure he nails his deals as this is his main craft.
Let’s face it! Many of us are not great deal closers and sale is not what we learned, so most of his strategies in my point of view are based on this craft he owns.
I started my journey in the online world by promoting great Cuban artists and I had a lot of success in building a following on Youtube and Facebook at the time.
What I absolutely underestimated was the willingness and maybe even the possibility of any possible client in this space to hit the button and BUY.
I attracted a crowd without buyer potential!
At the same time, I had no real product to sell and generate revenues out of it! This is the second biggest issue I identify!
I am not alone on this.
Then I had built various services together with my ex-wife.
Organizing dance trips from Switzerland to Cuba lacked the potential of returning and paying customers as the market here in Switzerland was too small. We would have had to do an effort to get into the US market to attract customers in this space while Cuba was opening up, looking for cooperations with agencies and other initiatives but as my ex-wife was mainly focused on providing work to her family, the offer in Cuba was too small as well.
I was not really interested in this business case, so I did not explore it further but I had some major insights.
- If the possible customer base is too small, even ads on social media and targeting will not help to build a business.
- If the offer is too deep in a niche there is just no business.
- The effort during the trips was big and the outcome insecure as providing the service (entire travel arrangements) was hard work and depending very much on people.
Don’t get me wrong about this. We had been able to generate some return but it did not cover our invested time and it was far from a sustainable solution.
My conclusion: The business model did not work.
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Organizing dance events here in Switzerland was another test for me.
We had the place packed but it was hard work and the margin did not cover our work. It is widely known that dancing people don’t drink, while consumptions of drinks is a quite big source of income for events and eventually makes them profitable.
Once again I had a crowd engaged, even if it was limited by the small niche I played in. They were not willing to pay and between high costs and a high risk, the outcome was a business disaster.
I think, I did all the possible and I took my lessons with me.
My conclusion: The business model did not work.
I came from a different background in IT and Finance where I have always been able to earn a good salary. During this time I was working as a Freelancer in IT and charged my clients a high salary on an hourly basis, while I worked on these projects for almost nothing and most of the time paying on top by cross-financing. This was frustrating and burned me out while I even got into ethic issues in my head as I charged clients a lot for my work as an IT professional and was not able to get a business running. I had to close these chapters by a divorce which was hard but also a big relief.
These business initiatives have all been in the old world setup and thank god the online space is different and opening many more options.
So the question is, what does it take to start, grow and sustain with a business in the online world?
I conclude it all comes down to 2 things:
- Good products with good revenue.
- A big market interested in the product, where you can attract your niche.
If you have these 2 things in place, moving the crowd and creating the momentum as Garyvee is talking about is the easiest part but also there you have to find a way to become effective as shooting selfies and liking comments is not enough! I doubt even just spreading positivity and networking over the entire internet is enough.
I will dig deeper into this in the next parts.
What are you selling to provide you the possibility of living a sustainable life through an income online?
What is your plan?
#marketing #entrepreneurship #leadership #sales #failure