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As we rapidly approach the end of 2021, many employees have been spooked by the craziness of lockdown, job losses, and the economic downturn. With huge technological advances and multiple remote work opportunities, it is now possible to build an empire from your spare bedroom. If you've decided to take matters into your own hands, and secure your own financial future by building an online business, there are some important points you should consider.
If you dream of growing a seven-figure business, the surest way is to have multiple streams of income. Mathematically speaking, having lots of different revenue streams minimizes the impact of a disruption in one area. Savvy investors have known this for years, as have professional gamblers. They call it hedging your bets. This way you can maximize your income over the long term. For the average business person, this simply means, "don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Having multiple income streams is great for protecting income, but it can also create the headache of the need for additional management. To circumvent this problem, you either need to have others managing some of your affairs, or you need to automate your business. One good way of automating things is to set up a business that requires effort at the beginning, but, after that, it pretty much runs itself.
Many digital products fall neatly into this area. Just ask Jono Armstrong, Founder of Ministry Of Freedom, who has launched his own software product and also teaches others how to succeed in online business.
But Armstrong didn't start there. In the early days of the internet (2006-2007), he sold actual physical products. He would buy products from China and sell them through eBay. However, he realized that this was a difficult way to make good money (an average of 5% commission). He later learned that by recommending digital products, like training courses, e-books, or software, he could make as much as 50% or 100% commission.
Armstrong built his own affiliate marketing business, making YouTube product reviews with accompanying links to the purchase site. However, as he advanced, he realized that the real earning potential lay in creating and selling his own products. And that is exactly what he did. In Armstrong's case, he chose software, but it could easily have been a digital asset, e-book, or course. The e-learning industry, for example, is expected to be worth $374 billion by 2026. A self-penned course or how-to book might allow you to capitalize on your existing expertise.
There are various ways of gauging the market demand for your product. A Net Promoter Score is often used to assess the likelihood that someone will recommend your product. You can also use quantitative tools to measure engagement: daily and monthly active users.
Qualitative data also helps in the quest to find a sought-after product. This involves asking customers what their thoughts are and then listening to their feedback. What do people want? How much are they willing to pay? What quantity will they buy? This type of research is vital before jumping into any new market.
Mats Lederhausen (formerly global head of strategy for McDonald’s as well as former Executive Chairman of Chipotle) advises business leaders to:
"Think big, start small, then scale or fail fast."
If your business is self-limited (not enough potential consumers or demand), eventually you will run out of steam. You need something that you can expand and scale up to such a point where you're earning the income that you have projected.
At the heart of any business is the person that drives it. You are the crucial, unique commodity that determines your business success and to continue expanding, you have to work on yourself. Warren Buffet reportedly invests most of his working day in reading and educating himself on business topics that aid his investment strategies. His trusted business partner, Charlie Munger, has adopted the same habit. Their entire career, and success as investors, has been built on an insatiable thirst for knowledge and self-improvement:
“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.” Charlie Munger
Armstrong also advocates re-investing in yourself. He has been known to pay as much as $70,000 for three days of specialized training. While some would see this as an exorbitant cost, he views it as a justifiable investment in his future success. By learning new concepts, and strategies, he can create even larger returns for his firm. And, after kicking his addiction to drugs some years ago, Armstrong understands the power of a clear, focused mind.
The final key is leveraging the power of social media marketing to gain exposure for you and your company. This can be as simple as beginning to share posts about your new product or services or it can be as complex as hiring a marketing manager/team.
Another popular route is to engage the services of an established influencer to promote your business. For this to work, the influencer should be aligned with your values and have some links to your business. Otherwise, they won't 'spread' the message to your target demographic.
Of course, if you want to get more technical, you should definitely teach yourself about SEO. Although it frightens many to death, it can help promote your site and get your product in front of many more buyers.
So what are you waiting for? Perhaps you're sitting at home, wishing that you could build your own business but feel you don't have the right ingredients for success. People like Armstrong are evidence that all you need is a laptop, initiative, and determination to achieve remarkable results.
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