How to Build a Business from Scratch
Someone asked me what I would do if I had to start my business over from scratch in 3 months. And that got me thinking – if I could take the experience I have and use it to start over from scratch, how would I do it?
Mind you, I wouldn’t have my mailing list. I wouldn’t have traffic, a following, name recognition – none of that. Just my experience as to what works and what doesn’t.
And let’s say that my life depends on me having a full time income at the end of those 3 months. No pressure there, right? But a lot of people find themselves in a very similar situation – make money or else. Or else they’re in trouble, or else the bills go unpaid, or else they’re facing losing their home, or… worse.
So with that in mind, here’s what I would do:
– I would stop looking for magic ‘make money online’ products and ideas. There is no secret combo of tricks and buttons to make money. It’s not a printing press. It’s a free market. And in that free market the way to make money is to stop focusing on the money, and simply make yourself indispensable to people who need your solution to their problem. Do that and the money follows.
When you’re focused on providing solutions, you no longer get distracted by all those shiny programs that steal your time and your money. I’m not saying all programs are bad. In fact, many of the “how-to” and “step-by-step” are useful as small pieces to the large puzzle. But that’s what they are – puzzle pieces – not full blown businesses.
– I would start with the outcome first. What is my market? My product or service? My goal? What is the solution I can provide that people will gladly pay for? What is THE ONE BIG BENEFIT I can provide to my customers? This is the starting point of everything that will come next.
– Next I would build my website. Odds are it’s going to be a blog. I’m not going to spend a world of time on setting this up because I only have 3 months. I’ll spend an hour maximum choosing the URL, I’ll get the hosting, I’ll choose a simple, streamlined theme, I’ll get the autoresponder and I’ll be ready to get started.
Yes, it takes money to get started. Not a lot, but some. You’re making an investment into your future. And if you think spending a couple of hundred dollars to set up your internet business is somehow a lot of money, consider the alternative: Spending at least that much each month just to drive to and from a job, or spending thousands for a brick and mortar business.
– Time to create content for that blog. But this isn’t about running a blog, it’s about running a business. The blog is just the tool to get the business done. So here’s what I would do: Look at the big benefit I deliver, and then write down all the stumbling blocks people encounter trying to get that big benefit. Then pick out 3 of these and write stellar posts on how to overcome those barriers. Then repurpose those posts into videos and podcasts, as well as an incentive to get people to join my list.
Notice I’m only creating 3 pieces of great content, not 300. And I’m repurposing those. Some folks spend years trying to get everything just right, but I’ve only got 3 months, so forget perfect and just get it done.
– Next, I would offer a service or coaching. Do you know why? Because it’s the quickest way to make real money. Offering products is great, but it takes time to create the products and more time to build the lists to promote the product to. When your list is small, it’s best to focus on services or coaching because it’s the fastest way to profit.
The blog posts should be highly focused on getting my prospects to take the next step, which is likely going to be a free consultation. It’s not easy to sell a $300 a month coaching program or a $1,000 website optimization package online. But it can be if you get them on the phone first.
– Now I’d focus on getting as many people on the phone as I can, because I know two things: The more prospects I get on the phone, the more likely it is some of them will say yes. Plus, I’ll get better and better at finding out their needs and selling them on the solutions.
– With my first customers or clients I would deliver like a madman (or mad woman.) I’d blow them away and earn myself raving testimonials which I would then use to earn more clients.
I’d also be Mr. or Ms. Communication, with both my clients and everyone else on my list and in social media. If someone writes to me, I answer quickly. If they mention me in social media, I am thanking them the same day and so forth. This is a people business and my goal is to please the people and thus build my name and my reputation.
– As I’m servicing my clients, I’m learning what they need and want. And I’m using that information to create my first product which I will then sell to my list, and hopefully through affiliates for a long time to come.
Selling time for money is a great way to get started, but as soon as possible you want to be creating assets that you use to systematize your sales funnel and your income.
– Time to focus on traffic and more traffic. Social media, guest blog posting and paying for advertising are methods that can be used long term to drive people to your site and onto your lists. Each one has a learning curve, but as you improve you’ll see quick returns for your time and monetary investments.
And I’d build relationships with other marketers in my niche. Almost nothing drives good quality traffic faster than an expert in your niche telling their list about you or your offer.
– Lastly, I would continually strive to improve the benefits I deliver to my customers. Great today is only good tomorrow and not good enough the day after. I know I have to stay on top of my market and provide my customers with what they need and want even before they know they need and want it.
Bottom Line: By delivering the solutions people seek, I can build a fully functioning business in a short amount of time. And yes, by diligently following these steps, you too might be earning a full-time income in 3 months.