PHASE 2 - Building Your Business
During our planning phase I emphasized how important is to be selling your product across multiple channels – not just on Amazon. But building your business is about more than just selling your products. It's about building a brand that leverages the power of podcasts, videos and social media.
If you're married with kids and you have a full time job you have very little time to devote to this online business. Trying to make money right away is going to be difficult. Most businesses take as long as four years to become successful. That's why building a strong foundation to build your business is so important. It's not going to click a button and make a million dollars.
Selecting the right niche and building the correct business model around it is so critical. I've seen many people jump into marketing their products under a private label straightaway. I think that's a big mistake. Especially if you're only selling on Amazon.
When you drill down into the market you're chasing and correctly identify your niche you're way ahead of the game. So many people don't even bother to do that kind of work. When you specialize in an area you need to know the pricing, the shipping, who's buying, what they're buying and why they're buying it.
If you don't have that kind of granular understanding of your market you're going to fail.
Hello again Julian Thornton here from the Ecompreneur podcast, so nice to have you here again. And hopefully, you've listened to Phase I. In Phase 1 we talked about plan, the plan, planning. So in planning, we're really sort of understanding what a real business is as opposed to just selling through one channel like Amazon. To be a true Ecompreneur, you're selling through multiple channels, multiple products, multiple categories and multiple modalities of learning and delivery. So you might have info courses that are on DVD, online membership courses things like that. E-books, books, Kindle, audio podcasts, there's all kinds of things, right. So you're not limited to just selling a physical product, there's a lot more to it than that.
So Phase 1 extremely important. And then when you've got a very clear idea of what the plan is going to be then we have to start creating and building what we're actually going to be doing. So what happens here is we're starting to manifest what the thoughts are. So it's what business model we're going to start with, that's critical because most of you are actually in the wrong business model. You're doing private labeling when you really should not be doing that straightaway. Everything comes down to time, money, skills and experience within this business. And for a lot of the people I talk to, I don't know about you, but maybe you'll get this. If you're married with kids male or female, you could be the mother or the father, and you've got a full-time job, or you're working as was as being at home looking after the kids. You have very limited time, and you may have been working in a different field and have been thinking about Internet marketing in some way shape or form for quite some time. When I say quite some time, it could have been years. You might have been having a dabble at a few things and not doing very well and getting frustrated like a lot of us are.
So you think about this, and if you're in the situation, you know exactly what I mean. You're already tired when you get up because you've got young kids between the ages of 2 and 15, they're a handful right. And we love them dearly. I don't have my own, but I've been a stepfather on and off for most of the last 15 odd years. So I've experienced it in my own way, and it's extremely busy. And you get to 8-8:30 at night when you've come home from work, and you've probably commuted into work at least half an hour. So an hour a day is just. Then you had to grapple through the working day; sometimes it's okay sometimes you hate. And for some of you just don't like it ever, you just hate the whole setup. You get home, you hopefully spend some time with your children and your spouse and cook dinner, have dinner together, maybe watch a bit of TV and relax, a little glass of wine or whatever it is you do in the evening. Then the kids go to bed, and it's 8, 8:30, 9 o'clock and then you have to sit down and start learning about all this. That is a really hard deal.
So you've got limited time, you may have limited money, most of us are usually living paycheck to paycheck. So you're stressed about money, right. And then you look at your skill set for this industry, and you usually have about 2 or 3% of what is required because there's so much to do, right. And you've got very limited experience. And the experience you do have its probably failing to a large degree, at least you're feeling like you're failing, you're not getting anywhere because you're not making money and that's part of the problem is we're all like we've got to make money. And most businesses that setup don't make money for the first 5 years and most go broke in the first five years.
So for some reason we go from real business to offline to online and just lose all sensibility. Like we're going to click three buttons and make $1 million. Get that out of your head, this is a real business too, its hard work. You can get lucky, but we're not really trying to set ourselves up for luck her. We don't want a flash in the pan results; we want a solid sustainable business for many years to come. I know that isn't as sexy as pressing three buttons and making $1 million, but I'm afraid that is the harsh reality. And it doesn't mean you can't make significant income quickly and sustain it; I'm not saying that. I'm just trying to pull the brakes on a little bit in terms of the lack of reality in a lot of cases from what you've been conditioned to think is normal online that it's really not.
So this whole creation side of things is obviously a very important part flowing on from the plan. We've got to setup the right business model, we've got to look into the niche that were looking in and make sure that it's a good niche. So the market you're looking at has lots of niches usually, which one is going to be the best one for you okay.
Not every niche is good for one person is going to be good for you. And the business model like I said, if you're private labelling upfront and you don't have the money to support private labelling and the time to do it properly, and you're limited with skill and experience, you are playing with fire in my opinion. I don't think that's a great place to start for a lot of you. And you might have lots of money and no skills, I still caution you to be very very very careful. Especially if you're just starting on Amazon. Amazon is like a petulant child; it'll just do what it wants whenever it wants, and it will scream and carry on and then not say anything. And you know it's just a bit mental sometimes. Like it's still very very worthwhile if you do it the right way, but I have my opinion about the way most people have been taught to sell on Amazon. I think it's losing its effectiveness because so many people have been taught the same way, especially when it comes to finding your products.
And that's kind of what I'm about to talk about here is the business model list is one thing.
So whether you start private label, you do online or retail arbitrage, drop shipping, whatever it might be. Each one has got its pros and cons. And we'll go into each one in more detail, but there's definitely good ways of setting yourself up in these areas, and ways that are just silly. But we'll go into more detail about that. What I'm trying to get at here is you need to be unique, everything you do needs to be a little unique. It's got to be personalised; it's got to be in line with the way you think and the way you operate. Because that's how you're going to attract people that like you, who resonate with you. They're the ones that are going to be easiest to sell to because once somebody knows, likes and trusts you the rest is pretty easy. And there's ways of having people legitimately know, like and trust you. And if it's aligned everything is a lot easier then. So this is why I talk a lot about knowing your market, getting your market message as aligned as possible to that target audience, that custom profile or the avatar that you are targeting. If you get that communication line working properly, you really do increase your chance for success.
So it's critical I think that you become as unique as you possibly can and true to your own self. Now when you start looking into your market, and you start drilling down the way we do it takes a bit of time and effort to do it. And a lot of people don't do this, and that's why I suggest you do it. If you do what most people aren't prepared to do you're ahead of the game immediately. And if you become an expert in your area, in your niche you will know and see things that the average person doesn't see.
So what I've found in the last few years since I've been doing this is that when I specialise in an area, all kinds of things pop out. But I know my market, I know the pricing, I know the shipping, I know the sizing, I know who the different types of people are that buy, what they're buying, why they're buying it, what sort of questions they're asking, what problems, frustrations and fears and desires and dreams that they have. Like you become intimately involved with this group of people in a way that you like so that you're attracting the sorts of people that you want to deal with. Why attract a bunch of people that don't have money and whinge all the time. Why would you want to do that, why would you want to, you know if you're an introverted style person why would you want to just attract everybody. Number one you're not going to, you've got to use your style and your unique qualities because no one can copy that.
And it's becoming so competitive now, Amazon, eBay, whatever online you've got to have something unique, that way you've got a much better chance of getting the sale number one, building a responsive list of people that are in that niche and keeping them.
So retention is critical, once you've got someone it's critical that you keep as many of them on your list as possible and loving you and buying from you. So creating this is extremely important and building your list of responsive fans more than customers or clients. You want to be engaging with them; you want to be doing the heavy lifting for them. So creating the infrastructure here before you launch is extremely important. Knowing how to optimize your pages, whether it's on Amazon or a Shopify site, eBay whatever you need to know that environment. You need to know who's buying in that environment.
So this might all sound a bit complicated, it isn't it's just the process, everything is a process. So building out that process step-by-step is the way to build your systems and processes that have value to that end sum. Which is the investor sitting opposite you saying yes I'll pay you what you want for this because it's worth a lot of value and you've done your research, and you've had it valued and you know that's worth that. So that to me is really why we are doing this. So understanding how to build that structure is incredibly important. So the podcast is going to obviously go through what you do in Phase 2 and bring different experts at different things in this Phase. So you can build out your sites, build out your listings on eBay, Amazon or whatever. Understanding copy, understand how to integrate your email systems and your follow-up, customer service apps. All that kind of thing, all the things you are going to need to be able to create this business that you can automate and be profitable for many years to come.
So that's Phase 2. What I recommend you do from here is to go back to the website, I'm going to keep these Phase episodes pretty short, and they are only going to be like 10 or 15 minutes long. So you can go back to the website, search Phase 2 as the category and see what pops up. If you're already very clear what you're selling in and you just need some help in terms of the infrastructure that you're creating before you start promoting. Then Phase 2 is where to look okay.
Again I'd love you to subscribe on iTunes to the podcast, rate and review it if you could that would be great. And make sure that you send us your suggestions and your issues. If you're struggling with something in particular and you need some help with it, we can definitely do a Q&A episode every now and then just to go through the most common questions. So that's Phase 2, we're going onto Phase 3 now. So we've done phase 1 which is the Plan, phase 2 which is Create, Phase 3 is the exciting bit where we start to launch. So I'll see you in the next episode.