Strive to Grow Your Online Business
(Part 1 of 2)

Growing your online business may be what you live and breathe for, but there are times when an entrepreneur reaches a plateau.  The business would be doing well, yet the owner somehow feels stuck to take it to the next level.

How are you going to help your business move up that notch?

Let's take a look at the first three considerations for now, touching on the "individuals" involved in your business - namely, you, your customers and your staff.

Are You Fully Concentrated?

You know that your business is made up of a number of components - from marketing and accounts, to managing your people along with your computer systems and everything in between.

As the business owner, you can’t expect to have expertise in every field, so almost certainly, you have learnt to delegate the areas you haven’t fully mastered - out to specific employees or other business consultants.

Whilst managing the areas you understand and actively educating yourself in other major segments of your business, you are probably being bombarded with stuff like-

•    new local and national government rules and regulations
•    upgrades to your computer software
•    updated taxation issues
•    comparing competitor’s marketing initiatives
Recognize the fact that you are not and should not be an expert in every area.  You’re constantly learning, so it’s okay to make mistakes.  Balance this by looking back to the day you had the guts to start your own online business and be proud of how determined and consistent you’ve been to get to where you are today.  Look at what you've accomplished to date.

The right attitude - to yourself, your business, your employees and your customers has helped make you come this far and it is this approach that will help you make your business move forward and generate more income.
Successful entrepreneurs, apart from being creative, seek to consistently learn new skills.  Merge the two together.  Very often, as soon as you get the hang of something that is relevant to your business, fresh ideas start popping to mind.  Go ahead and implement immediately. 

Sidenote - Obviously, do your evaluation homework and move with caution but don't delay.

Work On Your Strengths

You know what you're best at and these are the activities that you need to concentrate on, to boost your business.

By understanding your strengths, you will know your weaknesses.  Identify these weak spots and find people who are capable to cover this stuff for your business. 

Your strengths will be directly related to the way that your business generates income.  This is why you need to put all your focus on these activities, whilst delegating the non-income producing parts of your business to employees or via professional outsourcing.

You Can't Do Too Much

Motivational experts will say that you should remove the word can’t from your dictionary, but you will understand and have experience that spreading yourself too thin and trying to multitask all the time causes more harm than success. 

This is because you won’t be paying enough time and energy to the few important activities that will help grow your online business.  You won't be giving your 100% attention to the task you’re carrying out - you will be doing one thing and thinking of another.

The best way to increase the quality of your performance is to -

•    manage yourself
•    maximize your own time schedule
•    focus on chunks of uninterrupted working time,
•    give yourself time to totally engage in key activities, then
•    totally unplug yourself, before burn out

Learn to take regular breaks - where you fully disengage from the task you're working on and do something completely different, e.g. phone a friend, water the plants or go for a short walk.  The better you become at doing this, the more effective you'll be.

Think As If You're In Your Customer's Shoes

Take a step back and analyze the way you operate.  What is your approach? 

Do you look at things from your customer’s point of view?

When you adopt this mindset, you'll be able to look at your entire market, which includes your customers, your products and your services from a completely different angle.

Investigate your audience closely.  Narrow it down.  Find out exactly who they are, what they're looking for, what they want to buy and the reason why they're buying.  Maybe they haven't found what they're searching for, yet.

Recognize areas where your customer experiences challenges, that ideally, you have personally overcome.

As you understand your customer's behaviour in the marketplace, offer your products and services as a means to an end to their most burning frustration.  

The way you build relationships with your clients will determine whether they return for repeat orders or not.  Show that you honestly care and that their well-being is a priority for you.

The Right Staff Will Help Improve Your Business Output

You can't do it all alone. You can’t be everywhere, all the time.  You need to hire smart people and build a team.  Look beyond their resume and as much as you possibly can, connect with individuals who are pro-active - people who are motivated and have aspirations.  Folks that enjoy what they do for a living.

Be very careful not to employ reactive people.  They won’t reach your exacting standards and they are likely to bring a negative atmosphere in the working environment.  This will badly influence the rest of your team, leading to lower performance by all.

Mediocre people -

  • only seek to complete enough work to get paid
  • never look to push that extra mile
  • are always complaining to other employees, behind your back
  • are continually looking for another job, but won’t move until they are obliged.

It’s difficult to let other people operate an area of your business, without wishing to totally control and pull every string, but as with small children, you have to trust them with tasks that you believe they can manage and assist them where they falter.

Taking these thoughts a stage further, click here to examine Part Two in this series that goes on to clarify how your marketing, systems and finances are all great guides to how you can boost your business.

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