Online Business Information
So the desire for starting an online business is calling you. You have some great ideas; have a lot of enthusiasm you’re ready to start. You’re going to make a large amount of money and be your own boss. Acquiring online business information will help you to make some decisions before you begin.
Well, wait a minute regardless of the claims of how easy it is to get rich off the Internet. You will find starting an online business is no different than starting a business in the non-virtual world. Maybe you need to consider some things first to make this profitable and mistake free.
When contemplating starting an online business you need to take an honest look at yourself. What are your skills? What kind of interests do you have? Many people stared their online business in the fields that they worked. A graphic artist could start a web design company or produce custom graphics. You will also want to think about the type of jobs you truly enjoy.
Do your homework to start your online business. Do not make the mistake of putting all your efforts, money and time into a service you want and try and find a market for it. You can not make people like your service or product. Instead, find out what the consumer would like and then design a service or product to fit that need. Also just like a real-world business, there is a certain amount of risk. By doing your homework you can lessen that risk by finding something people will buy and for how much. This allows you to adjust your costs to make sure of a profit.
You also need to study your competition. Find out what they are doing and what works or what doesn’t work. The more online business information that you have in regards to the market and your competition the better chance of success you will have.
When starting your online business you need to have a plan and follow it. What will it cost to start? Where will you get that money? If you are going to ask for a loan you will need to have a business plan to present to the loaning institution. It is a good idea to have a business plan even if you are funding your online business yourself. This will give you some set goals to review.
To get your online business going you will need to make a time commitment and keep it. It will be difficult to keep a full-time job and work on your new online business. You probably will not be able to accomplish that unless you set a specific time to work on it. Starting an online business and making it profitable enough for you to work full time on it does take some time.
You have done the required research, taken the time and made the commitment for your online business. Now you feel that you have a great product that the world wants and price that they can afford and you make a profit. You have one more thing to consider marketing. Your customers need to be able to find your product so they can purchase it. This can be done online, offline, or a combination of them both. You will need to continually study what works and what doesn’t until you find what works for you the best. However, remember what works today, may today may not tomorrow and be able and willing to change your approach to marketing as the consumers dictate.
Need help? I’m only a phone call away.
The Social Connection – The Unfair Comparisons
Hannah noticed her teenage daughter seemed sad one day. When she asked about it, her daughter shared that she’d been on social media. So, all of her friends were taking lavish spring break vacations and having plenty of fun while she was stuck at home.
And she was allowing it to get her down.
After listening, Hannah opened the Facebook app on her phone. She pulled up her best friend’s profile and handed the device to her daughter. “Look through her first ten photos and write down what you see on a notepad.”
Her daughter rolled her eyes but did as she was asked. When she was done, her short list read like this: Victoria is pretty, thin, has a cute boyfriend, and a good job. She’s a big fan of the Steelers and she loves rock climbing.
What she didn’t find out was:
Hannah tapped the list, “Victoria was homeless for a few months as a kid. In college, she was diagnosed with a serious digestive disease. She battled an addiction to painkillers following her last surgery. She just got out of rehab last year. But you can’t see all of that just by looking at her photos. On the outside, her life looks perfect.”
So, are YOU listening? Are YOU comparing yourself to others on Social Media?
so·cial me·di·a noun: noun: social media; plural noun: social media websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Looking Beyond the Selfie
It doesn’t matter how old you are. On Facebook, it’s tempting to think that what you see is the whole story. But it’s important to remember that most social users are presenting a curated look at their life.
It’s not that people on social media sites are trying to be deceptive. It’s just that many people document their happy moments. This includes things like vacations, pregnancy news, graduation ceremonies, and weddings.
Why Social Media Can Make You Feel Bad
The downside to all of this positivity is that it can leave you feeling like you’re lacking in some ways. You might look at a picture of someone else’s family where everyone is smiling and think that your friend has a wonderful life.
But what she won’t share are the unsupportive remarks her husband makes about her online business. She doesn’t post about her son’s struggle with a learning disability or talk about her daughter’s crippling depression.
How Social Media Affects You
Frequently comparing your life to the lives of others on Facebook can lead to anxiety and depression. You may find yourself asking questions like:
- What if I’m not as popular as her?
- What if no one likes my selfie?
- Does that mean I’m ugly?
- My life isn’t as awesome as hers!”
Ironically, spending more time on social media means you have fewer conversations in real life. This can worsen anxiety and depression, creating an unhealthy cycle that leaves you unhappy and isolated.
So, What Do YOU Do?
You don’t have to stay stuck in comparison mode. You can disconnect from social media when you notice that you’re feeling bad about yourself or your life.
The more you do this, the easier it will become to break social media’s effect on your outlook.
Maybe something you can add to your business is a mentor to help you work on this.
Can selfies be a bad thing? Find out when you download your free workbook!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Social Connection in my next blog post, Selfie Love and Over-Sharing.
Do YOU need help with your Social Media? Contact me for a 15-minute call to see how I can help you. Use my calendar link here: Discovery Call
Or, fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.
Tracking Your Personal Time
Sue was a web designer who worked from home. She found herself very distracted and didn’t feel she was as productive as she could be. At a friend’s urging, Sue began using a time tracker to track her personal time. She was amazed to see how much time she was filling with minor tasks (like checking Facebook on her phone and surfing Pinterest). Tracking personal time is really essential if you plan on having a successful business.
If you haven’t done it before, you should try tracking your time, too. The results can be surprising and like Sue, you may discover you could be far more productive…
Tracking Personal Time Takes About 2 Weeks
Think of time tracking like a budget. Your hours are your dollars. By tracking them you can see where your money (in this case your time) is really going. Then you can make adjustments to your schedule depending on what you learn.
Plan to spend at least two weeks tracking your time. If you only track your time for a day or two, you’re not going to get a complete picture of what your habits and routines really look like. This can lead you to under-estimate the time you need to do certain tasks (like finish a big project).
Do Quick Check-Ins
Tracking your personal time doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Instead, you can check-in with yourself 3-4 times a day to make a note of what you’ve been doing. A good idea is to plan to check-in after every meal. This gives you a chance to think about what you’ve done and what you plan to do in the coming hours.
Record everything no matter what. You wouldn’t splurge on a huge purchase then not budget for it, would you? This could lead to financial errors and other problems. It’s the same concept with your time. Acknowledge how you’ve spent it, even if you’re not proud of it.
Use a Physical Notebook
There are dozens of time trackers online. These can be useful when you have to track time for client projects. But it’s not so great when you’re tracking your personal time. If you go to record your time and find yourself distracted by social media or emails, you could definitely benefit from using a physical notebook instead.
Make It Fun For Yourself
So, when Sue started time tracking her personal time, she asked her friend to join her. Together they both began tracking their time. But instead of sharing their logs, they’d take selfies and send them to each other every hour. Cool huh?
It made the experience more enjoyable and kept both of them focused on being productive. You can do the same thing—send a quick selfie to a private Instagram account every hour for a visual record of how you’ve spent your time.
Look over Your Log
After you’re done with tracking your time, plan to have a review session the next day. Look over your logs and make notes about what you’d like to change now. Do you want to spend more time playing with your kids? Would you prefer to cut out Facebook and use that hour to work on eating healthier meals?
Time tracking can be a great way to see where you’re spending it well and where you can make some improvements. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming more intentional with how you spend your hours!
Can’t seem to stay on track? Discover how to stay organized and save time when you download your free workbook!
Need additional help – fill in the form below, I’d be happy to help!
Stay on Track: Scheduling & Planning
One of the best ways to stay organized and keep on track with your projects is to create a monthly plan. Your monthly plan can be filled with notes about when to do your various tasks so you can smooth out your workflow (no more rushing to write that blog post at the last minute!).
Here are a few pointers to get you started…
Make a List of Recurring Tasks
Take some time to think about what recurring tasks you have to do for your clients each week. Do you log in to their WordPress blog and delete spam comments? Do you schedule their social media content including videos and pictures?
There may also be tasks you only do once a month for clients—like backing up their website or assigning work to other team members. Add these tasks to your list, too so you won’t forget them.
Schedule Recurring Tasks
Now that you know what you have to do each week or month, make space for it on your calendar. You can use a physical or digital calendar, depending on what you prefer. Digital calendars do give you a slight advantage since you can set reminder alerts so you never forget an important task again.
As you fill up your calendar, think about how long each task will take and build in some buffer time. For example, if you think you can write a blog post in twenty minutes, give yourself sixty instead.
Now, you have extra time if you realize you need to research a fact or interview a source.
Create a Checklist
Some recurring tasks may be big and complex. Maybe you’re a virtual assistant who uploads products to her client’s website. There’s a whole list of things you have to do to make this happen. You need to upload the product to Amazon S3, add it to aMember, set up a form in aMember, create a pickup page in WordPress, add the official sales page to the website, create an autoresponder series, etc.
With all of these tasks, it’s hard to know where to start. Use a checklist to help you stay organized. The next time you’re doing this task, note down every step you have to take along the way.
Now, doing this task in the future will be easy since you just have to open your checklist and get to work.
When you schedule recurring tasks on your calendar, you’ll be more likely to remember them and impress your clients. You’ll also feel less stress since you know exactly what to do to stay on track each month.
Learn how to boost your time management skills when you download your free workbook!
Contact me below if you need help with managing your time. I would love to help you with your time management.
Evaluating How You Use Your Time
Tracking your time for clients is a good practice for service providers. But don’t stop by just tracking it for clients. You should also be evaluating and tracking time for your own personal use, too. When you do this, you’ll discover important insights about your business that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask after you’ve been tracking your time for a week or two…
Where Is My Time Really Going?
You’ve been working on launching your e-course for two months and you’re still nowhere near ready. But when you open up your time tracking app, you can quickly see that you spent 14 hours on Facebook or 9 hours tweaking the design of your website.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have any form of accountability. But a time tracker forces you to look at how you’ve been spending your time. This isn’t about shaming yourself. It’s about evaluating how you’re spending your time.
Instead, focus on being positive. You might say, “I spent ten hours on Facebook last week. What projects would I like to invest those ten hours into this week?”
Are These Tasks Giving Me a BIG Return?
You had a business coach tell you to make 10 Instagram posts each day and you’ve been following that advice faithfully. But when you stop and look at how you’ve spent this time, ask yourself, “Is this task giving me a BIG return?”
If you aren’t getting a good return on the time you’re investing, consider moving your attention to a project that will grow your business, like launching a course or hosting a webinar.
Do These Tasks Have to Be Done by Me?
Some digital business owners get bogged down in doing non-essential tasks that keep them from their important work. For example, if you’re a best-selling author then your most important work is writing that next book. But instead, you’re spending hours every week managing your Facebook group.
But what if you could outsource your community management? You could still pop in daily to stay connected to the group but you could focus all of your energy on that one thing you do well—writing your book. This is the right way you should be evaluating your time.
Is This Task Draining Me?
As you’re reviewing your time tracking, think about how you feel after you’ve completed each task. Did you feel energized and motivated after filming that Facebook Live broadcast? Did you feel frustrated and drained after working on your sales copy?
Pay special attention to tasks that take your energy. Try to find a way to avoid doing them. For example, you could hire a copywriter to handle your sales page or if your budget is tight, consider bartering with another service provider. Then you’ll both get to work in areas where you shine!
If you want to create more of what you want in your business and your life, tracking your time is important. The more you track your time, the better you’ll be able to manage it.
Find out which tools are the best for tracking your time when you download your free workbook!
Stay tuned for “The Best Tool for Time Tracking” on the next blog post.
Need help with Time Tracking? Contact me below for some FREE TIPS:
Do you Need a Mentor?
Are you feeling stuck in YOUR business? That’s ok, I think everyone feels stuck at some point. I’ve also felt stuck before in my business growth journey and I can tell you that there were one of the following things involved. Feelings are real, they affect your business because they affect YOU! Read up about what a feeling really is all about in this definition.
Not enough information
If I was inspired to do something, and I didn’t know where to get started, it was an easy way to feel stuck. The good thing is that this didn’t keep me stuck long once I learned to be resourceful – to find answers/solutions. You know that GOOGLE is MY best friend and it should be yours too!
This one is pretty easy to resolve considering there is so much information available at your fingertips, right?
The only challenge is…
Too much information…wha…wha…yes, you heard that right!
Early on in my business journey, I received some great advice from a mentor. She said; “Free information is great to solve simple problems”. “But if you want to really have a transformation – it means investing in a FULL solution/system with someone who already has solved what you want to solve”. Hummhumm…
And to take it a step further – find ONE mentor in that area to avoid the overwhelm of too much advice in the same area. It’s like asking directions from a bunch of different people. You only need one path/blueprint and begin taking action to get there. Don’t let your own personal feelings get in the way of making sound business decisions.
The only thing that will stop you here is…
Fear – yup – it’s a feeling!
Everyone has felt fear at some point, but the only difference is what do you do with it at that moment? You either can shrink to listen to the “False, Evidence, Appearing, Real” or you can face it using tools and techniques. This way the fear is transformed into something helpful or exciting. Imagining the best case scenario (as opposed to imagining the worst case scenario, which is usually what the fear brings up). Whatever you do, don’t catastrophize because this is the worst thing you can do. There’s nothing worse than beginning with the “fear” and ending with “I quit because I’ll never make it! STOP ALREADY WITH THAT!
If you feel any fear or just plain stuck in your business, I’d like to invite you to help you transform your “stuckness” with me. I offer group mentoring as well as individual mentoring to other Virtual Service Providers (VSP’s). Yup, that is my magical super-power!
Let me help…contact me below and let’s set up a chat so you can move forward with your business and get out of being stuck.