The Value of An Idea Lies In Using It

After Internet things are changing pretty fast especially business they move at sonic speed. New horizon, new strategy, new technologies, new threats, and new opportunities arriving every hour if not every minute. If you’re running a small company or department, and you have resources not up-to-date it’s almost already “game-over”. The question is how can you keep adapting quickly enough to keep up with this rapid change? Keep an active eye on the market. The following business tips are broken down in several areas:

PROJECTS, STRATEGY, TEAM, MONEY and PARTNERSHIPS

Projects

This is what you are actually doing, the results of your activities. Most of the time, those will be websites with various degrees of complexity. Creating, managing and improving services are the core of your online business.

A Brilliant Idea Is Worth Nothing

I can have 100 brilliant ideas per minute. And I’m not joking. I know a guy who can have his brilliant ideas in his sleep. Guess what: he’s not an entrepreneur. An idea without action worth nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Focus on your immediate resources to make something plausible working as fast as you can rather than waiting for something allegedly brilliant to grow by itself. It never happened and it will never happen.

You Sell Processes, Not Products

In the online business, what you are selling is not a product, nor even a service. It’s a process. You sell an entire experience, regardless of your niche. From a personal blog up to a link directory, what you are offering is not atomically identified as one single product or service but as a unique process. Is this unique combination which creates the value behind the business, not the parts. Look at the whole experience, not only at the most visible pieces of the puzzle.

If They Copy You, You’re Good

One of the most accurate proofs that you’re doing a great job, is your clone trend. If your site / product get cloned, you are in for something. If you’re not cloned at all, something must be wrong. Many young entrepreneurs have this fear of not being copied. In fact, being copied is the only sure-fire sign that you’re good. Of course, you WILL have to deal with all the legal hassles of content theft or copyright infringement, that’s for sure, and I’m not advising in any way to ignore that. I’m just telling you this is a sign of success and should be treated like this.

Don’t Look For Traffic, Look For Trends

One of the most present obsessions among online entrepreneurs is related to traffic. How much traffic I could generate with this project? In my opinion, traffic is overrated. At the speed of the Internet, traffic is becoming really volatile, users are bombed with loads of information each hour, so rough numbers are not a reliable way to judge your product impact. Instead of numbers of visitors, look for trends: how fast is the site growing / slowing down? Think in percentages, not in thousands of users.

The Network Effect

If you want to launch an online business, think twice. It may be worth to launch 5 online businesses at the same time and link them in a network. Maybe your flagship idea will consume most of your focus and resources, but having 2-3 satellite websites / projects orbiting the main product will have a bigger impact. Not to mention the learning advantage: you will incorporate much more knowledge from a network, than from a single product.

If You Don’t Like It, It Usually Won’t Work

If you don’t like your idea, but you “feel” it will generate lots of money, usually it won’t work. It might generate lots of money, if it exploits some market uncovered niche, but without your enthusiasm fuel, it won’t be there for long. It will be extinct faster than a passion fuelled idea. A good project must give you the thrills, not the only the money as empty numbers.

Fall In Love With Your Project

If you experience familiar sensations, like chills and butterflies in the stomach, whenever you’re thinking at your project, that’s a sign you’re falling in love with it. No, it’s not awkward. No, you don’t have to block those feelings. Let them express and treat your project like you would treat your beloved half. I’m not joking.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Always use all the available metrics to see where you are with your project. Don’t be fooled by your imagination nor let those wishful thinking episodes get in your way. Measure your impact. Watch your money, trends, team, partners and see what’s happening. Keep your eyes opened and be ready to cut if things are not looking as you would expect. Better sooner than later.

Manage The Break Up

Sometimes, your projects won’t work. Accept it. Even more, manage them carefully. Closing a project is a skill in itself, a skill that you’ll have to master. Each closed project may (and it should) give you resources for the next one. Just leaving debris floating around in the web universe will not make you popular, on the contrary. Not to mention the hidden costs of keeping those projects around.

Manage The Break Up

Sometimes, your projects won’t work. Accept it. Even more, manage them carefully. Closing a project is a skill in itself, a skill that you’ll have to master. Each closed project may (and it should) give you resources for the next one. Just leaving debris floating around in the web universe will not make you popular, on the contrary. Not to mention the hidden costs of keeping those projects around.

Build A Community First

Your product (or process) will be useless without a backing community. It might be the next best thing since sliced bread, but if you don’t have a reasonable pack of people vouching for it by using it and promoting it every day, that product is as good as dead. Building a community first is one of the awkwardness of the online field, when you have to build a positive reaction around your product even before launching it for real.

Be Curious

Don’t assume you know everything. Allow yourself to be curious about stuff that looks interesting or intriguing. Creating good online products (or processes) is often the result of an unstoppable curiosity about “why is this like this and not the other way around?”. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but that really has nothing to do with your projects. Really.

Your Projects Are Your Teachers

You learn by trial and error. There are no foolproof books on how to build a successful online business. Even this list is the result of my personal experience and believe me, it isn’t foolproof at all. It may or it may not work for you. And you will never know until you go out and start doing stuff. Don’t search for the perfect recipe of a successful online business because you will never find it. Just do stuff and you’ll learn how to do it by yourself.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Carefully write down every step you need for your project. Create milestones. Respect them. Try to predict any potential danger and take it into account. Planning thoroughly your projects will be the best service you can make to yourself and to your team. Sometimes you’ll realize the project is simply not worth doing, when you realize how much work really is involved. Sometimes you’ll realize you need fewer resources than you initially thought.

Build Discipline

You already have high goals, all you need is some discipline. The bigger your internal discipline, the higher your chances to respond well to market changes. Being disciplined won’t make the field less hectic, you’ll still be walking on very thin ice, but you’ll be able to react faster to external change.

Are you ready to take your business to new heights?