Here's one of those articles that you wished you had found a long time ago.
Here are 17 top actionable tips on how to grow your business within the next 12 months.
A year from now? You’ll look back and grin and the progress you’ve made.
1: Choose a PROVEN Business Model
There’s a ton of info products out there that give you plenty of theories on what may or may not work.
And there’s also another ton of programs promoting business models that are PROVEN to work…
…Creating and selling info products that people want to buy.
…Writing and publishing Kindle books that people want to buy.
…Promoting info products that… you guessed it… people want to buy.
Forget the gimmicks and loopholes and untapped this or that. You can try those out later when you’re already making excellent money in your business.
For right now, choose ONE business model that is absolutely, positively proven to WORK and then just DO it.
I know this doesn’t sound glamorous or innovative. But if your goal is to build a profitable business this year instead of going down endless dead ends, then this is the one piece of advice you must NOT ignore.
2: Write Down Your Goals
I know you’re sick and tired of being told to write down your goals. But let me ask you… ARE YOU WRITING THEM DOWN? If not, then maybe this the time when you finally do it. Not for me, but for YOU.
When writing your goals, be specific and be realistic. No, you’re no going to build a billion-dollar business by the end of the week or even the end of the year. But you can be earning $100 a day in your business within 2 to 3 months.
Once you’ve written down your goals, write them down again and again each day. Spend a few minutes feeling all the emotion that goes with achieving your goals. See yourself doing it. Besides taking consistent action on your goals, visualizing their achievement is the most important step in goal getting, yet it’s the part most people leave out.
You must see yourself and feel yourself achieving your goals in order to make them happen.
Do you know what else you need to do?
3: Break Those Goals Down into Incremental Steps
Have a goal for each day. It doesn’t have to be a big goal. The point isn’t to build your business in a week; it’s to make progress every single day.
If your goal for the week is to, “Get my business up and running,” you’re not going to do it.
But if your goal for the day is to, “Research profitable niches, choose one and buy a URL,” you can do that.
Are you still stalling? Okay, break the goal down even further, and just research profitable niches today. Tomorrow you choose one niche and commit to it, along with writing down 20 possible URL’s that are available. Day 3 you make your URL choice, buy it and set up hosting.
See how this works? Thinking about the ENTIRE HUMONGOUS GOAL all at once is overwhelming. But taking baby steps? You can do this!
4: Focus on Your Strengths
There are going to be some things that you’re really good at – yeah!! And there are naturally some things that you aren’t good at. It’s just the way it is.
But what you do about it can make all the difference.
If you choose a business model that works well with your strengths, then you’re well ahead of the game.
And if you also outsource those things that you’re not good at, then you’re going to make progress much faster.
I see aspiring marketers who get hung up on some stupid detail like setting up a website. They could outsource the work and have it done in a day. But instead they spend a month stressing over it, like it’s this giant cross they have to bear. It’s crazy.
If you don’t know how to do something, get someone who is a pro at it so you can cross it off your list and move forward.
5: Execute as You Learn
While building your business, you’re probably doing some things for the first time.
You could learn all about them, become an expert, consult others, do some research, outsource, second guess your outsourcer, do more research…
Yes, I see people getting this bogged down in learning new things. Except of course their real obstacle isn’t learning something new, it’s being afraid they’ll make a mistake or won’t do the job perfectly.
Forget all that. I want you to imagine that your loved one has been kidnapped. You have “X” amount of time get your business up and running or they are dead.
Now then, are you going to sweat the details, or are you simply going to DO what needs to be done?
Do NOT try to learn the entire business and then get started. Instead, execute as you learn.
You don’t need to see the entire road to drive the first mile – you only need to see as far as the next bend in the road. When you get to that bend, you’ll adjust your steering and keep going.
6: Keep Records
This sounds boring, right? Having to write down everything you do in your business, how long it takes, what works, what doesn’t…
What if I told you that this simple exercise can double your income in a year?
If you rely on your memory, you won’t know what’s working, what’s not working, what you already tried that failed and so forth.
What gets measured, gets managed.
And what you pay attention to, grows.
Record everything you do and the results that you get. This simple step will save yourself time and frustration as well as money.
And it will help you to zero in on what’s working, what needs improvement and what’s a total waste of time, too.
7: Reinvest in Your Business
Things are going great and the money is flowing in. Time to go buy a new car or house, right?
Wrong. Save your money. Invest 50% of it back into your business on things that are making you money. Do not splurge on anything until you’ve got at least a one-year track record of solid income and six months of living expenses in your bank account.
Track your business expenses and keep them low. Don’t invest in fancy software solutions until you actually NEED them. Don’t outsource 12 months of work when you can outsource one month at a time, and so forth.
This can feel like a fine line to walk. You want to visualize yourself making more and more money in your business as you become more successful while simultaneously getting ready for everything to go potentially sideways.
By visualizing success, you can speed up the process and make it happen faster. By realizing that things can change overnight, you save your money and make smart financial decisions.
Once you have your first income stream running smoothly and profitably, it might be time to look for a second income stream. This could be creating a second product, building a second sales funnel, adding affiliate marketing to the mix or whatever.
As you build each income stream, add another, and in a year or two or three you can have several income streams.
I know it might seem like a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket and watch that basket like a hawk, but things can happen overnight on the internet that make one or more of your income streams disappear.
What if Amazon kicks you off their platform? Or Paypal closes your account? Or Google comes out with an update that takes your site from page 1 of the search engine results to page 42?
It happens. But if you have several income streams in place, you could lose half of them and still be fine.
9: Build Your Email Lists
Your email list is your most important resource. If Facebook stops working for you, or Google, or whatever, it won’t matter all that much if you have your own mailing list(s).
While you cannot control third party sites, you can always access your own list. And if you’ve treated your list well and developed plenty of rapport with your subscribers, you can always use your list for ongoing income, no matter what else happens.
10: Add Residual Income Streams
What if you’re in an accident and you literally cannot function for a few months? If you have residual income coming in, then you don’t have to worry about it.
Promote other people’s software as a service and membership sites. Look for the offers that people stay with for months and even years and promote the heck out of those.
Making these sales is some of the best insurance you can have for whatever transpires in the future.
11: Realize Everything Takes Time
In fact, everything generally takes longer than you think.
Don’t quit your job because you think your business will be profitable in 30 days. It might be, but then again it might take 6 months.
Plus, if you put yourself in a position of having to rush, then you’re more likely to do something stupid, like produce a lousy product no one wants to buy.
12: Make Contacts and Treat Them Like Gold
Whatever niche you’re in, there are movers and shakers you need to know.
Approach them with the attitude that you are there to help them and not the other way around. Make friends. Don’t ask for favors up front.
Interview them, reply to their social media, mention them in your blogposts, be their brand ambassadors and so forth.
One day you will need them, and if you’ve been a friend to them, they will be there for you.
13: Drive Your Own Traffic
If you could learn and use only ONE skill online in your quest to build a business, it would have to be driving traffic.
Everything else can be done by someone else. After all, if you can drive traffic, you can promote other people’s products and never worry about product creation or customer service.
The real power online is in being able to send traffic any place you choose, when you choose. You don’t have to rely on affiliates or anyone else. Build a funnel, flip the traffic switch and make money on demand. It’s the ultimate dream, but it’s only possible if you learn to drive your own traffic.
Start with ONE traffic method and MASTER it. Then and only then should you move to a second method and so forth.
If you have time, master free traffic methods. If you have money, master paid traffic methods. Free traffic takes more work and it’s generally slower and less reliable, but it is workable.
Paid traffic has a learning curve and while you’re learning you will likely lose money. But once you master it, you can decide how much you earn and how fast you earn it.
14: Play the Numbers
Online marketing is a numbers game. The more products you have, the more money you can make. The more books you sell, the more likely you will make sales. The more social media posts you make and the more posts on your blog, the more traffic you will tend to get, and so forth.
Some of your posts, books and products will bomb. Others will (hopefully) sell crazy amounts. Despite your best research and efforts, you will sometimes be surprised at the results or lack thereof.
But if you’re putting out the numbers then it won’t matter, because in the end you will have enough great posts, products, books and so forth to carry you through.
15: Exercise and Eat Right
This one might surprise you. We’re talking about how to be successful online, so what’s this doing in here?
Simple. If you’re tired, you’re not going to do well. If you never exercise, if you eat crap and if you don’t get enough sleep, then your body will suffer, your mind will suffer and your business will suffer.
If you think you don’t have time to exercise and eat right, let me tell you that you don’t have time NOT to do those things.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I’m just reminding you that this stuff is important. In fact, it’s crucial if you want to be successful. Learn to love eating right and exercising and everything else in your life will become easier.
16: Buy Less and Sell More
This one is so simple, but a lot of people just don’t get it.
If you’re always buying one more program and one more piece of software, then you’re focusing your energy on BUYING and on education.
To a point, that’s not a bad thing.
But until you start SELLING stuff, you do not have a business.
You’ve got to spend 95% of your time focused on selling if you want to have a real business.
Buying WSO’s and reading blogposts and reports is not going to build a business. But selling stuff is.
17: Don’t Believe It
I’m not going to tell you to become jaded, but being somewhat cynical is not a bad thing.
You get an email saying that this product is the freakin’ bomb and you better buy it NOW. You trust the person telling you this, too.
But is it really awesome? And maybe more importantly, do you need it?
You read about a new shortcut, technique, hack or whatever. They say it works. But does it?
Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but the point here is simply this: Don’t believe everything you read and everything you hear.
There’s a lot of hype online, and just because you want it to be true doesn’t make it true.
17.5 Know How to Fail
Obviously, you’re going to do everything you can to succeed. But sometimes, despite your very best intentions and efforts, you’re going to fail.
And that’s not only okay, it’s awesome.
Write up a blogpost about what happened and what you learned from it. Post it online and then get back to work.
Writing about it will help you to learn whatever lessons there are to be learned, and it will help you to move on.
Posting it online to share with your audience will help them to see that failure is not to be feared, and that you are a real, genuine person who screws up, just like them. They’ll love you for it.
Congrats, you made it through this article!
Most people would have stopped reading before the end because they don’t have what it takes to succeed online.
But you do. You know that building a business has nothing to do with fairy dust and magic, and everything to do with getting in there and performing the work.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that you can be successful, and I’m not talking sometime in the distant future…
I mean THIS YEAR.
In 12-months’ time you can totally have a profitable business that allows you to quit whatever mind-numbing, soul-sucking job you might have and start living YOUR life on your terms.
Congrats my friend, you are truly on your way.