plan your internet lifestyleWe’re coming to the end of the year.   It’s time to plan what you’re going to do next year.

How well did 2011 work out for you?

Did you accomplish your goals?

If you did, WHY did you accomplish them?

If you didn’t, why not?  What roadblocks stood in your way?

I always like to spend several days near the end of the year analyzing exactly what has been working best for me…and what hasn’t.  And because I work directly with clients in many different industries, I get to see in depth exactly what is working in their businesses as well.

The clients who have done best this year: multiplying their businesses, cutting their hours, and reaching their goals were the ones who FOCUSED best on a core set of principles.

That’s the biggest roadblock today – FOCUS.

Everyday there is a bright new shiny object that can steal your attention away from your core business.

What’s your core business?

Back when I first started online, I remember from Jay Abraham there are 3 ways to grow a business:

  1. Increase your number of customers.
  2. Increase your average transaction value.
  3. Increase the numbers of transactions per year.

Those are the 3 areas you should be concentrating on.

If you haven’t already done so, sit down right now and describe your perfect target customer.  What are they currently buying online?  Who are they buying from?  Analyze their sales process.  Why are they buying from them?

How can you better serve these customers and how do you cost effectively reach them?

When I look at my best performing clients this year, every single one is aggressively pursuing one or two main traffic sources.

For example one client concentrates heavily on PPC with a secondary emphasis on seo.  Another one is PPC with a secondary emphasis on offline journals.   Another is a joint venture specialist who goes after large mailing lists with an incredible offer (giving more than 100% on the frontend) with social media being a much lower contributor for him.

Another does direct media buys and a secondary emphasis of buying ads directly on sites.

But no matter what they’re doing, they’re focused.   We always hear about how we need to have multiple sources of traffic for safety.

And it sounds good.  It really does.

But the reality of internet business is it takes so much focused attention that you must go after what you do with all your energy…and there is only enough left over for one or two secondary methods.

Please note I’m not talking about traffic sources.  I’m talking about where their buyers come from.  That’s what matters on the bottom line.

Don’t guess about what you’re going to do or what to predict next year.

We don’t have a crystal ball and we can’t see the future that well.

Instead look at what is working for you now…and what isn’t.

If you’re generating traffic and they’re not buying, then what is the problem?

If you’re generating 1,000 visitors a day but only 2 of them are buyers, where do those visitors come from?  How can you get more like them?

This is where the 80/20 rule comes into play heavily.

Eighty percent of your results are created by twenty percent of your actions.

What 20% of your action this year created 80% of your results?

Even if you had 4 failures for every 1 success…what created that success?

Focus your attention on the 20% that is working.  Make that 80% of your attention this next year…at least for the first three months of the year.  Then you can reanalyze again.

Look back at the 3 ways to grow a business.  How can you improve on each of these 3 ways next year?

When someone is already in business, you can often get them going in the right direction just by asking a few very simple questions…

What has worked and is currently working now?

What isn’t working or has failed in the past?

What needs to be fixed?

And then keep the 80/20 rule in mind.  Where is the best investment of your time, money, and resources to accomplish your goals this year?

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Terry Dean
Terry Dean

Terry Dean has been in full-time internet business since 1996 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started online through his articles and products. He lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife and 2 dogs. Find out more about how his step-by-step courses can help you today.