what is an internet businessI love the information business…selling ebooks, CDs, DVDs, home study courses, conferences, coaching and more.

Writing, doing interviews, producing videos, and coaching all fit what I love to do…and the beauty is this is a business ANYONE can start low cost online.

It’s easy to create your first information product.  Simply write a report (30 pages is more than sufficient for a low cost test product), do an interview with an expert in the market already, or put together a Camtasia video on the subject. Your first product is done.

Get a few affiliates promoting it (perhaps use Clickbank to make this setup easier)…and you now have done what most people dream about. You worked once (creating the product) and get paid on it forever.

What you may find though is the product isn’t as easy to sell as many of those gurus told you.  Creating the product is done once unless it’s a membership type site. But marketing it is a constant activity.

You can go after free traffic with a blog, but that requires someone to create content (either you or a ghostwriter).

You can have affiliates promote for you, but that requires someone to create all the materials affiliates will use to promote…and someone to find top affiliates.

You can use paid advertising such as PPC, but this requires you to create good keyword lists, write many test ads, and keep a constant eye on your costs per sale.

Don’t be deceived. The information business is an incredible business, but creating your product is only the beginning.

Most of the work is creating the systems necessary to have the product selling for you every single day.

And a major issue I see with many of my coaching clients when they first come to me is they don’t have an overall business plan. Unlike many people trying to start online, the majority of recent clients had already developed at least one product of their own.

They already understood the basics of how to develop your first product and get it online. What few of them have understood is how to create a BUSINESS of selling information products.

Creating one info product and working your butt off to sell it is not a business. That’s a product. I’m also not talking about just setting up with Google Adwords and managing an account. That’s just one advertising source. It’s not a long-term business.

What is a business?

A business is a profitable system that works without you.

That’s the end goal, but make no mistake. It takes quite a bit of work to get you to that goal.

And no, I’m not going to simply tell you to “Take Action.” You’ve heard that tired catch phrase long enough. Taking action ALONE will NOT make you a success online.

For example, buying every launch product and then doing step one in each is action. Many people do exactly that. They buy each new product. They take one action form it. Then they go to the next item in frustration.

They’re just doing what everyone told them…taking action.

The truth is it takes more than action. It takes organized, systematic, consistent action.. A lot of this misconception comes from people seeing this too much as a business opportunity instead of a real business.

No one starts a restaurant and says, “It doesn’t matter how you cook the burgers…just take action.” Might work for a few days, but that restaurant is going out of business.

One advantage brick and mortar business have is a business plan. They’ve outlined on paper EXACTLY what they sell, who they sell it to, and how they’re going to sell it. Now I’m not commenting on just how good their plans are, but they’ve at least got one. Most beginning internet marketers HAVE never done this, because they don’t need to apply for financing.

How well would your current plan work if you tried to find an investor?

Do you even have a plan?

It’s often been said that to get the right answers requires asking yourself the right questions. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself to help you turn your online job into a business:

Are you currently running a business that works without you?

What would you do if the doctor ordered you to only work 3 hours a day?

What if God forbid you were sick and couldn’t work for the next 30 days?

What do you need to put in place to build a business that works without you within the next 30 days?

Which elements of your business do you least enjoy that we can outsource first?

Put together a list of EVERY activity required to run your business. Don’t slouch on this. Write it all down. It may include such activities as writing blog posts, creating articles, finding incoming links, taking care of customer support, etc.

If you’re in an information business like I am, it will also likely include market research, surveying your audience, writing sales copy, creating new emails, developing products, writing reports, etc.

This assignment will take you a few hours.  Once you’re finished making a list of all your business activities, now grade each and every activity by how well you DO IT and ENJOY IT.

A – You’re gifted here and love it.

B – You’re good at this and enjoy it.

C – You’re good at this but don’t really enjoy it.

D – You’re poor at this but don’t hate it.

F – You’re not very good at it and it feels like carrying a bowling ball up a mountain.

Simply pick each of the activities and grade yourself on it. The above are just suggested grades I’ve used.

Feel free to use this system or develop your own. Once you’ve graded every element in your business, it’s time to do your first outsourcing. Obviously it’s the activities that you got an “F” on that you want to outsource first. Then you outsource your “D” and “C” grades.

Eventually you want to outsource your “B” tasks…and you want a system in place to take over your “A” tasks if needed. See the questions above about what if you couldn’t work. So while you may enjoy doing your “A” tasks you should eventually have a plan B to get those done if for any reason you can’t do them.

And no…personally…I’m not fully there yet for the back-up plan although it’s in my mind right now which is why I’m sharing this with you today. 

The first goal for anyone is to start outsourcing the activities that you don’t enjoy and you’re not good at! 

They’re holding you back from the success you deserve…

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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.