Are You Working ON Your Business Rather Than IN It?

Before I continue my series on Making Money While You Sleep I need to clarify some items based on the feedback I have received so far on the series.

You need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. “Are You Working ON Your business Rather Than IN it?”; and
  2. “Are you a business owner or a business operator?”

We will address the second question first, “Are you a business owner or a business operator?”.

Business Owners

Owning a business requires a different way of thinking than you have when you work for someone else. The employee mindset just wont work for a business owner.

As a business owner you must focus on working ON your business and not on being busy IN your business. There are certain activities you must do to be working ON your business rather than in it. We will cover these shortly.

In short, the business owner focuses on strategic activities rather than tactical ones. i.e. they don’t typically build their own websites, they outsource that work, unless they enjoy doing that sort of thing as a hobby. Instead they come up with the concept of building the website to service a specific need in the business that they have identified.

Business Operators

It amazes me to find that a lot of people I talk to online are doing a lot of busy work IN their business rather than focussing on working ON their business. It is only the latter that will grow your business.

In an online business this busy work includes things like setting up their websites, trying out the latest WordPress plugin or widget, doing course after course and never implementing any of the lessons they learnt from those courses.

These Business Operators typically are always looking for that “edge”, the next big thing that will give them the step-up they think they need. This is sometimes referred to as Shiny Object Syndrome, I don’t like that term, to me its just busy work and busy work is just bad for business.

Now back to the first question, “Are You Working ON Your business Rather Than IN it?”.

What Activities Should You Be Focussing On As A Business Owner

So what should you be focusing on in order to grow a prosperous and sustainable business? Well there are three important areas where you should focus all your time and effort.

  1. Business Producing Activities (BPA’s);
  2. Income Producing Activities (IPA’s); and
  3. Value Producing Activities (VPA’s).

1. Business Producing Activities (BPA’s)

That is those activities designed to produce a foundation upon which your business can be built.

Your business needs a solid foundation upon which you can build. The Business Producing Activities are those activities that will produce this solid foundation. It includes things like:

  • Building a Business Case outlining your Vision, Mission, Your Strengths And Weaknesses, Financials, etc
  • Defining a Strategic Plan that you can then execute on
  • Determining the right balance of Tactics that will allow you deliver that Strategy

2. Income Producing Activities (IPA’s)

That is those activities that will produce revenue for your business both one off and residual / recurring revenue.

The lifeblood of your online business is cashflow. In order to keep the cash flowing in you need to focus on the Income producing activities for your business. So what are these and how do they relate to working ON your business rather than IN it?

  • Obtain High Quality Products to Offer
  • Create High Quality Services to Offer that supplement your Product offerings

First and foremost you need to build your inventory without an inventory of products and services you don’t have a business.

Subsequent to obtaining an inventory and securing the deals associated with these comes the following activities:

  • Build Your Sales Funnels
  • Drive Traffic To Your Offers
  • Do Paid Advertising Of Your Offers
  • Build Your Lists
  • Do Follow Up With Your Lists And Create A Relationship With These People
  • Rinse and Repeat the above steps

A lot of “gurus” talk about building “A List”, well an email list by itself is no good if you have nothing to offer the people on that list. That list is also no good if you don’t have targeted and proven buyers on that list.

I suggest that rather than “A List” you instead grow multiple targeted lists that are subsets of your overall email list. i.e. they are targeted towards a specific niche that they have an interest in. They have also been segmented into prospects, leads and buyers. See my previous posts for more details on this.

3. Value Producing Activities (VPA’s)

That is free content providing value and/or transformation to your prospects, leads and customers. This could be in the form of e-Books, Blog posts, Videos, Short courses, etc. Ideally you should aim to provide transformation rather than just value but doing that is harder.

  • Broadcast E-mails To Your List Providing Valuable Content At No Cost
  • Broadcast E-mails To Your List Providing Offers That Will Be Of Benefit To Your List
  • Blog Posts Providing Valuable Content At No Cost
  • Training Videos Providing Valuable Content At No Cost
  • Webinars Providing Valuable Content At No Cost
  • Live Events Providing Valuable Content At No Cost

Loss Leaders

Now you will notice these are all provided At No Cost. You LEAD WITH VALUE that is you provide valuable content of some form that is freely given that will be of benefit to your potential and existing customers. In business marketing terms it is known as a Loss Leader. You do this to engage with your target market and provide them a sample of what they will get if they sign up with you and get the full product or service you offer. Note it is a sample only, you don’t provide your entire product or service just enough to get them engage and interested to know more.

By providing this sample of your product / service offering you are building trust and people are getting to know, like and trust you as a thought leader in your chosen market.

Always Be Making An Offer

Now remember you are in business so every piece of value content you produce is also a way of advertising your product and service and as such it must also have an offer attached. I have found that people are afraid to make the offer as part of this. But those people need to remember, that if they are not making an offer they are not in business and they will not be around long enough to do the good in the world that they potentially could have done if they did make the offer. Make sense?

Now do not get me wrong here, I am not in any way suggesting you should go out and spam your list. I discussed how to make an offer in a previous post so you do so in a way that is not slimy or spammy. Always remember it is about offering value to your list and, that your list is not just a bunch of email addresses, these are real people who you should treat with respect.

Also be aware that it is not rude to make an offer, people get them every day. Lets take a typical scenario to illustrate. You walk into a restaurant and they offer you a meal for a cost. i.e. Front End Offer. They then offer you an up-sell i.e would you like a dessert to go with that. If you don’t buy desert they may offer you a down-sell instead i.e. would you like a coffee with that? They may then offer you a further up-sell if you buy the drink i.e. would you like a cookie to go with your coffee? It is a classic sales funnel.

People are sophisticated they realise you are in business and need to make a living and no one will deny you your right to make a living. It is only by making these offers that you can stay in business and keep providing people with value and hopefully transformation in their business.

Providing value and transformation content at no charge up-front is also a good way for you to “Pay It Forward” to return the favour of all those who helped you get to where you are today by helping others to achieve their goals. Always remember what Zig Ziglar said:

If you help enough people get what they want you can have anything you want.Zig Ziglar

So that concludes this blog post, now ask yourself “Are You Working ON Your Business Rather Than IN It?”.

Here’s To Your Success,

Grant Cause

P.S. Now if this blog post has been of value to you (hopefully 10x the value of the time it took you to read it) and you want to get some exceptionally valuable training that reveals how to really establish yourself online without all the hype, then please Take Action here and apply to work with me. I look forward to working with you.

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Grant Cause

A 30+ year IT professional, Grant assists businesses, both online and offline, with their online marketing. Helping them to establish their online presence, automate their business, drive more traffic, generate more leads and convert leads into sales.