Are you itching to start a new online business, but are wondering how you will feed yourself and pay your bills as you go through the process of building it up? Or, perhaps you can afford to wait financially, but you only have a brief window of time to direct your full energy and attention to this project until other commitments start creeping in. Should you even bother?
Typically, building up a sustainable online business takes time, yet there are some short cuts you can take to get the cash coming in without the long wait.
But before I go on, let me make this one point very clear: it’s going to take a lot of work, and you are going to have to put yourself out there. If you are shy or introverted, keep this is mind.
So, if you clicked on this title just looking for some quick tips and tricks to get your site to top of the search results, you can move along. This post is for serious people with good business ideas who just don’t have time to slowly build up their businesses. They need to be cashing in quickly.
Five Steps to Build Your Online Business FAST!
Step 1: Develop a bullet proof plan. What I mean by this is that you have to be very clear about: 1) what you are offering; 2) who your target audience is; 3) if your target market has already demonstrated that it is interested in your product/services; and finally, 4) the best kinds of people who can help you get the word out about your business- whether it’s in the form of promoting your business, making referrals, or introductions to key people in their personal network of connections. This is the foundation of a good business plan, and it is key to keeping you on track.
Step 2: Start making connections. Make a list of all the business networking events or conferences in your area, especially highlight those that are in your niche. If you really want to develop quality connections quickly, then off-line events are generally your best option. You should try to meet as many people as you can. There are many “ninja tips” for doing this effectively, like volunteering to help run the event or hanging out in the hallways between and even during sessions.
If off-line networking is not possible, then look for online communities of your peers. Go to websites or online communities in your niche and look for people who make interesting comments and/other contributions. See who gets linked to. Look for people who keep appearing across several communities. Make a “hit list” and reach out to as many people as you can.
Whether you network online or off, your goal is to get these people to tell you what they do. Leave your elevator pitch at the door.
If what they do sounds interesting or you feel like there could be some chemistry or the potential for a solid connection, then let this person know, and suggest a future informal meeting:
I would love to meet with you for coffee and hear more about what you’re doing. I may be able to really help you or suggest people I can connect you to.
If you are trying to connect online, you could send these people a quick email, something like:
I saw your activity on [the online community], and I was wondering if we could connect? Your [business/website] looks very interesting, and I would love to find out more about what you are doing. I may be able to help you get more business/ or connect you to others who can help you.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Step 3: Follow through. Now that you’ve made the initial connection, and they have shown some interest in moving forward, you need to act on it. Try to sit down with your new connections within the next week or two (or virtually meet them online via a Google Hangout or Skype call). When you do, listen to what they are up to and make good on your offer to suggest helpful ideas, resources, or key people you can introduce them to.
Step 4: Mention your business. Once you’ve built a sincere connection, and you are confident that you have the skills and/or resources to support them, you can begin to talk about what you do. Because you have established a real connection and by showing a sincere interest in their success, they will be much more open to working with you. You will now have someone you can tap into for support and promotions. Just make sure that the balance of the relationship leans heavier on the side of you giving- especially if you happen to connect with a busy, influential person.
Step5: Keep track of your clients and ask for both feedback and referrals. I’m putting this in here even though you may think that it’s too far down the line. The truth is you may be surprised just how much business you can drum up from the referrals of satisfied customers. So, as more clients come in, make sure you are tapping them for additional business opportunities.
So, there you have it. This process may not be the easiest way to build up your online business, but it sure is the quickest if you go in with the right attitude and you are willing to put in the work.
Now, over to you… Have you ever tried giving your new business a boost by nurturing connections and relationships?