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How To Start Your Online Business On Solid Ground

Written by George Manty  · November 14, 2007

In my last post, I discussed what I think about the “Do Not Track” list and how it might affect the web. Today, I will explain what I think you should do to ensure that ANY laws like this have a minimal impact on the money you make online.

Let’s just get straight to the point…

You Must Decide Who Your Target Customer Is And Build A Business For Them

You have to choose a target customer for your business and then provide them with what they want. That is the way to build a solid online business. If your business is customer based, instead of “idea based”, then you are much more likely to succeed long term.

The Biggest Mistake Most People Make When Starting An Online Business

Most people start their online businesses by creating a product or service to build their business around. They get a really cool idea and let their idea run their business. What happens is that they sell the product or service to anyone who will buy it. Or in the case of a website with Adsense, they don’t care who comes to the site as long as they click on the Adsense ads. Right?

The big problem with this is that it isn’t a sustainable business model. Building a business around a product or service is a mistake. What happens when some new product comes out that is cheaper or free? Or in the case of Adsense, what happens when your traffic goes somewhere else because someone else has created another informational site just like yours?

Your business goes Kaput!

You have probably heard people say that “conversation” is the new king on the web. But it’s not conversation that is king, it’s “relationships” (it always has been).

Relationships Are King On The Web

You need to have a customer focused business to succeed on the net. You need to choose your customer first. Then serve that customer (build a relationship). Give that customer what they want, whether it be software, ebooks, websites, etc… When you serve a customer base, you have a relationship-based business. That is the key to having long term success on the Internet. If affiliate marketing goes away and you are serving a particular customer base, it won’t matter. Just start building your own products to give them. Then make deals with other marketers to promote your products to their customers in exchange for promoting their products to your customers. You will still make money, it just won’t be through affiliate marketing.

PS. I learned this “secret” from quite a few good business people, but the first person I ever learned this from was Dan Lok (thanks Dan for changing the way I look at running an online business).


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Comments

6 Responses to “How To Start Your Online Business On Solid Ground”

  1. Jim on November 14th, 2007 9:24 am

    Good points… a lot of people stop at one product or service instead of diversifying which certainly helps protect your income streams.

    -Jim

  2. MarriedMelody on November 15th, 2007 2:36 am

    Thanks for this article. I might want to start my own business one day and your point will come in handy.

  3. George Manty on November 15th, 2007 7:45 am

    @Jim
    Diversifying can work well, as long as each time you diversify you are focused on the customer and your other online business continues to improve.

    @MarriedMelody
    You are welcome. I am glad you liked it.

  4. Editor on November 20th, 2007 12:36 pm

    “You must decide who your target customer is, and build a business for them”...

    Sometimes you look at a statement and Wham! You feel more energy – or resolve – as a result of reading it? That’s how this statement is. Ah, Someone understands what it is I’m trying to do…

    Building things from the arse backwards, as so many IM products lead us to do can actually make you have a weird conflicted feeling inside, (low energy) like you KNOW you’re walking backwards, you’re not walking with your “strongest” legs…

    I guess this principle of yours is the opposite of that.

    But let me tell you the one problem – or challenge – with this principle. In my current experience of trying to build in the way you describe, in a way that is proper, strong and will last for ages, I’ve found that’s its really difficult because it means building from the absolute ground up.

    Going this route means you alone hold the concept. Because its unique. It can’t be found in a membership site with a bunch of you doing the exact same thing and supporting each other. Instead you alone understand the vision, as you’ve researched this group of (potential) customers deeper than anyone else has.

    That means that ultimately no product can really help, no membership site can be relied on for support, no PLR articles can be used…

    Its a bit lonely doing this – I really feel a constant urge to go back to the Adsense site building ways.

    Great post.

    Luke

    PS: the site in my link isn’t my current business site.

  5. George Manty on November 20th, 2007 1:07 pm

    Luke,

    I know where you are coming from. I think this is the best way to build a solid business, but it’s NOT the fastest way to make money online. I struggle with this myself… should I build a business this way or should I do it the way many of my mentors do… tackle one niche at time, do not worry about who the visitors are, focus on getting visitors to take the action they want them to take and that’s it.

    Good comment, thanks for stopping by…

  6. Jeremy on July 11th, 2008 5:30 am

    I total agree with you.
    Relationship + Contents = King of the web

    No relationship means no business. It’s all about relationship.
    Because we are selling to human, not robot rite?

    Great post! I like it!





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