How to Choose Your Business

Suzanne asks . . .

“I’m going through and implementing an e-com business and working thru and implementing an e-mail mkt/affiliate mkt business side by side. Should I totally focus on one or the other first? or is it ok to work side by side?”

Great question, Suzanne.

john-barker-roundThe best advice is “focus on one business”.  You will achieve success (or failure) faster by focusing on one thing – one product, one source of traffic, one customer, etc.

But let’s dig in a little deeper.

First, affiliate marketing and ecommerce are business models.  I can source products, sell and ship them and that’s one way to make money.  Or I can promote something someone else has already sourced, setup and ships for a percentage of the sale.  And within the same business I can do both.

So the question is, “Is my business the product I sell?  Is it my monetization model?  Or is it something else?”

Hint:  It’s something else.  And that something else is the thing you do well, which gets monetized in some way.

You might be fantastic at sourcing products and negotiating prices that give a you pricing margin that gives you an advantage (Walmart).

You might be fantastic at generating quality traffic cheaply.

You might be fantastic at selling the product.

Or you might be fantastic at arranging joint ventures.

headIt is always the asset you’re developing that should be viewed as your business – not the business model, or the product, or whatever.  It’s the thing you have or the thing you do particularly well setting you apart from the field, or that you want to do particularly well, that should be the focus. 

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s once asked a group of students what business he was in.

The students laughed, saying “You make hamburgers, of course!”

He said “Wrong.  I’m in the business of income producing real estate.  We buy some of the most valuable real estate in cities throughout the world and pay for it by making hamburgers.”

So, I would set aside the question of “Which one?” and instead ask yourself “What’s going to be left to hang my hat on when nobody buys this or that any more?”  

My business is setting up automated selling systems.  

statisticsI may set them up to sell my own products.

I may set them up to help you sell your products.

I may set them up to build lists to sell products as an affiliate.

And I may teach other people how to build systems like I do.  But it all points back at one thing – automated selling systems.  And the reason I focused on getting good at that in the first place was built around the life I desire to live.

And that may be the first and the most important question to ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”

You can start with the question “So that?”  As-in “I want to build an affiliate marketing business so that . . .”  Or, I want to build an eCommerce business so that . . . “

For me that answer is and has always been, “So that my income isn’t attached to my time, so that I can pursue a certain lifestyle.

That requires some introspective work that’s ultimately worthwhile and critical to do.

All the best to you – John

PS – My job is more fun when you leave a comment.  If you found this article useful, insightful – or boring as hell, let’s hear what you think in the comments below.

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