View Full Version : Defining this business

04-06-2004, 12:38 AM
I just reread one of my favorite business books, The E-Myth Revisited. Maybe some of you know it. (I actually have a lot of gripes about this book, but the overall message it voices is priceless)

So, after reading it, I come away with the thought, "How can I not structure my business systematically so that at some point I will not have to be there to have it run successfully? Moreover, how can I encourage growth without me having to be there?"

After thinking about these two questions for some time, I came to the conclusion that I simply don't know enough about this business to answer that. After all, I've only been producing web sites for money since November of 2003. Sure, I've had some success and I've made a few thousand dollars, but only a small percentage of that income was passive. The rest came from simply selling my sites, which is a bad idea, imo, unless you are in need of some quick cash.

The main problem however, is that with every site that I've created, I've approached it as a "get rich quick site". I figured "hey, I'll just throw this and this together quickly, put it up, and bam! I'll have some easy cash rolling in." While this technique works for some people, I'm not happy with it. It doesn't encourage healthy growth for my business, nor does it encourage healthy growth for me as a person. It's a waste of precious time, because each and every day, more and more people are getting involved in eCommerce in on fashion or another, and competition just keeps getting tougher.

I guess my solution is to find a new approach to this business. The problem is that while reading and research on this subject will help quite a bit, there is no replacement for first hand experience. I say this because for every viewpoint I've read on the web, there is a viewpoint in almost exact opposition around the corner. Thankfully, we have a few clearly successful people like Chris to help guide us. However, as those of us who are new know, most people who are successful in this business tend to keep their mouth shut. And I hardly blame them with the amount of work that it takes to get where they are.

So exactly what is my new method of approach for this business? I've broken it down into two phases. I'll start with the second one, since that's where I ultimately plan to be. The second phase consists of selling a product or service on a massive scale preferably to businesses rather than consumers. I have a ton of ideas on what to sell, yet they all require two things of which I have neither. 1) Large amounts of money and 2) Experience in SEO, eCommerce, Customer service, etc. So in order to get to phase two, I need to complete phase one. This phase is all about getting back to the basic idea of the idea, and that's the sharing of information. My plan is to launch a large amount of thorough, well-written and ad-free content sites. I can only write so much, so I'll outsource regularly, but the main objective is to have as much published content on the web as humanly possible. Once traffic is large enough, I'll include advertisements, of course. And hopefully, with enough sites, I'll have enough capital and experience to dive into phase two. I know that a lot of people make a lot of money by just riding the waves of each "trend" that comes in, but for some reason I get no satisfaction from that, even when I do make money. I feel much better making money from something that actually ads meaningful substance to the Internet.

Please excuse my ramblings, but I think it's best for me to get my thoughts written out. Plus, I'd like to see what all of you have to say.

04-06-2004, 05:40 AM
I think you're right about building sites for the future instead of trying to make quick cash. I'm guilty of doing that, but I needed the cash at the time. I'm starting to think about the future now.

Though, having said that, having a few related sites set up and networked as a base is a good thing, because they support eachother. It also provides some stability to work on more adventurous projects that may take more time to build up.

04-06-2004, 05:43 AM
Forget stage two. If you don't, thinking that is where you want to be will suck all the joy out of stage one.

As I see it, the beauty of building content rich sites on subjects you enjoy is there is no financial downside. You may have given away your time, but were providing helpful information to people who need it. I get really touching mail from readers of my www.mobilehomedoctor.com site. Can you imagine being so short of money you have to wait for your next paycheck to afford the 10' piece of pipe you need to restore water to your kitchen? The single mother of six wrote to thank me for providing directions her 15 year old son could follow so they didn't have to hire someone to do the repair. Now that the site has been running for several years, has lots of back links and PR, I am in the process of rebuilding it to see if it will generate some income.

Big bucks tend to come with big stress and big worries. I do some work for a guy who has borrowed over 2 million USD from private investors to finance used car loans to credit challanged buyers. He has made it work for more than 10 years, but imagine the stress of making monthly payments to the investors with money collected from several hundred buyers. On paper the spread in interest rates is great, but 40% of the loans default at some point. If some event causes collections to slow for a couple of months do you put your personal net worth on the line to feed the business and hope things change, or do you kill the business, fire the employees etc.

It costs me less than $5/mo. to keep mobilehomedoctor running. It has the potential to make some money. I prefer stage one.

Paul AKA MobileHomeDoctor