Building Support Systems to Ensure Your Long-Term Online Business Success
Last time, we discussed CONVERSION which is one of the four key areas within Online Business Mastery framework. If you’ve been following this video or blog series, you may recall that Online Business Mastery framework consists of four key areas. Offer, Traffic, Conversion and Support Systems. Online Business Mastery framework covers everything you need to know to get started, grow and scale your online businesses. If you have not watched the introductory video, I strongly suggest you do so before this one to build some context.
In this video, I want to discuss SUPPORT SYSETMS. Support Systems are about optimizing all aspects of your business, so you can finally have your cake and eat it too. No, I am not kidding. As far as I am concerned, Support Systems are there to help you move from working IN your business to working ON your business. The goal is to build a set of systems that allow your business to function at-scale with as little of your active involvement as possible. Having support systems would also make it easier for you to exit your online business by selling it to someone at a later time.
Now, having a stable business is a precondition for building support systems. Now, you may ask, OK so how do I know if I have reached “STABILITY”? Well, to keep it simple, you can move to building support systems as soon as you believe you have reached product/market fit. Remember, as an online business owner, your job is to cycle through three key stages in each of your businesses, and those are stability, optimization and expansion. You can’t optimize in the middle of chaos, likewise expansion doesn’t make much sense if you’ve not taken time to optimize your business.
Your support system consists of Processes and People you need to effectively run your business. Processes include your goals for your business and how you break those goals down into tasks which can be assigned to People including yourself, for execution. Let me break this down for you. As a business owner, when your business is stable and optimized, you should be spending no less than 80% of your time on building and promoting your products, your brand image and self-education. Why? Today, we live in a world of infinite supply where product-based differentiation alone isn’t enough, i.e. you need to champion your brand with an authentic purpose. You need to join the conversations on respective traffic channels where your customers hang out. You must show up to manage the narrative, one that puts your purpose front and center with your customers or market. Your brand needs to be unique, relevant and authentic – i.e. you need to own who you are. Now, learning or self-learning is about continuously finding new ways to build compelling offers, increase traffic, optimize conversion and building support systems. Learning includes attending a mastermind group or a conference, working with a mentor or reading books – you have to find what works for you. Once you’ve build support systems, no more than 20% of your time should be spent on business operations, i.e. never-ending pursuit of growth, scale and financial well-being of your business.
You need processes for product/market research and development, launch and promotion, product lifecycle management, customer service & support including escalation procedure. Let me unpack each of these for you. Product and market research is the most crucial step where quiet literally you can make or break your business. It is your job to effectively use raw data, insights, and tools available for one singular purpose – figuring out your odds of success and failure in your target market before you commit your time or your money into it. Product development, physical or digital, requires significant amount of heavy lifting. Launch and promotion are crucial steps which deserve your time in addition to leveraging your support systems. Product lifecycle management includes tasks such as managing product reviews and reputation, doing necessary improvements based on critical feedback, handling customer service and support and escalation. Well-documented processes, in the form of documents and checklists what have you, for areas I just mentioned, would go a long way in building the support systems that would allow you to be financially free and enjoy the fruit of your success. Now, there is no such thing as fail-safe support systems, so there will be times when things will fall on the floor, as they say sometimes you win, sometimes you learn!
Second component of your support systems are People including yourself. As your business expands, you will not only have contractors or offshore freelancers but also full-time employees for managing those contractors for you.
Let me summarize. No amount of support systems will ensure your market success without a genuine sense of Purpose behind everything you do in your business. Today, we live in a world, where conversation (not the Click) with your customer matter, and where sense of purpose and authenticity to your community are your Brand. You need to own the demand in this new world of infinite supply, so define your business by who you serve. Remember, customer is your hero and you’re the Guide so understand and obsess their personas by focusing on the “Buying” as opposed to “Selling”. You need to help your customer achieve their goals, in fact, that should be your guiding principle for conversion optimization. Internet marketing is not just about coming up with catchy and cool phrases. What am I talking about? It is about effectively articulating the Transformation, i.e. what will your customer have after buying and using your products.
Last but not least, I invite you to come and join me on Private Label Mastery Blog (link is in the description) where I teach these principles and practices including topics related to Amazon FBA, Kindle publishing and building your own brand, so you can realize your financial dream and begin to live the Life on your own terms.
Please drop questions in the comment section below. I’d like to hear your stories.