HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TIME AS AN INTERNET ENTREPRENEURAfaq Khan
In this article, I will go over the most crucial areas regarding online businesses and how you as an internet entrepreneur can organize your time for strong results. Time is the single most important commodity, regardless if you are a billionaire or feed on the street. If you do what others won’t, then tomorrow you can accomplish what others can’t. As someone said, we’re all self-made, but only the successful ones will admit.
I have a simple rule that I try to follow when it comes to deciding my daily routine, i.e. I ask myself a few questions:
- Is the task or activity urgent as well as important? E.g. tax filing that needs to be by April 15th each year.
- Can someone else do it for me? E.g. a freelancer or a team member. Obviously my time is worth more.
- Do I really want to and enjoy doing this task or activity, even if someone else can do it? E.g. I enjoy writing blog articles that I know would add direct and immediate value to others.
If answer to all of the questions is a resounding NO, then I remain focused on activities that would help add to my top line, i.e. help me advance my business such as researching or building newer products or other demand generation activities. When it comes to online business, it is nearly ALL about traffic or owning the demand.
Now, let me summarize the four types of activities that are you’re expected to tackle each day when running an online business.
- Demand generation
- Web and e-commerce administration (e.g. managing wordpress/woocommerce/shopify/Amazon sites or pages, adding new products, editing existing products etc.)
- Customer lifecycle support (pre-sales to post sales including customer service and support)
- Data entry tasks (mostly repeated tasks that are to be done on a periodic basis, daily/weekly/monthly)
Let me break each of those activities down for you.
These are activities that directly contribute to making a sale happen. As you’d have guessed, depending on your niche and range of businesses, they can vary quiet a bit. In my businesses, freelancers and I routinely perform and monitor the following activities focused on demand generation. You can also consider those opportunities as content marketing which is the ultimate deciding factor between you and the next guy and even more so if you’re selling a digital product.
- social media (information sharing, engagement, analytics)
- youtube videos (upload/edit/transcribe)
- email marketing (newsletters what not)
- blog posts (articles, images etc.)
- Internet forums (information sharing, engagement etc.)
- online chat and conversations (Drift or FB messengers)
You can see that each of the six areas above help you generate a continuous stream of income.
Web and E-Commerce Administration
For most online businesses, web and e-commerce administration will either come to managing wordpress/woocommerce combo or Shopify store. In either case, I’d suggest to take it super seriously as you update software after everything has been known to work. I can’t even remember how many times I have broken stuff that was working just because I updated woocommerce or another plugin. Each mess-up has a direct impact on your sales. These tools are the technological foundations of your passive income streams.
Beyond web admin activities, you will also need some help in adding and modifying the products. You can easily hire someone for $4/hour on Upwork to carry out these activities for you.
Customer Lifecycle Management
As they say, conversations are the new leads. You gotta take them seriously, whether that’s happening via your Contact Us form (pre-sales), your customer support form (post-sales) or via online chat. If you can be there to answer those questions, you can be rest assured that your prospects and customers will feel the much needed trust and social proof that they buy from you as opposed to your competitor. If you can provide solid customer service with acceptable product experience, you will start see repeat customers. I use Freshdesk for handling customer support and Drift for day to day customer conversations.
These are low value tasks that should almost always be outsourced. I bet doing something that can be outsourced for $4/hour with minimal risk is worth your time. In my businesses, I have both one-time as well as tasks that need to repeated with a set cadence, e.g. weekly or monthly. For repeat work, I always prefer to use Upwork whereas for one-time cut-n-dry work I use both Upwork and Fiverr. Hiring and retaining on these platforms are no short of a skill. Here is what I’d recommend as far as these platforms go.
Avoid hourly tasks without clear task description, likewise keep fixed $ milestones to less than $300.
Pros: Long-term one-time (negotiate lump-sum fixed $) or repeated work (negotiate hourly basis)
Cons: For quick tasks, takes much longer to hire someone.
Clearly define your customization requirements and avoid giving out credentials to your web properties.
Pros: Great for very well defined tasks, e.g. removing background from your product photos before uploading them into Amazon listing. Cheaper, faster.
Cons: Not reliable. Avoid using them for long-term tasks.
Last but not least, I invite you to come and join me on Private Label Mastery Blog where I teach these principles and practices including topics related to Amazon FBA, Kindle publishing and building your own private label brand, so you can realize your financial dream and begin to live the Life on your own terms.