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You are Here: Free Internet Marketing Newsletter > Back Issues > May 2008 Issue

In This Issue
Issue Date May 1, 2008

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- Watch out! I'm stepping on toes...

- How to squeeze every last dime out of your business... without any additional work

- The truth about outsourcing – STOP throwing money down the drain!

 

- How blindly copying a business model is detrimental to your business.

 


A Note From Mila - Watch Out! I'm Stepping on Toes...

 

Hi,

I'm excited to welcome you to our first BIG monthly issue. Each month subscribers will be notified as soon as the newsletter goes live... and once you get a taste for our new format you won't want to miss a single issue!

May is a big a month for many of us because it's Mother's Day!  Of course, a mother's job is constant but it's nice to have that one special day just for us. I hope you enjoy yours and get to spend some quality time with your children.

I decided last month I'd really had enough of the hype in the marketing world. I rarely go to marketing forums for that very reason.  And amidst all the hype and promises there's one missing link that no one seems to talk about...

Value

Internet business, like any other successful business should simply be about providing value. If you don't provide value in everything you do, you may do well for a little bit but eventually you'll just be another "has been."

There was one specific moment about a month ago that really made this point hit home for me...

** Look out for a brief email from me next week which details why I came to this decision and how you can avoid my mistakes -- I'll also introduce you to my biggest mentor... so check your inbox next week**

For now, I'll simply say that I've come full circle in the last four years and over the coming  months, I'm going to reveal more about myself, this industry and how you can rise above all the hype to do your own thing AND build a quality asset in the process.

I also know the information I'm going to share now and in the future will definitely step on a few toes... but I don't really care because if If something doesn't sit right with me, I need to speak up.  I've seen just too many people trying to make a quick buck in this business at the expense of others -- I want to put an end to all that...

I hope you enjoy this issue and all upcoming ones.  I truly value you as a subscriber and look forward to helping you succeed in business.

Now dig in!...


How to squeeze every last dime out of your business... without any additional work

Last month I stepped back and looked at my business. I had so many different things going on and yet I wasn't fully maximizing the potential of any one area.

So I decided to start squeezing!

Here's the thing... you can do this too. It's simply a matter of looking at your current business (really looking) and trying to figure out every single way you can make it work harder for you (without you actually having to do extra work)...

In my case, I started with a few simple solutions. I looked at the money I had coming in and the money going out and decided to keep more in.

I did this by evaluating my outsourcing budget (more on this in the next section). I realized that a lot of the money I was spending wasn't making me a substantial return.  I immediately set about changing this.  I now have an extra 700 dollars a month and I don't have to work any harder. I simply cut out what wasn't working.

I revamped my newsletter process. No more paying someone to upload the HTML newsletter and format it all weekly. Now everyone wins - you get one "on site" monthly big issue that's not diluted at all and I save money.

I've also gotten rid of several confusing advertising options and am working on streamlining that process further... soon I'll see another significant income boost there.

Another easy strategy that I knew about ages ago, but simply hadn't applied is changing my AdSense layout. I still have tons of pages to go through, but so far just a few simple tweaks have increased my monthly income by 22%... and on a site like Internet Based Moms, that's quite significant.

So what about you?  How much money are YOU leaving on the table every month?

If you find that you're getting caught up starting new business after new business but not fully maximizing your current assets, I have news for you...

STOP!

Right now. Go through your site and look at how you can squeeze just a little more juice out of it. Maybe you can look at where you're spending your money -- are you getting enough of a return?  What about the products you sell?  If they're not converting, promote something else.

If you have AdSense ads, look at our business idea section and see what I've done there... I pretty much guarantee you'll see an increase if you format your ads a similar way.

The point is we always seem to be looking for the next big thing, when the right thing is often under our nose. It's thrilling and fun to build a new business but it's even more rewarding to take an existing business and maximize it beyond recognition.


The truth about outsourcing – STOP throwing money down the drain!

First of all, let me make one thing clear, I'm not against outsourcing at all.  I am against blindly throwing money away.  In many cases, especially since the outsourcing boom, it seems some marketers outsource work simply to join the "I outsource too" club.

That's just NOT a smart strategy.  Blindly jumping on the bandwagon is stupidity at its best.  Hey, I say that because I've made the same mistake myself.

It feels "cool" to say I have an assistant or I outsource and only work 4 hours a week.  But you know what... unless you know what you're doing, you can standby and feel "cool" as your money spirals down the drain.

The real truth is that in any business it's fundamental to get to know your market intimately.  If you're just starting out and already outsourcing you won't really have a good grasp of what your market responds to, what ticks them off or what they really want.

Another obvious truth is that you can't spend money you're not making back.  Every time you spend a single dime on a project, you should get a return before you spend anymore... otherwise you really are just blindly throwing money into the pot.

And finally, if you don't have business experience or know your market it's very difficult to know what you should outsource and what you shouldn't.

Look I've done the same thing myself.  I have gotten to a point were "The Four Hour Work Week" is a reality for me, but you know what...

My four hour work week meant I wasn't on top of things. My finger wasn't on the pulse of my business and I was losing money and customers.... a sure way to slowly commit business suicide.

I should know better but instead I went against my better judgement.  Because hey "it's cool to only work 4 hours a week!"  ha! not so cool when your business falls apart though right?

So ask yourself this, are you in business for the long term?  Do you want a true asset that you can be proud of and where you know intimately what each of your customers wants?

A real business takes time and commitment.  Don't fall for the outsourcing hype.  Do yourself a favor and save your money for the things that really will significantly impact your business...

This means applying the 80/20 rule.  80 percent of what you currently do is probably absolutely useless.  I bet 80% of your activities are not making you money.

So instead of outsourcing tasks that aren't money producers, cut them out altogether or find a way to stream line your process (see previous article for more).  Sometimes, it's just a case of thinking outside the box to make things work. 

Then take your 20% of activities that truly make you money and see if you can get occasional help with some of it.  But... and against what many outsourcing evangelist will say!... DON'T do this unless you are already experienced in your business and have complete control of your process. 

Don't believe me?  Ask yourself this, are you outsourcing but not making any money? Do you know what makes your customers tick?  What are they getting from you and your business?  What value are you providing?

The bottom line is, I still outsource some things.  But I also have a strong grip on my business and know exactly when to spend money and when it's just not worth it. 

Oh and by the way, you may be thinking I'm a control freak... but you would be foolish to think a smart entrepreneur is not in full control of their business.  In fact, lose that control and you're on your way out.

 


How Blindly Copying Others is Detrimental to YOUR Business

We've all done it at some point... if you say you haven't then I say think harder.

And you know what? It's okay to look at what your competitors are doing.  In fact, it would be foolish not to. 

But, what is foolish is to copy what others are doing without proof that they're actually doing well!

I've seen it time and time again.  In fact, it seems these days I make a change or two to some of my sites and within a week or so I've spotted several copycats making the same changes.

The funny thing is that my changes don't always work. In fact, 90% or so of the time, they flunk... that's the nature of the beast, and not an uncommon statistic.  But I do constantly change, test, and tweak... in that process one or two changes will actually stick.

That's what testing is all about.  And I'm always behind the scenes tracking my changes and if something doesn't work within a set time, I trash it and start over.

I love business... that's often the fun part, discovering what works and what doesn't.

Always keep the following in mind...

You can't tell if someone is doing well or not by simply observing their business.

Unless you have proof that something is working, don't do it!

Here's my suggestion... Stop relying on what others are doing or copying their business model. Most people spend a large percentage of their time observing and NOT doing... imagine if that time was spent doing!

Instead, think about how you can provide value to your customers. Then start doing your own testing.

Testing is not the "F" word by the way.  It's actually quite simple. 

Try something new, note the response.

Good response -- rinse and repeat.

Bad response -- trash it and start over.

It's that easy.

Remember even though a website looks similar to yours, it could be attracting a completely different target market or have a plan that you just can't understand by looking at the surface.

Do yourself a favor and forget what everyone else is doing.  You're smart right?  Stand on your own two feet, trust your instincts and forget what everyone else is doing...  and you'll do just fine.


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