Prune or grow your business this year

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Is it time to grow or cut your business?

It’s a new year and you’ve made promises about the way you’ll run your business. You’ve decided to get really focused. You know that when you focus on something, it means that you’re paying attention. But the way we praise multi-tasking today, we’ve learned to give things our divided attention. What does this mean for you? Probably more stress and longer hours.

That’s bad in relationships and it’s bad in business. What happens when we get too many irons in the fire? We become scattered. We’re trying to do too many different things at once and we end up not doing any of them well. 

So, there’s a fine balance. You don’t want to become so focused on a single task that you overlook other ways to make money. There’s a way that you can streamline your business so that you’re able to do what you choose and do it well.

Are you always working yet feel you’re going nowhere?

This feeling is a symptom. It’s your internal radar trying to let you know that you’re too scattered. You’re all over the place with your business and it’s not going to get any better if you don’t make some changes. 

Something that can cause you to feel like you’re always working and getting nowhere is having too many niches. You’re involved in so many different ideas that you can’t give your full attention to any of them. 

There’s just not enough time, not enough money and not enough of you to go around for all the niches that you want to be part of. Instead of being part of fifteen different niches that are struggling and stressing you out and causing you to work hard with little in return, cut back to a couple of niches that you can devote yourself to and watch them take off.

Definition: “A niche is a focused, targetable part of the market. You are a specialist providing a product or service that focuses on specific client group's needs, which cannot or are not addressed in such detail by mainstream providers.”

Obviously, you need a strategy in business. You must have a workable plan to bring in a steady income. But a problem (or multiple problems) can arise when you have too many strategies. 

You might be an entrepreneur who wants to be involved with affiliate marketing. This isn’t a bad thing and it can turn into a steady income stream. But this is an area of marketing that takes time to build and you must put some effort into it. 

Definition: “Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactic that lets a product owner increase sales by allowing others targeting the same audience – “affiliates” – to earn a commission by recommending the product to others.” ~ Affiliate Marketing, Shopify

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If you could devote yourself solely to affiliate marketing, you could make a decent amount of money with it. What happens is people add to it. They turn around and add info product creations. 

Maybe that’s you. You’ve seen people earn money with their own product creations and you decide that you want a piece of that pie. So you create a product and you put it out there. 

So now, you have both the affiliate marketing and the product creation to keep up with. You feel like this may not be enough, and you might as well add coaching to the mix. 

Now, you throw that in. You offer your advice to other people so that you can teach them to do what you’ve done. Now with three streams of income, things are getting a little hectic. 

You might reach the point where you’re forced to choose between putting out the latest product creation update or investing the time you do have in the coaching side of your business. 

So now, you have both the affiliate marketing and the product creation to keep up with. You feel like this may not be enough, and you might as well add coaching to the mix. 

Now, you throw that in. You offer your advice to other people so that you can teach them to do what you’ve done. Now with three streams of income, things are getting a little hectic. 

You might reach the point where you’re forced to choose between putting out the latest product creation update or investing the time you do have in the coaching side of your business. 

You could get involved in that. Before you know it, you have several opportunities and they’re all good ones, but now - because you’re so busy giving a little of yourself to each area, stretching yourself thin - none of them are the success that you’d hoped they’d become. 

Each area of your business needs your full attention and planning. They must be nurtured. Handling business endeavors using a drive-by method doesn’t work well. 

Are you stuck in one online business that’s holding you back? 

There’s no doubt that you can make money with an online business. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs lose sight of the fact that building any business takes some time to get off the ground. 

If you decide that you want to become an affiliate marketer, you can make a steady income and that income can be good. But it’s not going to happen quickly. 

Depending on which business you promote products for, it can take a while to get paid from these companies. That’s because the people that you promote for get their money from the manufacturer or seller first. 

Then they settle everything 60-90 days later. So, if you expected that you would hang your affiliate marketing shingle one week and then get paid the next, you’ll be disappointed. 

Not only does it take time to get paid from the promotions, but it’s going to take you time to build traffic for your site. You won’t get any traction right out of the gate. 

You have to build it - and that’s where patience and motivation will keep you going even when you don’t see results. You don’t want to put all your hopes and dreams of making money into one online business - especially if you start with affiliate marketing. 

Instead, what you can do to bring in money faster is you can promote info products. When you do this, you get a return on your efforts faster because the hold back time to settle payment isn’t as long of a wait – in fact, in many cases, it’s instant. 

The good news is that you don’t even have to step outside your chosen niche to make this additional income. If you’re in the weight loss niche, you can choose to promote weight loss info products or health products.

It can be things for whatever niche you’re already involved in. Maybe you’re someone who is already doing an info product and you want to bring in more money. 

In that case, what you can do is to look to do promotions for people or brands who already have the traction to move the product. Make sure the offers complement the ones you’re developing so that your audience always sees the relevancy in your promotion. 

The art of following through

Some people will start a business project, get it partially done and walk away. This happens sometimes because they might feel as if they lack the knowledge of how to finish it. 

Other times, people will start a project and then quit it because something new catches their attention that seems more enticing. You know, “shiny object syndrome.” Whatever the reason, if you’re not careful, you can end up with dozens of half started business projects. 

It’s important that you follow through with what you start because unfinished tasks can weigh on your subconscious mind. You first need to be able to clearly identify what it is that you’re hoping to accomplish with the project you’ve chosen to spend your time and energy on. 

This definition gives you a goal to work toward and it helps you keep your motivation level high so that you can push forward when you want to give up. Know up front what it’s going to take to complete the project. 

If you know ahead of time that it’s going to take long hours and you won’t see fast results, this will help you keep going. You might not be able to see the end result quickly, but you’ll have that mental image of what it will be already set in your mind. 

This allows you to maintain focus. Make sure that your strategy for follow through includes having the right tools and the right knowledge to get the job done. Buy what you must to complete the task and bring in outside help if you if necessary. 

For example, if you can create the info product, but you can’t do the graphics, you either need to learn how to do it yourself or you have to hire someone to do it for you. 

If taking the time to learn it yourself will keep you from following through because you already have so much going on that you can’t take the time to study anything new, then you’re better off paying someone else. 

Being an entrepreneur often means that you don’t have someone waiting in the wings to tell you when you need to get a project done. You must learn the art of follow through by assigning due dates to each step of the project. 

This helps give you accountability and keeps you on track so that you do finish. With follow through, you must learn to recognize when enough is enough. You don’t want to overdo a project. 

Some people will constantly tweak a project. They keep finding one more thing they want to change or fix. When that happens, the project doesn’t get finished because you don’t ever let it go. 

Ask yourself two questions to help you figure out if the job is complete or not. Did you do it to the best of your abilities? Did you accomplish what you set out to do? If you can say yes to both of those, then it’s completed and you need to move on. 

How to have multiple business branches the right way

There’s nothing wrong with having several different branches in your business. But branches should be added on, you can’t simply try to grow them all at once or the foundation of your business won’t be able to sustain them. 

The right way to have multiple branches is by building them slowly. You always want to start out with the one that’s going to be the money maker. You need this one so that you can live on the income and take care of your bills while you build up the other branches. 

So, choose the branch that brings in the money first. What this will mean for most people is something like service providing. When you provide a service to someone else, they pay you faster than if you’re trying to create something. 

If you provide services for someone else, that also gives you the money to invest back in your own business. This helps keep your business growing. After you have a steady stream of income that can sustain you, that’s when you can have the financial flexibility to start adding on to your business. 

But don’t add more than one thing at a time. You can start by doing something like creating an info product. You can work on this while you’re providing a service to someone else in the meantime. 

Work on your first info product and get it available to the public. That will start to sell, but while interest is growing in that product, you should be busy creating another info product. 

In the beginning, you might have to do all the work involved with the product creation yourself. As this branch of your business grows stronger, however, you can start to outsource some of the work. 

You keep creating info products and adding them to your branch until this area is doing well for you financially. When it’s steady and thriving, then you move on to another branch, such as coaching or ad revenue. 

Work that branch until it’s a success as well. By taking the time to focus on a single branch at a time, you avoid spreading yourself too thin. You’re able to concentrate and nurture each branch toward success.

Set up a business that you have time for

When you want to be an entrepreneur, you should know the value of time management. Without it, your business might not make it. If you ask some people what time management is, they’ll answer that it means managing your time wisely. 

While that’s part of, that’s a small part. Time management is more than knowing when to do something and scheduling a slot for it in your day. It’s knowing that the task you’re planning to do is an investment. 

You’re putting hours into something and hoping to get a return on that effort. When you set up a business that you have time for, you can have the kind of returns that you’re looking to receive. 

Don’t plan to cram your day full of to-do tasks associated with your business. That’s not time management. Time management for an entrepreneur means that you block out enough time for each project so that it has the best opportunity to be a success. 

You must have the time set aside to make sure that project takes off and thrives once you’re done. You don’t gain in business by rushing through your projects. 

If you have so much going on that you can’t afford to allocate enough time to each project, then you need to scale back. It’s better to let stuff go and have one or two projects be successful than it is to have a dozen mediocre projects or failures. 

When you give a project the dedicated hours that it needs, you improve your time management through effectiveness rather than lose time. You’ll discover that you’re more efficient the more time you’re able to give a project. 

It’s far better for you to spend 4 hours of your day working to create value for one of your business branches than it is to rush through half an hour on multiple projects or spend half an hour trying to get through some tasks for each task. 

It’s harder to focus like that and harder to give 100% of your effort. Plus, if you do that, you’ll end up scatterbrained and feeling as if you’re not really accomplishing anything anyway.