What does "treat IM like a business" actually mean

48 replies
The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
#treat im like a business
  • Profile picture of the author H.Miller
    I think it means to set aside time everyday and work on your business. Some people get online, work hard for a week and then say this make money online thing doesn't work. But in reality they just didn't put in enough time and effort. So I think its just saying make sure you put in the time and effort needed to be successful.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131815].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I means - if you treat it like a hobby and don't have a plan and favour trying things out and seeing what happens while relying on other people to tell you what actions to take - you're likely to get mediocre results

    If you take your IM seriously and intend for it to pay for your house or your kids education then asking 'reality checking' questions about your expectations and actions within an overall bigger plan is likely to get you more significant results.

    You know the old saying - you get what you expect. You expect it won't work - you'll probably be right.

    It's part psychology and part common sense.

    There are MANY people getting in to IM who think it's a quick throw a site up and do link building - or make an ebook and find someone with a list method of getting rich quick.

    So - the advice to treat it like a business just means do the same due diligence and expect the same level of work and commitment that you would if it were any business and not an online quick solution.

    Andy
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131823].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
    LOL......I give this advice often and just did

    What it means is dont just chase money and be single minded
    #1 marketing, marketing, marketing < This most important part in any business, make it part of your plan.
    #2 Treat your clients and everyone with respect, take SUPER good care of them (customers are your business's bloodline)
    #3 Build Systems - This may not happen at first, but as you grow
    #4 Add value to everyone around you.

    Any successful business has added value, always be adding value to your customers, suppliers, network, employee's, whoever you feel with.

    To add people who think that coming online, build a website and money will flow is are mistaken. You need to market the h@ll out of that page and take care of the people that buy and ethier you or your systems constantly be working on it

    Great question Ron!!!!!

    Cheers,
    Mukul
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131838].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    to me it means to stop talking about doing something and to really start doing something.
    Do people not realize yet that talking about internet marketing does not make you any money?
    Signature

    Something new soon.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131839].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Ron, it means way too many things to summarize in the space of a forum
      post.

      And just so I am clear up front, I do NOT do all the things I should be doing
      to really treat what I do as a business...Not really.

      BUT...I do enough of those things that I can consistently generate a
      comfortable living from my home.

      See, that's the beauty of an online business. It doesn't have to have all
      the structure and discipline of a brick and mortar real world business to
      succeed, partly because of the variety of ways to earn a living and partly
      because the barrier to entry is so low.

      My monthly expenses are a joke in comparison to what poor Ma Kettle
      puts into her corner deli shop.

      But I don't get 30 to 50 customers everyday spending $10 to $30 on
      cold cuts either. That corner shop has to do at minimum $1,000 per day.

      I can't even imagine what my local Food King does in a day.

      But I'm not looking for that kind of business. If I do 10 sales a day at
      $30 a piece, I'm happy as a pig in mud. And I can do it at half the headaches
      and a fraction of the expense of Ma Kettle.

      Is there a minimum amount of stuff you should do in order to make a
      decent income online? (Decent being different for each person) Probably.
      But I have no idea what it is. I do know that what I do has to be a lot
      less than what many people do on and off line.

      So I guess what I'm saying essentially is serious is in the eye of the
      beholder.

      One man's serious is another man's "You're a total goof off."
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131896].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        See, that's the beauty of an online business. It doesn't have to have all
        the structure and discipline of a brick and mortar real world business to
        succeed, partly because of the variety of ways to earn a living and partly
        because the barrier to entry is so low.
        I don't particularly agree with this.

        If we were to keep online and offline businesses relative to each other, we would see that the vast majority of online businesses are very small and actually the offline equivalent of the guy who sells produce on the side of the road from the back of his pickup.

        Looking at it from that angle, working online suddenly doesn't seem like a breeze compared to offline. All things considered (and keeping it relative) it's actually fairly equal IMO.

        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        My monthly expenses are a joke in comparison to what poor Ma Kettle puts into her corner deli shop.
        ...
        I can do it at half the headaches and a fraction of the expense of Ma Kettle.
        If Ma Kettle sold her corner store for $250,000 and had taken out loans against it's value over the years to use on expansion or buying personal items (car, house, etc...), would that change your perception of corner store vs. "one man show" service provider? I'm not trying to tear you down, but Ma Kettle is probably the winner here.

        I fully understand where you're coming from though. Anyone who can meet their income needs from home working for themselves is obviously going to consider that to be a very attractive option.

        Offline business is the king by a wide margin though, and this is a gap that most likely nobody here will live to see closed.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133136].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Well, the #1 thing that comes to mind when people refer to "treating your IM activities like a business" is that if you're sitting there in your pajamas and they're covered in soup stains, and you haven't even bothered to at least knock off the 'crunchy bits' there's a good chance your overall attitude toward your customers will be a reflection of your attire.

      That doesn't necessarily mean you need to have creases pressed into your pj's, it does, however, imply that if you are so lazy as to not even employ a good swift flick of the finger to remove what gravity has obviously ignored up to this point, you may not be ready to handle the additional responsibilities that come with growing a successful online venture.

      I realize all of the above is beyond obvious, I just thought I'd throw it out there and save somebody else a few keystrokes...

      ~Bill
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131916].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
        Great replies already.

        This phrase means many things to many people, but additionally what it means to me is that you must be looking after the bottom line. It's not a labor of love -- it's a business -- and if something's not making money it needs to be changed. If a product is costing you money, change it or get rid of it. It pays to be ruthless at times with regard to your ROI. It's not personal, it's business!
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131947].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        if you're sitting there in your pajamas and they're covered in soup stains, and you haven't even bothered to at least knock off the 'crunchy bits'
        Have you got a feed into my web cam?
        Signature

        nothing to see here.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132004].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author NeilC
        I tend to treat it like this, if you want to earn a little extra and not put too much effort in, have a lot of fun along the way trying the latest different products and techniques with fun names and fancy "tools" then perhaps that's more of an interesting hobby, but not a business?

        That's not to say that "treating it as a business" has to be regimented and boring, far from it!

        You're doing something that YOU choose to do and YOU choose how, when, and how much effort to put into it, but with that comes responsibility for YOUR actions and level of success.

        It's not really the Guru's fault if you don't succeed is it?

        So as has already been said there is really far too much to cover here about "treating it as a business" but I see the basics like this:

        1. Decide how it is you want to make money and not just "Internet or Affiliate marketing" you need to decide exactly what it is and how you are going to do it?

        2. Learn just as much as you need to get started, you won't progress fast enough just by "learning" and you will do a lot of that along the way.

        3. Make a proper plan for YOUR business, follow it, review it, update it...

        4. Put in lot's of effort if you really want to see results, the rewards can be great both in terms of personal freedom and financial rewards, but no one can really guarantee how well you will do.

        That has to come from you but having the right training and support does help, just as it does in "offline business."

        Final tip:
        The biggest mistake people make is just what you will hear all over, continually jumping from one thing to another.

        It's surprising what people buy mainly because of excellent marketing, but that's all part of the game we're in, we make the choices.

        There are lots of excellent products that can help with the learning curve, but not if you just keep trying them. Stand back, take a breath, and look at how money is really being made for most people.

        Then choose how YOU want to do it and just get on with it!

        People say it over and over but as long as it's not totally misguided, taking action really is the most important part.

        How many managers, directors etc in "real world" business know how to do everything? It's not that much different with "Online business" and NO, you most certainly don't have to be the most intelligent, highly trained professional, or computer whiz to make a success of this.

        Learn how to start making a bit of money and then you can get anything you want done, and it's surprising how cheap it can be once you know where to look, and that's not in one place there are lots of opportunities.

        So business doesn't have to be boring but you usually just have to move up a gear and take it more seriously rather than it being a hobby or just for fun?

        So get in there and make a go of it!

        Wishing you all the best,
        Neil
        Signature

        Need a fresh start or help to take your business to the next level? Click here to find out more...

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132045].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joe Benjamin
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

    To me, it mean's taking s**t seriously and, realizing
    that no matter what you do to make money (build
    list, affiliate marketing, direct sales, etc), will take
    actual work and effort no matter how easy you THINK
    it is just because it's online.

    It also means keeping track of your own business records
    like finances, relationships, connections, things that work
    and don't work, etc.


    Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

    No. The only experience I had prior to doing online business
    is my own candy store when I was a little younger. Other
    than that, I didn't have any other "brick and mortar" kind of
    business.

    It's not necessary unless what you want to do in business
    works best in a brick and mortar situation.


    Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

    I can't confidently answer this question because, it's
    outside of my reality at the moment for I outsource
    work in my home office to people who aren't physically
    here.

    No need to pretend It's a good or bad thing when I
    honestly don't have a clue. I just know that I will
    someday need an office away from home, when that
    comes I'm not sure.


    Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

    Goals are CRITICAL. There is just no negotiating with
    this because with out them, you have no where to go.

    You have no aim in what you want to achieve.

    I don't have a company mission plan or anything like
    that but, perhaps it's a flaw I need to look into to take
    my business even more seriously.


    What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
    It means everything to me now that it's been drilled into
    my head for years. I think I finally got it, and it's working
    extremely well for me.

    Cheers
    Signature
    **How I FLIPPED $80 into $690 Pure Profit With ONE EASY Method...2 to 3x Per Week...Only 30 Minutes Per Day (and how YOU can COPY my RESULTS, too!) **CLICK HERE FOR VERIFIED VIDEO PROOF**
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131941].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

    Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

    Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

    Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

    What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
    That's a great question actually...

    I think what they mean is to be aware of your situation & to treat IMing seriously.

    Businesses understands where they use there money and why they put it there...they understand the outcome of EVERY action they take and know what the results will bring them...

    I think that's more of what they're getting at when they say that. You have to genuinely be aware of your actions, marketing strategies, and situations.

    My "business" philosophy is simple: ROI/Time...in other words how much are you making for each action you take & how much time are you spending on it?

    Hope that helped some.

    Aaryn
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131958].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AllAboutAction
      Originally Posted by AwesomePossum View Post

      My "business" philosophy is simple: ROI/Time...in other words how much are you making for each action you take & how much time are you spending on it?
      This brings up a good point which I agree goes to the heart of the original quote. Time is an investment -- it should already be a part of the ROI equation. No businessman thinks working for free is OK, and neither should anyone in the IM space.

      (and when I see people in other posts talking about their sites that make $50 a month, but that took 20 hours to set up and 15 hours a month to maintain, I cringe)
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133443].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author FredJones
        You are sure to have dealt as a customer with a number of businesses - be it a grocery shop or be it something completely different (maybe an airline ticket booking office). They run their business to satisfy their requirements - satisfy their client, be ethical, sincere, and professional in every sense.

        When it comes to IM and you are running your IM business, you are providing some sort of service to your customers - be it selling a product or be it running a service for other tangible benefits as expected by your customers.

        What would get the thing best done so that your customers feel that they have had value for their money? What would it take you to have many such satisfied customers who would want to buy from you? What kind of infrastructure (manual or automated, whatever it is) and dedicationn would it take from you?

        Answer and implement all of it so that your IM runs regular and earns for you on a regular basis. And you shall discover that you would be suggesting others to treat IM like a business
        Signature

        $1 gold: WSO That Instantly Transforms You Into A Content Production Engine

        $2.95 GoDaddy .com domains today: Click here.
        I am offering a free website - get it now (and they offer you a free domain with this).
        Find high-commission easy Amazon niches within 5 seconds here.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133467].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Chris-
      Originally Posted by AwesomePossum View Post


      My "business" philosophy is simple: ROI/Time...in other words how much are you making for each action you take & how much time are you spending on it?
      I agree, that's a vital part of the goal of profit. Some people don't think about how much timeit takes, compared to the results!

      Chris-
      Signature

      If you have experience with paid traffic, or have a mailing-list or social-media following (niches: business, finance, money, MMO, IM), I may be able to get you access to one of the highest-converting offers ever made . . . $799.65 sales per webinar attendee from one mailing-list.

      PM me NOW for more info !
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2134030].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jborjaperez
    What many people fail to realize when they get into internet marketing is that they ARE starting their own business. What does it take to get a business up and running for the long haul? Tons of dedication and hard work. But the rewards in the end are well worth it. I know I pretty much reiterated what everyone said.

    Also, Don't forget customer service. NO real brick and mortar business will survive without the best customer service. But so many internet marketers think online it's different. Keep the customer in mind and your business will do amazing.

    Cheers.
    Signature

    In my signature.. It's not a secret method.. It's a lifestyle.. It's Day 1, Follow Me From The Bottom UP!

    I Write Articles Too! PM ME!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131964].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    People who approach IM as a means to an end do not consider IM a business. How often do we see people who post in this section of the forum asking for help because they need to make money quick to pay their "unexpected" bills?

    So one part of my answer is that we have to think long term. Internet marketing isn't just some way to make quick cash to pay the bills. That's insulting to those who have taken the time to build real businesses online.

    Many people look for "programs" to help them make money online or "quick and easy" ways to do things, but that's not how businesses work. Nobody asks how to make quick cash doing business offline, so why should online business be any different?

    Another way to treat IM like a business is to build assets. You don't necessarily need an office or employees, but you do need a foundation for your business. Perhaps one of the best examples is an email list.

    I wouldn't know how to start an offline business, but I would assume there's a ton of research and learning involved prior to actually starting one. It's the same online. It's a shame that virtually nobody thinks this way when they first get introduced to IM.
    Signature
    Curtis Ng (blog) - Product Launch Manager
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2131986].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Freddie Crossberg
    Hi Ron,

    That is common advice indeed. But in my personal opinion, it is the wrong advice.

    Internet Marketing is not a business, it is only a meduim to generate leads for your
    business (quicker than other available meduims).

    There will be many opinions as to what a business is, but my bottom line is to not
    treat Internet Marketing as a business but as a TOOL to generate leads for your
    business

    Regards,

    Sam
    Signature

    If you find my posts helpful, please go and LIKE my Facebook Fan Page located here Thank You!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132002].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RoyChan
    Running a business meaning:
    1) have a plan
    2) do your budget
    3) create assets which product +ve cash flow
    4) having passive income planned
    5) most importantly, create value for your customers or whoever you serve.

    Value as defined in what they get for what you give.
    Signature

    ​​​​​​​ Cheap and Easy Does Not Exist? What if there is an exception...
    https://www.warriorforum.com/other-w...m-bonuses.html​​​

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132028].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    I come from 18 years in the gas station/auto repair business. I have a office for my Internet Marketing business, I have a marketing budget, I watch expenses, have a P&L statement and a part time gal (does my mindless data entry). I also have a business license and business cards. I think when you can embrace some of these listed above, you will take your business more serious.
    Signature

    Learn to become Digital, Internet and Social Media Marketing Consultant to Business Owners
    Click here to learn more - Internet, Digital and Social Media Marketing Training Course

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132073].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
      I think one of the biggest problems that people have when the come to IM is that they think they can just start it up and make money on autopilot, without putting in the work that's required to actually make it succeed.

      Treating IM as a business means that you should view it just as if you started a business offline. There will be expenses, and it will take a while before you start to see profit.

      My biggest problem in getting started was that I didn't see IM as a business that I started and slowly focused on building, instead I was looking for a quick income so I would move from thing to thing that promised lots of money fast.

      The funny thing is that I didn't really start making any real money until I changed mindsets and decided that I would build a business slowly instead of trying to earn some quick cash.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132112].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by sdentrepreneur View Post

      I come from 18 years in the gas station/auto repair business. I have a office for my Internet Marketing business, I have a marketing budget, I watch expenses, have a P&L statement and a part time gal (does my mindless data entry). I also have a business license and business cards. I think when you can embrace some of these listed above, you will take your business more serious.
      Can relate to that, just finished a full on business planning and certification over many weeks, and now fully qualified / certified, full business plans profit / loss, budgets, goals, licenses every single bell and whistle you can think of.

      The next stages are the same from here, with more education and more qualifications at every level.

      putting together a full financial measurable plan does open your eyes as to where your wasting time, your price points, marketing costs, targets, even the taxes and liabilities faced.

      well worth taking the plaining stage in some form if you want to go from hobby / a few bucks to a profitable business.
      Signature

      .

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132969].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Some great responses.

    I'm surprised that no one mentioned "work on your business and not in it."

    That's the first thing that comes to my mind. If you treat it like a business, you should be the owner and/or general manager and not make yourself an employee.

    How you spend your time is so important. You can't grow your business if you spend all your time answering emails and doing clerical tasks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132118].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Some great responses.

      I'm surprised that no one mentioned "work on your business and not in it."
      That's just a sound bite - I think several people have said the same thing already using different words.

      However - who says you shouldn't work IN your business? If you love what you're doing then it might be your preferred way to spend your time.

      I think the answers so far have demonstrated what was always going to be the answer.....

      It depends.

      It depends on your goals and your preferences.

      I have no specific financial goal. I know that this goes against a lot of business advice - but I am not driven by money and it's much more important to me how I spend my time rather than how much I make.

      Therefore I don't do a lot of things that would make me more money but I enjoy everything I do.

      When we try to define things for how entrepreneurs (that's us) should run their business we're never going to reach a concensus because it's largely a matter of choice.

      Some people need to work from an office just because they don't work well from home - some people do work well from home and an office would be unnecessary.

      Some people make their financial goal by working half of the day - others work 18 hours a day.

      It's easy to judge other peoples methods, especially if they differ from our own.

      But the truth is - it's up to them how they do things and there are no fixed rules for success because success means different things to different people.

      It's interesting to hear peoples opinions, but that's all they are.
      Signature

      nothing to see here.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132227].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

        However - who says you shouldn't work IN your business? If you love what you're doing then it might be your preferred way to spend your time.
        I suppose it depends on what it is that you love doing. If you're running a real business that has to support your living expenses, there are certain things that have to be done to stay in business. There are additional things that need to be done to grow your business.

        In the book EMyth by Gerber, he gives the example of a lady who worked for a bakery and loved to bake pies. She loved it so much that she decided to chase her dream and open her own bakery. The problem was that she spent all her time doing what she loved (baking pies) but failed to do all the other things needed to keep the business going. Eventually she got burned out, lost money, and went out of business.

        One of Gerber's quotes in the book is "if your business is not growing, it is dying."

        I have no specific financial goal. I know that this goes against a lot of business advice - but I am not driven by money and it's much more important to me how I spend my time rather than how much I make.
        I would think that if you value how you spend your time, you would want to work on your business and not in it.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132269].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
          Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

          I suppose it depends on what it is that you love doing. If you're running a real business that has to support your living expenses, there are certain things that have to be done to stay in business. There are additional things that need to be done to grow your business.

          In the book EMyth by Gerber, he gives the example of a lady who worked for a bakery and loved to bake pies. She loved it so much that she decided to chase her dream and open her own bakery. The problem was that she spent all her time doing what she loved (baking pies) but failed to do all the other things needed to keep the business going. Eventually she got burned out, lost money, and went out of business.

          One of Gerber's quotes in the book is "if your business is not growing, it is dying."



          I would think that if you value how you spend your time, you would want to work on your business and not in it.
          Yeah I get what he's saying and I have agreed with that philosophy in the past.

          I just think the saying is often a cheap sound bite for making people feel like they're doing something wrong.

          I don't differentiate much between business and pleasure because it's ALL my time - so I take my business personally and have spent many years tweaking things so that I don't spend any time doing things I don't enjoy.

          And since I make enough money like this to not be chasing money due to lack, I'm not looking to dominate the world or treat my time like something other people own for the right price.

          I turned down a new client today because I don't want any more of my time taken up. Right now I have a good balance and routine and am considering stopping much of my IM related work in order to set up an offline charity. Maybe I'm in my business and not on it - but the point of my business is to make money while helping people in a way I enjoy.

          Sure - I could hire a bunch of staff and have them doing all the work instead - but I like the work and want to do what I do.

          So, while I can understand why for many people the phrase 'work on your business not in it' makes sense (and it did for me in the past) - I now see things differently.

          When I spent all my time traveling I had to do some things in order for the money so that my lifestyle and traveling expenses were always covered. So at that point I was looking at efficiency and best return on my time activities.

          But now I don't have that focus and so the situation is different.

          It's easy to say people should do things a certain way - but it's never going to be the right answer for everyone.

          Anyone who thinks they know what everyone else should be doing is deluding themselves.
          Signature

          nothing to see here.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132625].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    I think you need to have a business and use IM to promote it. Or use IM to help others promote their business.

    The problem is that people try to use IM as a business model but it is just a new set of marketing tools.
    Signature
    DanoSongs.com - Royalty Free Music for Marketing Videos

    No sign up required to try my music in your video.

    Just click to listen and download. No cost to try, only pay when you publish.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132180].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Guide
    Treat online business like a real business = "Spend serious time and serious money. Do that effectively. Do everything else which you would do for a real business (cash flow, strategizing for growth, etc)"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132249].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

    Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

    Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

    Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

    What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
    I think it's a stupid saying... It seems to often come from people that think a business has to be run a certain way, such as creating a list. And they imply if you don't have a list, you don't have a business. Tell that to Google.

    Also, what's wrong with IM as a hobby that makes a little money anyway? Why does everyone have to be in business and can't use IM as a sideline?

    IMO, how I treat my business is none of anyone else's business. (customers aside)
    Signature
    Serious about Print on Demand? Discover how YOU can join my FREE exclusive secret alliance
    Plus how to get my Print on Demand Treasure Maps for FREE
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132264].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I think it's a stupid saying... It seems to often come from people that think a business has to be run a certain way, such as creating a list. And they imply if you don't have a list, you don't have a business. Tell that to Google.

      Also, what's wrong with IM as a hobby that makes a little money anyway? Why does everyone have to be in business and can't use IM as a sideline?

      IMO, how I treat my business is none of anyone else's business. (customers aside)
      Google actually has a gigantic list (everyone who has a Gmail account, for starters). They just don't use it in the way most "IMers" do. They do use it to announce new products like Google Buzz and it does earn them revenue through advertisers.

      Regarding your question, you're right. Some people aren't looking for anything more than a hobby that makes them a few bucks on the side. In that situation, "treating it like a business" wouldn't be necessary.

      I also think it helps to take into consideration the context in which the advice is given. It's usually people who come on the forum saying they've been trying a bunch of different techniques, set up a bunch of different websites, bought tons of courses, etc. and still have only made a few dollars. To a person like that, telling them that they should approach things with a more organized, businesslike strategy and giving them tips on how to do it can be what snaps them back to reality.

      Another way of looking at it is that if you want to be really successful, you should study and emulate what other really successful people are doing. The really successful entities online, the Googles and the Facebooks and the Yahoos are all businesses, not hobbies or money making methods (even a few, like Facebook and Craigslist, did start out as basically hobbies, but eventually they were built into businesses as well).
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132681].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        If you're providing goods or services or marketing goods or services via the internet and you're receiving financial recompense in return - you've already got a business, even if you consider it to be just a hobby.

        If your financial return covers your outlay, i.e. the money you spend on providing those goods and services, and also provides you with a profit - congratulations. You've got a successful business. Now you can consider scaling, leverage etc., if that's what you want.

        If all you're doing is buying into every big product launch, in the hope that this is the one that contains the missing ingredient that will finally get you started, you haven't got a business or a hobby - you're an IM consumer.

        Treating IM like a business is probably just a "mindset" piece of advice. If you were running a business, you'd evaluate each new product or service against the likely financial return or efficiency improvement it would give your business before parting with any money. And you'd allocate (at least in your mind) a monetary value on ALL the time you spend on your business, including surfing er.. researching online.



        Frank
        Signature
        TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132737].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    'Treat it like a business'

    Mmm, you know, I think I've said those words before and I was probably referring to one aspect, one activity that someone wasn't getting the results they desired from. But to take it out of context, in isolation, 'Treat it like a business' is too broad a brush.

    As an aside, I don't consider Internet Marketing to be a business, it's simply one aspect of a business that usually derives its income from online activities - the marketing aspect. If I ran a plumbing business and marketed exclusively in the Yellow Pages, I wouldn't be called a Yellow Pages Business.

    But that's by the by.

    The advice to 'treat it like a business' could quite often be rephrased to say, take a more business-like approach, i.e. research, plan, forecast, be prepared to work, put systems in place, network, track results... well, you get the picture.

    After all, some people do treat their internet marketing like a hobby and still may achieve exactly the goals they desire. True, all their income generating activities may not be 'business-like', but chances are, if they're achieving their goals, they are acting more like a business than they realise.

    Peter
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132328].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
    I think "treat IM like a business" means, taking serious actions pertaining to the goal of our IM endeavors. This only applies to those who want to make an actual business out of IM though.

    I think, if you want to have a $10,000+/per month business then put in the effort to achieve that.

    Most times, I rush to get home to get online to work on "my IM business" but the first thing I do is check facebook, browse the forums, read reports, etc. And before ya know it, 4 hours has blew by and nothing I have done has added anything to what I want to achieve with internet marketing.

    I work a 8-5 job and when I have to go to a meeting or perform job duties, facebook and browsing forums is the last thing on my mind but yet when I get online, all that jazz is the first thing I run to. Sad as hell if ya ask me especially since I know better.
    And I am sure that I am not the only one that takes advantage of the opportunity to earn a living from home.

    This is not "treating IM like a business" and this has went on for too long for me and now it's time to get it right or get out of the game.

    ****this is a lil personal rant at MYSELF right now***
    Signature
    Be easy.


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132409].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      In regard to working on your business and not in it...I guess 7 figure
      copywriters who do nothing but write sales letters don't have a business.

      Man...I'd love to not have a business like that.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132483].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        In regard to working on your business and not in it...I guess 7 figure
        copywriters who do nothing but write sales letters don't have a business.

        Man...I'd love to not have a business like that.
        No matter what you make, you can always make more if you learn how run a business without trading time for money.

        Plus, how many copywriters are really making making 7 figures writing by themselves? To earn that, you'd have to either complete a $20,000 copy job every single week or be part of a $18.3MM launch like Frank Kern.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132925].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nicketas
    It means WORK.
    Signature
    (Author. Artist. Social Media Maven. Life Coach.)
    {Free Yourself.}
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132652].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JayPeete
    To me it means to take it as seriously as you would if you already had a flourishing business.
    Signature
    What Misunderstood Traffic Source SUCKS In
    3 Million Visitors Daily and Spits Out
    $560.81 Per Day In Commissions?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132653].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shabit87
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

    Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

    Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

    Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

    What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
    Its similar to when someone says treat her with the same respect you'd treat your mother (when taking a girl out for the first time). Show the same respect to IM as you would a business. Business and hobbies sometimes are crossed terms when discussing IM but they shouldn't be. The main differences is how you treat them and to what degree.

    If you race for fun it really doesn't matter who wins, but if you're a pro or aspire to be a pro, your eating habits are different, you train differently, you're more motivated to succeed and be on top, same with business. If you treat your IM as a business you're odds of being successful at it increase significally!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132917].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DPM70
    Forget all the cliched catchphrases. Just do the work. Do something for somebody that they can't do themselves. If you've taken on board half of what you've read here - you can SELL that to people.
    Signature
    I don't build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build. - Ayn Rand
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2132933].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    There are three things you need in a business.

    A plan. You need to know what you are doing and why.

    A history. You need to know what you have done and why.

    And a budget. You need to know what you are spending and why.

    Most people just kind of half-arse all this stuff. I have $50 in my PayPal account and I want to do some article marketing, I'll hire someone to do keyword research for $10 and someone else to write ten articles for $20 and then I'll spend the other $20 on a pizza.

    HURRR DURRR, now I'm broke.

    Now, let's put on the business suit for a moment. (Which is not a bad idea. I sit here right now in a blue button-down dress shirt and a tie. Clothes make the man.) What would a businessman do?

    Okay, we're about to do some article marketing. Let's look at what we've done before and identify something we already know is profitable, so we can apply article marketing to it and enhance the results. Here's an affiliate blog selling this product, it doesn't sell a lot, but it is in fact making some sales. So let's take a snapshot of its current stats, turn our keyword guy loose on it for $10, and then turn an article writer loose on the keywords for $20. Later, we'll take another look at the stats and see whether I made my $30 back. If not, we'll figure out how long it will take to make the $30 back. And now, I'm going to go upstairs and make a sandwich instead of blowing $20 on a pizza.

    The guy treating it like a business is not going to be in here whinging about how he isn't getting results from article marketing, because he IS getting results. They just might not be positive results.

    And because he's accounting for his expenses, and tracking deltas instead of absolutes, he's not going to come racing in here to go "I made $60 this month with article marketing!" when he's been making $35 a month without it and spent $30 to do it. He'll accurately determine that the article marketing has cost him $5 this month, and will not race off to order twice as many keywords and articles to roll the "profits" back into the business. He knows they're not profits.

    And all he had to do was know what he was doing, so he knew what to write down. Having written it down, he knew what he had done. And having accounted for his expenses and returns, he could see exactly what he was spending.

    My two cents, anyway.
    Signature
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133032].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    I feel it is better to treat IM like an art.
    Signature

    Project HERE.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133076].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author gpower2
      One very common theme continues to rear it's ugly head throughout this thread, and that is work.

      Make no mistake, not only does it have to be hard work, but also focused work (along with the other important variables mentioned in the posts above.) Otherwise coal miners would be rich too (no offense to any coal miners.)

      Case in point, check out this really cool article I found online that shows how hard some of the top internet marketers work on their online businesses each and every day.

      12 Top Online Entrepreneurs Share How Hard They Work

      Hey... if someone knows how to work 4 hours a week online and make a very comfortable living, let me know!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133132].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
        Originally Posted by gpower2 View Post

        One very common theme continues to rear it's ugly head throughout this thread, and that is work.<snip>
        Yes, it does feel like work for the unfortunate masses, doesn't it?
        Signature

        Project HERE.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133138].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ladyspinner
    Treat it as your won business means (in a brief description) that you should do things the way you would want them done. Have you ever had a job and when your boos tells you to do something and you know it is totally the wrong thing to do. You know that it should be done a different way.

    All those things you have to do to make your business successful. Devote a lot of time to making it be something that other people would want to deal with. Have excellent customer service, a good product, care about what you are doing, and you will be successful.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133247].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
      Originally Posted by ladyspinner View Post

      <snip>Devote a lot of time to making it be something that other people would want to deal with. Have excellent customer service, a good product, care about what you are doing, and you will be successful.
      Nicely put!
      Signature

      Project HERE.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133420].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author robvegas626
    To me, it basically means you've got to treat it as a job. You wouldn't work less than 40 hours a week at a "normal" job and expect to rise through the ranks and earn promotions. The same goes for IM. The idea of a "Four Hour Work Week" is a myth UNLESS you've already spent at least a few years building up your IM business. (And then at that point, who wants to only work four hours a week -- when you could really be pushing your websites and your income to a new level?)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2133597].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    The common advice is to treat Internet Marketing like a business, but what exactly does that mean?

    Does that mean that those without any experience running a business can't succeed in IM?

    Does it mean that you need to have an office with employees?

    Does it mean you need to have a company mission plan with quarterly goals, etc.?

    What does "treat it like a business" mean to you? Lets discuss.
    To me the difference between a business and a hoby, is that the actions (and whatever results are naturally obtained) are themselves the aim (ie. you do it for its own sake) in a hobby, where-as in a business making profit is the aim. This can be a huge difference in approach.

    Also I'd point out that a LOT of people confuse "business" with "job", and marketers confuse the two deliberately . . . a business is something that can be outsourced or sold, a job cannot. A lot of people think they are building a business, just because they work for themselves, when in fact they are building a job! The book "E-myth revisited" has good info on this difference.


    Chris
    Signature

    If you have experience with paid traffic, or have a mailing-list or social-media following (niches: business, finance, money, MMO, IM), I may be able to get you access to one of the highest-converting offers ever made . . . $799.65 sales per webinar attendee from one mailing-list.

    PM me NOW for more info !
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2134018].message }}

Trending Topics