Is Online the New MLM?
It seems that online business is taking over from MLM business as something that everybody wants to do, believing that this is the way to riches. That may well be right, and yet there are secrets that nobody tells you about.
What Criteria Determines That?
First, we will establish the criteria that we will measure against. That would have to be something that is generally applicable, not subject to variation over time, and simple to use. In fact, you probably use these measures yourself already.
The first criteria is “Why” you are in business in the first place. That can be anything from wanting to earn a little extra to buy some new curtains or carpet, pay for a holiday abroad, or to make a million or more.
The next criteria is “What” business, meaning what industry, what is your target market, what problem are you solving? Mechanics fix vehicles, doctors fix people, restaurants fix hunger and your business solves somebody’s problem too.
Then we move to “Who” is helping you out? That is obviously your business partner, if you have one, and also the people supplying you, the logistics provider you use to deliver, the utility company and everyone else that you need to actually be in business.
“When” is the next criteria, meaning all things related to time. When are you open, how long to deliver and all the other date/time questions people ask.
“Where” is also important for a business. Where will the premises be located, either a street address or a URL. Where is your target market? Geography plays a big part in any business.
Finally we come to “How” will you do things? How do you order, process, sell and deliver to your customer?
Regardless of what business you are in, or you are thinking of starting, these criteria, answered in that sequence, will help you be one of the small percentage of new businesses that survive. Here’s a perspective on why businesses fail from Critical Care for Business. http://www.criticalc4c.com/step1_busfail.html
Different Types of Business
Your motivation for being in business is likely to be the same regardless of what type of business. You will operate online, as a Home based business or a regular bricks and mortar for the same reason. To make money, to achieve a certain lifestyle, to be free or any number of perfectly valid reasons.
What industry you select is most likely based on your background, training, experience and interests. Once again, that remains constant across all business types. Now some of you may be thinking that lions cannot be tamed online, to do that you must be there, in the cage with them. And you’re right, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use online or other techniques in your business. We’re a little ahead of ourselves, because we find out more about this in the section on how.
The main point to remember regarding what business to get into is that this too comes from inside you and your contacts.
Who Do You Turn To?
Who will help you in this venture? That would be the people that you already know, those you will reach out to, and those provided by the parent company if you join some sort of franchise. Mostly, the people who will help you are people you already know, and you need to know your customer before they will buy from you.
One person you need to find (if you don’t already have at least one) is to get a good coach. Someone who knows the pitfalls, and how to avoid them. The Carnegie Community put it this way http://blog.dalecarnegie.com/tipsforsuccess/why-is-training-important-to-a-business/
We won’t discuss when for long, because that depends upon the individual more than anything else. Some of us plan and make sure we do it right the first time, others jump in and fix it as we go. What I will say is that the timing of things is in a sense controlled by the type of business you start.
Bricks and mortar businesses need to wait for the physical item to be in the premises before they can sell it, or at least a demonstration version to sell orders from. MLM businesses usually have large warehouses full of product, so orders can be received and delivered very quickly, and online businesses can sometimes operate at literally the speed of light.
So there are some differences in timing, but they are controlled by the type of business rather than controlling the business type. The exception to this is that maybe you decide how fast you want to be able to respond and this criteria drives your choice of business type.
Where your business operates and where your customers are is also dependent on the business type, although your interaction with them will follow the same general pattern. For example regardless of where, you still need to know what problem they have and be able to tell them that you can solve it. You may place that message at a physical place or at a specific URL, but the principles remain the same. You have to get your message to where your potential customers can see it.
Some more differences creeping in, although the basic intent is the same.
This is the one you have been waiting for! How you do things will vary enormously depending upon which type of business you are in. You may even use techniques from every business type – you may have a physical location, operate a franchise, MLM or affiliate program, and deliver at least some of your message if not product online.
The real point of all this is: the basics of being in business haven’t changed for 2,000 or more years. We have different industries, different ways to communicate, and a more educated customer but we still need to deliver according to their requirements!
Let me put it this way – you probably like to shop from people you know, like, and trust. So do your customers. This is the core of any successful business, and the rest is just details!
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a situation that does not fit? Leave a comment and find out what others think. Here are some more thoughts to help you decide http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5627.html