Remember back in 1994 when the big boom happened, and then the big bust! A funny thing has been happening lately, and it appears to be picking up speed, especially in the main stream. Now this may seem like old news, or you might even think, well DUH! I wrote a long while back I wrote a 2 part article that, everyone will eventually be an affiliate marketer of something, and part 2 is here – the future of business is an online business, and it’s easier than ever for anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to beat the big guys. If you haven’t considered starting an online business, ask yourself one thing, how long will you be working at your current job (if not self-employed), even if you are forced into retirement, you’re probably going to need to continue generating revenue somehow.
Let’s say you’re 50 an older, what will you do if you suddenly find yourself out of work? This isn’t fear mongering, it’s real, and it’s becoming more and more common each passing day, are you prepared, is it even on your radar.
This morning I received an email from a firm pimping a series of eCommerce Tutorials to build an online store, this is the list in the email:
– Build a product catalog
– Create a shopping cart
– Manage product options
– Add checkout
– Learn about payments
– Compare gateways
– Learn about shipping
– Learn about hosting
Anyway, you get the idea. I would suggest these are not the items most people want to know how to do when just getting started, at least they shouldn’t be. Mostly because, and I’m generalizing so don’t get all out joint. Most people struggle more with what business to start, and want some kind of assurance the thing will make money and succeed. But those topics may help you, they aren’t the place to start in my humble opinion.
I like to do my grocery shopping early in the day, like 6AM early…not because I like mornings, but I like it when the store is dead slow : ) I happen to go down the magazine isle, I noticed a rag with big bold letters, and it said,”Step By Step – How To Setup An Online Business 2014″, this is a mainstream well know magazine to boot! Yes I opened it up and started to review it. Now, considering that I make my living online, I’m often curious about how mainstream views this Internet online business thingy, and I was also curious about what they were teaching. I don’t have the time and frankly I’m not convinced you sit here and read it all if I wrote it, but let’s just cover some points anyway.
The magazine broke it down into four areas, Planning, Building, Selling, and Marketing. I’m not going to go into details, there’s just far too many topics to cover for a blog post.
The Planning sub-section heading was, Start The Right Business and had 13 sub-topics from going into business to finding money. I have to admit I was surprised how much they covered, and how much I actually have used over the years teaching clients and in my workshops. One area that caught my attention was called, “Why An Internet Business”. You probably have your own reason’s but, the biggest reason is, you can reach billions of buyers from your bedroom, or wherever you want to work from.
This also had 13 sub-sections from finding a home for your business to creating an app for your business, the main heading was titled, “Create The Right Website”. This section was mostly about the technical stuff, should you use WordPress, where to host your site, good web design, registering domain names, getting your site written, video & sound, and creating an app for mobile devices.
Maximise Your Sales is the main Title for some 14 sub-sections. How to set up on eBay to making money from your own Amazon shop.
The sub Title, “Find New Customers”, I’ll admit everyone wants to know the answer, but most don’t want to do the work. This topic has 24 sub-sections, I told you there was lots of work, from an introduction to marketing to making your business thrive.
The reason I mention these two situations is because a new NORMAL has revealed itself, the second industrial age is now real, the second industrial age is you doing business online, we’re talking about it more, it’s being written about in almost all the mainstream magazines, and it has been taught online forever, the business landscape has changed! For years you have seen magazines convincing you to go into business for yourself (Bricks & Mortar), today, it’s about going into business for yourself online (Clicks & Pages). Where are you in this journey? If you need more information, the first thing to do is, sign-up for my Future Of Business updates on the right side bar, then take some time to read my blog, I’ve shared about this and much more.
Remember, the future of business is online!
The past few weeks I have spent considerable time looking forward, what does the business of the future look like? I’ve repeatedly told you it’s primarily two things, Social & Mobile. That would be the description equal to a hundred years ago, if I said Social & Mobile are the bricks & mortar of the future business, the mechanics if you will. But what will be happening within these two massive worlds, it simple really, commerce.
I wrote a year ago (August 11th, 2011) that everyone will be an affiliate of something, imagine that, you an Internet Marketer! The term congers up all kinds of emotions deep from within, but try to get past it, the world of commerce is going there at a rapid pace.
I’ve shared with you time and time again that OB3 Networks is connecting the world by putting up dishes in space that will provide Internet access to the third world countries, it’s being rolled out as we speak. Now add every smartphone developer going into a frenzy trying to beat everyone to the new marketplace. Once this endeavor is done, the other 3 Billion people will have Internet access, and soon they will have a smartphone loaded with things to buy, will it be your products & services? Imagine, over 5 Billion people on the Internet buying goods & services on a hand-held device!
So now the term Internet Marketer has a different ring to it, a smartphone ring. But there is a lot to learn about who they are and how to reach them, it’s called market research. Internet Markers of yesterday like to withhold some of the secrets, oh sure you can get the secrets for a price, but they almost always hold something back. It’s the nature of the business. All the power to them, but soon, the secrets will change, and you will won’t have to pay for some of them, it will be integrated into the new commerce landscape.
I challenge you to learn more about market research, in fact, start with your business, find out how the digital world sees your business, you will be shocked. What does Google think about you, have wondered what people use to search for your site, what keywords they use in that search. Do those keywords describe your business the way you want to be perceived? I thought this site would be one bring keywords like Futurist, foresight, building a better business and so on. I was wrong!
Try this quick exercise:
Open up Google in a browser, type Google keyword tool, click on the 1st or second link, the Adwords links.
Then, on the left hand side, uncheck Broad, and then check Exact.
In the second dialog box on the right, put your sites URL
Then hit SEARCH!
You will find below a list of keywords that people have been using to find your site, are they keywords that describe your site? You will be surprised that the keywords do not match how you feel about your site, or what you thought they should be. You will now be able to target your keywords better knowing what Google thinks about your site.
The Internet is a weird and yet predictable family member, your business will use the game changer on some level, you won’t be able to avoid it. You will find your business being drawn to the dark side called Affiliate Marketing, you will either sell your products through the many ad networks or you will sell someone’s products & services for a commission. There it is, we will all become commission sales people / businesses, from out office, from out patio, on our vacations, we will do business wherever we happen to be. This isn’t news, not NEW news, many have been doing this for years, we merely mocked them, looked down on them, we avoided them, we avoided the business model.
You can run but you can’t hide, this open & free business model will catchup to you, and you will find yourself trying to figure out how to adopt it. I truly believe this business model will be the most common one used in the future, once we get passed old ways of thinking, once we accept the truth…..the Industrial Age is DEAD!
I’m not advocating or putting down Internet Marketers, like most businesses, there are good people, and you will always here about the bad ones. It’s almost always people that are the problem, motive tends to speak louder than anything you can say. Affiliate Marketing is one major player in the business of the future, we won’t be able to rely on just revenue source here online, there’s too many people.
How do you feel about business going in this direction, how will your business leverage it? Eventually, you will be an Affiliate of something, it will become part of your DNA in every online business.
- The Future Of Business – “Everyone” Is Not Your Customer! (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Flick The Switch! (owengreaves.com)
In an early post I shared that everyone will be an affiliate of something, but that won’t be enough. The day of a single revenue source are behind us, we will need more than one revenue stream in order to survive in the new business landscape. Just selling real estate won’t be enough, or providing one consulting service, you will need to provide value added services, provide other products that are useful to your clients.
Most entrepreneurs are always looking for that next thing to sell, that next problem to solve, because they know that if they don’t keep solving problems, consumers will use the first person or business they find. The bigger issue would be, how do I stay top of mind, how do I ensure that I am found, and how do I know I’m being heard. You’ve read it here many times, make more than you consume. make more of whatever you are selling or whatever solution you are providing.
Now, it’s not enough to just slap some ads on your site, or sell more stuff than you used to, and call it multiple revenue streams. You need to think long and hard how these value added services or products will be incorporated into your business, into your marketing, and how you will handle orders….there is much to consider. You can’t willy nilly it for the sake of making a buck. Although there will be many who do just that, unfortunately I don’t have the power to make those individuals stop.
There many ways to go about finding multiple revenue streams, some simple, and some, not so simple. I like simple to be honest, here on owengreaves.com you don’t see too much complication here. I promote Headway Themes, why? I think it’s the best, if not the best theme for WordPress. So I can’t recommend the product enough. I even have a page dedicated to it, with a list of over 400 sites using the theme, I list them so you can see what others are doing with it.
What you may not know about owengreaves.com is, I also have my own webhosting company, I use it for clients and friends mostly, why? That’s another blog post, but, there are another 3 Billion people coming, many will need webhosting, I just want to be able to provide that service, and….solve that problem.
I spend the majority of my time studying trends, tons of data, and look for interesting things in human behaviour, why? So I can share with you my findings on the future of business, much is changing and most people in this space aren’t really paying attention to it. You would think, if that’s true, why do I spend so much time there? Simple, most aren’t, and I can help business owners and entrepreneurs create new ideas to adopt that future I’m talking about.
I do consulting work in many areas of my studies, think-tanks sessions, workshops, and I do alot of public speaking to ensure my message is heard. All are different kinds of revenue streams, all have a slightly different way of generating income. One or two will be your primary money shakers but, you will need a handful of ways to fill the bucket with coin.
If you haven’t given this much thought, if you haven’t sat down and looked at your business from this perspective, if you haven’t considered different products and services around your single revenue stream, you will have a difficult time surviving in coming years. The next 3 -5 years, not 10 or 20, the business landscape is changing faster than you think, and people aren’t going to tolerate you dictating, they won’t come to you, you will have to go to them. How, through a mobile device’s and virtual reality.
What ideas do you have to enhance your one revenue stream, have you considered having multiple revenue streams, 5 or 10 different revenue streams. And will these products and services be yours, most likely not, you will be an affiliate of most of them, but you will have your own. That’s where the profit margins will be greater, in your own products and services.
How do you see the landscape of business in the next 3 – 5 years from this perspective? Thoughts?
I was having this conversation and the topic became very clear, one revenue stream will not be enough in the future to make a living. Everyone will become an affiliate of something. I found this to be true here on owengreaves.com, I do workshops, public speaking and I have links to affiliate products and services. I also own a webhosting company called Billyhost.com, as you can see I don’t rely on just one for cashflow or a primary source of income.
The younger generations get this, they have multiple passions and want to experience them all. They do something different for each one to pay for those said passions. They find a product or service that is in-line with that niche or passion idea. We all must adopt this theology if we are going to insist on doing business on the Internet. Yes there will be a few exceptions but for the most part, most of us will need to leverage multiple revenue streams to be able to do the things we dream about. But survival will require us to think outside the box and align our passions with those niches that will help us make the most money.
In my workshops I help you find those alignments, show you examples of those who have gone before you. I’m trying to plug the workshop, I’m sharing that there many of us out here that are doing it, and doing it well. We want you to learn and grow, that’s why we share here on the Internet.
If you have read many of my blog posts, you will have found an affiliate link or two along the way. You will also notice that I have a page for Headway Themes, I am an affiliate of that product, it’s the best WordPress Theme on the market in my opinion, and based on the sales, many seem to agree. I sell Headway because I run a WordPress Blog, and I run a Webhosting Business, which means I build a site or two. It’s in-line with my interests and it helps me make money.
Simple right? Not really, but you get the idea. So if you were going to align yourself with an affiliate product, what might that be, how does it relate to the passion you are wanting to experience, how will it make you money to experience it?
When the other 3 Billion People get online, you will have a whole new market to leverage, and with 5.1 Billion here on the Internet, everyone will need to be an affiliate of something. What do you think?
Now that the Christmas & New Years Break are behind us, we all have to get back to work at some point this week, except for the financially free folks who can do what they want. I thought I would give you a snapshot of three things that will come to fruition this year. They are very easy to predict but I can tell you this, many people don’t understand why or how it will impact their future in business. It’s not what happens, it’s how you see the future of business before it happens.
Let me get into it. Firstly, you need to understand 60% of commerce is and has been shifting to the Internet, online commerce is already huge, but it’s morphing. This will happen over the next couple years.
1.) Affiliate Programs – This year we will see a shift to where everyone will be part of affiliate marketing, it will be based on your following, how much influence you have, and of course credibility. These are just a few of the indicators that will be looked at for you to be a part of company “A’s” Affiliate program, they want to know that you have influence, a big following of consumers that will buy. Look for these programs to grow up away from the typical Internet Marketer, but do your research if a company approaches you.
This shift to the Affiliate Model, it may get a better name, will be part of the 60% of commerce I mentioned above. Consider how much and what you purchase online, you are now being looked at as a business partner rather than a consumer in 2011.
If you are a business, you may want to start your own Affiliate Program, you will also want to take advantage of Apps for the mobile market, why, read item #2.
2.) Everything goes Mobile & Social – the landscape I talked about in #1 means most of this commerce will be done through smart phones. The big three as of this writing are Apples iPhone, Microsoft’s Windows 7 Phone, and of course Google’s Android Phone. Each of these three have App Stores, not too mention the hardware makers have their own App Stores, like Samsung, Nokia and so on. This is a huge untapped marketplace, why, not everyone has a smart-phone, but they will.
Even if you are just a Blogger, get your content into one of the App Store Channels, give your content away for FREE, or charge a dollar for it, this is a new place of business for the majority. This is the year Mobile changes how we communicate and how we purchase many products and services, start making your move now, if you don’t….you will become a statistic.
Almost all of this commerce I speak of will come through Social & Mobile means, it’s the way of the new world. We are connected now, which means we are social & on the fly.
3.) Strategic Alliances – This description of doing business is not new, but it will be paramount to survival in business. Most of us will partner with someone or a some business, it’s a resource and reach thing. The have nots will not be able to fly on their own, they will need help more than the haves. The truth is, we will ALL partner up at some point to succeed in business, going it alone will be an exception rather than the rule. Prepare to have others on your team, prepare to share your wealth as well, having smart people on your team is worth the investment.
What do strategic alliances look like, Wal-Mart & McDonald’s is a good example of the term. They share revenues to leverage the number of consumers each has to offer, refer to #1, your following, your FaceBook Credit Points, your Twitter Influence will matter, these numbers will be attractive to companies. You don’t have to be as big as Wal-Mart or McDonalds. It might be just two people with large followings that get together to do business as strategic alliances, why, because it makes good sense and good business. Get ready to partner in 2011.