You know the business world is being turned on its head, even the old terms have a new meaning. This is not new, I’ve talked about this before, but today it’s become more real and in your face. Today it’s called pay for performance, the old name was called, “commission”. You got paid a commission for your performance, of what you sold. Today you get paid for something you do, not what you sold.
Businesses rely on transactions, the old way meant something was sold, a product or service was exchanged for money. Today, money is changing, it’s not hard cash that get’s exchanged, it can be as simple as a barter. It can be a new form of payment, pay with a Tweet, pay with finishing a mission on Empire Avenue, it’s no longer cash as we know it. What we used to call it a favor, is now a new kind of transaction. Today, merely referring someone reaps a reward. Your business now has to find ways to embrace these new transactions….and they aren’t that new, we’ve been doing them most of our lives, they now have a new reward. And I haven’t mentioned Bitcoin yet : )
How do you define pay for performance today, the old way, or the new social way? What do you believe to be the new social currency?
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!
We are a curious lot, we’re hungry for information & knowledge, we want to know what to do next, always looking for that nugget, that one thing to put us on the right track. We spend hours searching the Internet for a shortcut, are we join groups or businesses thinking it will shortcut success. The shortcut, should you find one, usually doesn’t have staying power, it has a short life span. It’s not because the deal, or whatever it is you decided to join is bad, the common denominator follows you every where you go, it’s why you either quit or hop aboard the next best thing.
I spent years trying to get that shortcut, thinking I could get rich, I could do something where I really didn’t have to work that hard, and make piles of money. Most of us are lazy, we want it all without having to pay the price to get it. There are two things required to succeed in business, one is to hard work, and the other is persistence. The combination of those two brings about life abundantly, growth, excitement, reward, enjoyment, and feeling of doing something special with your time, or your life.
I meet regularly with young people wanting to start their own business, they already know they don’t want to work for the man, they want to do work on their terms. The energy is overwhelming at times, but fun to be around. The conversation always starts with, I want to start a business, or I want a job, but I don’t know what I want to do. Every time, I’m dumb-founded by this, the answer to me is simple and as plain as the nose on our faces. I always say, if you don’t know, don’t worry about it, just go do something. I tell them to go and do something, anything, and they’ll find out what they like, love or hate. The problem is they haven’t done anything, so they have nothing to measure, nothing to compare. The old guard call it experience, I don’t look at that way, I want you to get used to the idea that you will have to do hard work before you discover your passion, the thing you really want to do.
The second thing I tell these young eager minds, go home and write, write down what you love doing. It could be a hobby, it could be music, it could be painting art, it doesn’t matter, just write it down. Once they figure it out, once they see something they are willing to invest their time and no money into, they always get to the most asked question. How do I do it?
This question comes from two things in my humble opinion. One, they haven’t worked for anyone else before, and they don’t learn how business might work. Two, they haven’t learned that building a business is hard work, and they don’t have that long old age thing called experience, they haven’t failed.
The younger generations have two choices to make when they decide to start a business, they can plan with a tradition business plan and funding, or they could just start. The later brings with it failure, and that is uncomfortable, and painful. Failure tends to squash that drive, that passion, that energy to build a business. The other failure is, the business isn’t profitable the first day they start telling the world about their new venture.
There are over 100 questions a business consultant would ask new business owners, and if they answered to many questions wrong, they would tell the young entrepreneur they shouldn’t start the business. I say, don’t listen to them, just go and do something and measure what’s happening as you go. I’m not saying you should ignore certain indicators, the business should be viable, not just a pipe dream.
First young entrepreneurs aren’t sure what kind of business to start, and secondly, they always ask, how do I do it. The most asked question in my business of helping business owners.
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If you must write a business plan, you just can’t move forward without one, keep it simple. Don’t think in traditional terms, just do a simple business plan, something you can refer to as a guide. Here are 8 points to consider if you MUST write a business plan:
- Executive Summary – I would write it after you’ve done the next 7 points. Keep it short, one page.
- Company Description – Legal establishment, history, start-up strategy, etc.
- Product or Service – Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
- Market Analysis – You should know your market, customer needs, is there a need, where they are, and how to reach them.
- Strategy & Implementation – Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you track results.
- Internet Strategy – For E-Commerce, include development costs, operations, and sales & marketing plans.
- Management Team – Describe the organization, and the key management personnel.
- Financial Analysis – Include your projected profit and loss, and cash flow tables.
You could have someone review this plan to ensure it’s a viable business, be sure this person or firm is capable of doing so. Be careful here, you could get stuck trying to make it perfect, don’t, just write as briefly as you can, unless you’re applying for funding, they want all the details.
It’s entirely possible, that the profession you’re now in, won’t exist or will be dramatically different in the next 5 – 10 years. What you should be learning is, economies, big business, even small business, the financial infrastructure of business doesn’t care how long you’ve been with the company, it doesn’t care if you’re the best at the job, it does care about making money, and you mostly cost them money. Cut backs are almost always in the form of people, rarely have you heard of a business reducing the size of the building or plot of land before they cut back people, it just doesn’t happen, and it’s easier to let people go than to the other cut back ideas.
Many authors have written about the new big being small, because so many people are finding themselves being released all types of jobs, even the long careers that we think are safe and secure. The business world is not compassionate, it’s a bottomline beast, the margins matter, and you’re easier and cheaper to replace.
Soon we will have no choice but to adopt to the new work landscape, and that will be a world with fewer jobs and more self-employed / entrepreneurs. The Industrial Age system is fighting that movement, it wants you to stay where you are and to do as your told.
The biggest challenge with new world order of work, it’s a scary place, the level of risk is higher, but the rewards are also higher if you choose the road less traveled. The reason many don’t step out is because the old system provides you with just the right amount of something called security. That system also has just the right amount structure to make you think no one else could do what you do, you couldn’t be replaced. You must know that’s an untruth. This system we call the Industrial Age is crumbling, and soon we will speak of it as something that didn’t work well for people who were creative, and entrepreneurial in nature.
Your profession, should be you, mastering the best you, providing the best service you can offer, your investment will need to be in you. The term profession now takes on a new meaning doesn’t it, it’s not what you do, it’s who you are, and how you execute who you are. Leaving the Industrial Age behind is hard, but eventually, it will disappear, and you’ll have to figure out how to manage without it. Consider what your profession looks like, and build that.