Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Did My Business Survive?

You may have noticed my absence lately. I admit - I did sort of drop out of site for the past few months. The anniversary of my dad's death hit me hard. I miss him more than I thought possible - especially if you remember how I used to complain about having to take care of him.Then Dearl's health problems cropped up again and that has just taken my full attention. And just when it was beginning to even out, God saw fit to provide me with not 1 but 3 distractions to care for. 3 new grandbabies in the last 4 months. To say I've been a bit preoccupied would be an understatement.

Now, I would love to say that I am independently wealthy and that I didn't have to worry about such mundane things as mortgage payments or grocery bills or putting gas in the SUV. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. I have to make a living just like everyone else. I obviously was not functioning at full capacity business-wise through all of this, though. So how did I manage to hang on? The answer is - automation.

My primary sources of income all operate pretty much on autopilot. So, while I can't neglect them indefinitely and expect to thrive, I can take a couple of months to focus on other priorities when necessary. My business may not grow (although Traveling Bob still managed to net some new customers!) but it won't die either.

Is your business automated? Can you take a break and generate some passive income while on vacation? Not sure? Answer these questions to see where you might need to make some changes.

1. How do you build your mailing list? Do you have opt-in pages on your sites that capture email addresses and names of visitors? This is the first step in automating your business. When visitors come to your site, have a enticing offer such as free special report or free trial to get them to subscribe to your newsletter. Once they enter their name and email, it is captured and placed in your database, automatically adding names to your mailing list every day.

2. Are you using autoresponders? If you have a mailing list, but don't have a way to automatically stay in touch with your contacts, then you are still not taking full advantage of automation. With an autoresponder, you can program a series of emails that will be delivered to your subscribers consistently for months or even years. So even when you aren't able to follow-up personally, your autoresponder is delivering content, offers, and reminders to re-visit your site over and over again. There are lots of great autoresponders available. I use AWeber and have been very pleased with the results.

3. Do you take orders and payments online? It has never been easier to do this than it is now. Services like PayPal make it a breeze to accept online payment, even if you aren't set up to take credit cards with your own merchant account. Combine this with a simple online shopping cart, and you're ready to make sales 24/7, rain or shine, whether you're available or not.

So - I am back now and trying to catch up from neglecting everything for so long. Fortunately, it won't take me long to just go in and update things. But it's good to know that if necessary, I can step back from actively building my business for a short time, and it will still be there when I get back. Can you do the same?


Eileen Williams said...

So glad to have you back! I always, ALWAYS, learn new and valuable information when I visit this site, so I'm especially happy to see you back to blogging.
Your points are well taken and, although my blog is doing well, I need to incorporate your ideas like auto responder and the rest. You're such a mentor and business pro, it's great to have you share your expertise. Thank You!!!

rosie said...

You make an excellent case for building this type of business model. Funny how once a system is in place other things can fall into place. Thanks for this healthy and wealthy perspective.