Every new online business needs two things to succeed: Time and Money.
The first, time, is essential because the big G drastically controls the dissemination of new online businesses through their use of the Sandbox. The Sandbox is something akin to purgatory. Every new website sits for 6-8 months of limbo in the Sandbox waiting to be fished out like a kitty crunchy. Why?
Have you every noticed that during the beginning of the year a lot of people commit themselves to losing weight but by June maybe one or two of your friends has actually managed to lose any weight? New Internet businesses are exactly the same. Maybe a business starts with a bang but it takes dogged dedication to survive online.
Google has created the Sandbox to essentially weed out the uncommitted. It’s better for their viewers. Until your new online business emerges from Google’s Sandbox most of your efforts won’t seem to get you anywhere. While this seems like an enormous amount of time to be stuck in what is essentially Internet limbo, the fact is that the Sandbox is a huge asset to any new business. Use this time to stream line the business plan, secure new investors and develop a marketing plan.
If you haven’t read about it, this is also the perfect time to learn about lean Six sigma.
Six sigma is a business model that was developed to help streamline business manufacturing but the essential elements of the model are excellent when applied to any business process. Six sigma revolves around the principals of DMAIC (Define, measure, analyze, improve and control).
For a new businessperson, learning about Six sigma will help you constantly focus on profits and keep you on course. Given that you will be in the Sandbox for at least six months, concentrating on profits is essential for survival. Essentially everything you do in this first six months should be dictated by a quest to make your business profitable.
Many of your business decisions can be properly guided by this one factor and using the DMAIC model. For example, if your business is an informational website about education and your business plan is looking to generate profits through affiliate marketing, you need to locate the most likely to enroll and pay student eyeballs. This, not what you want to write about will dictate the content. In this particular example, maybe you would like to focus on young Green oriented youngsters who are part of the Tea Party Movement. While this might be the group you want to focus on, are they able and likely to click on and enroll in your affiliate links? You won’t get paid until they do.
A smarter plan of attack might be to start by targeting newly returning soldiers from Iraq. These are people who have educational benefits waiting for them that are paid for by the government. Most of them joined the armed forces at least in part because of these benefits. These are students that are likely to enroll in your affiliates’ programs. These are the eyeballs that will pay your bills.
At a later date, once your new online business is more established you can incorporate content more in line with your dreams. This isn’t necessarily selling out; it’s survival.
Once Barbara Bergman, one of the authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books said a very insightful thing, she said “Before I write anything I go into a large bookstore and figure out where the book I have in my head will fit on the shelf, will it be in the business section, it the lifestyle section, where? Then I tailor my idea to where my book is going to sell best.”
Use the time your new online business has in the Sandbox to find your niche on the Internet shelf. While the World Wide Web is a huge bookstore there are actually a lot of empty spaces available on the web bookshelves. Find a need and fill it, rather than filling a hole and then looking for a need. This combined with Six sigma DMAIC is a great plan of attack for starting a new successful online business.
About the Author: Craig Calvin is Brand Manager for sixsigmaonline.org, leading online six sigma training website.