Selling Your Website – How Much Does Your Business Rely On You?

Your Website Isn’t Sell-able Because of YOU!

This can be the case more than you might think. I’ve recently been consulting with a large online retailer website that’s had fantastic success running a drop ship operation as a family business.

In the midst of a bad economy, he has 8 years of solid growth, and is projected to break $2 Million in sales this year!

The business is amazing, and I’ve been able to become intimately familiar with all the day to day operations. It’s a great business, in an evergreen market, and it’s growing at a rate of about 50% a year.

But, this website and business isn’t ready to sell, yet. Why? Because if the current owner left town tomorrow, it would crumble.

Is that what your business is like?

One of the most difficult things to overcome in a website you’re ready to sell, is the business’ dependence upon you. And oddly enough, when you actually achieve building a business that grows and thrives whether or not you’re around, you end up not wanting to sell it!

It’s important to build your business, doing everything through the lens of this question: “Does this make my business more sell-able?” Because should the day come that you DO want to sell it, you’ll only be able to do so if YOU are able to leave.

So, here’s a few things you can do to make your business less centered around your own personal efforts to keep it running.

1.) Apply the 80/20 rule. A lot of great books talk about the 80/20 rule, but in a nutshell, it basically means that 80% of your success, is derived from 20% of your effort. Which means the other 80% of the time you spend in your business, is likely the stuff you’re wasting time on, and it doesn’t make you more money. Find out what that one most important thing is, and immediately find alternative ways to get the other stuff done by other people, software, or systems.

2.) Create process maps. Boil it down to a science. “My business includes doing X, Y, and Z.” Color by numbers. As you’re working each day, take detailed notes on what it is you’re doing so that someone else could easily pick it up and follow the instructions, regardless of their level of experience.

3.) Hire people! This isn’t always the answer, but it’s less scary than most people make it out to be. You probably CAN afford to do it. You just don’t think you can because you don’t know the value of your own time. Imagine if you weren’t spending 8 hours a day doing something that could be done by an employee? Are there more profitable tasks you could be focusing on in that time?

4.) Don’t be an expert on everything. It’s a great way to become a bottleneck. The guy I told you about above is a victim of this very thing. He’s SO knowledgeable in his field, that everyone asks him for answers to Google-able questions. Force people to know stuff. Make it a point to let others be experts about things you don’t need to be.

What are some other things you can do to make your website and business less dependent upon you? leave your thoughts in the comments below!

10 Fast Ways to Double a Site’s Earnings

As you probably are well aware of, one of the most important things to consider when investing in a site you’re planning to flip (or keep), is how you will increase the bottom line. So in today’s post, my hope is to get your creative juices flowing by throwing a few ideas your way.

Things That Could Potentially Double Your Site’s Revenue

1.) Create your own product. If it’s an affiliate site getting generic market traffic (traffic other than the organic searches for the product name of the vendor it promotes), create your own product and keep 100% of the sale. If the commission is less than 50%, you immediately double your revenue assuming conversions maintain constant. If commission is already at 75% or higher, create your own product anyway. Make it better and raise the price.

2.) Raise your prices. If the site sells it’s own product or service, repackage it, and raise the prices. 15% – 50% is an easy range to get away with for info products without much difference in conversions. For the heck of it, DOUBLE the price, or more, and see what happens.

3.) Add similar traffic sources. Does the site rank #1 in Google? Why doesn’t it rank in Yahoo and Bing as well? Together, you MIGHT double the traffic depending on the market, and from my experience, Bing and Yahoo visitors convert better. Find out what it’ll take to rank in those search engines as well and do it. Is it paid traffic the site makes its money from? Great, your job is easier. The internet has an unending supply of paid traffic available. Scale it.

4.) Sell more stuff to your existing customers. The hardest sale you’ll ever make is the first one. Everything after that is EASY in comparison. They already have had a good experience with your brand. The trust factor is already there. They probably WANT you to sell them more stuff if you delivered on your first product. So do it!

5.) Split test till the cows come home. Look, if there’s one fault we have as work-at-home internet marketers…it’s being lazy. Most of us just don’t feel like doing the things we already know work. One of them is split testing. If the site already has traffic, and is already making sales, it only takes a few minutes to tweak a headline, a background color, an add to cart button, a price, an offer, etc… Pick one thing to split test per week. If it beats the old way, make it your new control and test it again. You could legitimately DOUBLE your income doing this.

6.) Reach out and make friends in your market! Landing the right JV, ongoing promotion from super affiliates, or high PR links from authority sites in your market can make huge differences in your business. Be friendly. Give before taking….Scratch that…Give before asking. You’ll make friends fast, and they’ll become your best sales team. How many super affiliates/JV partners have you seen carry entire launches on their backs? It happens a lot. I could list product after product that is now a house hold name simply because they had the right people promote for them. But it only happens by helping others first. Do that, expecting nothing in return, and before you know it, you’ll likely get plenty in return.

7.) Create a “light version” of your product. You know the #1 reason your target market doesn’t buy your product? It’s not always your copy, or some ninja marketing tactic you haven’t figured out. If you have a good product, people probably just can’t afford it, or don’t want to pay that much.

Overcome this by making a “light” version. a.k.a, a “down sell”. This isn’t contradictory to the above “raise your price” advice. Do that. But for everyone else, have a basic, front end product to sell. You’ll not only get more customers on your list, you’ll likely sell more copies of your high end product if you show them something good with the first smaller purchase.

8.) Do a survey! Nobody said you couldn’t ask people what they’d like to buy. Get that information, create it, and start selling it from your site.

9.) Do regular giveaways. Giveaways are HUGE. Make it a contest. Ask for a facebook like, Google plus 1, or a tweet to enter the contest. Make the giveaway something great! That’s the real trick to running good contests and building bigger audiences. The giveaway has to be something unique…not another ipad. It’s “free” traffic (minus the cost of the giveaway), and if you do it right, it could dramatically increase not only your following, but your sales.

10.) Add bonuses. The key to making this work is much the same as the giveaway. The bonus should be perceived as MORE valuable than the actual product the site sells itself. People will buy your product to get the bonus even if they don’t want the product sometimes. It’s like the old Sports Illustrated commercials. They advertise free gear WITH your subscription to SI. But the whole commercial is about the bonus.

Those are the first 10 things that came to mind after sitting down to type this post. What ways would you typically approach growing a business, or even doubling it? Let us know in the comments below.