Friday, September 15, 2006

Note To Self On Time

Okay, as the business grows, I learn more and
more that what they same about time is true.

Time is your most valuable resource. And it is
very scarce. When your business grows, so do the
demands on your time.

Customer service, for example, is a big one.

Everyone who lost their download link, sends
you an email and need an answer.

Everyone who dislikes your marketing, sends
you an email and demand an answer.

Everyone who are thinking about buying your
product, sends you an email, and you really
want to answer them.

Everyone who has a problem sort-of-maybe-related
to your field sends you a question you feel you
should answer.

There are of course other demands on your time as
well. The server goes down and you spend the day
emailing your hosting company in terror.

You get spam complaints and have to defend yourself.

The payment solution changes and stops working.

The web log script crashes.


And all this leaves you with very little time to
actually build your business. To grow it.
It makes you stand still, right where you are now.

But there are solutions. Basically, they are two.
Systems and outsourcing.

1) Systems
Make everything a system. At least, you need a
system for day-to-day activities that need to
be done just to keep the ship sailing. You need
templates for the most frequently asked questions,
you need an easy way to refund customers, you need
a system that stops the spam.

You need a system to capture leads on your web
pages. A system that automatically follows them
up. A system that lets them unsubscribe themselves.
A systems that sells them, takes payment, and
delivers the goods.

But you'd also want a system for product generation.
A system for finding new keywords. A system for
content generation. I.e., you want systems that
don't just keep you afloat, but that actually builds
your business. Even when you're away. Even if you sell
the business.

2) Outsourcing
This goes hand-in-hand with the first one. Find people
you trust who do great work, and have them work
the systems. Have them do the things computers can't do.
Like product creation and keyword research.

What I've done

Thus far, all the lead capturing and follow up, sales
processing and product delivery is automatic.

I have a system for taking care of customer support,
that makes it easy to add support staff as more and
more customer come aboard. (Hm, there's a lot of
sailing-analogies today...)

I did outsource creating an audio book once, and had
great results, but haven't really turned that into a

So, I've freed up a lot of my time. But this is a
continous process. And my systems can only grow
when I grow, when I learn to trust people to do
great work. It's a fantastic journey.



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