Why taking massive action (or investing) is sometimes a BAD idea.

A common piece of advice to newbies in internet-marketing is to “take massive action”, and while this is sometimes a good idea, it can be a disaster at other times (we’ll be covering another of the common pieces of advice in a later post, that can also be a bad idea sometimes).

While taking massive action can be a great idea, it all depends on WHEN you take that action. Done at the wrong time and it can be worse than doing very little.

What order you do things in is one of the vital parts of success. This is known as “sequencing” in some business perspectives.

For most online business-systems, it doesn’t matter too much what is done initially, as long as some action is taken. Then one can see the results, test alternatives, and continually improve the system.

Typically first thing that you need to aim for in any business is to make some sales. Many start-up businesses offline make the mistake of doing lots of unnecessary preparations before even attempting to make a sale, and this is a bad idea. Without something (a product or service) being sold, there is no income and the business cannot succeed. Since that is the core of any business, it needs to be tested and confirmed as early as possible. Luckily for working online, this can often be done easily, quickly and cheaply.

A good approach is to start the business by finding the quickest, and cheapest way to test the method effectively. See what the initial income is, and if it is not profitable yet, estimate if improvements would be likely to make it profitable (taking your own time and effort into consideration). Then only once the method has proved to be consistently profitable, should you scale it up.

Don't invest in online biz until you read thisOn internet marketing forums it is common to see newbies ask what they should invest their money in (before they’ve started). The best answer is to invest as little as possible in either time or money, to test a method and to see if it will be successful, and only then begin to increase either investment or time.

If you’ve watched any of those TV programs where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to investors, you’ve probably seen examples where a business idea is losing money, and the owner thinks that just by doing the same thing on a bigger scale, it will magically become profitable. While some businesses certainly need some degree of investment before they will become profitable, and economies of scale can sometimes turn a losing proposition into a winner just by up-scaling, it is more common for the opposite to be true (big businesses can often be wasteful and inefficient).

Add to this the unfortunate fact that some “internet-marketing methods” sold, are not real tested methods, only some ideas that sound good in theory, and many of them have obviously not been actually tested by the author of a new online business guide, when you see things like the list of “websites they use every day” to make claimed incomes, and some of them have been down for several years and then you find the same out-dated list online somewhere else.

Many make money online methods will work, but only after you’ve carefully tested various alternatives to things like sales-copy, website-organisation, traffic methods etc.

So pick a method that is a good fit with your aims, and your strengths, and find the quickest and cheapest way you can to test it and see if it is at least somewhat viable, before you spend any more time and money.

I did that myself recently with an internet-marketing system that was new to me. I had the idea, thought it through (checked that it fitted well with my aims and strengths) and put up a new website quickly with just a default theme (I just customized the header image a bit). The first thing I did was contact potential customers and see if anyone was interested. It was only after I’d been paid by my first customer that I took the time to find a better theme, improved the text, clarified the description of the service etc.

And continue that testing and improvement until you have the very best system you can, before you really up-scale it massively. Even then, be very careful to test even the most “logical” assumptions, as it is easy to be caught out by things that seem like they “must work”, but don’t in practice.

An example from my own experience, is when I started a certain type of affiliate websites, tested a few small ones, then figured that creating a much bigger one, with a wider range of relevant products on it, would “obviously work better”, because it was better for the customers to have related products to compare on the same site etc. In practice, a bigger site did much less well, because Google gives more free traffic to narrower niches than to the exact same content on a broader site.

So make sure you test everything at every stage, no matter how “obvious” it seems that an “improvement” will work well.

If you do things in the right order, testing and improving, there are many different online business systems that can be very viable.

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