Offline Business is NOT the best business for knowledge experts
In my explorations as an entrepreneur, I’ve sold a lot of physical products both online and offline. My husband and I started out by selling electronics and technology products then moved on to something more creative a few years later – hand-made coconut jewelry.
Both business brought in money and did exceptionally well at specific seasons of the year. We were doing ok in business. After careful analysis however, we realized that there were a few things we were doing in our business that were doing us more harm than good. Added to that, we had a baby on the way so we had to figure out a way to make our business more efficient.
Shortly after our first child was born, we quickly realized that we could not continue to invest as much time into our manufacturing business as we usually do. It was not long before I knew that I had to return to the internet to find a more viable option.
After two years of investing deeply into building 3 online businesses and settling into my comfort zone as a teacher, I finally decided that the online business model is a much better option for a knowledge expert like me.
WHO IS A KNOWLEDGE EXPERT?
This is a person who has substantial expertise in any particular area and has the ability to train others to also become experts in that area. A typical knowledge experts are people like teachers, personal trainers, sports coaches, life coaches, or any person who is knowledgable or skilled in a particular area.
So whether you are doing private tutoring, personal training, yoga classes or a dog whispering, every knowledge expert needs to have an online presence with the main purpose of connecting with customers and generating income.
I am not talking about a website with information about your business like what you do, where you are located, or pictures of you doing your thing. I am not talking about having a really popular social media profile with thousands of followers either. I am talking about having a fully functional, income generating website that is a profitable financial asset to your business.
Now, I must admit that having an online business has its curves and trenches, but you stand to gain much more if you understand how online business works and how to manipulate the technology to make it work for you.
Just look at the following key benefits and let them prove themselves.
With an online business, your target market (aka prospects/potential customers) can live anywhere in the world. With a website, you have the power to attract a wider audience of people who are looking to learn what you want to teach.
Not so with an offline business. Your target market is clearly defined by your local geography. As a result, your business is exposed to a much smaller audience with a resulting smaller sales and profits.
The cost of running an online business is ridiculously lower than what it would cost to rent or buy a commercial space for your office or studio. A website can cost you as little as US$80 per year while a cheap office or studio space can cost as much as US$8,400 per year. That’s 99% more than running your infrastructure online! Even with all the apps, widgets and plug-ins that you can integrate to make your website more efficient, the final cost will never come close to renting and furnishing a physical space.
You are at an advantage if you are running the business alone and doing everything yourself. But you will get to a place where you are going to need help. Hiring full time help is something you can do as well as you can hire virtual help on a full time or on a part time basis. The key here is that each of your staff members are working more efficiently by communicating with and completing tasks using your online platforms.
Online workflow organizers like Asana make it super simple to manage projects virtually.
Imagine you are an instructor, presenter, teacher, coach… and you want to get your business out there to the world. You may need to plan a few seminars, expo…run few ads in the local media…attend a few networking events….and a host of other things to market your business.
In the online space, rather that hosting seminars and expos, you can host a webinar or build a course once. This content lives on the internet where persons can access it anytime in the future and from anywhere in the world. This means that you would now free up your time to focus on something else.
Your networking and marketing activities online are archived so you or the other party can refer back to them at any time as well. So you basically have to do an activity once and have it “done” forever.
This sort of leverage gives you so much more time to do the things that matter more to you.
As a knowledge expert, you will most likely sell digital products. When a customer purchases your products they can get access to it in minutes. No inventory; no shipping labels; customers will never have to wait more than a few minutes to get access to your products or services. The transaction is faster and product issues are resolved much quicker.
Spending money in your business means that you must always know what works and what doesn’t work in order to invest more on what works and eliminate what is not. With the advancement in technology, it has become easier over time to determine what systems and processes perform best in any online business.
- track which marketing effort is producing the highest conversion
- market to specific demographics
- make tweaks to your system in real time
With a simple app or plugin, various data can be analyzed to return specific information to help you make decisions about your business.
Who doesn’t need more time in their day? Nobody! We all want more time and freedom to do things we want and spend it with the people we love. Having a business online require less time to operate. You can run your business from home or from anywhere in the world. All you need is a computer and internet access.
Ok. I must admit that this was what attracted me the most to online business. Imagine going to sleep one night and waking up the next morning and checking your email to see that you’ve received some new payment notifications while you were sleeping.
That’s what passive income is all about. Making money while you sleep; making money when you’re not directly working for it; not having to trade your time for money but the money still keeps rolling in. An online business has the power to do that as long as all your systems are working properly and assuming you are actually selling something.
Your next move
If you are running an expert training or coaching business offline, you need to incorporate an online model to expand your business and open it up to the world. If you haven’t started your business online yet, then this is the most critical stage.
Either way you will need some help and guidance to build your brand and your business online. For this very reason, I offer a 30-minute Clarity Session to any knowledge expert who is looking to build their business online. I help you get clear on exactly what your next move is in building your business. Learn more about Clarity Sessions here.
If you think you need more than 30 minutes, then book a one-hour session. Don’t go more than an hour though because I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. Let’s chat first and them we can pace ourselves and decide on our next meeting.
Let’s meet and develop your success plan for building and profiting from your online business