In Lewis Carroll’s novel, “Through the Looking Glass”, the Red Queen tells Alice that in the Looking Glass world “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place”. Although most commonly applied to evolutionary theory, the ‘Red Queen Effect’ is a fitting allegory to describe very nicely how many people run their online business.
It’s so easy to become caught up in a pattern where all your time is taken up just trying to stay ahead of the day to day jobs – those myriad of administrative tasks – that do nothing more than keep your business just a heartbeat away from failure.
This trend will continue unless you make time to plan and carry out tasks that will enable your business to become more PRODUCTIVE and more PROFITABLE. If you fail to make business development a priority, then this cycle will only conclude when either you, or your business, collapses.
Outsourcing and time management are two key skills that can break the habit. Read about and become proficient in these areas but, in this article, I want to encourage you to think for a few moments about how you can maximize your return
on investment – not in money, but in time.
There are literally hundreds of different things you can do to improve the productivity and profitability of your business. Some will take a long time to implement, others can be completed very quickly. Some offer only a small improvement to your business, while others can be nothing short of revolutionary. If you have been exposed to the internet marketing industry for even a short length of time, then you’ve probably already learned more tips, tricks and hints than you could ever hope to implement in a lifetime.
So be selective.
Identify the developments that offer the best ratio of benefit, to the time required to accomplish them. That’s the MOST benefit, for the LEAST amount of work. For example…
Few would disagree that, whatever industry you’re in, having a blog as part of your online efforts is hugely beneficial. It enables you to build a relationship with your customers, presents another channel through which your business can be promoted, puts a face and a voice to your product and offers an easy way to keep your customers up to date with your latest offerings. Given the vast array of benefits that it provides, it would be well worth spending a considerable amount of time adding this weapon to your marketing arsenal.
But what if it only took one day? What if it only took half a day? Or even less than that? Exactly how quickly can you install and customize a blog to the point where it’s ready to use?
Option 1: Purchase server space with any host that offers cpanel and you can use the “Fantastico” section to automatically install a WordPress blog in just a few minutes. You’ll also want to spend an hour or two customizing the settings and familiarizing yourself with the control panel.
Option 2: Open a free account with Blogger and the process is even faster. A Blogger blog has fewer features than WordPress, but it means that customisation takes less time and effort. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not forced to host this blog on Google’s servers and you can happily opt to install the blog on a domain that you own. From start to finish, it’s easily possible to be completed within the hour.
Option 3: For $6.86 per month, or a one-off fee of $65, Ninja Blog Setup will install a WordPress blog on your domain, configure all the important settings, and upload a variety of plug-ins and themes for you to use. The blog arrives fully ready to use, so all you have to do is fill in a form and make a payment via PayPal. This option takes a maximum of just 5-10 minutes.
Business development doesn’t have to be massively time-consuming and it doesn’t have to be something that you have to keep putting off. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the answer is simply to work more hours. All that will happen is that you’ll fill those extra hours with more tinkering.
After telling Alice that it took all the running she could do, just to stay in one place, the Red Queen went on to say, “If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” This is as paradoxical a statement as the athlete that insists he’s going to give 110% effort.
Alice had more sense; she stopped running and caught the train instead. Lewis Carroll may have been as mad as a hatter, but he neatly illustrated the importance of working smarter… not harder.
About the AuthorDavid Congreave began working online in 2001. He is now an SEO and Internet marketing consultant, a writer, and an editor. He lives and works in Leeds, UK with his wife, Leanne.
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