Your Business Success Roadmap

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.

– Zig Ziglar

How To Use The Roadmap

1. Read through carefully.

2. Identify where you currently are.

3. Take a deep breath and move forward with the recommendations for your current stage.

 

 

4. Bookmark this page so you can easily refer to it as you progress.

5. Links to related tutorials and blog posts will be added soon for those strategies which may require in depth explanations.

 

 

 

The Four Stages Of Building An Online Business

01. Validation Stage

What this stage is about (Assessing Feasibility)

Your focus at this stage on one thing – research!

Now, I know, for most people this has zero appeal. It’s absolutely the least sexy stage as it entails lots of groundwork, but it is the most essential, and should not be skimped on -ever!

Businesses that fold after three months tend to do so because of lack of proper research and validation of the business idea prior to launch.

 

You're in this stage if:

1. You have an amazing business idea but you’re not sure if its feasible

2. You have no social media followers for your business

3. You’ve done no research to know if the product/s you’re considering are in demand

4. You have no website or any other online presence

What you should be doing at this stage

 1. Getting validation. That’s all that’s required at this stage. You need to know if there are sufficient people willing and able to buy your products.

So start with a few products, throw up an Instagram business page, run a few sets of the cheapest ads and see what happens. 

Spend time researching hashtags . This strategy works, if you do it well.

 

What you shouldn't be doing at this stage

1. Creating a website

2. Registering your business

3. Purchasing a domain name and hosting

4. Worrying about branding colors and logos

When to move on to the next stage

Move to the next stage when you have accomplised the following

1. People have increasingly started to buy from you

2. You are getting tons of feedback from customers and potential customers

3. You know without a doubt who your target market is. This info should come from the ad results and the questions you have been getting. Never from your gut.

 

02. Launch Stage

What this stage is about (Getting The Party Started)

Your focus at this stage is on getting your online  business up and running.

At this stage you have fully validated your business idea, you have full confidence in your business model and you are ready to do business from your own platform as opposed to Instagram’s.

 

You're in this stage if:

1. You have an increasing number of paying customers

2. Your social media following is growing at a steady, or even exponential rate

3. You could quite easily give a general description of your customers and you know the need that your business fulfills in their lives.

4. You have started to resent the time spent answering the same inane questions over and over through your dm’s and desperately long for a more sane way to conduct your business

What you should be doing at this stage

It’s at this stage that you are most vulnerable to overwhelm, so listen carefully. You are in the process of creating a business and chances are most of the required tasks for this stage will be unfamiliar to you, but unfamiliar doesn’t mean impossible.

Just continue to follow the stages, take deep breaths and hang in there, this stage doesn’t last forever.

 Focus on:

1. Putting together a business plan

2. Registering your business

3. Purchasing a domain

4. Creating a brand identity (Brand colors & logo)

5. Photoshoot for your products, figuring out shipping, payment gateways and taxes

6. Getting website created

7. Setting up analytics

8. Launching store

 

What you shouldn't be doing at this stage

1. Giving into shiny object syndrome and getting overwhelmed by all the strategies online and sidetracked by sales pages promising to help you make 6 figures in 3 months

2. Creating more social media accounts (this is for later)

3. Hiring a VA (not yet in any case)

4. Throwing your hands up in despair. You’re building an online business, its going to take time and you will have hiccups as you progress. The good thing is you now have a roadmap, of sorts lol, so put those blinders on and keep going. 

You’re doing well, I promise!

When to move on to the next stage

Move to the next stage when you have accomplished the following

1. You have a solid strategy for getting customers to your website

2. Your website is ready to do its job which is to convert visitors into paying customers as smoothly as possible

3. You have thought about how to use email marketing to encourage previous customers to return and buy from you again and again and again…..(you get the point)

4. You are ready to really dive into online marketing. This means your mindset is right – you know you’re embarking on a new journey and you are fully committed to the success of your business

 

03. Building Stage

What this stage is about (Time to get super visible)

Your focus on this stage is solely on marketing your online store. Nothing else matters at this juncture, everything else can wait.

 

You're in this stage if:

1. Your store is launched and you have successfully transitioned your customers from your dm’s to your website

2. Your combined social media folowers are between 100-10000

3. You are making revenue but not enough for your business to be your main source of income

What you should be doing at this stage

Your focus here will be on expanding your customer base, driving traffic, expanding your social media presence, growing your email list and making sales

Focus on:

1. Delighting customers. Your customer service should be impeccable

2. Creating email sequences (welcome & cart abandonment)

3. Creating a Pinterest account. Pinterest is great for getting free traffic easily to your store

4. Rewrite your product descriptions

5. Create a content plan for your social media. Post consistently and write captions that will engage your followers

6. Create templates for everything, this one tip will save you hours. Create templates for blog posts, email, social media (promotional posts, sale posts, motivational posts)

7. Reach out to influencers or brand ambassadors

8. Optimize your product pages to be found on Google

9. Run ads ( Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google)

 

What you shouldn't be doing at this stage

1. Giving into shiny object syndrome and getting overwhelmed by all the strategies online and sidetracked by sales pages promising to help you make 6 figures in 3 months

2. Anything that takes your time, focus and resources away from getting customers

When to move on to the next stage

Move to the next stage when you have accomplished the following

1. If you lost all other income streams and had to depend on your business, you wouldn’t starve

2. You have at least one  funnel that’s bringing in organic traffic consistently

3. You have a solid understanding of how your business fits into your industry, the pain points of those you serve and and iron clad email marketing system

4. You can afford to hire an assistant 

 

04. Growth Stage

What this stage is about (Rolling In The moolah)

In this stage you are earning reliable income and can afford to re-invest funds to grow your business even further. This is the stage where you hire help to take the daily tasks so you can focus on the big picture without being bogged down by working ‘in’ the business

 

You're in this stage if:

1. You have more than 5k email subscribers

2. Your list is growing organically

3. Your business is growing steadily

4. You are making enough moolah to be able to live completely from your business income. Yay!

5. You have more than 10k social media followers combined

What you should be doing at this stage

Your focus here will be on optimizing every aspect of your business. Hand over daily tasks to your assistant/s and really fine tune your business for optimal conversion

Focus on:

1. Optimizing your customer journey

2. Creating limited-time offers, upsells and bundled offers

3. Launch a cart abandonment email campaign

4. Offer new products to your existing customers and frequently test new products based on Google trends information

5. Consider offering an affiliate program to passively push your sales even further 

6. A/B testing

7. Doubling down on your learning so you can stay ahead of the game

8. Negotiating for volume based deals from suppliers

9. Helping your team scale traffic sources

 

What you shouldn't be doing at this stage

1. Fulfilling orders

2. Responding to customer emails

3. Posting on social media

4. Any admin routine task which takes your focus away from managing the business from an aerial point of view