Online business challenges are similar.
Although online businesses are different from one each other, the challenges are similar. It doesn't matter whether you have a podcast or drop shipping store, whether you have a newsletter or you are selling online courses, whether you are running an app, or you are running a community.
Your challenges are probably finding the right niche for your business, finding marketing channels to reach the audience in the niche, finding the right messaging that will resonate with that audience, and finding the proper business modal.
It also doesn't matter if you have no customers, you do have customers, or you hit some glass ceiling. Becoming stuck could be since you can't find more new customers or existing customers not continue to be your customers. The challenges are the same.
Focus is the king
The number one reason for time-wasting for online business owners is doing things that don't matter. You can do many things during the week and feel like you had good progress, but progress doesn't count only the impact of your actions.
As an online business owner, it's easy to be distractive, you can spend time on the social network since you started with some marketing activity, and after a while, you continue with non-work-related things there. You can also go after the new shiny object in your field without making sure that it will gain some impact on your business.
The set-plan-do-measure process
In the utopian world, you will know in advance the impact of your actions before doing them, and in such a world, success is guaranteed. In reality, we can't tell priorly what our actions will impact our business, so we need some process to help us track our impact.
The process is quite simple. First, we need to set our goals, then plan the actions that will help us reach those goals, do those actions, and measure their impact. With those steps, you can focus on the success of your online business.
Set your goals
Probably you want to make money out of your business. The question is how much and what you are willing to trade off for the money. The number of customers is different, and the type of customers differs in each case. Do you want to become a billionaire or replace your day job with the same amount of money? Those decisions will affect the vision of your business.
After you have your vision, start breaking it down into smaller goals, the main goals for the year and the quarter. Probably you are not sure how to reach those goals, and it's ok. Also, from time to time, revisit those goals, and check whether they are still valid for you. This step will give an idea of how to run.
Plan your actions
First, start to break down the goals into smaller milestones. For example, if you want in 12 months to get 1000 customers, it's hard to understand how to do it but to reach the first ten customers, you might have a good guess on how to get them. The way to get the ten customers could differ from getting the last ten customers out of 1000.
Here start the tricky part, how to reach those milestones. In this step, we start guessing what will work and plan the actions. Remember that those actions might not work, so try to make them a small bet. Plan the activities in detail and extract tasks from them.
Do the actions
At this stage, you have a concrete plan and tasks. Remain focused on those tasks and don't be attempted to take others. Don't forget that the current plan might not work, and you might adjust the schedule.
Prioritize the tasks every day. You will learn what works better and what does not, so it's ok to add or remove tasks or change their priority but do it in a dedicated time, think a bit about the change, and convince yourself that this is the right thing to do.
Measure the impact
Make it a weekly routine, review the numbers of your milestones and goals, and see the impact. If you haven't seen any effect, your need to break the goals and milestones into small pieces, or you want to change the bet you took.
Also, go over the mix of the task you have done this week. Maybe for next week, you will want to take a different route or double down on the thing that worked.
Focusing on online business goals is the fastest way to achieve them. You can do it manually or use tools like goalskeeper.io to guide and help you focus on your goals. By following the set-plan-do-measure process, you will get this focus.