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Old October 25, 2006, 08:10 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,693
Default Automating a business...

Originally Posted by Gemini4X View Post
1. I want something that is 100% automated online (but I'm not opposed to offline marketing)
Hi Max,

I think the key to your request is your desire to have an "automated" business...

I think there are really very few businesses that are "100%" automated. However, there are many businesses which are mostly automated...

I think the key to getting a business automated is setting up a "system". In some businesses, that can be done (to some degree) with a sales web page and software. For example, if you write an ebook and sell it, the actual sales process and delivery of the product can all be done this way. (Clickbank has a good system that works for this.) Promotion of the product can be "automated" by running ads online (or even offline). It's not 100% "automated", though, because you still need a "human" to deal with customer service - but it's mostly "automated".

Other online businesses which can be mostly automated just using software are selling downloadable audio products, video products (which are viewable online, perhaps behind password-protection), and software products (though software tends to need more support than other products). Of course, these could also be sold on a subscription basis. (For example, some auction sniping software is sold on a subscription basis - you pay your subscription, which lets you use their software to "snipe" on eBay auctions as long as you're subscribed.)

The other way to automate a business is to outsource some of the work, or to use employees or other hired help (like freelancers, virtual assistants, etc.). To get this going, you need to set up a "system" of creating and delivering a product or service, and where your employees, freelancers, etc., fit somewhere into your "system". (I'm in the process right now of setting up this kind of system for a product I'm involved with...)

There are very few books that talk about this! (I'd say there are about 100 times more books about marketing than about how to set up a "system" for your business...!) The one book that most people mention is "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber. Another relevant book is "The Goal" by E. Goldratt and J. Cox. This topic is also discussed in Benjamin Suarez's "7 Steps to Freedom II" - where amazingly, Suarez reveals his whole - somewhat complicated - system that he uses at SCI. (That's what all those flow charts are about in "Step 4" of his book, for example. Most people, I think, are overwhelmed by the complexity of his business when they see the book. The fact is, a small operation can be much more simple yet still be automated.)

Apart from using the web and software (which has its limitations), probably the easiest way to partially-automate a business is to outsource as many functions as you can to freelancers... Of course, remember that at the end, after paying them, you still have to make a profit!

I hope that helps!

- Dien
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