Becoming equipped to confidently purchase an established website is a daunting and frustrating process. I know how difficult it is to get clear information about the process—I complained about it a lot when I was first getting started. For us, the worst part was the long and painful period of indecision we had wandering through the entire internet trying to figure what to buy to secure our future.
Once we had some success, many people became interested and started to ask us how they could get involved in ecommerce too. I also always try to be balanced and direct in talking about the struggles along the way.
So, not surprisingly, the most frequent question I get now is:
How can I accelerate past the learning curve and succeed in purchasing my first website now?
No one wants to run into the brick walls we did, and I certainly don’t blame them.
Here are 4 things I wish I had done differently from the outset that can dramatically accelerate your success in purchasing and operating your first website.
Think Like a Millennial
Most later-stage career professionals were schooled to get good grades, secure a great job, stay the course and advance in their career until retirement. This entire equation has been debunked and is not even near relevant today.
Resisting this notion wastes time. I waited until my late 50’s to shift my focus from my diminishing career to where my future is. I wasted a lot of valuable time.
Your future can thrive if you flip this equation and leverage your work to fund your future on the internet. It just requires you to make a very big shift in your mindset.
What you need to do—in the new paradigm— is “start with the end in mind.” Determine your desired end state through some real introspection. This notion was foreign to me but became liberating. This is really a simple and fun process and it allows you to create what you really want.
For example, I have tons of experience in the traditional investments world and have run big and small businesses inside several of the banks I work for. I have done strategy at a high level and have been a salesman my entire career. I’m unhappy in meetings and I manage details very selectively (sometimes poorly).
I’d also like to continue to live abroad. I have kids in middle school I’d like to spend more time with. I want my time back and I want something very different than I have today. Where my end game lies is combining these unique abilities and experiences with what I want from my lifestyle to be happy.
You’ll have to do the same introspection. You have your own experiences and strengths to leverage. Your family and personal concerns are unique. You need to define your own end game.
This process should help you set the parameters for the type of business you want to own. You will certainly know if something doesn’t work if you start looking at decisions through this lens.
All of this should lead you to your ideal monetization method. It will incorporate your unique strengths and desired lifestyle. You should have a very clear, confident view of what your future will look like since you designed it.
Once you determine the monetization model right for you, focus on this to the exclusion of all the other distractions on the internet.
Signing up to get daily alerts from Flippa for 5 different monetization models will take you down a very long, dark alley. I did this and thoroughly enjoyed looking at deals because I’m a deal junkie, but I just became more confused.
The resulting course of action is you waste time and money taking free and paid courses on things that you will never need to know about, except for curiosity’s sake. You can end up so confused you may never take action, and you’ll be a lot poorer.
It seems important—actually essential— to know everything. I get that. One of my favorite quotes comes from Derek Sivers:
“If lack of information were the problem, we’d all be billionaires with six pack abs.”
But whether it’s Facebook ads or copywriting secrets or leveraging YouTube, it’s of no use to you until you pick your monetization vehicle. I say this after having spent thousands of dollars on courses on these topics with zero need for them until I purchased a physical goods e-commerce site.
The takeaway is that the monetization method will drive your need for most of the stuff internet marketers are pushing at you. Get this right first, and you save a massive amount of time. So focus!
Knowledge is Power: Do the Work
I knew in a nanosecond I’d never build a site from scratch. My issue is I have much less time than money. I was in my late 50’s when I dialed into buying established sites and I’m still working full time.
It took me too long to deduce it would be essential to learn the fundamentals of building a drop-shipping site, my chosen monetization model.
Finally, when I researched all the courses available for those who are builders, I ended up joining Anton Kraly’s Drop Ship Lifestyle (DSL) to learn how thousands of his students are taught to build these sites. I took the course and did the work. This was huge for me and reinforced my choice.
The added benefit is I’ve even purchased several smaller sites from folks in DSL forums who sold for personal reasons. These deals never make it to the general public. The beauty of this proprietary deal flow is I know what they were thinking when they put the site together. We all speak the same dialect. Because we also trust each other, deals get done quickly without any deception on either side.
Having this foundational knowledge equipped me to shop for existing websites with much more confidence. I knew the lingo and the moving parts to succeed in drop-shipping. This confidence motivated me to act, even though it took me too long to do so.
Knowledge is power and it builds confidence you can act on.
Craft a Comprehensive Business Plan
In Robert Kiyosaki’s second book, Cashflow Quadrants, he discusses the essential activities businesses need to execute to be successful. In the book, he describes how he laboriously studied to master the only “must have” skill— the ability to sell.
He goes on to describe how he worked to surround himself with experts to complement the skill he chose to leverage: his ability to communicate. The irony is that he flunked writing classes in high school, but became a best-selling author (emphasis intended).
Kiyosaki uses a construct called the B-I Triangle. This framework has 8 components that have to be covered for entrepreneurs not to fall prey to the 90% failure rate for new business in the first 5 years.
Since DSL is a 7 step course, I was able to figure out where my unique abilities and desires could add value. This allowed to me conceive of a plan to find the people and resources we would need. As many readers know, my wife is the key point of leverage in our business as she’s an operations guru. This is huge for us. But things like website design, product uploading, paid traffic, and many more are not in our wheelhouse.
Before you buy a site and you need to have these details covered. I stumbled around a bit because I didn’t have the full plan in place and it cost me dearly in the beginning.
Once you have a plan with all the needed resources covered, browsing website brokers’ offerings turns into real shopping. You now have a laser focus and a checklist of what you’re looking for. You easily discard sites, while learning a ton by looking at hundreds of them. You also spot bargains and know just what to do. This is gold!
Finding the right deal can be painstakingly long, but employing the process outlined above can shorten your timeline and increase your success. Find like-minded people online and join their communities too.
My mantra is, “You’re just a deal away.” This can mean your retirement is secured, you can fund a college education, or you can fire your boss and travel the world.
If you’re interested in private coaching to level-up your knowledge base and save yourself time and money, send me an e-mail and let me know your situation.