Diversification

 

OK, when you are engaged with Internet Marketing, you have your good days… you have great days… and you have days which are slow, and sales are practically non-existent.

It’s just something we have to get used to… and the ability to remain calm, and not panic, during such times of sales slow down is a definite advantage.

Because sometimes those single days can extend out into weeks, and even longer periods… because just because we are selling online, doesn’t mean we are totally protected from the normal economic cycle of ups and downs… and so we need to keep a level head (and at times like that, having built-up a cash reserve to pay the bills, until the traffic improves, is also a sensible thing to have done).

But at times like that… there is a deeper lesson to be learned.

It’s the lesson of diversification.

Whether diversification in product, or niche, or selling mechanism / platform.

I used to work for one I.T. company, whose success was based on a very successful product set… and who were always looking to diversify into different products… even different markets if they could… because they knew their over-reliance on a few products (which were 15 years old at that date) left them open to risk.

Because if you are over-reliant¬†on one product, and interest in that product dries up… or selling to a single niche, and that niche starts to lose interest… or on one selling mechanism / platform, and the platform fails in some way

… Then overnight your revenue stream can literally dry-up… and leave you with serious financial problems.

That’s why, once you have tasted success, and realize that this online selling approach is sound, then it is important to consider diversifying…

  • Into different products
  • Into a different niche
  • Into a different selling platform

And even into different countries.

Let me explain.

The common advice for online selling is to sell to the U.S. market because that is currently the most lucrative online market on the planet, it’s where people are most engaged with online buying, and where you will make the most money.

And that is all true.

But… see the main picture above… an image of New York City before 9/11… before the planes crashed into the Twin Towers.

You see, what happened online after 9/11 is very interesting…

For a month, after 9/11 the U.S. economy was very shaky… and online orders literally fell of the edge of a cliff… literally, no one was ordering products and services online for a month after the event.

So the Internet Marketers who were just focusing on the U.S., which as we all know is the most lucrative market on the planet, suffered seriously… because they weren’t receiving orders… because no one in the U.S. was buying online, they were still in a state of shock… and it took about 1 month for them to recover their confidence.

But those Internet Marketers who had diversified into other markets… Europe, Australia, New Zealand.. found that they didn’t suffer as much… OK, their profits dipped admittedly… but they still had some money flowing in from the other countries around the world.

OK, I am not arguing that people should be rushing into other markets… and the U.S. is still the best and most lucrative market out there… I am just using that as an extreme example of what can happen.

You see, diversification isn’t just about finding new markets to sell your products into, or new products, or new niches… it’s also about spreading the risk of doing business.

So after you have tasted the first taste of internet selling success… a very useful thing to consider next is how do you, to the best of your ability, future-proof your business

And the standard business advice in these situations… when you have established a successful business, consider how you might lessen your exposure to risk through diversifying your business.

And useful advice at such times… for those who are acquainted with the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy will know that printed on the cover, in big friendly letters, are the words… DON’T PANIC.

PS. If you are a contractor working for a large company then hopefully you will know about putting aside a part of your income for rainy days… for periods when you are unemployed, and the next contract hasn’t appeared… Personally, I think such an approach has value here… because it provides a contingency fund to fall back on while the sales are low, and so you don’t get totally pushed in panic mode.

(c) Brian Parsons, July 2016.

 

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