Business Frameworks: Converting A Course Into A Business
Posted on 1 April 2013 by Alex Goodall : No Comments
When you buy an Internet Marketing course that purports to describe a business blueprint, the promise is that it will explain how to create an operational business, based on that blueprint.
Provided the course has sufficient good content, that promise can probably be fulfilled.
However, there is also an implied promise: which is that all you have to do is go through the training, follow the instructions, and you’ll have an operational business.
That promise can NEVER be fulfilled!
There is a lot of work that you need to do which goes beyond simply following those instructions. I have described that work below, and although people don’t go through it in the structured way I describe it, I’m certain that it all has to be done.
That’s why it often takes a LOT longer than people expect to go from having access to a training course to having an operational business.
This is the “extra” work that’s needed
High Level Conceptual Understanding
You need to develop a good grasp of the relevant concepts and how they relate to each other. The meaning and significance of individual “trees” can’t be fully understood without grasping the idea of the “forest”.
A good training course will teach you this conceptual understanding explicitly. Unfortunately, many courses don’t do that and simply dive in at the detailed level, leaving you to create the big-picture understanding from individual pieces of the jig-saw.
High Level Options
Quite often, there are different approaches you can take with a single business model, and if the particular blueprint you are following isn’t explicit about which one it’s describing, you may need to figure out the options and make your choices.
For example, if the business model entails using SEO to get traffic, you have the option to go for fast, short-term ranking, or slower, long-lasting ranking. If the blueprint doesn’t tell you which one and how – you need to decide that for yourself.
Setting Up Business Infrastructure
Before you can start operating your business, you need to have various business systems in place. Hosting account, Domain Name Registrar Account, Autoresponder Account, Social Media Accounts are obvious ones: others might be: Help Desk, Forum, Keyword Research Tool, Rank Monitoring System, Mobile Simulator etc. etc. ).
Most training courses don’t separate out the setting up of this “infrastructure” activity from that of actually running the businesses. New items infrastructure requirements are introduced piecemeal.
Getting these into place can take a long time if you’ve never done it before, so knowing what they are beforehand helps you plan things out better and gives you a more realistic estimate of the time needed to get up and running.
Defining Business Processes
An operational business consists of a number of business processes / systems. That’s it! Whether or not you think in those terms is another issue, but that’s what a business is.
Most training courses never make the processes explicit – which means YOU have to do that. Ideally you will also document them (or some of them).
The importance of knowing (and documenting) your business processes is something I can’t emphasize enough – even if you are the only person who will ever operate them. But if you plan to use outsourcers or hire employees or work with partners, then it becomes critically important.
No business can be run without keeping records. Too often, people rely on the records that are automatically created by our online systems (such as subscriber lists in our autoresponder system) – but that is rarely enough. You need to figure out what additional records you need to keep about your business activities, and set up the relevant record-keeping systems.
Without proper records (and the processes for creating and reviewing them) you will never be able to properly monitor your business progress or have a basis upon which to improve and adjust your strategy and/or processes – other than guesswork.
With that background established, I can get back to the title of this blog post: Business Frameworks: Converting A Course Into A Business.
What I mean by a Business Framework is something that provides an all the above – either in outline or in detail.
A Conceptual Model of the business
A list of the options/choices you need to make to define the precise variant of the business model that you wish to follow
A description of all the components that make the business infrastructure that you’ll need
A list of all the key processes needed to run the business: the framework may also provide some documentation on them
Record keeping requirements
Obviously, a Business Framework can be more or less detailed – but even an outline Framework will significantly shorten the time needed to get a business up and running. At the very least, it provides a structure into which you can record the key information from a course in a format that enables you to reference it more easily and apply it more quickly.
But there’s one additional important consideration. Your…
Setting up a new business takes time and effort. And it ALWAYS takes longer than you think!
If you have very unrealistic expectations of what is involved, you can easily become disillusioned and give up. Or give hopelessly optimistic estimates to other people (such as your ever-patient partner!)
The only way to get some sort of grasp on how long things will take is to create a plan of activities with time estimates for each activity.
Having a Business Framework in place makes it MUCH easier to create an implementation plan because the framework tells you all the things that need to be in place before you can start running your business. And, in fact, the Implementation Plan is the final component of the Business Framework itself.
I hope that the ideas in this post will help you next time you want to implement a new business model.
Please let me know what you think about this by commenting below. And also share this if you like it!