This concept by internet marketing maven James Schramko assumes that all small business owners put in the hard work, but the individuals who have built the right infrastructure beneath the hard work get to benefit the most.
So as a business owner you have to make sure you own your racecourse to maximise your benefits.
But what does it mean to own your racecourse?
Be on top of your business by ruling your house and not let anyone rule it for you.
Control your clients details so that you can, not only achieve repeat sales, but also build relationships and create a community.
How do we achieve that?
With independence obtained through an easy to navigate website, a strong email marketing list and specially keeping your eggs in as many baskets as possible, in case one of them falls on the floor, you have all the others to rely on to.
I am a holiday rental manager and unless you have been living in a cave for the last 10 years, you have surely heard about AirBnb, the unicorn startup par excellence, so excellent in fact that many guests refers to a holiday apartments as an AirBnb, saying: I took an AirBnb for my weekend away.
They have created such a powerful brand they have become the bosses of the holiday rental market worldwide.
Many colleagues over the years based their strategy on only listing the properties they managed on that platform, not bothering to have a website, to list on other platforms or to collect guests contact details.
But, as it grew so expansively, it became so impersonal and run by AI, resulting in many accounts with hundreds of properties getting blocked overnight with no apparent reasons and it was taking hosts days and weeks to get them reinstated, with the consequence of no business coming in when the listings were offline, as well as the frustration of the impotence.
Some of them never recovered their listings and had to start all over again, like opening up shop from scratch even if they had been running for years.
Other famous impersonal platforms with the same behaviour are EBay, Etsy, Amazon, Booking.com, and while it’s important to list your products on them to reach as many clients as possible, specially to start with, it’s even more important to build a website you can sell from and collect all email addresses from the clients that buy from you over the platforms, so that you can send them monthly newsletters with offers and news.
So if you are a creative or an artisan and are basing all your business on Etsy and EBay shop, now it’s a good time to start with your own website and e-commerce.
Have no idea where to start?
Reach out to your hub and you’ll find many articles on how to and best practices.
And what about social media you’ll surely say?
Well, considering this article was inspired by an Instagram catastrophe, the same applies to them.
Surely open up pages on all the social medias you like: Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, create a community, try to get as many LIKES, COMMENTS & SAVES, as possible BUT ALWAYS, with the aim of bringing them to your racecourse which is your website or your Subscribe to our Newsletter landing page.
It has to be done in parallel, grow your audience on their land but bring them to your territory to close the sale or at least for a repeat sale or booking.
It’ll be cheaper, as these platforms commission are usually outrageous, it’ll give you peace of mind as you’ll have various stream of business with clients coming in through different places.
Think of a shop in any high street, if you have one door and one window, only passers by will come in, but if you are on a corner you’ll have double the stream and if you have the whole ground floor of a building of a busy street with many doors, like a department store, the streams will be non stopping.
And if in any case one door breaks down and stops working, you’ll have all the others.
Another crucial point to have clear at all times about social media is that likes, comments and saves do not mean €uros, as in income, so building a stream is key for your business to thrive.
Moreover, all the followers you have on socials are not your yours, they belong to the platform and you have access to them until you play by the platform rule or until the AI there decides to wipe you off for good, BUT, your newsletter’s subscribers and blog readers are your people, your crowd and they’re better entertained on your land, where the rules are yours and not someone else’s.
She was brave enough to move away once she sensed the instability of the platform and achieved a multi million dollar business, wrote a book and got a Netflix series done on her.
She now teaches business techniques in an online course.
How do I put my strategy in place:
As you’re probably a small business owner, you’ll have many hats to wear and limited time so making the most of everything is a must.
For everything predictable in life I try to have at least 2 backup plans ready just in case. Ideally start with finding 2 alternative website providers.
Build the following streams:
Website: easy to set up, maintain and move away from with ease, should the need arise.
It’s your business card, your window shop, the way you present your product and your brand to the world, so a lot of attention needs to go into it.
The idea is to get clients to buy or book in 3 to 5 clicks, making the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
Tip: people are scared of online shopping because of all the scams, so if you have reviews from clients that have bought or booked from you either directly or through the platforms, take a screenshot of them and put them on your home page in good display, so the visitors will see straight away that you are genuine.
Also display them on IG highlights, as prospective buyers or bookers are bound to check you out in different places.
Payment through Paypal: it’s the most trustworthy payment method worldwide and people love to use it as it’s the one that gives most guarantees.
Build the following streams:
- Intagram: page
- Facebook: page
- Twitter: page
- Linkedin: page and personal profile
Pinterest: it’s a photo search engine that is booming lately and very much loved because unlike all the other social media, the content lives in it forever.
Google My Business: very important to post daily and collect reviews as it will also boost your website.
Publish the same everywhere but with a lightly different tone giving the idea of a consistent brand.
Newsletter Landing Page: build a funnel to collect email addresses
Make it fun and rewarding for them to give it to you.
Blog, ideally linked to your website so that it gives more ranking for regularly updated content.
Try to publish a post at least every other week and then build your social media strategy around it.
Have trouble about content creation?
Think of what you’re good at and share it, tell the world your why, share knowledge and experience. As soon as you start writing, new ideas will flow in.
Get inspiration from your daily life and above all have fun, enjoy what you do.
I once read that to be a good writer you need to live and experience, so go out and find your mojo.
Closing bonus: IG weekly back up
- Go to Settings
- Click Security
- Click Download Data
You’ll get a zip file with all your activity, where the important bit is the followers, so in case IG account gets blocked, with this data you can quickly rebuild it, instead of waiting to recover it.
If you have a big account with 20/30 new followers a day, then it’d be a good idea to do it daily or every other day.
Whatever you do, do it for you, nobody else will push you unless you do.
It’s your business, your income, your baby, your passion, so treat it accordingly: take care of it from the very beginning with the best practices and if you’re already running it but do not feel in total control, start today with putting in place all the above, get behind the wheel of your rocket and remember the only limit is the sky.
Article written by Daniela Derin, Planet Venus Ambassador of the group Planet Venus Marbella – The Hub for Andalucia Girlbosses.