10 Steps I Would Follow To Start Over And Build My Business From Scratch in 90 Days (Updated)

If I had to start over from scratch, what would I do to build my online business? What if I only had 3 hours per day, and the weekend, to get it done? What follows are the 10 steps I would follow to build my business from scratch – and get it done within 3 months.

  • Wow – congrats on boiling this down to just 10 steps! I’m curious you talk more about paid advertising. Is this because it’s the fastest way to build a following? What are your thoughts on unpaid promotion (social media, guest posts, etc) when starting out?

    • David Risley says:

      Paid = more control.
      Unpaid = less predictable. Results much harder to come by when starting from scratch. Not impossible by any means, but takes a lot of work and more time, and this whole post was predicated on the idea of doing this in 3 months.

  • Eric says:

    I’m curious to know exactly where to find the interview you did. You linked to it from this post, I clicked over but I’m not finding it.

    I went through all the podcast pages (there’s 4 that I see) and I’m not seeing where it is.

    Could you please provide the link to the actual episode so I can listen? I like to read/watch/(and)listen.

  • Carlos says:

    David this is an extremely valuable post. I love the fact that you personally answered my Email. I’ve invested into buying my domain and hosting, and as soon as I make money I will be sure to become part of the academy. I’m a business student her in Chile, Sotuh america, so my income is pretty low right now, but when I get the money I’ll be sure to pay for your business one way or another. Keep up the great work, one can tell you know what you’re talking about.

  • Kevin Cheng says:

    David – That’s a great 3-month blueprint and it couldn’t come at a better time for me, as I’m getting ready to start my first blog/business. Totally agree with #9. I do intend to proactively communicate, ask about people’s challenges, needs, and wants, and REALLY listen to their answers and work to build my business around being a solution. Just wondering – I don’t have much experience coaching others (yet). Would you still recommend providing a service or coaching as my first offer? Or can I get right to creating the information product? Thanks!

    • David Risley says:

      Well, first you work out exactly what outcome or transformation you want to deliver. What value will you bring them?

      Then, from there, you work it backwords into whatever form factor best suits it, whether it be a service, coaching, or an info product.

      But, in the real world, nobody ever started a business thinking “I’m going to offer a service”, set up their shop, THEN try to figure out the service to provide. Just doesn’t work that way. They figure out what they’re delivering, then go from there.

      So, don’t think of it as offering a service or coaching… think of it as delivering an outcome. Then figure out the way way to do it.

      And to answer your question more directly, sure you can go right into doing an info product if you want. Its just a longer runway. Plus, service/coaching work is a good way to validate the idea and demand before you put the work into making an info product.

      • Kevin Cheng says:

        Thanks, David! Great point (and I agree) about nailing down WHAT outcome I want to deliver first. Then the HOW of delivering it (i.e. form factors, etc) I can work out based on my particular knowledge, skill, experience, etc.

        It also makes sense i can validate my product idea – and even more importantly the outcome I think they need or want most – by service/coaching work, because they will tell me or things will occur to me as I’m working with them. Okay, I’m going to put my thinking cap on to tackle what specifically to coach and how best to deliver that coaching, etc.

  • Bill Cobb says:

    Thank you so much, David! I was just listening to several of your podcast episodes this week. I just had Hostgator delete a few of my sites yesterday. Very Timely for me as I’m doing much more video marketing to YouTube, Slideshare, Scoop.it, image marketing in replacement of “blogging”. I’m so over blogging the word makes me sick. I can create 3 to 4 videos with text description of my talking and upload that to youtube with great title, description tags in the time it takes me to write 1 Google compliant blog post. And, I’m in full agreement with Marcus Sheridan’s post last week on “Why “Learning Centers,” Not Blogs, are the Next Big Thing for Content Marketing”. I have so many blog posts, videos, slideshares, images that I need to better categorize into a learning center site grid boxes that helps me be a teacher to my niche, and typical WordPress categories suck at navigation. Thank you! Thank you!

    • David Risley says:

      Well, the way I look at it, “blogging” is any form of content publishing these days. Not simply written posts. If you’re posting Youtube vids, you’re still blogging… just on a different platform.

      And, I saw that post about “learning centers”… again, its all terminology. Its the same thing, just re-positioned a bit.

  • Barb says:

    Thank you so much for creating this post! I am in the same situation as the person who initially posted the question. I was actually thinking about asking my family and friends what they think I would be good at coaching because I feel like I have nothing of value to offer. Would you suggest doing that? I love meeting moms and offer words of encouragement to them when they feel discouraged as a wife and mom but I don’t feel “qualified” to offer a fee for that.

    • David Risley says:

      Yeah, it never hurts to get more viewpoints. Also, it is true that people probably won’t pay for encouragement. They’re going to pay for some outcome that they want.

  • Will Hybrid Connect allow you to do a single opt-in also?

  • Lisa says:

    Great post David. When I was (trying) to build my internet “business” I certainly did it all backwards. Clearly that’s one of the main reasons that I didn’t succeed.
    Now you’ve got me thinking again and I thank you for that!

  • Ivan Ferrero says:

    Thank you for this post David: very enlightning!
    Just a question…
    I always read about how a blog is more SEO friendly due to the fresh content.
    I fear a site as you describe here would disappear soon from the SERPs.

    Do I missed something?
    What do you think about it?

    TNX!!!

    • David Risley says:

      That is generally true, but I also think that too many people make WAY too big a deal out of their search rankings. If you spend all your time trying to make sacrifices to the Google gods, you’ll have no time to build your business and make anything happen.

      If you create great content, it’ll get shared and ranked. You don’t need to continually post in high volume to get Google to check you out.

      • Ivan Ferrero says:

        This makes sense, and helps me to focus on my real goals.
        Thank you David you answered many questions in just a shot! 🙂
        I realized my next step is to “convert” my newborn blog into a services website. 🙂

  • Amanda Kelly says:

    Great advice, I wish someone would have told me these things before I started my business. I would also add the tip – It takes time to make money. So many people give up when they don’t see money right away.

  • jasonc says:

    Is really a good piece of article. especially for the first point #1 – Stop searching for “how to make money online”. I been searching for the phrase before I first start my business. I will take your advice to improve my business cycle all over again.
    I agree with your comment that sometimes we sacrifices for Google, building content for Google to rank. We should focus on our goal to build our business ! cheers!

  • Dan V says:

    Hey David, I’ve come up with my idea for an informational product I’d like to provide,.but it seems these days that with YouTube, magazine articles and how-tos, people can get free advice and info on just sit anything these days. How can you justify building a product for a fee when people can probably dig to find all that info for free on the Internet?

    Do you think offering the material in a clean cut, easy to use and access package is an advantage people would pay for?

    Thanks. Dan

    • David Risley says:

      VERY good question, Dan. Realize this, though…

      People aren’t buying information. They’re buying a transformation. They want an outcome and they want it as easily and quickly as they can. So, if you provide that shortcut, you have value in your offer even if some (or all) of the information could be found in random fashion for free elsewhere. It is about structure, clarity, simplicity. Also, most good offers aren’t going to be ONLY information, but also an element of support.

      People pay for speed.

      If a solution is quick and easy already, then sure, a Youtube video will do the job. No product necessary. No offer necessary. But, then again, that wouldn’t be a good market, then. 🙂

      Never make the mistake of thinking the value of your offer is just information. Information is very much a commodity these days. But, UNDERSTANDING isn’t. SUPPORT isn’t. GOOD SERVICE isn’t. That’s your offer.

  • Javier says:

    Great post-David!

    I was wondering in step #5 the lead magnet would be a free strategy call with me? From there then I would offer them my coaching or service?

    Thanks again!

  • Khalid Zitouni says:

    Hi David, how are you doing with your RV site are you making any money yet?

    • David Risley says:

      Actually, I haven’t posted to it in a few months as I’ve been pretty busy with BMA. However, I intend to change that. And in terms of money, it hasn’t made any direct sales, however it has led to a few indirect ones where RVFT inadvertently drove a few sales to BMA.

  • Bob Zeiss says:

    I have been trying for around two years to get my business going and some of the ideas you mention I have dealt with (at least in part). ButI have never boiled it all down to a common sense strategy like you have. This is all of value to me.

    One question, why are there no comments after 2015?

    Many thanks,

    Bob Zeiss

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