In part one, we began our look at pitfalls and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs. In this conclusion, we'll continue our look at the road to online success:
Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Ambition is what fuels entrepreneurs and drives them to forge their visions into reality; but there's an unrelenting dark side to ambition, where the desire to see more and more of your creations come to life, often to the detriment of all.
Adult webmasters are notorious for this, whereas many mainstream operators view each website or domain name as a separate business, adult webmasters tend to view separate properties as "just another website." The result of this "distraction" is readily apparent in viewing the two markets together: While there are market- leading online properties in any number of areas, such as eBay and Orbitz, there are few counterparts to these in adult.
There are many apples on the tree; you don't need to pick them all: find the very best one, and you'll have a great treat — grab them all just because "you can," and you'll end up with a few worms. It's better to focus on doing one thing really well than doing many things halfheartedly. While you can never achieve perfection, coming as close to it as possible will only increase your profits.
A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned
I know that I said it takes money to make money, but that doesn't mean that you need to be excessive in your spending. For example, it might make sense to outfit workstations with the latest 24- inch widescreen, high-resolution monitors, or it might make more sense to buy a midrange 17- or 19-inch monitor instead.
A T-1 line provides for great connectivity, but residential cable Internet service might be all you really need. Fancy office wares might look impressive, but "build it yourself" furnishings will look just fine and be a lot less expensive.
It's easy to spend money when it starts flowing in or when a new investment is secured, but it's smarter to save those expenditures for those items that provide the greatest return on your investments. The money you save by being thrifty simply enhances the bottom line.
Learning To Let Go
I mentioned perfection above, and while it is tempting to seek it out, it's not very practical to do so, especially when doing so causes you to be late to bring your offer to market — a market that has changed while you focused on perfecting your wares for a target that has already moved.
You need to learn a balance between making something good enough and doing so in a reasonable enough time frame to allow for capitalizing on shifting consumer tastes and other market factors. Sure, there's always something else that can be done, optimized, improved, added or streamlined, but if it costs you sales and market share while you're fiddling about, then it's not a wise investment of your resources to continue doing so.
Set a realistic launch date, develop a product cycle that works within the allotted time, do the best work that your team can do, then let your project go. You can always go back to address usability issues and other customer concerns and capitalize on the "new and improved" version that can then be brought to market.
Why Should They?
It sounds pretty basic, but many paysites and other online adult operations don't do too good of a job of explaining "why" the prospect should become a customer. What's the return on investment? Explaining this may not always be easy.
For example, it's one thing for a web hosting company to explain the benefits of network improvements and how upgrading infrastructure services can speed website load times, file download times and improve availability — all factors resulting in increased customer satisfaction and thus sales and profits. It's something else entirely for one cookie-cutter paysite to sell the benefits of membership at their site over another.
What your particular selling proposition is isn't important: what's important is that you understand it thoroughly and are able to convey it in a way that convinces the prospect that they must have whatever it is that you're offering.
From wanting the best of everything and depleting resources to have it, to deployment delays from wanting to get that last feature working optimally and looking even better, the pursuit of perfection has many costs.
Sometimes this cost includes having to admit failure when necessary, and then being able to take decisive action to remedy the situation. For example, a webmaster promoting a site year after year without turning a profit may not wish to admit defeat for many reasons. This prevents him from moving on to a different project that might be more successful.
There's a difference between demanding the best from yourself and your operation and knowing when things are good enough. Do your best, but when the "trying" becomes a liability rather than an asset, it's time to move on.
Running a successful online adult entertainment business isn't easy, but with determination and common sense, nearly anyone can do it.