Can You Be Successful in Running an Online Business?

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“You cannot succeed running an online business.”

That’s what the pessimists were telling me 10 years ago. Perhaps, that’s what your friends, workmates or family members are telling you, too. Take this from me. A person will only speak words of possibilities based on what he can only bring into reality. If he sees himself not capable of giving birth into something, guess what, he’ll tell you, “It’s impossible,” “It can’t be,” or “Just choose another line of business.” After 10 years, my online business has grown 10 times already. Let me tell you the story behind this success.

“How you were able to build confidence in your Internet business? What was your secret to your success?”

Thank you to Margie Vanscoy for asking that question on my Facebook fan page.

Margie Barinque Vanscoy

First off, let me tell briefly how my internet-based services started.

In 2005, I started as a freelance writer while I was working full-time (I was still an employee then) as a college instructor and a systems developer. I called a time-out from writing for a year. I did not accept online writing gigs in 2006.

It did not take long before curiosity entered my mind in 2007. I began to ask the following questions to myself:
– Where did my content writing project manager get her clients?
– What unique selling propositions did she present to her clients?
– How did she handle her customer service?
– Where did she get her clients?

How Did I Find the Answers to My Questions?

I was already working in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company or a call center in 2007.

In 2008, I made time to find the answers to those questions. I researched as though the sun won’t shine on me tomorrow anymore. I studied how to maximize and monetize my skills in writing. I also studied how to improve my writing skills. When I got a good feel of my readiness, I started to formulate my own quality control processes (QCP). I documented everything, complete with flow charts and graphs like I was going to report to my manager. When I was completely ready, I began marketing my services.

A customer would bend out on me because of his not-so-good online experience from another service provider, I’d say, “I would have felt the same had I been in your case….”
A customer would complain about my rates, I’d say, “I understand that it’s ideally important to receive the best without necessarily paying a fortune. But I believe we both know that we will only get what we are paying for. Although it’s somewhat painful to spend a lot of money at first, it’s better to pay a reasonable amount and cry for one day than pay very little and cry forever. Which among the two do you prefer?”

I gave every potential customer a taste of a world-class customer service.

My Call Center Work Experience Contributed to My Success

My call center experience played a significant role in my customer handling skills. I was able to maximize my world-class (says my wife) email handling and phone handling skills. With almost a decade of chatting, emailing and speaking with most, if not all, nationalities around the world, I’ve learned the behavior of my customers. I’ve discovered the ticklish part of their body, so as to say. I’ve mastered the art of creating a scenario that will make my prospect realize that she’ll regret it if he or she won’t heed my advice – whether it’s about buying a product or trying a service. In short, I’ve learned how to play in my hands the art of “creating the need”. I can still remember as though it was only yesterday when I was able to sell Windows 7 DVDs to the customers of my technical support engineers like hotcakes. Mind you, I was able to upsell Windows 7 DVDs even when their computers and laptops were no longer booting up. Bragging rights. Hehe. But that’s another story.

What Other Key Competencies Contribute to My Success in Running an Online Business?

Whatever your previous jobs were, I’m sure you can apply one or more skills you’ve learned from that job into your online business or current job. In my case, I attribute 20 percent of my success in running online marketing services to my call center work experience. I attribute 80 percent of my success to these two key competencies I have, and anyone should have, as far as operating an international online marketing service is concerned:
– Excellent English speaking and writing skills
– Self-sufficiency

Why Do I Need to Speak and Write Fluently in English?

I need to build rapport. I don’t even feel the need to justify this. Can you imagine what kind of conversation it would be if I struggle a lot in picking the right words to say and write? What would my customer think if I have 3 to 5-minute pauses in between replies on Skype?

“Ah, Jaycee might be opening his thesaurus. Have you found the word, Jaycee?”
“Heck, are you still searching Google for the answer, Jaycee?”
“Hey Jaycee, are you still asking your neighbor’s opinion about what I asked you?”

Why Do I Have to Be Self-Sufficient?

Successful people are either busy or expensive. When I’m not busy, I charge a minimum of $100.00 per hour for a one-on-one coaching session with my foreign clients.

If you’d like to save $100.00, you’ll have to regularly follow my posts on my Facebook fan page or my posts on my website. But that’s just 10 percent of the efforts you need to do for you to feel the capacity to say “Yes, I’m already successful!”

Ninety percent of work should come from your own creative efforts and sound research. Successful entrepreneurs have their own personal style in operating a business. Your operating style should be tailored-fit to your personality and behavior. Do not totally mimic the style of every successful entrepreneur you know. His genes don’t match your genes.

By being self-sufficient, I give myself no limits on what I want to discover and learn. It also helped me save thousands of dollars to pay a coach. I am not saying that you should not attend seminars or hire mentors. I am saying that you should at least try to maximize available resources to discover things on your own before you ask. Mind you, I know some coaches who, when asked a specific question, answer, “Have you checked it on Google?”

We have Google. We have YouTube. You’re the only one that these two are waiting for to get the class started.

I started as a freelance writer. Here are my additional services today:
– WordPress Theme Installation and Customization
– Graphic Design
– Social Media Marketing
– Virtual Assistance Services
– Search Engine Optimization
– Technical Support Services

You’ll know more about my business, iPresence Business Solutions, at www.ipresencebizsolutions.com.

Revealing the Secret

To wrap it up, here are the three key ingredients of my success in operating a very successful online business:
– application of my best practices from my previous jobs
– fluency in oral and written English
– self-sufficiency

On top of all these key competencies I mentioned, I really like and love what I’m doing. Serving my customers has become my second nature. Running a business is not all about the money. Any business is all about service. So if service isn’t your core motive in running a business, ask yourself again if you’re really running a “business”.

Friend, do you already have an online business or are you planning to build one in the future?

Do you need my suggestion on how you should go about it?
Feel free to write your comment below.

Jaycee De Guzman

6 COMMENTS

  1. I enjoyed reading this article Jaycee. It inspires me to develop my core skills more. It’s great to hear that a fellow Pinoy like you is having a success in online business. I am a digital nomad myself and enjoys earning while working at home. Keep up the good work and I hope you can inspire more Pinoys.

  2. thank you for this article Jaycee. This article is very inspiring; like you, I tried to develop my passion in speaking and writing and hopefully i can conquer and build some reputation online. I’ve done this for few years and its challenging and exciting. I have the gut feeling that I should start to build a team.

    Thank you and God Bless you.

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