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The Secret Ingredient to an Internet Business That's More than Just Profitable

Jessica Albon | July 29, 2009 | Comment
Growing Your Business
Please cheap cialis 20mg help me welcome generic cialis my guest blogger this week, Jessica Albon.
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Jessica AlbonHave you ever made a cialis online chocolate cake viagra 100mg without eggs? It’s actually a lot more fun than the traditional way when you put the reaction of vinegar and baking soda to work in the place of the eggs.

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This secret ingredient for your internet business is much the same – it’s not traditional but it whips up quite a reaction. So, you can settle for the same old chocolate cake, or you can try out this new recipe and add a dash of creativity to your business.

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When we first start a business, and we’re doing everything for the first time, the creative bursts and inspiration come easily. And because we need to use all of our talents to get the business going in the beginning, we dig in, and put everything we’ve got to work.

But, a funny thing happens once the business is up and running – you might have let yourself get comfortable and coast a bit instead of continuing to be creative. You do things the way that it worked in the past, or the way your mentor suggests, or the way your coach recommends. And you don’t stretch yourself.

Rather than following a set path – whether that path was set by your previous success or a mentor – seasoning your established business with your creativity will have rewards both financial and unexpected.

When you intentionally bring creativity to your business, you’ll think of new profit streams, new ways to connect with your customers, and new ways to reach your goals. What’s more, seeing your business as a creative path allows you to lead the pack instead of lagging behind.

So, how can you venture out onto the creative path through your business and enjoy the rewards?

Shut Out Information

One of the biggest traps entrepreneurs (and just about everyone else) falls into these days is an obsession with information. We read blogs, follow friends on Twitter, and check on Facebook for updates. We buy eBooks and audio books and watch the news… There’s certainly no chance of suffering from an information drought these days!

If you want to be really inspired, you’re going to have to take a break from the constant inflow of information. Schedule in at least one full week where you’ll stop letting information in. If you’d like to make this even more effective, try out morning pages, but that’s completely optional.

Celebrate with Clients

Remember the big, creative birthday parties you attended as a kid? One of the best ways to show your clients you love them and to entwine your business and your creative path is to throw a big party to celebrate something.

Now’s not the time for some formal rubber chicken banquet – go with a potluck or uber swanky high tea. How would you love to celebrate with your clients? Obviously, business anniversaries make a good fit for this, but you can celebrate just about anything, and your clients will be game all year long. So, celebrate the fact that it’s Tuesday or the five straight days of rain you’ve had, or your mascot’s birthday – just make sure it’s fun and creative.

Do Something Backwards

If you work one on one with customers, you probably have the intake process perfected. There’s the initial consult during which you ask questions and complete a prospect questionnaire. Then, there’s the follow up where you deliver the proposal. Next, you get the contract signed and deposit the check. Finally, you send out the welcome packet replete with bells and whistles.

Take this process and flip it around. Your new intake procedure might look like this: send out the welcome packet any time someone gets in touch to possibly work with you; send a stock proposal and contract; and when that comes back with the check; schedule the consult and complete a diagnostic call.

Sure, you might not stick with the new approach, you might not even actually try it, but thinking of ways you could do things backwards will get the creative juices flowing.

Invent a New System

When you first started your Internet business, you read The E-Myth. And you set up a bunch of systems in tidy, labeled binders. (Well, okay, so maybe I’m the only one with binders.) But, I bet that’s the last time you ever looked at some of those systems you created. And, I’d also suspect that now that you’ve been in business for awhile, you could use a new system or two.

Perhaps you’re mailing out tons of orders and never created a system for generating online postage. Or, maybe you never declared Tuesdays and Thursdays as mail-out days and so you try to send orders every day of the week. Wherever you don’t have a standard operating procedure, invent a new system to fill in the gap.

Step on a Crack

Where are your customers falling through the cracks? In lead generation are you converting everyone who really wants to buy? In customer care, are you getting as many repeat orders as people want to place? In annual follow up, are you making your customers feel as cared for as you want them to?

Take a big step back from your business and seek out these cracks. Make a long list of them – because every business has several dozen – and just think about what it would be like to fill all the cracks in. You don’t have to actually take action (though it’s great when you do), but finding the cracks, whether or not you fill them, is a powerful creativity exercise.

If you can’t find any cracks at all, don’t think that means your business is perfect. Rather, it probably means you need some help brainstorming. So, spend a few days brainstorming the cracks in other businesses – when are you disappointed? What goes wrong with no recourse? After you’ve gotten some practice, come back to your own business with fresh eyes, ready to find any gaps in your processes.

When you follow a creative path in your business, you’ll be rewarded with better relationships with your customers (translation: more referrals, more profitable repeat business), more interesting money streams, and lots more fun.

What’s more, breaking free of the herd has never been more important! Face it, if the business owners around you aren’t doing so well, there’s really no sense in following along with them.

Instead of following the herd, break free and begin to intertwine your business and your creative path. Spend some time today playing with at least one of these methods, and if you have a favorite way to leverage your business as a creative path, I’d love to hear about it!

Jessica Albon is the owner of, a WordPress web design firm where they help clients unleash their inner star and bathe their business in the spotlight. You can follow Jessica on Twitter, or her blog.
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