It was a hard lesson to learn but one that has made a major impact in my business, and my life as a whole. At the core of the issue is time, and how much you value your time. Like many of you, I spent a lot of time looking for domains, and then emailing end-users trying to sell those domains. I thought that my goal should be to get as many domains as I can that fit my criteria so that I have the greatest chance of selling one of them, and then using that money to re-invest in buying more domains.
The problem with this approach is that you tend to acquire far more domains than you’re selling, which means that you’re spending a lot of time and money buying domains. While staying up until 2:00AM scouring droplists was fun for a while, I quickly realized it wasn’t a great use of my time. At the same time, I realized selling a few domains a month for $1,500 or $2,000 each could help me generate more revenue on the domain sales side, but it also took a lot of time and energy.
So, as I like to do, I took a step back and evaluated my business, or at least the domain sales side of my business. Since my revenue stream has always been based on my brands I’ve had the freedom to experiment in the domain sales space without impacting my core business. Looking on the sales side I found that I was spending far too much time evaluating, buying, and then attempting to sell domains. While I could eventually make a $2,000 sale, it may have taken 20+ hours to get to that point with many hours spent simply evaluating purchases, or sending sales letters for domains that didn’t sell.
I went a step further and started to analyze my sales and understand more about which domains sold and who they were selling to. I started to build-out a system and formalized that system into a single Word document. Then I set to simplifying the system and extracting out all the things that I thought were wasting time, or yielding poor results. Now armed with my new action plan I put it in motion and quickly learned that I was able to do more with less.
That’s right, buying less names, and selling less names made me more money. The reason here was focus. I was able to buy much better names and have much more targeted buyers in mind. The final step was pulling myself out of the equation, as I’ve said time and time again I’m all about building systems for making money, not finding new jobs for myself. So I hired two people, one to focus on the acquisition side of the business, and the other on the sales side. I was able to bring the hourly wage down from the $200+/hour that I was spending on myself (always remember to factor your own time into the equation) to less than $20/hour for the same work.
I’ve been putting this new system to the test in 2012 and it has been outperforming my expectations in every way while allowing me to stay out of the day-to-day. I’m selling less domains, and I’m buying less domains, but the names I’m selling are going for a much higher price, and I’m also buying much more expensive (or valuable) names than ever before. The moral of the story is simple yet powerful, in many cases when you look at your business you might be surprised to find that you can actually do more with less. Making more money while spending less of your time means taking back some of your time while watching the system you’ve built run in the background.
So take a moment to look at your business and the time you spend buying and selling domains, and ask yourself the one magic question, “Could I actually do more with less?”