The Difference Between Building A Website and Building A Business

First let me say, TGIF! It’s Friday everyone, my second-favorite day of the week after Monday! I’ve been receiving lots of great emails, comments, etc. after doing an interview with DomainSherpa’s Michael Cyger. I have to say the response really has been incredible and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the kind things they have said. It’s been a lot of work to get my business to where it is now and I’m really proud of where it is today!

Now onto the topic of this post, which was inspired by many of the emails and comments I’ve received lately. The question is – how the heck do you have the time to do all this when you have a full time job? There’s an easy answer to this one – I don’t do all this, I build businesses and then hire people to run them. This is a topic that we didn’t get into in my interview with Michael that I thought was really important to address.

Yes, back in 2007 when I started my business I didn’t have any revenue coming in so I really was a one-man band. I quickly learned that I wasn’t very interested in building websites but I was interested in building businesses. There are lots of talented web designers, graphics artists, and programmers out there. I am much more interested in coming-up with a great idea for a business, finding a great domain, and then putting-together the team. This doesn’t mean that I never build sites myself, I still do, just less and less every month.

So when you look at how my time is spent after my workday (my day job usually occupies me from about 8AM – 6PM) is over I’m really focusing on either putting-together business plans, marketing plans, etc. for a new idea or finding great domains for some of the ideas I’ve had. Lately I have been getting more into the pure-play concept of Domaining, i.e. buying and selling domains but my interests are much stronger around building exciting and innovative companies. Of course my blog is a major passion of mine and I recommend that anyone with a true passion for something start a blog about it – you’ll find you really do have an unlimited number of things to write about! I never get writers block and always find I have something to write on my blog about domain investing, start-up companies, social media, etc.

Sometimes there’s an idea that I want to work on myself or with someone else. This is true in the case of Xelot which was an idea that both Daina and I had that we’ve been working on together. Along with coding the algorithm, putting together the business plan, creating a kick-ass marketing presentation, we have also hired a developer who will soon become a partial owner of the business. This is a lot of fun but I couldn’t do it with 160 sites, it’s just too much.

What does this mean for Domainers that want to get-into development?

I hear a lot of Domainers say they want to get into development but they aren’t great at HTML or PHP and can’t design graphics in Photoshop. Well you don’t have to be good at those things unless you yourself want to be a web designer or graphic artist. Instead, take the time to build a business and use your creative genius to put-together an awesome business plan, marketing plan, and then be a good manager and hire people that can run your business.

I currently have eight people that work for me, one full-time and seven part-time. I am also hiring four people, one more full-time person and three part-time people. I pay my employees out of the profits my sites make, of course this eats into my margin but with a business you have to make an investment if you want it to grow and that investment can either be time or money. I don’t have the time so I invest the money. At the end of the day this has allowed my businesses to scale while I focus on the fun stuff, coming-up with ideas and putting-together business plans rather than building websites and designing graphics.

Next week, Kevin Fink who has worked for Linton Investments for over a year now will be debuting a new company he has developed on a Linton Investments brand. I can’t wait to share this business with all of you, Kevin is busy putting his own blood, sweat and tears into it and is really creating something incredible! He is building a business and I’ve been working with him to think about it like a business not a website. Kevin is a super-creative guy, has incredible ideas, and has turned a .COM domain name into a real living breathing brand that we’ll be sharing with you all next week!

Now it’s your turn. Stop trying to be a web developer, a graphic designer, etc. It’s not about creating a job for yourself, it’s all about building a business that makes money. Yes, you may need to make some investments up front, but don’t all businesses? Thanks for reading and as always comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton