The other day someone told me that they had an Internet business and that got me thinking. If I say I have a flower business, you assume I sell flowers. If I tell you I have a building business, you’re probably going to assume that I build something. But what if I tell you, “Oh no, I actually have a dairy farm. It just happens that I keep my cows in a building.”

That doesn’t even make sense. Your business isn’t how you deliver the product. Your business is what you do.

A business on the Internet could be a regular bricks and mortar business that has a website, a digital download site, a membership site, an affiliate marketing company or maybe a company that does sell Internet access. Actually, I think the last one is the only time there really would be an Internet business. You are selling something to do with the Internet, not just using the Internet to deliver or advertise.

The point of this word game is simply to point out that having a business on the Internet means you have a delivery system or a marketing system or maybe just a place holder for your business. It has nothing really to do with your business.

That comes back to the basics of running a successful business: product or service customers want or need, a way to fulfill that service, marketing to find those people, selling to close those sales and a back end to manage all of the rest of the operations of a business.

The use, or rather misuse, of the term is similar to what people say when they invest in real estate. They suddenly have a ‘real estate business.’ But just like with an Internet business, it could be anything. You could flip real estate, you could develop it, you could rent it and that’s just the ‘normal’ strategies. Factor in all the creative real estate investor options, and there are dozens of different ways you could be in business with real estate.

Focus on what you want from your business and do what you need to do to create the business you want. Measure your results by reviewing financial statements and adjusting. That’s how you build a business that lasts.