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Building a Better Online Business
Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.
If I Google “why small business needs to…” I am presented with 42,976 results that are telling me what you need to do as a business owner. Not sure about you but I find that rather overwhelming. On the other hand though searching on “why small business don’t need…” there are only 9 results of what I should not do!
This confirms what I have long suspected… too many people are terribly busy telling you and me as business owners what we must be doing because whatever we are doing is wrong and we obviously know nothing about the secret they are telling us we need to know and adopt. I'm not sure about you but a lesson I have also learnt in life is that the most difficult things to achieve are those to which you feel you have a need, an attachment. Instead by focussing on learning and understanding, what is most important to you or your business will be realised.
Without knowing my business how dare all these experts tell me what I must do or need to do! Well I am going to give you 7 reasons why you don’t need to do many of the things you are told you need to do in business.
- You aren’t ready
Sometime you as a business owner or your business are simply not prepared to take on the challenge of new processes. Your business may not yet be mature enough, you may not have yet established your brand or market position. You may also still be testing your market so are not ready or what you are being told to do does not suit your circumstances
- You don’t have a plan
Before doing anything in business you need to work from a plan and your planned activities have to align with your business strategies. Now if you don’t have these in place following off on some tangent may not be in your best interests or it may be a terribly ineffective waste of your time and energy. Identify your strategies and build a plan and then work from those whether your plan is 1 page or 100 pages. The depth of thought that goes into your plan will reflect where your business is at and the maturity of your business.
- You can’t afford it
Sometimes the best of ideas are just not affordable or can’t be cost justified. For small business, search engine optimisation (done correctly) is just beyond a justifiable budget for most small businesses. Instead, other more cost effective tactics need to be employed yet too many SEO consultants are telling business owners that they NEED to do SEO or they NEED to run Adwords campaigns. If you can’t justify the real costs then you NEED it like a hole in the head.
- You are doing so for all the wrong reasons
How many of us have adopted some business process, system or idea because everyone else seem to be doing it without really understanding why we make that decision or questioning is it really the right decision. Are the people who are giving me advice best qualified? This is not suggesting that advice given is out of malice. Generally advice given by most people is well meaning and heart felt but this doesn’t mean it is the right advice. In business friends will always be there to offer advice but most are unqualified to give it or rather should give it “under qualification”. By all means hear what friends and associates are saying nut in the end, seek out advice from professionals.
- Not relevant for your business
Not all businesses are the same. They do different things in different ways for different people. What works for one business, even though it may seem similar to your own, may not necessarily be applicable to your business. What works in a B2C business could be very profitable however in a B2B environment it can be a totally different result. So be careful and look more closely at what you are being told you NEED to do and question whether this is applicable to your market, your own brand, your communication style or that of your clients.
- Getting advice from poorly qualified sources
Though this might appear to be the same as point 4, this is about doing your due diligence before engaging a professional. Whilst we can readily trust that a Doctor, an Accountant, Financial Planner or Engineer are fully qualified, there are a number of professions that are not so well structured and controlled. With the internet it is very easy to create the illusion of being what you are not. Similarly, it is relatively simple to weed out the genuine from the not so genuine. Due to some due diligence check references and seek out substantiation of what you are seeing. Do not trust the one source and look more closely at their background.
- Your mitigation strategies may be enough to avoid the risk
In business we take 3 types of action;
- Tactics that lead to growth and build
- Offensive tactics to take on our competitors or those who would do harm to our business
- Defensive tactic put in place to protect our interests
With a well-planned business and recognising your risks you can put certain contingency measure that can minimise your risks without having to go to the trouble and expense of dealing with the risk when it occurs. Too many business fail to look at their risk profile and manage their risks and instead find they are needing to deal with problems that eventually occur. Good risk management strategies don’t have to be overly complex but can save you from needing to deal with bigger problems down the track.
There are many other things you don’t need to do in business. I suggest that by giving some thought to what you don’t need to do, in spite of all the promotion by those with vested interests that is being thrust in your face every day, maybe, just a little of your time can be better spent on more effective management of your business.
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