There is a marked difference in the example illustrated above and it is this point I wish to expand on. I said your chance of storming success is equivalent to that of winning the lottery and whilst this is broadly true, you should never leave your business to chance like a lottery ticket. You would still be astounded how many people do.
Similarly if your success criteria is becoming a online millionaire then you are more than likely setting yourself up for failure.
Planning and preparation in any project is of paramount importance to its success and the definition of goals and planning the path to achieve them is likely to yield more positive results and lead to return on investment not only much faster, but actually lead there at all.
It never ceases to amaze me how many online businesses simply rush out and spend thousands on the development of an ecommerce website without even considering its target audience! Commit huge budgets to paid search like Google Adwords without any research. Often all this is based on what we in the analytics industry loving refer to as a HiPPO or Highest Paid Persons Opinion! Sound familiar? Most of us have encountered HiPPOs and maybe even some of us have the the guts to admit we've been one, or still are one.
http://www.coreanalytics.co.uk now work with companies to combat HiPPO syndrome and believe me you still have to be careful. You could employ an expert, or go out and find a good agency who will help your business. A word of caution though, don't just pay another HiPPO! You should listen to your data as it will tell you far more than an individual. If you don't have data you should start to collect it. Fast.
When planning an online project there are some things that you should definitely sit down and do properly with no compromise. Maybe in this declining economy you have been refused financial assistance from your bank and have decided to fund the venture yourself, but you should still make a business plan! If you don't have a plan how will you know what to do? How will you know when you have achieved success or more likely when will you know you've failed. My experience tells me, usually when you have run out of money.
SWOT analysis is a fantastic tool to evaluate your position quickly. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Something every business should understand about its trading position, but few internet startups do. In fact could you answer all the questions? Would you know where to look?
Financial planning is a must. Its cheap to sell on the internet right? Wrong. Its just cheaper.....sometimes. If you don't plan out your costs how will you know when you have broken even or made any profit?
eCommerce Viability is something that should be considered before taking any steps into online trading. The better the planning, the better the chances of success. The more in depth the preparation and research, the better equipped you are to compete. The tighter the financial planning the more cost effective your online marketing will be. The more accurately you understand your ROI curve the more likely you are to achieve it at all. The more you understand the levers and drivers of your online business the easier you can tweak them to optimise your online performance and perhaps not head towards those millions, but certainly sustain your business and build towards steady growth.
I've not told you anything you don't know already. Make a business plan, research the market, understand your costs, identify your key performance indicators, plan for success but consider where your weak points are and how they could make you fail. Understand your competitors and their marketing strategies.
90% of online businesses won't heed this advice.
Thats great, it just means the rest of us have less competition.
If your online competitors are adopting the methods described above then not only will they have a plan, they will have you in their plans too. I should know better than most, I write them.
Please visit http://www.coreanalytics.co.uk/
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Ian Hall is the founder and lead consultant at Core Analytics, a company taking a fresh approach to connecting online businesses and entrepreneurs with the necessary information to achieve success and sustainability trading online.
Providing three products Core Analytics can help to plan, execute and sustain your online strategy with suitable packages for every need. Conversion Optimisation for businesses already trading online and wanting to improve performance, eCommerce Viability for those in the planning stage and trying to make a decision on what they should do and Insight Analysis for those just wanting to dip a toe in the water and find out what sort of information and insight could be provided to drive their business forwards.
For press enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org