Business Plan

Business Plan Essential For A Profitable Web Presence

Business plan: Who are you, market size, what you want to do, web landscape, implementation critical

Business Plan: Entrepreneur web strategy

A successful web strategy is a complex thing based on many inputs from you, including a little soul searching. This is especially true for small and medium sized businesses.

1. Business Plan: Who are you?

Start with getting to know yourself. Your fears, compulsions, desires, skills and weaknesses.

Not what your company is. But what you are.

These will determine where you will focus your efforts. Your strategy formulation must be based on what you can implement. And importantly, what you shouldn’t do because you can’t or because your fears don’t let you.

Yes the web is littered with get quick rich schemes. You too can do that provided you are built that way.

So focus on who you are. Not your company. For Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) your company is what you are. Even the people you hire will possess many of the same skills that you have in abundance. We naturally hire those we are comfortable with.

And the employees with skills in other areas will be mediocre. Essentially because you won’t know how to evaluate their skills or maximize their usage.

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Till you become large enough to have other people hire for you.

So start with yourself and learn to leverage your skills first. Paraphrasing Sun Tzu, knowing your self is where battles are won or lost.

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2. Business Plan: Market size

Market size is really not very important right now.

If you are an SME, the market for whatever you sell will probably be large enough in your served area to accommodate you. And your strategy will help you secure enough orders to help you survive and grow.

As you get past the 5 year mark you will be acquiring new skills and clarity in what your clients want. This will enable you to widen your offerings.

In most cases constraints of funds or other resources will limit your growth. Keep in mind that being profitable is the first step. You can’t grow if you don’t have funds. And for SMEs the biggest source is profits.

So focus on what you can do best, and then do it till you are consistently profitable. Before you add other products or services.

3. Business Plan: What do you want to do

Clarify for yourself why exactly you are doing this business. Just aiming to be big is not enough. To make money? Does the work make you happy? Do you want to build this business?

Your reasons will help in designing a strategy that you can execute. And will help you weather the storms that will inevitably batter you on your business journey.

Everyone says they are in business to make money. So beware of using this reason. Ask yourself if you will abandon this business if you don’t make money in the first year?

If you do abandon it, what will you do next? And how will you get the experience and expertise that you need to excel in your business?

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Spend some time to find out why you are doing this. It will also help you in identifying the executable strategy.

All this is fundamental in deciding how to use the web to further your business.

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4. Business Plan: What is the web landscape?

Social

Is a big hit for social communications. Business communications are hampered when you use Social Media because it is more difficult to keep records or track requests than on email.

Also the communications are with people you ‘know’. I.e. people who have ‘friended’ you.

What about people you don’t know? Those who want the type of product or service you offer? How do they find you?

Email

When you think of email marketing, you think of SPAM. And rightly so. SPAM conversion is about 0.2%.

But this is not what email marketing is. Think of it as sales follow-up. Few sales happen without follow-up. You can use automated emails to follow-up with visitors who come to your site.

Video

Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest Search Engine behind Google? This is because people like to watch videos. They like to learn from videos also. Not just from text.

If your message is complex, video is a good tool. And once it is out there, many people can watch it.

Website

With a website you actually receive visitors who are looking for your type of products or services. People with something to sell have yet to do so without one.

You can use the layout, color and call-to-action to help with the conversion. These also help you with filtering-in the type of prospective client who is looking for the type of person you are.

Of course the website reflects you if you have chosen the design and not left it to an outsider.

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Mobile

Mobile device access to search is expected to surpass desktop search in 2015 for most searches.

Does your product or service lend itself to mobile searches? If yes, then you should be considering a mobile responsive design immediately.

Content

Your voice in the content, its tone, the depth of the information, its easy-to-read formatting, all go towards filtering-in your type of client. Only 12% of the visitors to a typical website engage with its content.

2% of visitors will be more likely to convert. So if you use your own voice, pictures of you, your employees and your place of business, then the prospects talking to you will be the ones you find easy to deal with.

You can also change all this periodically to reflect the new more experienced you.

Analytics

Nothing will be as useful to you for continuous improvement as Google Analytics. Sign up. Also add Google Webmaster Tools.

You will know exactly what is happening to your website and around it.

Cloud & Customer Relationship Management

Increasingly as the services become user friendly, it will make sense for you to use Cloud services. This is nothing but using the web to store and access your information.

The benefits are many. You don’t need to have office application software on your laptop. You don’t need large hard disc capacities. You don’t need to keep updating your software.

But still the ease of using your email ID with the different Cloud based services is difficult. And the Cloud applications are a little different than those on your laptop.

Sending files to someone else may prove tortuous unless they have an account with the same service.

Automation

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Many functions of your business can be automated. Starting with emails. Follow up. Reminders.

Others require complicated software codes and you will need to hire someone to do this. But look at it if you are focused on reduced wage costs.

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5. Business Plan: Implementation critical

It’s not about what you know, but how you use it to further your business goals.

Implement what you can. But limit your strategy to the actions you can take. Any strategy based on a wish list of implementation is bound to have set backs.

Shortlist only what you will be able to use regularly. E.g. Social media postings, website or Cloud based services.

If you don’t use them, then they won’t give you results. And your employees will be confused about the reasons for putting in effort.

Many times your fears, compulsions, desires and skills determine this. If you don’t like to post on social media regularly, it won’t get done effectively even if you assign someone to do this.

Your product mix should depend on demand, of course. A good place to start is Google’s Keyword Planner.

Look at key phrases used to search for your services and products and shortlist the ones you are going to target with content.

 

But what are the strengths you offer? Can you package them into your services? Can you reflect them in your policies?

Getting to this point requires much time and work. As an SME owner you already know that and are not daunted by it.

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Business Plan was last modified: July 24th, 2019 by Manu Raj

Manu Raj

Has a positive attitude towards the job, is friendly and a team player.

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