How do you do it?
Putting the Internet to work for you is easy to do if you are ready to do it right. The primary causes of failure are ignorance and a willingness to cut corners. None will serve one well online.
However, there is no magic to doing it. There is no need buy voodoo products and services that you don’t know how they work, and/or don’t have direct access to operate. If a service or product can’t be explained in simple terms, it isn’t worth the money you spend on it. You don’t need to be a web design guru or have a Ph.D. in programming to be successful either.
All that is required is basic common sense, and a willingness to trust but verify.
Build a successful website.
Put the Internet to work for you in 6 simple steps.
1. Build your brand
Website design or web design does not equate to a Brand. Building a website is not a form of alchemy; you won’t make Gold out of junk. Success, online or offline, is built on proper branding. You need to define your brand, build it right and let it grow.
2. Automate your business processes
Sure a website is great for displaying information. However, this is hardly its most valuable utility. Focus on building automated, self-service tools that allows you to work less, while delivering products, services, and support faster and better. There are always time-consuming, boring but important mundane work that your website can do more efficiently for you, leaving you and your workforce free to work on tasks that actually advance your goals. Use your website to automate your business processes, reduce your labor costs and connect the dots in your business workflow.
3. Control your costs
Every dollar saved, is a dollar earned. It’s easy to identify a website that is destined to fail, just look at its operating cost structure. Your website should be saving you money in quantifiable ways, online and offline.
4. Have a marketing plan
Online operations are a lot like offline ones. If you need people to know you exist, you’ve got to have a marketing plan and a reasonable marketing budget. Marketing online is no easier than offline, so an expectation of easy success is a recipe for disillusionment. However, online marketing affords you a benefit no other marketing channel provides: measurability. The ability to measure quantitatively the performance of your marketing dollars, and hence make decisions to optimize your marketing campaigns and initiatives based on hard, cold data gives you a better chance at success with smaller budgets than available offline.
5. Analyze everything
More than any other platform, a website provides a means to collect rich data to help guide your business and management decisions. This is an opportunity unrivaled; no need to make critical decisions, most with costly implications, based on conjectures and glorified guesswork. Almost every type of data you may need can be harvested for further detail analysis, as aid in making better decisions, avoiding costly mistakes, and reducing financial waste.
6. Be hands-on
A hands-off approach to building and running your website leaves you open to extortion by service providers selling value deprived solutions. Focus on building and acquiring website technology that empowers you to do more in-house. A hands-on approach is the only guarantee of a ROI on your expenditure.