The 2009 Success Checklist For Internet Entrepreneurs
This is going to be a tough year, which means you will need to use your money and time carefully to maximise the potential of your business.
The good news is efficient and well run websites will prosper, as poorly run websites close. Use this checklist to make sure you are in the first group!
Focus #1 – Look After Your Existing Customers
Become obsessed with customer support. It is so much harder to win new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Continually remind them of the value you provide and work hard to improve your offer.
Focus #2 – Pursue Excellence
On the web the top three to five sites in any niche get 80% to 90% of the traffic. You need to do everything you can to be in the top three to five sites in your niche.
Focus #3 – Examine Your Competitors
As we head into difficult times your competitors will either up their game or fall behind. Either way you need to know what they are up to. Take a look at their websites at least once a month.
Focus #4 – Review How You Make Money
Most content websites and blogs are not making as much money as they could. Use a list of all the ways a site can make money and write down at least one thing you could do under each heading. You don’t have to implement them all, but just a few could greatly improve your income.
Focus #5 – Scrutinise Your Costs
Boring but necessary. Go through all of your costs and see what can be cut, reduced or re-negotiated. Be honest with yourself and ruthless, but don’t cut back so much you damage your business.
Focus #6 – Co-operation, Co-opetition and Partnerships
It is tough to be a lone entrepreneur or partnership in a recession. This is a great time to look for partnerships with complimentary businesses or even with your competitors. Approach them with a well thought through proposal and if it looks good, drive the project forward with agreed actions and timescales.
Focus #7 – Revisit Your Brand and Design
Nothing breathes new life into an online business like a complete redesign. Websites quickly become tired and dated. A new logo and design doesn’t need to be expensive but can have a big positive impact.
Focus #8 – Consider Aggressive Growth
In an economic downturn most people focus on saving and survival. For this very reason it can be a great time to expand your business through acquisition and aggressive marketing. You don’t necessarily need lots of cash. If you’re buying a business with an income stream it can often pay for itself , particularly if you can reduce the costs.
Focus #9 – Tweak Your Offering For Current Times
One website owner I know recently increased her income by 30% by changing the sales message on her home page.
She has a website about growing organic vegetables. Her website used to stress the health and environment benefits. She simply changed the emphasis to saving money by growing your own food and sales picked up almost overnight.
Can you tweak your offering?
Focus #10 – Plan For The Long Term
This recession will not last forever.
Thousands of businesses have prospered by riding the recovery wave. You should plan now for how you will maximise the benefit of an upturn. Hopefully it will be here quicker than you think.
As Billy Ocean sings “When the going gets tough the tough get going”.
I’m very optimistic about the future of online business. We all just need to get through the next few months and keep an eye on the green shoots of recovery so we’re ready to enjoy the upturn.
Stay focused and keep persevering.