Many people like the idea of operating an online business, since it’s often assumed that entry costs will be relatively low and that it will be possible to make money quickly. Indeed, this may be a reflection of the thought process that led you to create your own business.
As most people soon find out, creating a successful online business actually requires many of the skills that are needed by more traditional, established firms. In fact, in some ways, things can be seen to be a little more complicated. Although we all know that technology can make things easier, there is always the fundamental issue of understanding what’s available and how it works.
In that context, you soon come to realise that producing results online is often about measuring progress and refining processes. It’s likely that you’re already spending a lot of money on your marketing efforts, for example, but are these really producing results for your business. Could the situation be improved?
The simple truth here is that you probably won’t have much of an idea about whether you are getting value for money from your marketing budget, unless you’re actually monitoring results. Even then, it’s important that it should be a priority to monitor results in the right manner.
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of assuming that you’re getting some sort of results and that this means that everything is going well. It’s likely, even if things look good from the outside, that you may be wasting money in some areas. Should this be a concern for your business?
My own feeling is that it certainly should be, since any money that is wasted actually represents lost opportunities elsewhere. If you weren’t losing money in one area, then you could be spending it on other areas of the business. That would appear to be common sense in such situations.
If you don’t understand exactly what you are spending money on, then there’s a fair chance that you aren’t spending it wisely. This applies to all areas of your online business. So what can you do about it? I think that there are a variety of options available to you, with your choices depending upon your budget and your preferred approach.
When it comes to your marketing spend, you need to be using a suitable analytics package. Don’t forget that you’ll also want to track the source of all phone calls. Although that may sound difficult, there are plenty of solutions out there that will integrate with popular analytics packages.
But what about the wider issue here? Are you getting the returns that you deserve from your business? It makes sense to review your activities and to see if it’s possible to make improvements in all areas.