test.ical.ly | getting the web by the balls

Jan/13

23

Your online business – you have to think it through

jongleurSo what is this startup? What exactly is it we do? What do we make of it? How are we going to present it? Who is our audience and how do we reach them? How will we earn some money with all of that? Who do we need for which tasks? Let’s focus on the first step and care about the rest later.

Or better not.

Surely you don’t have to define your whole business at once in every detail but you should think it through as everything is connected and each decision you make will have consequences for other aspects.

If you know what you want to do like selling stuff, providing a service or writing content or whatever you should be able to determine your target group. Understanding them as well as what your direct competitors offer and what they do good and what they don’t will determine what your product will look like. Whether you go desktop, newsletter, email campaigning or mobile.

Now thinking about the way you want to earn money is crucial. Is it e-commerce, paid services, paid content, advertising or something else? Most likely it’s a mix and it determines what your key performance indicators (KPI) are that you have to monitor to gain control about your business. It determines also what skill and experience you want in your team to steer the business.

Looking at the wrong KPI can endanger your whole endeavour. Last year a big online retailer found out that the measures he’s taken to gain reach was very successful and the number of visitors to their online shop rocketed sky high. However their conversion rate went down by a lot. So they realized that what they were interested in isn’t the number of visitors to their website but people who actually buy something.

It is quite possible that not taking all of the above questions into account will result in a situation where some roads are blocked.

A recent project I observe focusses only on a part of their business and doesn’t seem to bother about the rest. They seem reluctant about the fact that certain business models are no longer an option for them the way they shape their product. A content website can not reach a relevant audience for advertising revenues with only a few stories a day. You probably wouldn’t guess how little advertising revenue can be made from just under half a million visitos per month.

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