“Do I really need an internet business strategy ?”
If you’re a small business owner who thinks that “strategy” is, very much like branding, something for the big corporations let’s define what strategy is.
Strategy is a systematic plan or process of deciding where we want our company to be in a given time frame and what we propose to do to get there. It has industry definition, market scope and ways to win the market.
With that said, here are good reasons why you want to own one.
Reasons to Write an Internet Business Strategy
1. Show you how to compete. Competing with a unique value proposition is better than one with generic features and low price. A good strategy helps set up your place in the market and offers more sustainable profits as well.
2. Give you a direction. A business strategy acts as the bridge between long-term goals and tactical, concrete actions. Using a strategic planning process you can direct your company and communicate the plan with your team.
3. Guide you in managing business. With a good strategy in hand you can set up monthly, quarterly and yearly reviews to see if you need to update it. When you notice that you are not reaching your goals, look at why and take corrective actions.
4. Help you make decisions. As a business owner your job is to make daily decisions. Without a strategy you will make ad-hoc decisions from day-to-day. With a strategy you can see the “big picture” — what you want to achieve in the future.
5. Offer you entry and exit ways. A well-written strategic plan helps you choose the right entry strategy, whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing business. Or, if you no longer want to the business the plan can also offer the best way to exit and to cash it out.
Ways to Build an Internet Business Strategy
To create an internet business strategy that works, you don’t need to make it like a thick book describing the strategies of the big business. You just need to write a simple internet business plan that would include the following:
- Describe what kind of company you want to have in 5 years.
- Translate the description in a few measurable long-term goals.
- Break down those long-term goals into a few measurable short-term goals.
- Decide a time-table containing what to do and when to reach what goal.
The plan not only serves as a guide for your online business but also help get much-needed funding for it as well.
However, writing a business plan is not that easy for many entrepreneurs and some even seek professional help just to prepare one. Fortunately, there is business plan software that can help you in creating a business plan from scratch, in an easy and convenient way.
Customer Centric Internet Business Strategy
The above strategy is a generic strategy for business management purposes. For generating sustainable revenue and higher profits you will need a specific one. And I would recommend you pick the customer centric strategy.
To understand how this strategy works let’s start with the customer lifetime value concept.
The lifetime value of customers is how much they spend with you over the time until they stop buying. If your visitors only buy one item and then never buy again that’s bad for your business because you’ll need to rely on new buyers to generate sales.
A customer centric approach focuses on maximizing value from each visitor for building loyal, repeat customers. Repeat customers are your key to building long-term sustainable revenues. They have gained positive experiences with you. They are more likely to buy other things from you in the future.
Implementing the Customer Centric Strategy
First, make sure you know your target market inside out. For that purpose, you may want to conduct market research. Also, take a look at major players’ strengths and weaknesses. Can you see opportunities for your business?
Second, develop a distinctive, customer centric value proposition. This is tricky but with some practices you will be able to create a unique one. Make sure you have the unique skills and assets to support your claim because you will want to build strong reputations with that value proposition.
Third, compare different business models and choose one that is right for what you have to offer.
Finally, find a niche and pick one that you believe you can dominate.
Now that you have a great guideline for your business, it’s your turn to create your own. With the customer centric internet business strategy in place you are more on top of your business.
What to Do Next?
Have a look at your own online business. If you haven’t started one or you’re in the middle of evaluating your business performance, this business start up tutorial can show you how to start one and offer ideas for improvement as well.