Be realistic about the internet

The internet is like any other marketing tool, its bound by financial and creative limitations. It can help your business grow if used well but the key is understanding how to use the internet to suit you and your business. I have a number of clients who operate 100 per cent web-based businesses. They found a market for their products and have spent a lot of time and money fine-tuning their businesses to get to the point where they are making good money. It’s not as easy as most people think. Many business operators have the misconception that if they pay for a website, they will become successful and make money overnight. Consumers aren’t stupid, which many business owners forget when selling online. People are cautious about giving their details and are suspicious about products on unknown websites. For this reason, the most successful websites sell familiar products that consumers feel comfortable buying online, such as books and CDs. Other successful online products are niche and have a very particular market. This is because it’s hard to find their products elsewhere. The internet promotes your business 24/7. It’s here to stay, so anyone in business needs to come to grips with how to incorporate it into the day-to-day processes of their business and use it to its full potential. To do this, you need to have a plan or strategy in place. Your internet plan has to have the following 5 components: – A clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve. Do you want to sell, pass on information, promote your business, attract new customers, or offer additional services to existing customer? – A budget. How much money can you commit each year? – Some innovation. Look at other sites to try to find things that other businesses are doing that you could adapt and use on your site to make it more innovative and professional. – Check out your competitors’ website to identify the good, the bad and the ugly things about their sites that you can either improve on or avoid. – Ask your customers for feedback.