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What has playing in the online space revealed so far?

14 January 2014

I quite often hear business owners, when asked about their online strategy, say:
“I know I should be doing something about the whole thing but I don’t have the time.”
“I have a website, isn’t that enough?”
“What do you mean ‘how well’s it doing for me?’, what can it do exactly?”
What I know is that potential buyers are asking about the online strategy of the existing bricks and mortar business almost every time. It's part of their consideration when looking to buy, and they will discount the price the seller wants if the online component has not been developed or activated.
If online is not part of the current revenue mix of the business then it will not be factored into the price. As my learned colleague Robert Hurst says, “what buyers buy is profit; why they buy it is potential.”
If a buyer sees the potential, that will be a reason to purchase. But, they will not pay more for the opportunity to do so, other than what is actually presented at a particular point of time. If the business owner has not brought an online strategy to bear fruit, then the privilege of doing so will go to the next owner.
So what to do about it? If creating and implementing an online strategy was easy to do then every business owner would do it in a heartbeat!
From where I sit right now, it is not that hard but you need to be asking the right questions and developing the solutions to make it work.
Effective plans should include:
shall we rework or rebuild current online presence?
what actions do we plan to take over time
will we be static or dynamic?
who will be the single command and control point?
Key points worthy of mention include:
what is the order of priority?
what are our resource requirements
what is the budget, with estimated one-time and ongoing costs?
what are our assumptions?
how will we measure results?
what new information do we need?
what new activities may be required?
what is your competition doing? do we need to be doing it?
what “push” mechanisms to use?
what activities to participate in to initiate “pull” interest?
how to factor in mobile optimisation?
what other tools shall we review?
what content and in what order?
what social platforms?
what technology platforms?
This is all about determining how to get the online strategy up and running in as short a time frame as acceptable.
My 2014 adventure will be all about understanding the questions and the solutions in detail. What are yours?

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