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A Practical Approach to Creating and Growing an Online Business

Mar 19, 2008
There is an incredible amount of hype about how to make money online. It can be very distracting and you can easily fall into the information overload trap and spend too much time and money learning how best to do business online. So how do you beat this trap especially if you are new to online business or web marketing? Woulden't it be good if there was an easy, practical and systematic way to think about how best to do business online?

One simple and systematic way to build your online web business is to look at it as a set of processes. Large corporations have done this for many years in order to improve efficency and cut costs, but it can also work well for the small business owner or lone internet marketer.

The key to successful use of this approach is to look at your online business as a set of processes that need to be structured correctly in order for your business to grow and be profitable. In a sense you are architecting your web business. Once you identify your processes you gain two immeadiate benefits:

* first it gives you a way to think about your business, and
* second it acts as blueprint or checklist of what you need to focus in on to be profitable

So how many processes should you have in your business? The traditional consultants answer would be that it depends! However a six process model works well in practice. The processes in this model are:

* acqurie products
* website development
* website promotion
* website sales
* email customer relationship marketing
* order fullfillment

With this model you can be sure that there is nothing major that you have left out and you can then focus on the processes that add the most value to your business.

Another important aspect of this approach is measurement. As a business owner you need to know how your business is performing so you will want put in place ways to measure how each of your processes is performing. For example lets say that you use google analytics or statcounter to measure the number of visitors to your website. If you are not getting the amount of qualified traffic you need to make a profit then you need to focus in on the website promotion process. This may mean that you re-evaluate the keywords you are using or that you need to look at alternative ways to promote your business and so on.

I hope that this short article has given you a flavour of how a simple way of thinking about your business can help you to improve it in a practical and systematic way.
About the Author
Tony Murphy is a Web Architect with over 20 years experience developing processes, software and systems. He has worked on the web since the early days and has designed systems that are used by millions of people on a daily basis. He can be found at Practical Online Business
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