I’m a big fan of DIY and their WordPress Thesis Theme. Over the past year or so they’ve come up with some really great information not only pertaining to blogging but also online business. Recently they posted an article called The Anatomy of a Web Business (The 10 Body Parts)…I agree with most of their analogies and would like to add few key ingredients…
1. Brain: Create or Revisit Your Business Plan. Personally, I would even look to the future sooner. What I mean is start forecasting for 30 days, quarterly and yearly. It’s nice to try and predict where you’ll be in 3-5 years but with the rate of change of today’s business your plan is almost guaranteed to be different several years from now. Do you think the board at Groupon would have planned their street value to in the billions in just under 3 years – maybe? Think about having a sound business model, providing good value and great customer service for the shorter term and the long-term will take care of itself.
2.Eyes: Visualize the future, but also see the present. The future is really about your vision. Your why. Your reason for doing the day-to-day mundane things that are necessary not only to thrive but survive. The process is really about the present. With an online business Google analytics a necessary ingredient for measuring metrics to determine the who, what, and how for your website.
3.Ears: Listen to what your clients are saying. I totally agree with one caveat. What people say and what people do are most often contradictory in nature. Measure where your customers put their money instead of their mouth.
4. Nose: Sniff out Competition. Yes, it’s a must to know who’s in the game your playing.
5. Mouth: Be smart about your marketing and don’t be afraid to revise your plan. Agree totally. You need a strategy to find out where your time is best served. The biggest challenge you’ll find is trying measure certain marketing strategies. Online communication and social media tools have changed the playing field so you’re not wondering if that billboard on the freeway is actually working or theoretically throwing random impressions out there in hope that a potential client will jump on board and buy something. It’s a little more refined but still can be difficult to get an accurate read. I still believe the best marketing strategy, although very difficult to measure, is to let others do it for you by Word of Mouth, whether online or off.
6. Heart: Get that emotional connection. The human race makes decisions on two things – pain or pleasure. They are, of course driven by emotion. Why does the Hollywood formula still work today? Same story just different characters. Mix up your characters, tell stories that people can relate to and you’ll have that magic bond. Show them that you care.
7.Arms: Reach Out to Your Audience. There’s a lot of truth to reaping what you sow and getting what you give. When you provide information or knowledge you’re doing those things. There’s great value in trying to educate people or give them a skill that would otherwise be unattainable. The perception is that when you help others, it shows that you care. The challenge then becomes turning them into paying customers.
8. Legs: Create solid products and services to stand on. This should be a no-brainer. If you don’t believe in something or have 100% confidence that your products and services are worthy then why would you sell them?
9. Skin: Make sure your business has brand identity. Branding can take on many forms. Don’t just think of logos and mission statements. It can be as simple as doing good work, having quality products or providing your customers with exceptional customer service. Decide what you want to be known for. Then make it clear to your market and you’ll be memorable.
10. Spine: Sync together all the parts. There’s nothing like a fine tuned company working in harmony trying to achieve a common goal for the greater good.