By Richard Legg
Internet marketing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However there is one key to effective internet marketing that far too many people overlook. So, what is it that they don’t do? They don’t make a plan. To be fair, a lot of internet marketers think they have a plan, but saying “I’m going to make some money” is not a plan.
Perhaps that’s one of the primary reasons why franchises are so popular. They present a very detailed plan for just about every aspect of running a business. But we are talking about internet marketing, not a traditional bricks and mortar business. So, what you really need for effective internet marketing is a business plan.
Let’s be blunt, creating a business plan is going to take time and effort. Without one, however, you will be wandering aimlessly through your business and bringing in money in a way that’s too hit or miss. You may do okay without one, but you won’t see your full profit potential unless you have a business plan in place. Think of it as the difference between having a hobby and having a real business that makes you money. If you want it to be a hobby, then that’s up to you; maybe you don’t really need a plan.
Your plan is a sort of road map to help you define and reach your goals. A good way to start your business plan is to think of where you want to end up, then start working backwards from there. What steps will you have to take? How much will you make? How will you make it? How much will you invest? What marketing methods will you use to promote your online business? Answering questions like these will help you make a good plan.
The questions you ask are important. Try to think of as many aspects of your business as you can. And when answering, be as detailed and specific as you can. In fact, if you find you are giving vague answers, take that as a sign that you need to give your business plan for effective internet marketing more thought.
Once you have asked and answered the necessary questions, it’s time to start organizing your plan. Try to arrange things in a logical way so they make more sense. Be as linear as possible. You should also divide your plan into short, medium and long term goals. This will help you to stay on track as your business grows.
You should be ready to make revisions to your plan as needed, but don’t make those changes lightly. However, your business is going to grow, and you won’t be able to predict how things turn out with 100% accuracy. So you need to be able alter your plan if the situation warrants it. Remember, your business plan isn’t written in stone and is there to work for you, not against you.
As you can see, one of the keys to effective internet marketing is to have a business plan. IT could be argued that if you don’t have such a plan, then you don’t really have a business. If you are just doing this for a hobby, that’s fine, but if you want to make money like a real business, then you need to treat it like one.