If you expect to achieve sustained growth for your Web business and you don't have a plan in place to get you there, you might as well forget it. Growing a profitable Web Business is a strategic process that requires long range vision, careful planning, precise execution and patience. It's vital that you know exactly what you want to accomplish and that you have a detailed blueprint to follow.
Of course you need to have a website that is optimized and tested to convert traffic, and then you need to devote time to developing and executing short-term and long-term promotional strategies. These strategies must stand on their own as well as work together to get you the best results.
Here are five key strategies you can use to advance your business and improve your profit margin:
#1. Always Look For Opportunities to Increase Sales
Let's face it, sales drive business and sales come from customers; therefore, the hunt for new customers should be phase one of an ongoing three-phase marketing approach that every online business owner should embrace.
Phase two is to follow up with these new customers from time to time, and introduce them to additional offers. The objective of this second phase is to get them to buy from you more often.
The final phase of this three-pronged strategy is to offer expensive items, or bundle multiple items into higher-priced packages. This will give your customers more opportunities to make larger purchases.
#2. Find the Best Use for Your Marketing Budget
After you have identified your market demographic, fixed your goals and decided on a promotional strategy for reaching potential customers, the next step is to figure out how to maximize your budget and get the job done without over spending. Even though the exact process will vary from business to business, the principle remains the same.
You want to expose your product or service, as often as possible, to consumers who will derive the most benefit from it. Studies show that the average consumer will see a promotion about five to seven times before taking action on the offer.
So instead of blowing your budget on a single opportunity to reach your select group, it is much wiser to get everyone's attention with repeated promotions. Use as many different forms of advertising as you can afford and squeeze the most out of your marketing dollars.
#3. Invest in a Virtual Assistant
This is an opportunity to outsource various redundant tasks to someone who is capable, reliable and trustworthy. The big advantage to you is you'll have more time to devote to activities that generate income and help you grow your business.
A virtual assistant works from his or her office as an independent contractor and is responsible for whatever administrative or operational responsibilities you assign. Compensation can be agreed upon at an hourly rate, per assignment or by retainer.
If you are not yet at the stage where you can afford to pay a virtual assistant, you can consider a suitable barter arrangement with a subscriber or a customer. You can also ask a family member or a friend for help. You can't do it all yourself and you shouldn't even consider that option for the longterm.
#4. Use the Power of Email to Convert Visitors Into Customers
Email marketing is one of the most economical and reliable ways to build a relationship with visitors and eventually convert them into buyers. It is an effective tool for staying in touch and developing the level of comfort and trust that is necessary before they will agree to do business with you.
You can use email to convince your subscribers of your expertise in your niche. The more they come to accept you as an authority, the greater your credibility will become and the easier it will be for you to make sales.
Plus, email is a very handy tool for keeping customers abreast of new products, special promotions and the latest announcements about your business.
#5. Develop a System for Everything You Do
Make sure to design methods and procedures that simplify and expedite important aspects of your business operation. Very often these systems will evolve from trial and error, but when they have been perfected they should become standard procedure.
The most efficient systems are those that get you to your objective as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible and with the least possible effort.
The above strategies are vital to the success of any online business. Together they save you time, money, effort, and provide a pathway to sustained growth and expansion. Just be consistent in the marketing practices you implement and the results will come out in your favor.
About the Author: Hermas Haynes is the founder and webmaster of eBizInfoCenter - a popular resource where you can find many more marketing strategies, tools, articles and ideas for advancing your web business.