Analyze This and Measure That - Where to Begin with Web Analytics
You are a business owner seeking growth but growth has been stagnant for some time now. Sometimes the hardest place to look is in the mirror. But it is often the most productive too. This month we will focus on setting measurable goals and web analytics – are they for real? What can be measured? How can you narrow down and capitalize on this sometimes overwhelming data?
This week, we will focus on some questions you can ask yourself to help weed out the fluff from the true pain points. It’s your choice – you can either weed your garden or get to the root of the problem, pun intended!
• When was the last time you tried something new?
• Have you tried traditional methods: advertising, marketing, cold calls, etc.?
• Have you taken a look at your own business and customers?
• Would you be open to an outside perspective?
As business owners, we have a hard time seeing hidden opportunities in our own businesses because we are so engulfed in it. There are some things we can do on our own and some that require help; set egos aside keep an open mind…the wheel has already been invented.
• Talk with your team. See if they have heard repeated requests for a product or service you don’t currently offer.
• Look at some products and services that you do offer clients, but do not promote. Why aren’t you talking about them?
• Check on similar businesses in different markets, see if there is anything they offer that you currently do not.
• Before adding anything, make sure the new products/services are profitable.
It is important to steer toward measurable changes so that you know what is working and what to throw out. Don’t discourage too easily – what fun is it if it’s too easy?
Ask outside the box.
• Talk with your clients/customers. See if they would like additional products/services from you and there are so many communication venues these days (social media, surveys, email blasts, etc.).
• Ask them how you could make their life easier, ordering simpler, etc.
• Is there anything that you could provide on a regular or pro-active basis (ie. service, support, etc.)?
• If a client is currently paying something on an annual basis, ask to change to monthly and increase the rate (ie. $50/mo is easier to digest than $450/year).
Knowledge is power and you don’t know if you don’t ask. Just remember you have two ears and one mouth for a reason!
• Step away from your business. Look at completely different industries.
• How do they succeed and what do they offer? Sometimes additional revenue is hidden in plain sight.
• Some industries evolve faster than others, so look at the fastest evolving (i.e. technology) to see where the future may be going.
• Talk with other business owners in a variety of industries.
The answers you need can literally be hiding anywhere. Rule nothing out – as they say, there are no dumb questions.
While a few bulleted lists of thought provoking questions might appear innocent, this should take a good amount of time; don’t shoot from the hip. Create a plan and commit to it. Results may not be immediate, but can catch fire down the road. Don’t overextend yourself by adding too much too fast but be comfortable with the changes. Lastly, get out there and reintroduce yourself to your customers and community. They want to know who you are and what you do. If nothing else has come from the economic downturn, pushing local business and community support has grown phenomenally. Once you have set measurable goals and actually measured the results, recalibrate as needed. Outsource this piece or DIY if you must but for the love of your business, do not skip this step!