There are thousands—possibly millions—of on-and-off-line businesses worldwide which struggle and it is not for want of trying but more because of the lack of business strategy and building knowledge. To put this into perspective, let us first consider Internet marketing and how this business is evolving.

There is currently a plethora of small businesses on-and-off-line that possibly would find it difficult, or near impossible, to compete with the ‘big-boys’ offline. When I refer to the big-boys, I mean companies and corporations that are able to invest thousands—possibly millions—into advertising and marketing, which smaller business cannot, and it is this investment that allows them to eventually push their smaller competition out of the market.

However, online marketing and a successful online business is a little different because it levels the playing field and makes business competition a fairer game, so to speak. This is especially true when many of the larger companies are too busy building and maintaining their offline growth to consider the Internet as a big opportunity for them. Having said this, times are changing and more big business, such as designer labels and publishing companies, are now beginning to realise the magnitude of Internet marketing. This is why it is vital that you find your footing online now and give yourself the advantage of perfecting your game play before the big-boys arrive.

So, how do you acquire the business building knowledge that you need to have a successful online business and carve yourself a niche before the competition arrives?

You refine your business strategy from the beginning and work on developing this tactically, so that you and your business are constantly growing and profiting from your advancement.

Think of it like a game of football. You begin in little leagues with little or no knowledge of the game, and, as you age, so, too, do your skills in game play. By the time you reach your teens, you are able to use strategic manoeuvres to you and your team’s advantage, and this defeats the competition, game after game.

In order to defeat the competition, you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and that of your team. You have analysed your competition and playing field so that you can take advantage of any given opportunity to take a mark and score a goal.

A business strategy is much the same. You need to know you and your business’ strengths and weaknesses and that of your competition as well as be aware of your marketplace and consumer preferences. Plus, you have to be focused on achieving goals—both personal and professional—so that you can maintain a strong focus on the direction you want your business to head.

This means considering all elements of your business, such as products and services, financing, and the development and management of customer relationships as well as outsourcing and tactics for increased profitability. Spend time perfecting this strategy until all elements of your business are refined much like you did when you played football. Then, set yourself milestones and goals that are achievable and increase your expectations so that you and your business are continually growing.  An excellent way to do this is to sit down and calculate what you want from your business in terms of income in the long-term. Then, work on a short-term forecast to achieve this goal. For example, if you want turnover of $500,000 during the next financial year, then divide this by 52 weeks or the number of weeks remaining in the year. You will discover that you will need a weekly turnover of $9,615.00 to achieve your long-term goal. You currently have turnover of $7,500.00, so subtract this from your desired turnover to find your short-term goal. The difference between your current turnover and the turnover you wish to achieve is your short-term goal. Therefore, you need to generate an additional $2,115.00 per week in turnover to make your goal obtainable.

Once you have ascertained your short-term and long-term goals, you then need to refine how you are going to achieve these goals, and this may mean seriously looking at how you manage your time.  If you wish to increase your business productivity, then focus on business activity that generates greater income rather than those that are time-consuming and less profitable. Also, delegate, if need be, so that you can concentrate your skills on the areas of greater profitability. In addition to this, consider introducing more profitable products or services to your business that will increase your long-term and short-term profitability.

About the author

Murray Priestley is a business growth advisor, author, speaker, consultant, and the Managing Partner of Portofino Asset Management. Visit his blog and signup free to get tested business building strategies and profit-boosting tips by email, along with blog updates, news, and more! Go now to http://www.murraypriestley.com. For a no-obligation Hidden Profits Assessment of your business go now to http://www.systemised.com/assessment.

“Murray Priestley has 25 years of commercial and asset management experience having served in board, CEO and senior executive positions with a number of global public and private companies.”