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4 unconventional tips to improve your online business strategy

Compass for online strategy image courtesy of Matt Biddulph on FlickrHaving the right online business strategy is the difference between doing things right and actually doing the right things. Sure, you could be as efficient as possible. Or you could offer the most beautiful website in your market. But, if your efficiency is costing you customers or nobody comes to that pretty site, your business is just as dead in the long run.

Here are four unconventional tips to help you consider whether you’re doing the right things with your online business:

  1. Many online businesses put a significant portion of their advertising into paid search. I think that most businesses can benefit from well-executed PPC marketing. But, you can easily spend too much money for too little return. Then why is it that the folks at Rimm-Kaufman suggest maximizing your marketing budget’s ROI bad for you? I’ll give you a hint: your ROI probably isn’t the problem. It’s how you budget.
  2. Everyone knows you should spend more time on improving your business from existing customers. Well, everyone except for Kevin Hillstom, who says you should “focus a disproportionate amount of time and energy on finding new customers.” He’s even got math to back it up.
  3. “Best practices?” We don’t need no stinkin’ “best practices.” Seriously. GrokDotCom has a great write-up of why you should ignore best practices. Me? I’m a fan of the benefit of worst practices, too.
  4. Finally, Steve Rubel commits heresy by looking at when should you build someone else’s website instead of your own.

Obviously, part of doing the right things for your business online is making sure that each of these suggestions fits your business. Don’t do ’em just because I say so (Or George. Or Kevin. And so on). These 4 tips challenge us all to reconsider whether we’re following the wisdom of the crowd or are just following the other lemmings off the cliff.

Look at your business. Look at your goals. Line up your measures and your standards with those goals. And give your team the tools to get there. And that’s the best tip I can ever recommend.

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Image credit: Matt Biddulph via Flickr using Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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