Are you confused and asking yourself why your online business appears to be stuck in one place?
Are you presently struggling, doing everything you know, but your online business has refused to move any further step?
Then this is your lucky day!
Don’t worry I'm not here to sell you anything. But, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you must pay careful attention to this post because you are about discovering some very strategic tips that will help you move your business to another level.
Getting Stuck Can Be Devastating!
If you have been, then you will understand what I’m saying…
A few weeks ago, I and a friend on our way to a neighboring village experienced it first hand and I must say it was something we never bargained for!
A section of the road we had to pass through to get to the village is an untarred bush path. During the dry season it is dusty with pot-holes all over the place. And during the rainy seasons it is a hell of a place as you will have to struggle through a slimy, muddy, water-logged path!
We decided on this journey because we reasoned that at this time of the year the place would be okay since the rains are just beginning. And this is where we miscalculated!
Unknown to us, a couple of days before we set out on this journey, it had rained cats and dogs in that part of the country and though we are quite aware of how bad the road could be, what we actually experienced was beyond our expectations!
When we got to the muddy portion of the road we cautiously eased in. At first it was not much of a struggle. But then we soon got to a portion that was so bad. As my friend tried to maneuver the car through the muddy pocket of water we suddenly ran into a hole that was created a day earlier by a truck that went through that area.
My friend, realizing the futility of going forward, tried reverse gear but then the car wouldn’t move an inch! To make things worst it was difficult coming down from the car since we were right in the middle of the muddy pool of waters!
In desperation, my friend revved up the gears but that made things worst as the tires dug into the mud the more. It was then we realized…
…we were stuck!
Many Online Businesses Are in this Same Situation – STUCK!
Yes, a lot of online entrepreneurs are right in this same situation. Try as much as they can, there seems to be no forward movement.
The most painful part of it all it is that they are actually doing so many things which in reality should have helped in moving their businesses forward but unfortunately, these very things are actually what have kept them in the same place!
The truth is that they are given over to running around doing so many things that they rarely have time to build their business. They are actually focusing on the short term, day-to-day activities of running their businesses instead of the long term demands of growing a business!
For example, many spend a whole lot of time every day reading and replying emails, updating their online profiles, keeping up with what is happening on the ever-bustling social media, updating their business blogs and replying to blog comments, etc.
As much as these things are necessary the hard fact is that if these things are taking up your time every day and as a result you do not have time to really WORK ON your business, then you are only being busy with activities!
Unfortunately, building a sustainable business is not about ACTIVITIES but PRODUCTIVITY!
Business growth is not about randomly and reactively WORKING IN your business but strategically and proactively WORKING ON your business!
How to Strategically Grow Your Online Business
1. Improve Your Productivity
You must indeed start from here.
You must re-evaluate your online activities and check to know if they are of any help to your business. A really concerned check will help you uncover those areas that are simply making you to run on a treadmill.
For example, if you discover that despite the fact that you're working hard every day creating content for your blogs, reading and replying to every comment, updating your social media profile for hours every day and interacting with your online connection but despite these your blog or site traffic has plateau-ed and try as much as you can, it wouldn't move beyond what it has been since the past year, then you definitely need another strategy!
What you need is not more activities but a strategy to improve your productivity!
And, here are some suggestions to help:
(a). Re-evaluate the different activities to know which have helped you to be more productive in the past and focus more attention on those.
(b). Research and brainstorm at least 2 things you can do differently that will help your productivity.
(c). Have a to-do list every day to guide you on your daily activities.
2. Improve Your Business Processes
If you have not designed processes for your business then you must start from here. But if you already have, then brainstorm a few more ways to improve on it or build a a few others.
You must understand that without a clearly defined business process, you don’t have a business but a job. It is your carefully laid-out business process that will guide you to WORK ON your business instead of just WORKING IN it.
A good business process will help you BUILD your business instead of just DOING business!
Another word for processes here is systems. Design a workable system for your business that will help you strategically run and grow the business without much ado.
3. Improve Your Business Promotion Strategy
It is becoming glaringly clear every day that promoting a business online is a big task. New ways are springing up nearly every day. The market is becoming more and more competitive. Tactics are becoming obsolete by the day.
This means you don’t just need to keep up with the times but also know what to leave behind and, if possible, what will become the vogue in the near future!
If you want to take your business to the next level you will need to step out of your comfort zone and do something new to promote your business. Don’t just concentrate on what you have always done. Of course, you don’t have to abandon those that are working for you but get into something new.
Have you tried video marketing?
How about podcasting?
Can you do webinars?
Or, what other new thing can you try this year 2014 to promote your business?
The good thing is that you can actually turn some of your old textual content into any of these new forms of business promotion. All you need is a determination to step out your comfort zone!
4. Upgrade Your Business Skills
This year you must therefore set aside time and resources to help you upgrade your business skills. If it means going for more business seminars, do so. If it is taking up a new course of study, do it.
Of course, you mustn't leave out reading books and business journals. These should always be a constant part of your business life! Look around and see what other successful entrepreneurs are reading right now and invest in them.
5. Find and Join a Community That Can Help
Going it alone can be really frustrating most times. Yes, you may be an online solopreneur but that does not mean you have to go it alone. There are various online communities that can be of help. Look for these on Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
Form brainstorming sections with friends. You can set aside time to meet weekly, monthly or even quarterly. During these sections you may decide on your areas of strength and weakness and then know how to help one another.
Many of the communities on Facebook and Google+ are committed to helping their members with blog promotion, product launch, JVs etc. You simply need to first know what you want from the community and then join the one that suits your needs.
You cannot afford to have your business be a place where it defers every attempt to move it forward. That is a frustrating position to be in business. But applying the above suggestions could just be the elixir to move your business forward. These are tested business growth strategies and putting to use in your business will greatly help you.
Over to you: What business growth strategies are you right now using in running your online business? Share with us in your comments below.