Use Online Analytics
Part of the beauty — and breakthrough — of using the Web for your business is that it enables you to know with unprecedented precision exactly what’s going on with your customers. Online analytics software allows you to track activity and develop reports about customer behavior on your Web site with incredible detail.
Using this information, you can then draw all sorts of important conclusions. For example, you can rank which sites people are coming from to visit your site (and maybe advertise there to drive even more traffic). Or you can learn which pages people visit most on your site (and make more pages like those). If you’re wondering how to increase the conversion rate of shoppers to purchasers, you can find out exactly where you’re losing people in their shopping process and cook up ways to sweeten the incentive for people to follow through and make a purchase.
Using online analytics, you’ll be able to finesse the products you carry, how you present them, and the offers you make. Basically, armed with this tool, you are in the know and much better positioned to grow.
To make the most of your online analytics, you can create what we refer to as “a dashboard” – a summary report of the information you’ve customized the software to gather.
Some analytics products are pricey and complex; some are free and simple. Typically, their capability and quality are directly proportional to their cost.
Revisit Assumptions from Your Business Plan
Remember that business plan you created to launch your business (you did create a business plan, didn’t you?!). Well, it’s time to get it back out and pore over the key assumptions that drove many of the financial and strategic initiatives included in it.
To make the assumptions as reality-based and productive as possible, use all the info you’ve gathered from the action items provided previously in this step.
Going forward, revisit these assumptions quarterly. If you notice that the assumptions are out-of-date or simply off base, update them and see what ripple effect that has on your financial picture. And how does that affect the core marketing, product or operational strategies of your business?