Published on July 29, 2017
Every day, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs think about new business ideas to launch online marketing projects. No wonder by 2014 there were more than a billion websites out there (NetCraft). But how many of those sites actually succeed? We have found plenty of sources that report that more than two-thirds of online projects don’t even survive the first 120 days. To avoid that fate, here are five simple questions that you should ask yourself before embarking in an online venture.
This is the first thing to consider before investing a single dollar in your online marketing project. But how you will know? The technical way is to go to the Google keyword planner and type your product or service name and find the number of searches in your language and targeted area. If that’s too difficult, don’t worry. We have four easy steps for you to follow instead:
There is no real number to use as a benchmark because each categories will differ, but you can use your results to gauge the online market and decide if it makes sense to invest your time and resources. After all, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying a product (Adweek) and 74% of B2B buyers research online before making an offline purchase (Forrester).
The whole idea of going online is because, in theory, you’ll be able to reach a bigger audience than at a physical location or using your worth-of-mouth skills.
Ask yourself this: How many units do you need to sell so your project will be profitable? It doesn’t matter if you’ll be happy selling a few dozen products or a hundred thousand units, the real question is; will you be able to deliver that volume? You also need to consider how you plan to deliver the goods or service, and the cost associated with that effort. You wouldn’t believe the number of online projects that have superb products that are neither scalable nor deliverable if a demand existed. The earlier you realize that the better.
With more than a billion websites on the Internet, you need a plan so your customers can find you. For this, research your competitors and look for the ways they’re promoting their products or services.
The best way to answer these questions is to acts as a customer yourself and go through the entire conversion path – from online research and product comparison to narrowing options and buying. By doing this you’ll catch details to use in your online marketing project. Bear in mind, over 75% of adults online (ages 18-45) start their buying process on one device and finish on another. 76% of this segment uses a smartphone at some stage in that process. By going through this process, you’ll have a better idea where to promote your project.
When you get to this question, you need to put your feelings aside and really think about what makes your products or services different. After researching the category and becoming a customer yourself, be realistic and compare your offer against your competition. Ask these questions:
If you believe that you can deliver better value, then LET’s GO! with your online marketing projects, but if you have doubts, maybe it’s better to go back to the drawing board and rethink your online marketing project.
If made it this far, you may have a winning idea in your hands. Congratulations! Now is time to estimate what you need to execute your idea, including resources like time, money and skills. It doesn’t matter if you intend to create traffic organically or intend to pay for traffic through advertising, it will require a variety of resources. The most important and scarce resource of all is time. How much time are you going to be able to commit to your new venture?
Don’t trust any scheme that promises to get your business going by working one hour a day. Those are just lines used to engage customers – don’t fall for it. Let’s say that you have time to spend. Now, how much money will you need to close one sale? Just one. Does that cost make sense financially? If so, you’re set.
Think of that in this way, not every customer that reads your ads will click through it, and not every click will close a sale. For example, out of 1,000 clicks, only 100 people will stay on your site long enough to engage with your offer. Of those who engage, only 10 will make a purchase or conversion. If the cost per click is $1, that means that each sale will cost you $100. And that’s no taking into account other resources like the time invested.
There is no right or wrong number here. It all depends on the profit you make on each sale. A good starting point is to convert 0.5% of people that are exposed to your ads. That may not happen in the first month of operation, so plan a budget for at least three to six months to get to that number.
At the end of the day, you may have a great idea for your product or service. There might be a huge demand, but you still need to execute your online marketing project. If you follow with this simple plan, you can begin executing, at least on paper, your idea knowing that there is enough demand, that the project is scalable, and that you’ve planned a maturation curve for your execution.