The Signs Your Online Business Needs an Overhaul

The Signs Your Online Business Needs an Overhaul

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start your own business, launch your own website, attract a lot of clients, and make a lot of money – and never have to change anything? If you’ve had an online business for a while, you know that’s not how it works.
The Internet industry is constantly evolving, and so are the bases for the development of a thriving online business. The secret to long-term success online is recognizing the signs of change – good or bad – and being able to adapt.
If your website has any of the following characteristics, you may need to reevaluate your business:

Low search engine rankings: a good, high-ranking position in Google, Bing, or Yahoo! It is often the lifeblood of an online business. If your site starts to slip or holds its position inconsistently after several years at the top, something is wrong.
The problem could be an optimization issue related to the many changes search engines make in their algorithms to determine rankings. However, do not rule out the possibility that your site will lose relevance.

An outdated look: The visual appearance of your site should not be considered a design relic from the dotcom era to be outdated. Website design and design functions are changing rapidly in today’s online business environment. Black backgrounds and plain fonts, for example, have long been stripped from sites against white backgrounds, images, and crisp, clear font styles.
Today’s sites must also be mobile-ready and responsive, or able to automatically switch to display on multiple types of devices. In other words, it’s time to make changes.

Lack of Ongoing Maintenance: You can work on your business every day and still overlook the simplicity of keeping a good site. Broken links, expired coupon offers, and irrelevant or outdated content are all indications that you haven’t paid much attention to detail.

Volatile Market Conditions: All kinds of problems in the world affect your business, both positively and negatively. Obviously, fluctuations that are closely related to your industry or customer base affect it the most.
Some of these factors are increased competition, changing product trends, regional or national economic indicators, supplier costs, customer demand, and pricing issues. A major change in your market space can dictate a change in online business operations.

Technology upgrades overlooked: Overlooking technology upgrades (whether you’re updating antivirus software or installing a new CMS version) is detrimental in the e-commerce world. Allowing technological innovations to overtake you is a definite signal of change.

Outstanding profitability: This factor is not the most accurate sign that it is time for Plan B. When revenue goes down, overheads go up, and your bottom line pays for it all, you know regrouping is essential.

Contrast in visitors: Is your site losing customers? Are your traffic numbers dropping or becoming less consistent? Or are you noticing an influx of visitors from a different traffic source, geography, or customer base – and you don’t have products and services related to these new visitors? Fluctuations in traffic and activity on the site warrant a reaction.
This list of signs of change is not exhaustive. However, it is a starting point for conditions to look for in your own business.
To make sure you don’t lose sight of anything, do a thorough business change assessment. This system first creates a baseline for your business, based on your KPIs (eg sales, visitors, products available). Using the baseline, you can then assess other potential impacts on your business.

Your goal is to take a snapshot of all your business indicators and determine which ones are driving change. Create a checklist by following these steps:
Write a detailed description of your e-commerce business.
Include as part of your description the specific products or services that you sell online and offline. This description should provide a complete picture of your business.
Describe to your existing clients.
Make sure to include as much rating information about your customers as possible. Details such as age and family income are bonuses. If you don’t know these types of details, rank customers according to their interests or product purchases, or even by how they found your site (such as ads, other site referrals, or offline).
Break down your revenue structure.
Make a list of the ways or places you make money. Divide the list by month for the past 12 months. Then complete an annual comparison for the past three years (if data are available). Show numbers as percentages of total sales. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, include revenue from offline sales as well.
Generate traffic analysis of your site.
Divide the numbers as a monthly comparison for the past 12 months, then by year for the past 3 years. Include the total number of unique (different) visitors and pageviews (the number of pages requested during a given period).
Make a list of all the areas that affect your business or influence change, either positively or negatively.
You can group items by category as they apply to your site, such as marketing, sales, product development, or content.
Classify each element as positive or negative based on how it affects your site. Then explain why you chose this indicator. Next to the explanation, note whether you responded to or reacted to the change.
You can identify the areas in which change is occurring and determine whether you have adapted appropriately to those new conditions.
You may be tempted to think that you already know this information or that the process is overly simplistic. Write this information down in one place for your review.
The purpose of conducting a purposeful assessment is to help you identify gaps in your current online business strategy. It then uses the information to target a weakness or opportunity in the market that you may have overlooked.