How to develop a profit pulling e-business strategy
Nigeria is at the forefront of internet penetration in Africa, with more than 50 million Nigerians currently connected to the internet via their mobile phone. The average Nigerian spends more than N2000 monthly on mobile data and recharge cards.
In the light of this, it would be folly for any company or business to ignore the enormous influence that comes with the internet. Companies that deploy the internet to complement traditional ways of doing business obviously have a competitive advantage in the ever changing world of business.
The question therefore is not if one’s company or business should have an internet presence, but how to create an e-business strategy that utilizes the internet as an effective business tool in pulling profit to your business.
Vision & Mission
A good business strategy starts with a vision and a mission.
What does your business do?
What do you aim to achieve?
How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Will the internet give you a competitive advantage?
Is it a good business proposition or just a good website idea?
Answers to these questions will help you create your vision/mission statement and values. Your vision should become your guiding light and will need to be shared, understood and embraced by your employees.
This involves defining what competitive advantage your proposition is providing to your target audience. Does it offer convenience ,speed hours, value, choice and flexibility? What motivates your customers? How long will it take before someone else offers something comparable or better? The benefits that you offer your customers must differ from what your competitors offer. Without any real differentiation, your business will not be profitable. Modern business thrives on competition ,and the ability to think outside the box every second. The more value you offer your clients, the closer their relationship with your company.
Lack of profitability is the number one reason why most companies go under. What sort of long term return on investment will your business make? Do you know how you will be paid for your product and how much? If you’re offering a service ,do you know who will pay for it?
The simplest revenue model involves creating a product and selling it directly to customers using both offline and online platforms. Other strategies involves selling wholesale to retailers, selling through distributors, selling via auction and other countless alternatives. Most companies use a combination of revenue models to arrive at a unique model.
To gain competitive advantage, you must do things differently from your competitors. It is absolutely imperative to understand that any business looking to sell products or services on the internet, need speed and accuracy as a differentia factor.
Delivering on your promises will be crucial and this will mean having the correct information on the website, ensuring the products is available 24/7, delivering on time and providing a seamless customer care service.
Most companies usually collate testimonies from satisfied customers who have purchased their products and post same on their website or blog.
The internet has created a level playing field as any business, regardless of size can go online. What will make your business different is winning the trust of your customers and this can be done via your brand. Trust is a vital ingredient of a brand ,even more so for an e-business. You can build up trust only once you have product or service right. It can take years to build a successful brand, but that could become your company’s most valuable asset. Once you have created it, ensure that you protect it legally. Being on the internet is not a competitive advantage. It is just a complementary platform to the traditional way of doing business. A successful e-business strategy is one that involves new value proposition along with virtual and physical activities in a unique configuration. Getting it right is your gateway to business success.