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One of the concepts I discuss in detail in my internet marketing book is the concept of rightsizing your marketing. The way I use it, rightsizing means that you invest in your business resources proportional to your size of business and capacity for growth in your business. It’s the idea of putting in the right amount of effort, time, energy, and money in to get back what you want. This is an entrepreneurship concept that is vital for appropriate management of your time, energy, and money (your key resources) as well as for managing your expectations and outcomes.
If you have been in business for a while, some of these ideas might seem a bit basic, but I encourage not to dismiss them without at least a little bit of consideration again now. If your business has experienced rapid growth and if you are interested in being ahead of trends, you might find that your business, over time, gathers tidbits. These tidbits can be new pages, new technologies, new plugins, new ideas you’re testing out, and so on.
After a while, your website might resemble a house that has been built on over time- where the rooms don’t quite line up, the window line is a bit peculiar, and you have stray pages that don’t do anything.
When it comes time to rightsize to your business goals, it’s helpful to understand what your website is for. The concepts I’ll share here focus on your website, but a similar process could be applied to any aspect of your business- and this is a good practice to adopt periodically as your business continues to grow.
It’s worthwhile to look at your current business assets- all of them- and decide what roles or functions they are serving for you. From there you can determine how much of your resources to invest in them.
Focusing now on your website, as a point of reference:
- What is your website for?
- What purposes is it serving?
- Is it repeating anything you’re doing elsewhere?
- What would make your website better for your goals?
- Are you expecting more than you need?
Let’s go through each of these questions in more detail.
1) What is your website for?
In my way of thinking, your website should serve at least a few purposes for your business. Two main ones are marketing and sales, and your site can also help with customer service and branding. Your website is most valuable to your business if it’s used to generate new clients and opportunities, if it helps you sell products and services, if you can serve your customers better, and if it positions you as an authoritative expert. Of course, with branding, your site can also make you recognizable online, and that is important too. I put it last because it’s not the most important thing to start with, though others may disagree.
2) What purposes is your site currently serving?
Tied to question #1, what purposes is your website (or any asset) currently serving? Keeping in mind that I suggest your site assist you with marketing, sales, customer service/client delivery, and expert positioning, how is your current site doing on each of these factors? Are there any places where you can invest more resources for a better result?
3) Is it repeating anything you’re doing elsewhere?
This is another good question. Sometimes we have multiple business assets which are serving the exact same purposes in the exact same way. We may not need all of these assets doing the same thing. For example, I once had a client who blogged regularly and then had her blog content turned into a newsletter. No problem there, at least in theory. However, in practice, because she had built her email list from her blog in the first place, there was no point in sending out a separate distinct newsletter with the same blog content they had already seen. Yes, of course, it makes sense to share your content, but if you have a lot of circularity in your business – where your subscribers come from your blog, and then get your blog updates anyway, and then your blog content as a newsletter, it might make sense to see how you can streamline the process, or have your blog and newsletter serve different functions. In my opinion, the goal is to have each asset assist your business without too much circularity. This helps you expand your reach.
4) What would make your website better for your goals?
This is the question that gets at places where your website could be performing better. We touched on this briefly in question #2, but this question asks you to make your thinking more specific. Is there some functionality you keep wishing you had? Or is there something you have that you wish you didn’t? Notice any place where you want something that isn’t there or feel irritated or annoyed by something that’s there that you don’t want. Either is a good place to consider making changes.
5) Are you expecting more than you need?
This question looks to rightsize the gap between your resource investment and your expectations/desired outcomes. So, for example:
If you run a local based business, you don’t need the same kind or level of website and internet marketing plan as a business which seeks to be nationally or internationally recognized. You don’t need to invest in the same social media presence. You don’t need to reach people around the country or the world, because you don’t have anything you can sell them.
Similarly, if you are seeking to build a national or international business, you will likely need more resources and more functionality on your website, as well as to make more use of technology and social media to help you build your reach and your platform.
Recognizing what you expect can help you decide what resources to invest and what to do next.
This may seem like common sense, and, mostly, it is. However, we don’t always take a few minutes to stop and assess what we want to create, what we need to create that result, and whether our efforts and results are aligning well.
Our entrepreneurial energy and resources are the only currency we have to spend- it just makes sense to use them as wisely as possible.