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Website Profit Starts with Solid Plan

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Website profit requires good planning — even something as simple as one page — and consistently sticking to the plan. In some ways, planning is more important than revenue itself.

Classical management planning often includes eight major sections: vision, mission, values, strategies, goals, objectives, tactics and actions.

Large businesses emphasize many of these elements in the annual budget process. But building a complex and profitable website — or even a small one — requires sticking to some simple but important parts of the plan throughout the entire year.

Otherwise, a site will eventually run into slower growth because of inefficient work and lack of focus.

Some online managers at large companies prepare budget presentations with dozens or even hundreds of slides and documents to communicate their plan to executives. They know the frustration of making the presentation and then having the plan forgotton by upper management in the mad growth pace of Internet businesses.

Inexperienced managers who lose sight of their own plans may end up missing budgets. They also may end up becoming unemployed.

Keeping It Simple

Large companies with large websites often have to create lengthy and complicated profit plans. Small businesses with small websites can keep it simple.

Managers of small sites can edit a plan down to one or two pages and keep it readily available on a computer desktop. They can add parts of it to weekly staff meeting agendas. They can set up targets in reports (audience goals are especially overlooked during the year). They can even build reminders into Outlook or other calendars.

Keeping it simple also means focusing on key metrics. Track the three most important numbers — audience, revenue and Website profit — against budget on a monthly basis. Weekly is even better. Distribute the results regularly to staff and management. Shift time and attention over to the goal with a shortfall if one starts to show up.

The ability of site managers to track several major goals and stay on top of them regularly will result in a better-managed online business with stronger results in the long run.

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