I have been asking business decision makers for the same question for some time now: “Is your website meeting your expectations?”
The answers I hear vary, but they all seem to revolve around the same two notions. 1) The person I am speaking to has no clue as to the performance of their website, and 2) It is clear that the current website falls way short of expectations.
The cause of both of these responses is often the same: The lack of a clear strategy from the onset.
Proper planning is essential to the success of any project, particularly that of a website. And in order to properly plan for a project, a conscious effort needs to go into the research and discovery phase . Only with proper research can a solid plan be devised.
Many website design and redesign projects start off on the wrong notion of cost. While price is an importent factor in selecting a web design company, it should not be the primary factor on which the decision is made. A well-designed, true and tested approach to research and discovery is key to preparing to create a solid web design project plan. However, this is only the beginning. For example, as part of the research phase, a competitive features analysis and audience segmentation is required. Additionally, a strategic roadmap needs to be created during this early phase. To do so requires stakeholder interviews and initiatives planning.
Three questions can be used to distinguish a winning strategy from a so-so or flawed strategy:
1. How well does the strategy fit the company’s situation? To qualify as a winner, a strategy has to be well matched to industry and competitive conditions, a company’s best market opportunities, and other aspects of the enterprise’s external environment. At the same time, it has to be tailored to the company’s resource strengths and weaknesses, competencies, and competitive capabilities. Unless a strategy exhibits tight fit with both the external and internal aspects of a company’s overall situation, it is likely to produce less than the best possible business results.
2. Is the strategy helping the company achieve a sustainable competitive advantage? Winning strategies enable a company to achieve a competitive advantage that is durable. The bigger and more durable the competitive edge that a strategy helps build, the more powerful and appealing it is.
3. Is the strategy resulting in better company performance? A good strategy boosts company performance. Two kinds of performance improvements tell the most about a company’s strategy: (a) gains in profitability and financial strength and (b) gains in the company’s competitive strength and market standing.
Strategies that come up short on one or more of the above questions are plainly less appealing than strategies passing all three test questions with flying colors. Additional criteria for judging the merits of a particular strategy include (1) the degree of risk the strategy poses as compared to alternative strategies and (2) the degree to which it is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. These criteria are relevant and merit consideration, but they seldom override the importance of the three test questions proposed above.
A well-developed strategy contains five components, or sets of issues:
- Scope. The scope of an organization refers to the breadth of its domain – the number and types of industries, product lines, and market segments it competes in or plans to enter. Decisions about an organization’s strategic scope should reflect management’s view of the firm’s purpose or mission. The common thread among its various activities and product-markets defines the essential nature of what its business is and what it should be.
- Goals and objectives. Strategies also should detail desired levels of accomplishment on one or more dimensions of performance – such as volume growth, profit contribution, or return on investment – over specified time periods for each of those businesses and product-markets and for the organization as a whole.
- Resource deployment. Every organization has limited financial and human resources. Formulating a strategy also involves deciding how those resources are to be obtained and allocated across businesses, product-markets, and functional departments and activities within each business or product-market.
- Identification of a sustainable competitive advantage. One important part of any strategy is a specification of how the organization will compete in each business and product-market within its domain. How can it position itself to develop and sustain a differential advantage over current and potential competitors? To answer such questions, managers must examine the market opportunities in each business and product-market and the company’s distinctive competencies or strengths relative to its competitors.
- Synergy. Synergy exists when the firm’s businesses, product-markets, resource deployments, and competencies complement and reinforce one another. Synergy enables the total performance of the related businesses to be greater than it would otherwise be: The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
To learn how Neolynx Inc. can help you create and implement a solid business strategy, schedule a free telephone consultation by clicking on the button below.
Although strategy first became a popular business buzzword during the 1960s, it continues to be the subject of widely different definitions and interpretations. The following definition, however, captures the essence of the term:
A strategy is a fundamental pattern of present and planned objectives, resource deployments, and interactions of an organization with markets, competitors, and other environmental factors.
This definition suggests that a strategy should specify:
- What – Objectives to be accomplished)
- Where – On which industries and product-markets to focus)
- How – Which resources and activities to allocate to each product-market to meet environmental opportunities and threats ad to gain a competitive advantage.
To learn more about how Neolynx Inc. can help take your business to the next level, click the button below to schedule a free telephone consultation.
Question: Why do I need a Business Plan?
A well-constructed Business Plan can ensure you properly define business goals, strategies and actions. A business plan is not a document you create or hire someone to create for you and is forgotten about after it is read. A business plan must be a working roadmap to business success. While many businesses have annual business plan reviews or business planning meetings, business plans must be revisited at least on a monthly basis. To ensure optimal chances of success, frequent and consistent business plan review and adjustment is required.
Your business is running, guided by your business plan to meet goals and targets. It is therefore essential that your business plan be revisited and updated frequently. Based on analysis of the data from your business activity, adjust your business plan to ensure your daily business activity (actions) are in harmony with your business goals and strategies.
Question (revisited): Why do I need a Business Plan?
Answer: Because, when done correctly, business can be a powerful tool.
TopSEOs Acknowledges Neolynx Inc. As One of the Top 10 Web Design Firms for the Month of July 2012
Neolynx Inc. is named an exceptional web design firm for the month of July 2012 by topseos.
Neolynx Inc. has secured the seventh rank on this month’s list of the top 10 web design firms. The monthly rankings list published by topseos is a guide to the cream of the crop internet marketing vendors in the industry.
“We have put in a lot of hard work into establishing ourselves as a leading web design firm and we are delighted that our efforts have been acknowledged in such an exciting way”, said Armen Mardirousi, President/CEO of Neolynx Inc.
Neolynx Inc. is included in this list for its consistent performance and the superior services rendered to its clients. topseos seeks out the leading firms in the industry through a rigorous evaluation criteria that includes:
• Competitive advantage
• Superior services and pricing
• Customer and technical support
• Response to client problems
• Innovations that set it apart from the competition
• Overall efficiency
• Overall performance
As part of the evaluation process, clients of Neolynx Inc. are asked to give feedback on general and project specific questions such as:
• Rate your overall experience.
• What type of needs analysis was conducted before work initiated?
• What form of planning and strategy was undertaken by the agency before they started on your project?
• Do your pages pass W3C standards?
• Does your website have a search engine friendly design?
“The whole industry looks to us to identify reliable and accurate benchmarks and Neolynx Inc. has proven by its performance that they deserve to be on this coveted list”, shared Jeev Trika, partner at topseos. For more information about Neolynx Inc. log on to www.neolynx.com
About Neolynx Inc.
Neolynx Inc. specializes in the design, development, and optimization of business solutions that improve the effectiveness of marketing, product presentation, interactive transactions, customer relationship management, and everyday business procedures. It is a company dedicated to understanding the client’s market and developing capabilities that can deliver real, bottom-line results.
Neolynx was founded in 1999 with one simple goal: To succeed by helping our clients succeed. The Neolynx mission is to create effective and cutting-edge solutions; helping clients maximize their marketing dollars Online and off. From Strategic Consulting to Marketing Research, Website Development to Internet Marketing, Neolynx has experience in delivering customized turnkey solutions. Neolynx is dedicated to empowering clients by helping them to extend their business model around Internet audiences and technologies. Neolynx combines the latest information technology solutions with powerful management and organizational development expertise. In other words, we understand core business issues and can help you envision, plan and successfully accomplish any business objective.
• Create a sustainable competitive advantage through improved information processing and decision making capabilities.
• Improve your sales & market position by facilitating the development and execution of strategies to identify and exploit emerging market opportunities.
• Streamline and increase your operational efficiency by combining innovative organizational development methods with cutting edge information technology.
• We harness the power of the internet with applications and solutions to meet your current business needs and to accommodate future growth opportunities.
Since its introduction in 2002, topseos has been identified as an independent authority on vendors who supply internet marketing products and services ranging from the best search engine optimization companies to the best pay per click management tools. In addition, topseos connects thousands of businesses each year that are looking for internet marketing services with those who provide it.
With dedicated online presence in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, topseos continues to make a global impact in the internet marketing arena.
With the advent of social media, particularly as a formidable strategy in business, the need to enable the personnel throughout the organization has never been greater. With this enablement comes the need to ensure a uniform message is represented whenever a member of an organization speaks about or on behalf of the organization or brand for which they work. All businesses should encourage their employees, particularly those in key roles, to setup and maintain a personal brand online. The organizations guidelines for social media should also take into consideration the very real possibility that an employee might inadvertently reveal sensitive information where it can potentially reach competitors. While social media is clearly here to stay and has been shown to enable businesses to interact with consumers on a much more personal level, the need to train and guide the organizations employees is key to ensuring a successful integration of social media while limiting associated risks.
Old fashioned marketing techniques tend to get annoying. Imagine you’re driving down the highway and your attention is directed to a billboard with advertising. You’re watching your favorite TV show and commercials interrupt you. You’re having a family dinner and a telemarketing call comes and rudely interrupts your family dinner. That last one bothers me the most, since spending time with family is invaluable, especially in this day and age where everybody is on the go. In an ever-changing world, marketing is undergoing a big shift itself. With the help of the web and social media customers have the power to decide what websites they visit and what products they buy, as opposed to a sales associate convincing them the product they have is the best thing since sliced bread. With Inbound Marketing you can drive more traffic to your website. It is much more cost effective and easier to manage than the old fashioned costly marketing practices. It is much easier to track the marketing campaign and record the data collected. It gives more accurate and real time results, which makes the old fashioned marketing practices obsolete. Inbound marketing offers the customer some useful information, something that is valuable to the audience. It could be some word of wisdom, a picture with a message, an idea or it could be anything that adds value. I know it might not make sense, but it’s in the laws of nature and physics, by giving you receive. For every action there’s a reaction, and I want to be right in the middle of it, taking the right action and getting the expected reaction that I’m looking for. By giving the customer what they were looking for you gain their trust which is more valuable than any sale you will ever make. Let me leave you with this question, what is the lifetime value of a customer to you as a business owner?
The Neolynx Inc. Web Design Process
By using this web design process, we have been able to create many successful websites for clients worldwide.
The basic web design process is comprised of five sections, with each broken down into three subsections.
1. Define the Project
Discover– Gather information. Understand audience. Analyze industry.
Plan – Create a project plan. Set the budget. Create schedule. Assign team. Setup stage. Plan for testing.
Clarify – Set high-level goals. Prepare communication brief. Kick off the project.
2. Develop the Structure
Content Plan – Audit existing content. Outline new content. Create delivery plan.
Structure Site – Create sitemap. Set naming conventions.
Structure Pages – Create wireframes. Address navigation. Naming & labeling. Define user tasks. Create user view (dynamic sites).
3. Design Visual Interface
Create – Review site goals. Develop concepts. Design for user. Presenting the designs.
Confirm – Create HTML protosite. Test functionality.
Hand-Off– Create graphic templates. Create design style guide.
4. Build & Integrate
Prepare – Asses project status. Establish guidelines. Set file structure.
Build – Optimize graphics. Create HTML templates. Implement light testing. Populate pages. Integrate backend.
Test – Create a quality assurance plan & fix bugs. Conduct final survey.
5. Launch & Beyond
Deliver – Production style guide. Create hand off packet. Conduct postmortem.
Launch – Prepare announcement plan. Register with search engines. Launch site.
Maintain – maintenance team. Capabilities. Internal maintenance. Develop maintenance plan. Measure success. Confirm site security.
If you are looking to revamp your current web presence, or if you are looking to take your business online for the first time, contact us to learn how together we can grow your business.