When you ask a lot of people that go into business for themselves why they took the leap to go solo professionally, the response is almost always the same: they wanted to maximize their profits doing a job they love. This sounds logical, and many do take the leap to rescue themselves from the drudgery of working for others. Now, if you ask others why their independent venture ended in failure, they often answer the same: they didn’t know how tough the work was going to be and, more importantly, they didn’t turn a profit.
That last part is so common with failed business owners that there’s probably a blog or book out there, thick with sad stories and covered with tears. Apparently, only five percent of all businesses succeed in the end, and some only take hold after many, many failures. It’s not encouraging to be your own business person in this day and age.
But what needs to be understood above all else is that businesses often fail because the people running them do not keep an eye on their bottom line. While it sounds a bit greedy, a business pro really has to keep his or her eyes on the money records of their venture. If you’re going to be your own boss, you have to be a tough one, especially with your money—you have to manage it.
Facts and Figures Don’t Lie
One good thing about being in a digital business is the dual advantage and availability of tools to measure your money matters. In the old days, thick ledgers and filing cabinets were the only way to see your business results up front. Now it’s a little easier.
One key thing here is to get some sort of analytics program. Regardless of whether you want to know your search engine optimization costs or how much you are spending in your cost per clicks for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you need to view your analytics to see what activity is happening to your business online. A lot of Google programs like “AdWords” have analytics to watch who has been visiting your ads and how much you’re spending for the clicks. Take advantage of these, and even if there’s a breaking-in period to learn it completely, do it. Knowing analytics programs inside out will help you see how well things are going with your online business and, more importantly, how much money is going out.
Likewise, any analytics for seeing how much sales are coming through your web site are helpful to have. In the event you can’t get an analytics program to measure sales for your business, you may have to stoop to keeping receipts and doing your own bookkeeping records. It can obviously be less-than-fun, but again, it’s worth doing if you want to keep your money sense working at full force.
Cutting Down or Expanding Out
With the eagle eye viewing of your analytics and money in/money out matters comes the inevitable matter of how to correct your business for financial improvement. The only reason to read those mountains of boring money stats is to learn from them, as learning means fixing your business for the future.
The first route you might want to go is cutting down your expenses. You might be overpaying on your PPC ad optimization, in which case you may want to fix your ads to reduce cost per click. As well, you might be shelling out way too much for external assistance, like a search engine marketing specialist that really isn’t delivering. If your stats show no cash is coming in, you might want to sever such a business partnership. Conversely, you may see you have some extra money and want to expand outward by hiring a credible search engine marketing service that can boost your business into the cyber-stratosphere. In both cases, the results you get from your own financial information can make your online business stronger, tighter, and something that can last for a long time.
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