Monthly Website Reports

Here’s an example of what our customers get from us each month in their Monthly Website Report:

Good afternoon. I hope your summer is going well. Attached is your monthly Google Analytics report and a special message below.

A Special Message

Have you ever thought of an app for your phone that you thought could enhance your business or help your customers? What if there was a way you could see that app come to reality on the iPhone?

We have recently partnered with a company that develops applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that can be used around the world – for your customers or to turn your idea into profit.

There are many different reasons why you might want to develop your own app such as a way to help your customers interact with your business (ex. scheduling or bill payment) or maybe it’s a non-business idea you had that you just want to explore to either sell or make money from ads.

Whatever your ideas are, we’d love to hear about them. What’s your passion? Is there an app for that?

Depending on your level of service, we may also add the following metrics:

  • Unique visitors
  • Twitter followers
  • Facebook fans

Don’t have a Twtter or Facebook account? We can fix that up for you to manage for $120 or leave that to us for $60 a month with a six month minimum contract.

Can You Skip the ‘As-Is’ Process Analysis Altogether?

In a process improvement project is it best not to spend too much time on detailing an ‘as-is’ process analysis and focus on the ‘to-be’ process instead?

One of the arguments against detailing an as-is process analysis is that it precisely hinders the involvement of the people as they may be afraid to be evaluated. Focusing on the ‘to-be’, and making a fresh start based on their suggestions (without bringing the current process in a detailed picture), would then ease participation. But the ‘as-is’ phase is very important because (1) it represents the base for us to start from in improvement process, as (to be) process should result from handling the improvement opportunities in (as is) process, and (2) it ensures the involvement of process people as they share us the information of the ‘as-is’ process and have chance to give suggestions about to-be, thereby increasing the ownership of the new to-be process.

If you do not understand your current processes and what is and is not working then you will fail to successfully define and implement new processes. Even if management offers explicit direction on new processes, you need to know what your starting point is or was. There are several reasons for this: 1) to leverage what is already in place, 2) to socialize change and, regardless of management direction, 3) gain acceptance and support from the team that will be responsible for doing or managing the processes, and 4) identify and fix the existing problems that likely are leading to the new process needs. Otherwise, you’ll get processes that are essentially dead on arrival.

Knowing only the current, ‘as-is’ state does not help without knowing where you want to be in the future state. The first fact is just one data point, which as we know is useless by itself. We have to know both the current and future states of a process in order to measure the gap between. It is the gap that we refer to as a problem and it’s size, the magnitude of the problem. The gap can be characterized with many varying metrics such as quality, speed, or cost, but they should all be aligned to the customer and key strategic objectives. One way to do this is to use an an analogy of a map. Read More

How to Find a Niche (and What to Do with it Once You Find It)

Profit can be made from almost any niche – the key is knowing how to find it

This is a simplified method for how to find a niche. Essentially we begin with the end in mind, knowing we’re going to need a product to sell that is currently being sold, but maybe not as well as it could be.  Maybe it’s hard to find or maybe the people who are selling it want help selling it.  That’s where you come in.  Here is an example:

I like computer games so I use Google to search for “computer games” (without quotes, which is called a ‘broad search’), which gives me back 200 results. I then use the criteria (as mentioned in 6 Steps to Making Money Online and Research and Analysis Metrics) to narrow them down to one ‘keyword’ I’d like to use.  I then find 200 more keywords related to that one keyword and again narrow those down to 4.

Now I have my micro-niche, which is identified by the keyword, “World of Warcraft Gold”.  I then have to see how much competition there is for that keyword and if it is a penetrable market (one that has low domain age, a small amount of back-links, and no or low directory listings). Only then can I move on to check whether or not there is something to sell.  If there is something to sell, then we ask ourselves if we would want to work for the amount of money it is offering.  If it is, then we build and start promoting.  If I don’t get traffic, I kill it and start over or sell the domain on Flippa or Sedo.

How to Find a Niche

Sometimes coming up with ideas for a niche is hard.  One set of advice I heard was to look in the back of magazines to see what people are selling because it means there is already a niche market for it because people are buying it.  You can also use Google Trends or Twitter Search to see what is trending right now.

Here are some examples from ads in the back of a magazine:

  • Logo Design
  • Web Design
  • Business Plans
  • Botta Solus Watches
  • Timeshares
  • Oranges as Holiday Gifts
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Employee Leasing
  • Business Services

Here is what is currently trending on Google Trends:

  • tom delay
  • ashley turton
  • eftps
  • bcs championship game
  • liberal smear machine
  • todd graham
  • houston livestock show and rodeo 2011
  • ron rivera

Here is what is currently trending on Twitter Search:

  • Wojtek Wolski
  • Lionel Andres Messi
  • María Elena Walsh
  • Beth Gouveia
  • Fernanda Vasconcelos
  • Sue Sylvester
  • Great Gatsby
  • Toni Ramos
  • #palabrasquedanmiedo