Confessions of an Internet Business Consultant

Being an Internet business consultant can be a challenging juggling act between failure and success that requires the finesses of a world-class diplomat. There are several key challenges that consultants face in just about every engagement. The better prepared for each challenge, the better the chance for mutual success.


1. Executive Commitment


When the initiative at hand is to implement an Internet strategy that involves the face and image of the company, few people have less experience than executive leadership. It is imperative that any proposed strategy or implementation be presented in terms understood by the leadership. Give them entry points to “buy-in” so they are continuous champions of your particular mission.  If you do not include executive leadership at an early stage, you are likely to get pushback at crucial decision points along the way.


2.  Bridging the Gap


The task of working with the business team as well as the IT department at the same time can be a daunting proposition. You need a dual approach to your project with dual playbooks and plans that work in a cohesive and integrated way. IT people speak and respond in a different language than the business side. Their attitudinal biases can affect a project like a fast-spreading cancer. At the same-time, the realities of IT infrastructure, resources, and implementation are hard for the business side to understand given their penchant for quick results.


3. Who Knows the Market?


The best tools are worthless if they are not used in the proper manner or for the right job. The Internet is no exception. Research and analysis must be at the heart of any proposed strategy. Your Internet business consultant must be given access to the market intelligence that is required for proper planning and targeted execution. When building an online business that includes ecommerce functionality, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and interactive web apps, you have to begin with the end in mind, just like any other strategic plan. Each step will build on the other, and the synergistic nature of integrated strategies will begin to produce measurable results.


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