If you want to amp up your business opportunities for 2010, think like a Web business. Build everything small, build it simple, and make it shareable:
Small. The trend over the last year on the Web was to create single-solution websites. Twitter, the talk of the town, does one thing well: it passes one-to-many communications across multiple platforms. Alltop.com is a magazine rack for the web. You might have success doing big projects, but if you start with a targeted focus on your idea, you’ll get further. Google started as search. Now, it’s all over the place, but the ideas are all relatively small and interlocking.
Simple. Why complicate things? If you can make your processes simple, then others can follow (which helps with franchising). If you can make your customer equations simple, then it’s easy to measure their success. Look for ways to be simple. Talk simple. Make deals simple. Do nothing complex, because so very little needs to be complex. Remove steps everywhere. Make everything brief and simple.
Shared. This is the trickiest to implement, depending on how you’re doing what you do, but possibly the most important. Facebook helps a business when the users push that “Share” button associated with a piece of content and share it with their network. On Twitter, the retweet is your claim to gold. On blogs, it’s a matter of getting your content shared in as many places as possible that might drive more attention to it.
So, how can you apply this to your face-to-face business, like if you run a store? Look for ways to share. For example, can you get photos from your customers? Can you encourage online interactions to match your offline ones? Can you build relationships that go between the online and offline so that prospective customers will get to know you via the Web before they’re even in your store?
Not all of this is easy to implement, but I know you realize that in order to succeed you can’t just do the easy things, right? Just because it’s “simple” doesn’t mean it’s going to be “easy.” Working on simplifying in 2010 will be a great way to test your business ideas for whether they’re replicable, sustainable, and extensible. Once you can extend your ideas, you can grow in that mode.
Chris Brogan is a co-author of the book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. You can read his blog here; and follow him on Twitter here.