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So how does one ensure longevity for their online business?
I have recently created a lead generation business, which, due to its very nature, does not have 'repeat customers' and is solely reliant on new business.
I'm concerned that for resale of the business, and my own income, that it is not stable enough. But how to go about ensuring the traffic flow?
I will shortly be attempting to signup long term deals with future affiliates, but other than that I'm running out of ideas to make this business more solid.
Anyone have suggestions / experiences in this area?
Repeat visitors with your site on their bookmarks are the best insurance. Are you saying customers will never need more leads? How about a program feeding them leads weekly, monthly?
A Blog about leads would be popular lately, or a message board. Leadmaster World. Content about the lead business, industry infomation, a course or guide on using leads etc.
Other than lead lists, what interests your visitors, and what other keywords are they typing into their keyboards? Build on their recurring interests and business needs - even if, for many, the need for leads seldom recurs?
There are many threads here on the topic of becoming less search reliant and finding alternative traffic.
Just 2 cents....
PPC appears to be here to stay as one reliable revenue model for the major search engines (with MSN's announcement of their own PPC initiative that won't actually be live in the states until June 2006 when the Overture contract expires .. at least this is what MSN says now...could change)..
The affiliate marketplace has taken a beating in relationship to Google because of their attempt to control duplicate content (affiliate basically running mirror sites/mirror information against the primary)..but it is probably still going to be a viable model..the biggest problem with affiliate programs is how to keep people motivated and involved in the process..(the initial profit projections/promises usually do not pan out for any given affiliate program initiative)
Natural search is an on going problem because the engines will constantly work to "tweak" this so that they can work to optimize "their (search engines)" revenue channels based on "their" search products....so this can be quite volatile and difficult to build a stable business model against...
To resale your business you have to build some sort of support engineering model to continue to help the new business owner adapt and grow in the ever changing landscape that represents the online world...this would be one way to stabalize your future earnings from the sale of the business.
The other way is to figure out if your current business could find its way into the hands of a larger organization looking for the type of technology (software processes) you may have developed out...
Developing future reliable traffic to drive revenue to your business? well this is something that has to be dealt with continually because of changes in how people find what you are offering (PPC costs can put too much pressure on your profit margin, natural search can be too volatile for reliably predicting future income, and affiliates can be quite flacky) .. so all one can do is constantly work the process..
When thinking about selling your business you may need to build out some very comprehensive directives relating to how the market works online...