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"business" category

What's worth $19 Billion?

22nd February 2014
Categories: business, facebook, whatsapp

There has - unsurprisingly - been a great deal of internet chatter about the staggering $19 Billion which Facebook is paying for Whats App.

Is a messaging app worth $19 Billion?  Of course not.  There are many messaging apps, and if you paid a couple of developers more than $50k each to build a decent one you would certainly be cheated.  I built a basic local messaging app for a 12-PC Northstar Horizon network, pre-internet, in 1984, and it took me just a few hours.  Messaging is not rocket science!

What Facebook are paying for, of course, is a half-billion user base. One 14th of the planet.

But is half a billion users worth $19 Billion?  Using standard-ish multiples, given a turnover of (very roughly) half a billion a year, you'd expect to pay $1 - 2 Billion for the business, but it goes without saying that a business with half a billion users is anything but standard.  

But... how is Facebook going to make its money back (that's what investments are for, after all)? It remains to be seen whether Google, Microsoft, or someone else is going to start poaching dissatisfied users who resent the fact that their app is now property of Facebook.

New plans - make your website work for your business!

2nd September 2013
Categories: business, marketing

This time of year is as good as any for reviewing your business and your website and making sure that both are performing as they should, and that you have a plan for the next few months.

Many businesses work up to a busy time at Christmas; others are simply back from holiday with a fresh outlook and new ideas.

I find this table useful:

Our Business Objectives Inward Facing Outward Facing

“Inward facing” objectives may involve staffing or administration, premises and so on, while “outward facing” objectives will normally involve your customers, suppliers, partners, members, the press, or the wider public.

Examples of “General” objectives may include staff morale, making a profit, keeping your customers better informed, finding more customers, etc., while “Specific” objectives may include things like income figures, profit margins, or numbers of new sales enquiries.

If you can't easily categorise an objective, don't worry, just pick a box to put it in. The main thing is getting them down on paper.

Our Business Objectives Inward Facing Outward Facing

boost staff morale in warehouse and sales team

make a profit in Q4

keep customers informed about our new super tech range 
Specific complete design of new ultra tech range  monthly average sales enquiries - Q4 - 200

Not every objective you have can be fulfilled by your website or online presence - but starting from the perspective of business objectives is the right way to look at a website.

It's easier to ask "what's happening in the industry?" and be bogged down with HTML5, responsive design, twitter, pinterest and so on. But these can distract you if you don't have solid objectives and a clear focus. You should by all means learn what these things are - but you should focus on your business objectives if you're going to get anything right.

The third stage of this table is aligning the objectives with a specific action. In the example below I've focussed just on online tools - but of course in a real plan you would have other things going on:

Our Business Objectives Inward Facing Outward Facing

boost staff morale in warehouse and sales team - listen to their concerns and reduce the clicks they need to look up internal information on the company extranet!

make a profit in Q4 - use google ads and search engine optimisation to boost the number of website visitors and thus increase sales!

keep customers informed about our new super tech range - use an informative email newsletter to get to people who want to know!
Specific complete design of new ultra tech range - use google docs and skype to improve team communication and a project planning tool to track progress! monthly average sales enquiries - Q4 - 200 - use google analytics sales funnel and usability analysis to find the bottlenecks on the website, and make the website easier to use!  - more visitors x more conversions = much increased sales!

Happy planning!

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Oxford Web is a trading name of Alberon Ltd, registered company no. 5765707 (England & Wales).