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There are also quite a few things you really have NO control over! The factors that are EXTERNAL to your business.

The BIG Picture is that the big, bad world you are building your business in, is full of all sorts of things beyond your control. This IS the environment in which your business is going to operate in every day.

Now, just because you can’t control these factors, doesn’t mean you can’t account for them in your model. If you do, then you can respond quickly to both disruptive threats and possible opportunities when/if they occur!

And understanding and preparing for these external “threats” is VERY important if your business is based online! Mainly due to the speed and scale at which change can happen!

External Building Blocks

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So… as you can see, there are a whole HEAP of possible questions to answer, or issues to consider, that are pretty much all beyond your control!

Online, however, there are several specific external “things” you DO need to account for. I’ll briefly mention four of the biggies here which you CAN do something about!

First up are any specific regulations that might apply to your situation? In the US for example, the FTC has special “rules” that apply to people endorsing products online. There are also a heap of national anti-SPAM regulations, along with privacy rules etc that you ALSO must be aware of, including the May 2018 launch of the GDPR in the EU.

While we’ll look at these in a little more detail shortly, it IS important to know that specific regulations WILL have an impact on what you do, and how you do it, online. And that might ALSO include a variety of taxation implications depending on the countries you service 🙂

Another external aspect worth mentioning here is the reliance some people have placed on building their business on external platforms – i.e. platforms they don’t own, such as Facebook, Youtube, Shopify, eBay, etc. The recent news where a woman travelled across the US to the YouTube Head Office to protest her declining business fortunes is proof enough she should NOT have relied on putting everything into a “free” platform she had little control over.

Next, the amount of time, money and effort people waste in trying to chase the Internet holy grail (ie #1 on Google) is mind-blowing! Consider firstly the improbability of achieving that – a 1 in 1.8 BILLION chance in the first place (you x number of websites online), multiplied by the number of keywords you are chasing… along with the well-known fact that Google changes their “rules” (algorithm) pretty much every week or so nowadays! Can I suggest you really should put all that time, effort and money into doing something else – actually ANYthing ELSE – to promote and differentiate your online business and, apart from obeying all the “obvious” SEO rules in the first place (more about that later too), don’t even be tempted to play in this unwinnable game!!!

Finally, an area a lot of people do not think enough about is seeking partners for collaboration! As has been mentioned several times, the biggest problem you are likely to have online is huge competition, especially from long-established players and companies with large advertising budgets! It could definitely be worth your while to see where and how you might be able to collaborate with your “competitors”, rather than go into direct competition with them 🙂

NEXT UP » Value Proposition Canvas.


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Acknowledgements:
Parts of this article are used under a Creative Commons license issued by Strategyzer.com .

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