Have you been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug? Searches on how to start an online business have increased over the last two years. The pandemic has certainly underlined the issues of the current work market and conditions for employees and inspired many to take matters into their own hands.
The numbers clearly indicate an uptick in new businesses registered. Online businesses thrive best since they require a lot less initial investment and people can build their foundations in their spare time before committing to leaving their stifling job behind.
Developing An Online Business Takes Time And Effort
Being your own boss appeals to many. The promise of freedom to set your own destiny makes for a potent brew, but the reality often catches would-be entrepreneurs unprepared for the actual effort that goes into starting a business.
The pre-planning stages are crucial. Do you have a brand in mind? Have you thought through the product in detail? If it’s a physical product you’re selling, what’s your delivery policy and delivery infrastructure? What are you going to use as a site builder?
If you’re going to run and manage the business on your own, then you have to consider every role you will have to take – distributor, seller, marketer, manufacturer, provider, manager and customer care operator. You should know how to approach all of these roles. More importantly how they’re going to work where you live as well as any laws that are personally applicable in your industry.
6 Tips For A Developing A Successful Online Business
Get To Know Your Audience
You might think you know your audience, but making assumptions only gets you so far. Before even buying a domain name, you should sit down and perform customer research. Create a buyer’s persona that will accurately target your content and product from the start. One way to do this is via social media listening.
RSS readers, in particular, make for good tools as they come with support for various social media platforms, offer good content discovery and also integrate well with browsers. Mind you – getting to know your audience should be a continuous process carried on over time.
You’ve probably heard by now – Content is King. Online businesses have to be like sharks, always swimming in order to stay visible and generate revenue. Content generation gets the job done and affects brand health as well.
Not every business can make a blog work for instance. HubSpot has made a name for its fantastic advice and strategies on digital marketing, and has shaped itself as a thought leader. But depending on your specific line of work and industry, you might need other content approaches.
Turn data into infographics. Document your services into video format. If you’re targeting both Gen Y and Gen Z embrace Internet humor and memes. Webinars, case studies, podcasts and even user-generated content are all viable options.
Active Social Media Presence
Social media fulfills two roles – actively promotes products and performs real-time customer care. With conversations and communication now primarily taking place online, online businesses have to establish themselves on the platforms frequented by their audience. Not only is this a reliable way to stay in the public’s eye, but establishes a personal connection to your target audience.
Good customer care maintains a good reputation and customer loyalty, which as we all know is not easily won these days. Also current generations don’t use the telephone or email quite as much in trying to get in touch with businesses.
Email has lost some of its sexiness in favor of social media, but even in 2021 it remains a pillar of digital marketing. There’s no sign email marketing will become obsolete, so don’t sleep on emails. One of the first things you should be working on while setting up a business is an email marketing list. As this task involves time to research and build, it’s best handled parallel to initial preparation before going live.
Cold call emails, holiday campaigns, promotional emails, sales campaigns, discount codes – you are spoiled for choice. A good rule of thumb is to experiment with as many formats, sending times, sales copy and messaging in order to arrive at the winning formula.
Organic site traffic is one way to generate sales and impress your brand on potential customers. I tend to stick to suggestions on the first page of Google results (as do we all) – a most coveted spot for any brand in a competitive market. The correct SEO strategy boosts your chances to appear at the top and it is best employed from the very beginning.
There are a few fast and hard rules for a successful SEO strategy:
- You need strong keyword research and implementation so that you’re easy to find on the most frequently typed words and phrases for your industry.
- Some initial investment in PPC ads. You’ll have noticed the tendency for ads to dominate the first slots on search results before the organic results even begin.
- Quality content, which we touched upon. The goal is to develop good internal and external linking so that your domain name and URL receive better visibility.
Develop A User-Friendly Website
So far every item on this list has been about driving potential customers to your website, which is the cornerstone of any successful online business. It’s towards the end of the sales funnel. Hence it’s really, really important you have a user-friendly website.
You definitely want a site design, which loads instantly even when the visitor’s Internet connection lags and performs well on mobile devices. Mobile search, ordering and shopping are the dominant forms in retail right now. Additionally, your website should be easy to navigate. Simpler is better.
Make sure all the most important components – catalog, Q&A, delivery, service description – are front and center. You want to guide visitors to your product and then nudge them to purchase with a non-intrusive call to action.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.