08 Dec 2016
Starting an online business seems pretty straightforward, right?
A few clicks and customers can step inside your e-door, but just like a regular business, the process of thriving in a worldwide marketplace is not as simple as it seems.
So, how do you succeed in the world of online business?
As tempting as it may be to wave goodbye to your 9 to 5 and say hello to the world of e-commerce from the comfort of home, you need to ensure your online business is going to be successful – especially if you’re going to be investing a lot of time and money in it.
The great thing about having your business online is that it’s a 24/7 marketplace. Time doesn’t matter and you have the added benefit to schedule content when it suits you. Keeping your job as you open up shop means you can ensure a steady paycheck as your business develops a foundation in the online world.
There are millions of companies at home on the internet – so, what makes yours any different? Finding exactly where you sit in the market is a necessity for business growth and development, and you need to be able to effectively hone in on your audience.
Before you begin frantically clicking and hoping you’re doing something right, take a step back and ensure you have a solid business plan (on paper). You need to ensure you have a market to fill before you start pushing products onto an audience that may not want them – use online forums, keyword research and potential competitor sites to pinpoint who your product is aimed at, and why they should want what you’re selling.
Having an online business gives you the added benefit of being open to an international audience – with a wide variety of advertising platforms at your disposal. From social media to targeted pay-per-click advertisements, your business can be seen by anyone at any time. Get proactive in your marketing techniques, and ensure you’re maintaining a consistent amount of engagement with your audience. Being half-hearted in your business approach will transpire to your audience as your brand not only being unprofessional but also unreliable.
When you find yourself being targeted with a sales script, your likely reaction is to vacate the building, hang up the phone, or in this case, click away from the product. Ensure your online business provides all the information a potential customer needs without sounding like a tacky infomercial. Engaging website content should capture the reader’s interest, and focus on how the service or product provided will uniquely be able to benefit the potential customer.
A bad website design or layout can automatically have people clicking on the ‘close’ box before they even begin to start exploring. Make sure you’re keeping track of any website issues you may have, and ensure they are fixed within a reasonable time frame. Letting potential customers know when your site is being currently updated is also a personal touch likely to have them return in the future. Additionally, ask and pay attention to the feedback provided on your website – customer feedback is invaluable, and will only serve to strengthen any weak points you may have in your current business plan.
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