4 Top Tips for Starting a Successful Online Business
The world wide web is ripe with opportunities for the savvy business man or woman to start their own successful enterprise.
In the digital age, we are more connected than ever. You can sell your product or service and share your brand message with anyone in the world—without the need to travel.
Last year, ecommerce giant Amazon reported a whopping £207 million in UK sales alone.
It’s safe to say there’s an enormous potential out there. If you’re thinking about starting your own online empire and are not entirely sure where to start, these top online business ideas should help you on the road to success.
Get Your Web Assets in Order
Now, assuming you’ve developed your product idea, purchased a domain name for your business and registered your company, the next thing you’ll want to do is get your assets in order.
As an online business, having the right web presence is vital. To stand the best possible chance of success, you will need to make sure you do the following things:
- Set up all of your social media channels, making sure each account follows a theme in terms of your branding.
- Have a website designed that is user-friendly and optimized for mobile. Preferably, it should be hosted by a user-friendly CMS like WordPress so it’s easy for you to make changes and updates.
- Make sure you have a blog that is integrated with your website. This will help you to enhance your content marketing efforts and boost your search authority over time.
- Gather all graphics, videos, images and content templates and store them in a central folder so they are safe and accessible.
- Make sure your website, blog and social channels are optimized for SEO by choosing the right keywords. Not sure how? This video will help you get started…
Know Your Competition
The web can be a cutthroat place. Be sure you know what your competition is doing all the time. With this, you can spot their strengths and weaknesses in customer service, website functionality, product offerings, branding, content marketing, social media campaigns and more. By gaining priceless information and key insights on the competition, you’ll be able to do things bigger and better. You’ll spot gaps in the market that you can leverage to your advantage.
Make a list of your competitors and study each of their online channels. Try mystery shopping so you can gain a greater understanding of their customers’ journey. Read the content they’re putting out. Then get together with your team and brainstorm ways you can improve your business.
Know Your Customers
If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re unlikely to sell anything at all.
Take the time to understand your target customers. Get to know their wants, needs, desires and pain points. Only then will you be able to craft your marketing efforts and tailor your products and services to meet their needs. This will in turn encourage customer loyalty and increase your profits.
One of the best ways you can get to know you customers is by carrying out market research sessions and publishing online polls on social media. Once you’ve gathered your customer data, you’ll be able to create a buyer persona.
What’s that, you say? In a nutshell, a buyer persona is a profile that represents your perfect customer. Essentially you create a character that embodies the people who are likely to invest in your product. To help you get started, check out this handy buyer persona creator tool.
Always Protect Your Brand’s Reputation
An online business lives and dies by its brand reputation. So once you’re up and running, make sure you do all you can to protect yours.
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. Essentially, you can never invest enough time, money or effort into offering the best customer experience possible.
Always follow only the best business practices. Learn to deal with customer complaints swiftly and amicably. Put a strong set of brand and editorial guidelines in place. Be transparent and run your business ethically. Then, your brand’s reputation will be worth its weight in gold.
Running an online business isn’t easy and requires a lot of hard work, but if you get it right, the rewards are endless. Follow these tips, and you’ll be the head of your very own successful online business in no time.
Want to know how to make your website a success? Check out these six success factors.