Get your online business off to a winning start and help it to grow with these five tips.
Starting an online business is hard work. Very hard work. You are the CEO of customer service, the manager of new product development, the GM of marketing – and it’s all running well but you are still on level one. You’ve not had time to step back and fix or improve your ‘shop’ front.
Here are five ‘fixes’ to consider that will help take your business to the next level.
1. Make paying easy: It’s worth spending the time and money setting up credit card processing facilities with a bank. Many websites use PayPal (which also processes credit cards) as an inexpensive model to start with, though some might find the credit card facility complex to use. The last thing you want is potential customers to leave your site without purchasing because they couldn’t pay easily by credit card.
2. Create content you would want to read: Give people a reason to want to return to your website. Provide great information through articles, a free product or a trial to your services. You have to stay top of mind to make them want to come back.
Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.
3. Establish a good team It’s a mighty challenge to do everything yourself, and if you can possibly avoid it, do so. You need time to work on your business, which is hard if you’re constantly working in it. Establishing a good team, whether made up of employees, contractors or outsourced services, will free up your time to do more important things such as marketing, product development and customer service. Your team should look after the things you are not good at or that take up more of your time than necessary. A good team will give you the time and flexibility to expand your business.
4. Ensure you have a good web host: 100 per cent ‘up’ time on your website is essential. This can make or break your business. If you are hacked or experience downtime issues, your business can lose credibility and customers. You are completely reliant on your web host to get it back up and running as quickly as possible, so it’s important they are responsive. Local web hosts are usually faster than those based overseas. The quicker and more reliable your site is, the more pleasant the experience for your customers – which means they’ll be more likely stay around to shop!
5. Revise your business plan: Once you have a better idea of your monthly stats (visitor numbers, conversion rates, sales and costs), review your budget and cash flow, and be realistic. Develop a plan that is achievable. Do the research to confirm that the opportunity you have previously identified is actually there. You need to be sure of your strategy and keep all your decisions in line with it. Always focus on your goal and don’t try to do too many things at once concentrate on one thing and be the best at that before considering expansion.
Above all, be passionate about what you do and don’t give up. Stay focused, work hard and work smart. It takes a good product/service, a strong work ethic and a passion about your business to make others see its value too.
What are your tips for helping online businesses thrive?