Starting up an online business nowadays is the simplest things ever. With a few clicks, you can get your homepage or online shop up and run and wait for that long anticipated idea to become reality. Sounds easy, right? While setting up is surely much easier than earlier, achieving success in the overcrowded world of online business is a totally different case.
The fact that today anybody can start his or her online business results in a competitive environment, where becoming the next Zuckerberg is not as easy as it sounds. We thought it might be useful to share a few insights on the top 10 factors which are crucial to getting your business into the spotlight of the online world. So, here they come:
1. Be a maximalist
Make sure that you have set everything up correctly. It might sound obvious but as you are getting forward on your way to success, numerous problems will arise. The most important thing is to make sure that every function on your web page, or what is related to your own product/service is functioning correctly. You don't want precious content to get ruined as it can easily affect your chances for engaging your audience. Check everything twice and make sure there are no 404 error codes flashing in your customer's face. Do regular checks, test your new functions and ensure that everything works at its finest. Apply this approach to all aspects of your online business and you will surely not fail. Sometimes it might seem that double-checking is not crucial, however, in the long run, you will think differently. Keep everything smooth and don't let your user experience get ruined only because it was a Monday afternoon and you were lazy.
2. Don't Save Money on Content
Probably you have seen people putting together a great website for their own business but not really paying attention to content - or what is even worse, putting some filler content out there. You have to be conscious about your message. Either write it yourself or hire someone professional who can deliver real rockstar content. Don't save money on this part, as cool content can once again create a drive for engagement and turn your visitors into happy customers.
It has to be unique, creative and cool while matching your own brand identity. You might think it is not rocket science, but actually, it is a totally different profession. To see your social media connections or website visitors into happy customers, deliver a strong, unique message with high-quality content. Content helps you to connect and bring your business closer to your audience.
3. Content without Design = NADA
All the things mentioned above are also true for design. Even if you get yourself really cool content but try to cut your spending on design, you will simply loose the real potential of your business. People are tired of ugly web pages that try to convince them about how great is their product.
Humans judge by outlook and first impression, so don't you dare to put anything less out there than the most astonishing website! Check the current trends, look design ideas and pick the one that best fits your business. You can easily find people on the web who will help you customize a pre-purchased template, or even better, you can build one from scratch and make it truly unique. Think about design as an experience and not only a "thing" that you have to get over with. Over time, you should also re-think your existing design, so stay flexible and get a facelift for your website if needed. Recently video content is becoming more and more popular, while unique, witty designs are also helping online businesses to become leading brands. Once again, don't forget that design is a key aspect of your user experience which should be smooth and cool - making your visitors tell everyone about how awesome is your site!
4. Be a SEO King, or Hire An Expert
You should be having your own online marketing plans ready to drive considerable traffic to your own web page. There is no real way to be successful without knowing SEO and other advertisement tools that are capable of getting you the popularity that you are after. Either spend your nights studying the latest SEO techniques or hire an expert who can get you going. You surely will not be disappointed by the result. By utilizing the power of search engine optimization, advertising yourself as much as possible, you can get one step closer to your desired success. With all that being said, calculate with marketing expenses as it is the most important factor that can make your internet business a success. Also, in the beginning, you should prioritize your spending and put marketing expenses at the top. By saving money on SEO, PPC or other marketing opportunities, you can easily fail on the long road to your success.
5. Social Media Rockstar
By using social media connections wisely, you can once again channel huge traffic to your own website - turning those connections into customers. For this, first of all, you need to build a strong online community who will tell everyone about your business. Handle your social media accounts on a daily basis and handle them well! Check for the latest trends and adapt them to your own marketing plan. For example, recently live streams have become a huge success. Incorporate it into your own marketing plan and advertise your own business via social media live streams. This is not only useful to get more customers and build a fan base but also to gather data, immediate feedback on your product or service and much more. Sometimes it is enough to have a funny or witty attitude to get the social buzz running but without having experience in social media marketing, it is considerably harder to build your fan base.
6. Build Relationship
Even if you have tons of connections, page views, followers, you are still not giving enough to your fans. Be interactive, approachable and build connections. This is true both for your customers and for fellow businesses, who are ready to cooperate. Make sure that your community feels your attention. Without that, even if you have all the previous points in place, your success might not come. Keep an open mind and make sure that your community feels valued. By putting yourself out there, you also have to give a face to your business, which further helps people to connect with your online business. Simply by creating cool content, you won't be able to stay on the top of your game for long.
7. Know Your Audience
While setting up your business you probably have - or should have - determined your one and true target audience. While identification is key, it is not enough. You have to be able to think with your customers' heads so that you can satisfy their needs. Always be on the lookout for new data gathering opportunities, as your audience might change with time. Regularly check those numbers, gender details, the average age of your group to be able to plan your next move successfully. This can help you to create new successful products or implement new services after your initial launch. Data is key, analyzing it is your way to success.
8. Know the Market
Constantly check your competition to keep up with the latest trends. Even if there are no similar services around, you can gather valuable information from your competitors or come up with new ideas. On the other hand, by being up to date on the latest news in your own market, you can see the possible directions in which your online business should be moving. Are others heavily relying on VR live streams? Are they offering special coupons to get more customers? Maybe they are experimenting with something new? If you see something out there which proved to be a huge success, think about how could you uniquely adapt the approach to your own business. In some cases, you will also see some initiatives by others which did not turn out to be a success. This can also help you to keep yourself from a headache and get one more function/feature/strategy off from your list. There is also a possibility that you will find open minded entrepreneurs who are ready to cooperate. Use these opportunities well and work together towards a common goal.
9. Keep an Eye on Reviews
Since 90% of consumers read online reviews (and 88% trust them when considering a business), they can greatly affect your success. In case you are planning to run a complex service, it might be smart to hire someone who can keep track of them - while handling social media connections also - to be able to respond to all types of feedback. It is important to dedicate time to deal with the feedback and respond to them correctly. This will not only make you seem more approachable but will also convince your future clients/customers that you are serious about your business. Furthermore, these reviews can also make invaluable insights regarding your product. You might find that there is still some space for improvement and since you are receiving feedback from your customers, it can bring you closer to know your target audience's needs. Listening to your own customers will make them happy, especially if they see that your service/product has become even better after their reviews. These will surely make it possible for your online business to acquire a higher level of reputation.
10. The Trinity of Online Business
The trinity of online business is key to have an online success, therefore you should never forget these 3 steps: Analyze, Test, Implement. The ATI approach lets you adapt to any new trends, change, or events which can have an impact on your success. Always look ways to gather data which you can analyze.
Either if it is about your target audience, your competitors, the feedback regarding your product, you can gain valuable insights. These data will allow you to come up with new ideas, adapt to new situations, or incorporate new trends into your own marketing or business plan. However, before implementing anything new, make sure to run a few tests, to ensure, that you will be able to deliver the highest quality.
You can invite a few of your current customers to test your new function before fully launching it. This enables you to create an even stronger community, where people feel valued since they become real participants. Furthermore, you will once again receive invaluable feedback on your new idea, which can help you to decide, whether it is worth implementing or not. All in all, you should always stay flexible and keep the ATI approach, which can help you achieve the success that you are after.
If you are planning to build a successful online business, don't be afraid to step out there. Once you have received confirmation that there is a need for your future service or product, the list of opportunities is basically never-ending. Even with numerous competitors in your future target market you can deliver long awaited that extra touch, which will make your efforts turn into success.
The most important aspect is to be prepared for anything along the way, as the world of online business is constantly changing. Thankfully, there are numerous guides on the web which can help you to get more insights on various online business models and techniques that you can incorporate into your own plans. Don't ever stop learning to keep your chances high and get closer to achieving your dream: establishing a successful online business.
While everybody - with an internet connection - has the opportunity to start an online business, not everyone dares to take the first step. However, we fail to realize that even if our plans don't work out, we will gain valuable experience, which can help us to turn our next great idea into reality. Failure is a possibility, but only one of the many!