Online businesses are a tricky subject to think about. Whenever someone mentions an online business another inevitably chimes in about how easy it is to make money online. Our question today is a simple one.
Is making money and finding success online as simple as most people claim or want to believe it is? The answer, unfortunately, is no, but you shouldn’t be surprised. Before we delve deeper into this, let’s think about what it means to open a company online.
It’s like starting a business on the high street with millions and millions of stores, many of which will be directly competing against you for customers. Now perhaps, you’ve already spotted an advantage.
If there are millions of stores, there are also huge numbers of customers. More customers than you would ever hope to find running a store on a street. And, you are right, but it’s not quite as easy to get their attention.
Just like on a street, they could walk straight past your shop without ever bothering to look inside. So, in the same way, that a shop on the highstreet needs an interesting, attractive sign, your online business also needs some promotion. That, of course, means online marketing and SEO.
But there’s another issue too. A lot of people are under the impression that starting an online company, running it and making it successful is cheaper when compared to opening the typical business. Is this is true? Actually, reports have revealed that online businesses can invest just as much money to get up and running.
They might even invest in the dreaded television advertisements. The infamous marketing technique that is, supposedly, by far the most expensive. So it’s not necessarily cheaper to run a company online then.
On top of this, you also need to think about a worrying statistic. Around 97 percent of new online startups will fail within their first year. They’ll crash, lose customers, and the sites that once had customer interest will become dead spaces. You don’t want to be one of those businesses.
Now at this point, you might be completely put off starting an online company. But you shouldn’t because there’s always the other side of the coin. First, while it may not be easy to find complete success with an online business, it is easy to get one up and running.
Second, when you do, the potential will be there to make absolutely astounding amounts of money. To put this in perspective, the owner of the Huffington Post made ten billion off their ‘little’ news blog. And there are ways to get around all the problems that we’ve just talked about. Let’s start by thinking about how to market this new business that you’ve created.
Online marketing hints and tricks
You’ve opened a business online. But right now, you’ve got no interest to use, no customer base and no brand to sell on. It’s an issue, isn’t it? We can build up interest and demand in your company by making sure that people know where your site is. Or even, just by making sure that they understand it exists. That’s all about SEO, and there are two ways to think about SEO.
Either you can do it yourself. Or, and this is the better option, you can get someone else to do it for you. By using a pro, you are going to see far better results in the long run.
For instance, you might be setting up an ecommerce site. An ecommerce site is any business selling a product online. You need to know how to structure your online store for ecommerce SEO, and it’s not as easy as most people think. Using SEO on an online store is a lot different to adding it to an article on a blog. Only someone who has a deep understanding of the process will be able to do this effectively.
There is also the possibility that if you set up SEO yourself, you might stumble on some black hat tactics of marketing. If that happens, then you can be left with the mess of a ranking recovery. This will take a lot of time, effort and may never garner the results you’d hoped for.
The customer base
As far as building up a customer base, the best way to do this is to use social media. Through social media, you can engage potential customers directly and make sure they understand what your business is and what it is offering. You can speak to them directly or interact with them by sharing content.
Don’t forget, every time a piece of content on your site is shared, your site ranking increases. As such, it is useful in more ways than one. You might even want to think about setting up live feeds on your social media.
With a live feed, you can provide instant updates to your customers. It’s worth doing this once you have a firm customer base because it helps them feel more connected to your company. It’s one of the ways that you can boost their feelings of loyalty towards your business.
The brand is a little different. A brand won’t develop naturally, you have to encourage people to trust your name and the ideas behind your company. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that you are always offering a quality, killer service that beats out the rest of the competition.
You can do that simply by respecting your customer. Make sure you know what they want and deliver it with every purchase. For instance, turn around times once they order a product should be low.
As well as this, you want to make sure that all and any purchase is secure from your business site. Otherwise, you might find that customers are the victim of fraud. If this occurs, then you’re going to find it difficult to convince them to make another purchase.
Of course, it’s not just about quality. You need them to remember your company. When you’re setting up your business make sure you choose a name that is memorable. You want a stylish logo as well, and you may wish to use a designer to set this up for you.
After that, you need to think about the ideas that you want customers to associate with your business. You can then work to build these ideas and concepts into your marketing as well as your business model.
If you have used the marketing steps that we have just talked about you should find that you have a solid customer base to work with online. You’ll also be getting customers to your site and who knows, your business might even have risen to a high place in the SERPs.
All good news and yet nowhere close to what you need to ensure your business is successful. If you don’t want the flame to go out for your company in the first year, there are other factors to consider.
First, there’s the cost. Are you handling your business finances effectively? You can’t just assume that because you are running an online company, it is going to be easier to manage. If you are running a big business online, you still need to think about outsourcing.
Through outsourcing, you can cut the costs right down by passing them onto other companies. For online companies outsourcing is often crucial. That’s because these businesses can be run by one individual from the comfort of their home.
As such, they are rarely ever equipped to deal with things such as logistics. And that’s a problem if you’re running an online ecommerce business. Obviously, you are going to need to deliver products to customers. That will require hiring a delivery service.
The only issue to watch out for with outsourcing is that you are using a company that offers a quality service. Otherwise, you can end up in a lot of trouble with customers.
You’ll get complaints that your deliveries have been lost, left undelivered or disappeared completely. Deliveries are just one of the areas online businesses can outsource.
As well as cost, you may want to consider longevity. You can only offer customers one product for so long before they get bored and move onto something fresh. That’s why your business needs to constantly evolve and improve.
You need to work to give customers more than what they have expected over the years. You can do this by introducing new products onto the market and investing in innovation.
Finally, you need to make sure your company continues to stand out in the sea of competition. Unique, clever marketing will help a lot here.
But you may also want to think about developing a USP. A unique selling point will help customers differentiate your business from every other company online. This can be anything from the way you handle deliveries to the type of products that you have on offer.
We hope you find this advice helpful. If you take it on board, we’re sure you can rise above the issues and find success with your online company.