How To Create a Successful Online Business
So, you want to start an online business, huh? Well it takes just about anyone to start up a business, but it requires a level of skill, careful planning, market research, targeting, and dare I say it a little luck to build an online business successfully.
Many people either take these things for granted, or ignore it in its entirety, and this has killed off many businesses, even those with exciting products/services to offer.
With this in mind, I will be giving tips and insight on how to build an online business the right way (which is ironically not so different from building a physical business).
People always say that you should first figure out what to sell and how to sell it when determining bringing a product/service to the market. This is actually very right, but just as important as it is to design and market your product/service, a similarly important task is identifying your target audience.
Doing this is a prerequisite; don't attempt to start your business without taking this step. By "identifying your target audience", I mean deep market research into what demographic seems to be most interested in your product or service, what demographic seems to be least interested, how often your target potential clientele will be likely to use it, stuff like that.
This form of research will, when done just right, make the actual marketing of your product/service so much easier. Selling electronic tech to the youth in their teenage and early 20s would be a lot more commonsensical than attempting to target octogenarians, for example.
Don't forget: you can always tweak your product to suit your target audience, or vice versa; there really isn't any rule to it. It is important that you don't pay so much attention to your potential customers that you forget the product you're trying to sell. That is, after all the point of your business in the first place. A mistake that many business owners make early on is doing too many things at once - multitasking. Streamline your business to focus on one thing (or a couple of things) and ensure that you are perfect at that. Build up a strong reputation that cannot be matched by your competitors. Once you establish that, it would be so much easier to diversify and build your online business to other aspects.
Now, regarding the marketing of your product/service, things get a little less abstract and a lot more hands-on.
Marketing strategy examples include:
- digital ads,
- employing influencers,
- offline marketing (billboards, posters, fliers and all that), amongst others.
Each has its pros and cons. But ultimately, the success of your product depends largely on the form of marketing you choose to employ.
With marketing, the key determinant is conversion. The amount of impressions you receive is not of any relevance if conversion is low. A high conversion rate basically means that your product/service appeals to a good percentile of your target audience. It means your marketing is doing something right. It is very important to get your name out there; you can't have customers if no one knows about your business.
Now, we'll discuss a very interesting subject: your website. Telling you that you need a good website to run an online business really goes without saying, but I'll just go ahead and say it:
Please have a good, secure website for your online business. A good website is as good as a good marketing strategy.
The key things to focus on are security, the interface and the content.
These three things are necessary if you want to keep people on your site for longer than twenty seconds. People will want nothing to do with a site that looks cheap and is not secure. The look, responsiveness and general "vibe" of any site can sell or ruin a chance to sell your product.
It is hence important that in designing your site, you take these things into consideration. Just like when you were identifying target audience, a lot of research must be included in your to-do list.
Another thing you should consider is the payment method on your site. Through various platforms, you can request for and receive payments, but it is important that you point out which is more suitable and convenient for you before applying it.
Let's move on to the topic of taxes. After making income on your online business, it is important to note that taxes must be paid in accordance with applicable local or international laws.
Note only is it the right thing to do, it's a responsibility as a business owner and illegal to refuse to pay taxes. Drafting a proper tax plan would be most favourable for your business. Plus, the repute of knowing that you are being socially responsible will help boost morale.
A small infographic to help you to know what to tax
Take risks too.
Once steady stream comes in, try something new, try to shock the entire market. The world as we know it is very into innovation and applying styles that are relatively unconventional. Try a new radical marketing strategy, or an aggressive ad campaign (it works for Doritos, it might work for you too!).
Many professionals even suggest trying the 10 Times approach. This implies that once a stream of income comes in, multiply all efforts by ten. Spend ten times as much on advertising, marketers and analysts. It would be wise to focus your attention on things that would increase sales and performance, rather than just anything. Plan well, and execute it well too!
The last thing to note, when you want to build online business, is hard work.
Now this may seems like a cliché, but it is key to success. Putting in as much time into your business would not be a waste. Take charge, ensure that everything works and that nothing falls below standard. Give your best, every single time.
If a member in your team is slowing things down, replace them. This may seems mean, but it's absolutely necessary. Successful businesses don't slack, they push further and work harder. Bringing in smart ideas always works.
These tips, when followed properly, ensure that your online business would do exceedingly well in the market.
Written By: Lissa Anderson
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