Estimated reading time: 2 mins
Although it may seem like strange times in the wider world, there’s actually never been a better time to set up an online business. Working in this way is the dream for many of us – being able to work from any location, and at times that support our other responsibilities and goals in life. Some of us dream of becoming a digital nomad, while others would just be content with a better work-life balance. Running a business online can offer these possibilities, but how easy is it really to get started?
Think About Your Niche
Operating online can connect you with a potentially limitless global audience, but the issue is overcoming all the noise and being able to connect with an audience. The key to making it work is picking something to specialise in. Becoming specific with what you do can feel intimidating – we often think we need to maintain a broad appeal to pull in the widest audience possible – but choosing a niche to pursue and perfecting your offer in it is actually the most important tactic. It allows you to really speak to your customers and create a brand that people identify with and will purchase from, and it means your learning curve is not so steep.
Create Your Platforms
Giving customers a seamless online experience needs to be front of your mind going into it. People have high standards – driven by huge conglomerates such as Amazon – and if you’re going to develop your own platform you need to have this in mind. A fully responsive, mobile first site with well-written, relevant content, professional images and a compelling conversion route is crucial for success. Work on your eCommerce website design to give the best first impression and nail your site architecture – if it’s not right, customers can be quite unforgiving. And putting the work in to get your website structured in the right way means that you’re likely to be ranked higher and become more visible in search engine results.
Establish A Reputation
A great reputation in business is hard-won, but once you have it, it will help you out in so many ways. Always go above and beyond with customer service and resolve any difficulties as quickly as you can. Think about creating a customer loyalty scheme or an incentivized recommendation to leverage the power of your customer’s social media networks. Taking this approach can provide a great route to grow your business without having a huge marketing budget to spend on advertising platforms.
Build Your Customer Lists
As customers enter your business, you begin to build a very valuable asset – your data. This will eventually allow you to make data-driven decisions within your company, create more targeted digital marketing that encourages more sales and serve people with things that you know they want, when they are most likely to want it. This creates a positive cycle that can boost your sales and help to develop lifelong relationships with your customer base.