Online business is one of the most profitable businesses. Contrary to popular belief, to start a small business online is not hard because the internet has somewhat leveled the playing field for small businesses. With little or no money, registration, or experience, anyone can start an online business. You can start anytime you want, run the business from any location in any language, and you can pick any niche of your choice with little or no entry barrier. It is indeed an autonomous medium for entrepreneurship.
Starting a small business online is not so much different from a traditional business and they are similar in more ways than they are different. I would like to take you through ways you can start a small business online. Peradventure you are familiar with online businesses and you want to set up a new one or make the one you have to become more profitable, then you need to review your online business using these tips listed below:
I would also throw in some tips here and there, so ensure you are with me to the very end.
Table of contents
1. Satisfying needs, the root of all businesses:
You can start small by fulfilling the needs of a new market or rendering better service to an existing market. Any online business can only be created where there is a need to be filled. That is the first business rule. Your first step to starting a business online is to find demands that need supply. I can boldly tell you that there are markets with vast unexploited opportunities. Find these markets and get the product to supply them. Voila! You have a business.
2. Sell your business:
Yes! It is pertinent for you to market your products and services. You do not need to be fluent to promote your business online. There are more ways to promote your business online than you can count. The traditional business uses some of these online tools for promotion too. So, you’ve got no excuse! You should write a copy that sells for your online business. This copy should:
- Stimulate interest to buy
- Describe the solution your product/service offers
- Share testimonials that show the benefit of your product
- Ascertain your credibility
- Ask for a sale by making an irresistible offer.
Since you can only represent yourself on the internet, you must do so effectively. Through your online presence, you must paint a very good picture of your business to attract new customers and keep the old ones.
3. Use an online platform:
You might not need a geographical or a physical space for your online business but you definitely need an online platform for your business. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your online business platform. You can design and build a website from scratch, buy an existing website, use social media, place your product on online markets, or host your business using other online platforms. May I submit to you that you can even start your business online with your email? Sure.
It is easy to get a platform for your small business online, however, getting the perfect one for your business can be a bit tricky. The platform you will eventually choose must be catchy, suitable to your target customers, and customer-friendly.
4. Drive traffic to your online business:
It is natural for a business to grow when people come in contact with the business. This is the main reason why your online business must generate traffic. Your potential customers need to know about you and come to your small business first before they could become our customers. There are many ways you can generate traffic for your online business. One sure way to generate traffic is through search engine optimization, that is, optimizing your online business keywords for search engines.
5. Pay-per-click ads:
These are the simplest ways to generate traffic for your new online business. Pay-per-click adverts show up on search pages and if you could get your keywords right (SEO), you could top the search results in no time.
6. Engage in email marketing:
It would shock you to know that some online businesses survive on emails. This shows you the power of email marketing.
Email marketing can turn a visitor into a regular buyer and it can also attract new customers to your online business. You can integrate an opt-in list which is a very valuable asset to your online business. Your email subscribers are hot leads for your business as they have permitted you to send useful content to them. Email marketing is easier, more effective, more measurable, and cheaper than print or any other form of media marketing.
7. Build a solid customer base:
The backbone of your business is a concrete customer base that can only be built by maintaining a good customer relationship. Your business needs loyal customers and there are diverse ways you can do this. You can always engage the traditional means just like traditional businesses or you can opt for the more online way through back-end sales and upselling. Engage your customers in a way that they would want to patronize you again and again. Follow up with them by doing the following things:
- Offer products to match their previous purchase
- Offer products with a comparable higher-end than their previous purchase
- Offer your customer a related product or service.
You should also reward your customers for both purchases and intention to purchase. You can send out discounts, loyalty coupons, and a “thank you” message for purchases. Make sure you also engage your customers through customers’ feedbacks, reviews, and surveys.
Things change fast in this age, however, the basic philosophies of setting up a small business remain the same. Starting an online business shouldn’t be hard. It does matter how herculean it appears to be, taking small steps at a time would get to there in no time.
The business idea you have must solve a problem and that’s why your business plan is very important! Leverage your strengths, validate your online business idea, set up a great landing page, and succeed massively online. Remember the principles of starting a small traditional business also apply to your small online business too. So, go ahead and use these tips to create something unique. See you at the top.