Many factors go into entrepreneurial success and, just like most endeavors, a belief in the mission and a lot of hard work are the most important traits a new business owner must possess.
If you have those boxes checked and are prepared to take on a rollercoaster ride of triumphs and tribulations, here are a few tips to help set your business up for success.
Find Your Niche
Market research should be one of your very first steps and luckily, in the world of online business, it doesn’t take much more than a web browser to achieve.
You probably have a niche idea in your head, so extensive research on similar services is very important in determining if that niche has already been successfully filled.
Online forums are good places to read about what customers are looking for, and keyword research can help determine what people are looking for, and whether or not they have found it.
Your niche might have to mold a little bit, but in doing so the guide to growing your small business will be a lot more streamlined.
Odds are that, if you’re starting an online business, you’re going to have some sort of financial aspect or you might have some troubles staying afloat.
Securing the website and, more importantly, the financial information shared via the website is paramount, as financial breaches will certainly put a stain on any reputation you start building.
E-commerce security can be achieved in many ways, but when it comes to your new customers, it’s always important to vividly display your security measures on your website.
This not only shows customers that you’re professional and prepared, but it’s also a deterrent to any potential hackers.
A solid product, good prices, and outstanding customer service are all parts of business growth that pretty much everyone knows about, but in the online business world there are some other things you can do behind the scenes to help build your audience.
Here are a few ways to do so:
- Website – Make sure your website is artistic and professional, and create a business case comparing a few different options that you can share with trusted friends or potential stakeholders.
- Social Media – Launch a social media campaign that mirrors your website in style and prose.
- Google Analytics – Keeping a watchful eye on your Google analytics is an inexpensive and easy (yet still very effective) way to see what is working and what is not.
- SEO – Search engine optimization is, in the simplest terms, having copy on your website that will make it appear at the top of search engine returns.
A few more important things that sometimes go overlooked include looking into high-speed mobile internet so you can stay on top of your business from anywhere.
Set aside time each day to respond to customers, not only via customer service outlets, but also forums and review websites where they may have mentioned your business.
Read often about emerging web trends.
Set up email marketing (i.e. “would you like to receive emails about deals?”) and offer discounts and loyalty rewards.
It’s the harsh truth that a whopping 90 percent of online businesses fail in their first 120 days and with that, you should be able to swallow your pride if something isn’t working.
Luckily, there isn’t generally a lot of startup cost for a website and if your first attempt isn’t staying afloat, make a few tweaks and launch something new.
If you are experiencing some success, make sure to be your own catalyst for that growth to continue.
Revisit all of these tips often, implement changes when needed, and stay as active as you can be.
As mentioned in the introduction, the two most important parts of a successful business are hard work and a belief in the mission.
The mission may need to warp a bit, but with the hard work and preparation outlined above, you’ll have a real chance at being in that 10 percent.