In this digital age, running your own online business is not a dream anymore. The internet has connected people from all over the world, making it possible to launch your product globally within a few months even if you are not a veteran entrepreneur.
It is easy to plan an online business, but it takes a lot of work to maintain its credibility once established. Several factors contribute to the success of an online business, and to run your business smoothly, you should definitely learn from other promising online setups.
Mentioned ahead are some tips that can enhance your chances of success, so try and incorporate them when you plan to start an online business:
1- Have a business plan
Don’t jump blindly into launching your business quickly without setting proper goals and studying feasibility options. Having a formal business plan isn’t mandatory, just try to work out the logistics in as much detail as possible. According to Tim Berry, chairman of Palo Alto software, “People regard the business plan as homework they don’t want to do but planning helps me- whatever my success is.”
Organize your thoughts, identify your customers, improve your product and work on the pricing – these are some important components of a good business plan.
2- Don’t overthink
While some people jump straight into business, others spend ages planning and developing their strategies. Don’t be a perfectionist. If you take too much to finetune the details of a product or service, it’s very likely that another competitor will conquer the market before you even get a chance to introduce yourself.
So, at some point you just have to dive in without wearing a life jacket. You will learn a lot as you grow and remember that running an online business is a great on-the-job training.
So, don’t be bogged down by unnecessary details and as Steve Tobak, founder of Invisor Consulting says, “First, you need to get your business off the ground.” Save time for other tasks that will help your business reach the next level!
3- Set up a strong foundation
For your business to expand and improve in the future, you should start by establishing a strong foundation. Do not be lazy and spend time in setting up your business correctly according to the law. Get a business license and a sales tax number. Most wholesale dealers will not work with you unless you have all the necessary registrations done. So, instead of facing a hassle later on, it is better to start through a proper channel in the beginning only that will keep your business secure in the long run.
4- Value your time
The earlier you learn that time has a price tag, the better it is. Time is precious and it can be easy to overspend it without thinking. For this reason, prioritize your work into high value and low value tasks. Avoid spending a lot of time doing tasks that can easily be done by someone else or can be made easier by certain quality assurance tools. Subscribe to automation services to distribute workload. And spend your time solely on the high value tasks that will generate money.
5- Follow your financial plan
Founder Invisor Consulting, Steve Tobak, cautions new business owners and says, “There’s a very good chance that your company will run out of money before it makes any,” he further adds, “Know how much cash you’ve got to run your business, what your burn rate is and make sure that you have a plan to try to get more before you run out.”
If you follow this advice and stick to your financial plan from day 1, you can avoid a lot of unfortunate circumstances later on. A good financial plan should have all the milestones laid out and should highlight how much money you’ll need to reach those goals.
6- Stay on top of the game
A business owner can never put his feet up and relax. Things change at the speed of light and nothing in the business world is static. So always stay on the lookout for ideas, product features or value-adding services that can add value to your business. Invest in your website and make sure it passes the agile testing phase. Learn new marketing techniques and never underestimate the power of excellent customer service.
An online business can only thrive if people have a good experience on your website and return again. Make sure that your customers leave reviews about their experience with you. Make sure that you provide them with platforms like live chat, phone or email so they can get in touch with you.
According to online shopping statistics, 92% of consumers now read online reviews as compared to 88% in 2014. This is why, you should always take your customer feedback seriously and incorporate it on your business website to boost your product sales.
7- Don’t overspend on social media advertising
Established business owners always advice that you start small while promoting your brand on social media platforms. Give yourself some time to identify and build your target audience, and then focus on them to move forward.
Many small online businesses exhaust their finances on advertising excessively, rather than tailoring their product according to the users’ preference. Facebook and Pinterest are great platforms to begin with, for product related sales. Similarly, LinkedIn is a good place to launch yourself, if you are a business personality who wants to network with like-minded people.
8- One size doesn’t fit all
In the end, it is important to understand that some business strategies or products that worked for other startups may not work for you. Not everything you read online is true, and this why you should carve your own path to success. Try to test your products by using minimum financial and resource risk, and study the response to grow further.
Even though there are thousands of blogs and articles dedicated to tips for successful online startups, many entrepreneurs often benefit from their own journey of trial and error. If you recently launched an online business, how has your experience been so far? Share your insights in the comments below, and help others turn their dreams into reality.