While the good old days may have been just okay for entrepreneurs, we are in an era that’s fast-paced when it comes to technology. A lot has been said and blames have been directed to technology for killing conventional businesses, causing the loss of employment in areas such as banking. But one thing to note is that the same technology is employing millions of brilliant minds who’ve taken it upon themselves to embrace change. The modern consumer is educated, savvy, and also more willing to take risks. These, alongside the increased number of internet users, are some of the reasons why up and coming entrepreneurs are more than willing to take a leap of faith into online ventures.
Starting an online business has never been easier. Actually, all you need is a computer, an internet connection, products or services to sell, and the patience to go with it. Easy as it may sound, it also requires a great deal of strategy and sheer determination if at all you’re to stay top considering the prevailing competition. Now, online business, apart from the convenience it brings to consumers, it also comes with a handy package that involves financial freedom to the entrepreneur. However, as a new entrepreneur looking to venture into an online business, you must be willing to adapt to the flexibility and uncertainty that the digital markets face. Without this sort of malleability, it might as well turn out to be an excruciating experience for you. With that in mind, here’s a handy guide to starting a business online for new entrepreneurs.
1. Find Loopholes in the Existing Market
This may seem like a second or third priority to some, but actually, if you come to think about it, it needs to be on your top priority list. Most people make the mistake of searching for a commodity or product first and then the market for it later. The thing is, you may not be aware of the need to understand the market before introducing a product. In doing so, you’ll find loopholes that your competitors are unaware exist and in addition to this, it will also help you to come up with strategies that are aimed at improving the existing conditions.
The modern-day consumer is looking for an all-inclusive online business and one that will offer the best customer service. They are also looking for products and services that provide them with better benefits and those give them easier solutions to their problems. They are also looking for convenience and ease of use in things that make their lives easier, better, and happier. These are just a few examples you may want to capitalize on, some tricks you can use to find existing loopholes on the market include:
- Reading frequently asked questions in online forums and finding the best solutions
- Search for keywords frequently used, but use their less competitive versions or synonyms
- Find out how your competitors are solving the prevailing problems in the online market
2. Strategize On Advertising
Over a third of online consumers use search engines to look up and find products and services they’re interested in over the internet. As a wise up and coming entrepreneur, this is something you can capitalize on and use to your advantage, perhaps in finding the best marketing strategies you could employ to attract more potential customers. It will surprise you to know that, your competitors are spending top dollar in advertising. You’ll, therefore, need to come up with a better strategy than the one used by your competitors.
The best thing about online advertising is that it has the potential of reaching millions of consumers at a go, and at a lower cost. However, this can only be made possible by utilizing the most current, innovative, yet cost-effective methods. One such strategy involves employing Pay per Click (PPC). Professional providers of PPC services and other digital marketing solutions at Edge Marketing say that while setting up a website and investing in Google Ads can be a great way to start promoting your site’s online visibility, you may need to invest your time, effort, and money on things such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and the like.
The secret to marketing is reaching your customers in places they frequent most. Modern-day consumers have flooded social media platforms in huge numbers. You can, consequently, reach your maximum potential by directing your marketing campaigns to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or WhatsApp.
3. Build a Stunning Website
By now, you’ve already identified your target market for your product. Perhaps you read the above few pointers and you're all getting active on social media lately. Having a considerable level of online presence can ensure you don't miss out customers, which is why next on the list, you’ll need to create a killer website! As earlier mentioned, the modern-day consumer is educated and savvy when it comes to shopping online. Convenience is, therefore, not something you want to compromise on. Your website needs to catch the attention of your potential clients in less than five seconds, otherwise, someone else’s website will do. But how exactly do you create a stunning website?
- Employ the hand of a professional website designer
- Design your template
- Define the goals of your website
- Organize your website pages
- Invest in the best quality infographics – pictures/videos
Also, before launching your website, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is easy to access and easy to use, compatible with mobile devices, and search engine optimized.
4. Build Your Reputation
As an up and coming online entrepreneur, one of your aspirations is to provide the best services and products to your clients. But this may not be enough as far as customer retention is concerned. More needs to be done to ensure that the one-time visitor comes again and again. Building a positive online reputation involves going the extra mile and offering more than the ordinary. Some ways you can build a lasting image for your online business include.
- Create online business cards
- Include powerful content on your website
- Be proactive in social media
- Engage your clients and respond promptly to feedback, queries, complaints, and compliments
- Be consistent
On a parting shot, starting an online venture is nothing close to rocket science, contrary to popular belief. The principles of starting an online business are built on creativity and finding opportunities where most people would never tread and in the most unusual places. By following the above guidelines, you’re sure to launch your online business with confidence.