Tips On Running A Successful Online Business | Penji


Tips On Running A Successful Online Business

October 19, 2018, by

Tips On Running A Successful Online Business

Back in the old days, if you wanted to start your own business, you had to secure funding so that you could open a storefront or rent an office to work. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to start an online business. However, just because it’s much easier doesn’t mean that you should jump into anything before you’re ready. As an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you do as much research as possible beforehand so that you’re set for success. Make the most out of your new enterprise. The internet is a vast ocean of possibility, so now is the perfect time to dive in and make waves.

Know Your Competition

This is a step that many new companies fail to do before they start. Unfortunately, it’s also a vital one because it can help dictate how you proceed and avoid failure. Overall, your first step should not only be figuring out what kind of online business you want to have, but how you can make it work against fierce competition.
When looking at your competitors, you want to pay attention to both the influencers and the little guys. Although you won’t be competing directly with the large companies, it’s always good to see what makes them rise above everyone else. How does their website look? Are they interactive or overbearing? Do they have pop-ups and calls to action? What kind of copy do they use to entice new visitors? Is the layout clean and professional or cluttered and amateurish?
If possible, try to interact with them as a consumer. You don’t want to necessarily let anyone know that you’re trying to compete with them, but it’s helpful to see how they respond to their customers. For example, if they take a long time to respond to a query, then you can make a note that that’s something you should improve upon with your company.

Social Media

Although a brand’s website is going to tell you about how they operate, don’t forget to pay attention to their social media and marketing outreach. Look at the platforms they engage with the most and see what people are saying about them. Look them up as hashtags on Twitter to see how often they get mentioned, and pay attention to how many positive or negative responses they have.
Overall, the goal here is to figure out what you can offer that your competitors don’t. You want to discover their strengths and weaknesses, so you know what to avoid and what to focus more attention on with your customers. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise and let it guide you to success.

Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation

website visitors
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to get negative feedback on the internet. People are far more likely to badmouth your business than praise it, so you have to be careful how you navigate through the online community. Once your online business is up and running, you want to monitor how people are reacting to it. Just as you checked on your competition (i.e., through social media), you should take the same approach to your own enterprise.
See what people are saying about you and address any negativity head-on. If a customer is not satisfied with your company in any way, reach out and see if you can make things right. Also, make sure that you let your customers know that you are willing to correct mistakes and respond to complaints. This will encourage them to contact you before posting anything inflammatory on the web.

Keep Your Website Design Well Organized

Since your brand exists online, you have to make sure that your website reflects the best parts of your online business. If it seems tacky, customers will flee. Overall, you want to remember these key elements to ensure that your site works well for your brand.

  • Keep it Simple: Don’t clutter pages with too many buttons, advertisements, or links
  • Make Sure Everything Works: If someone clicks a button and it leads to a dead page or an error message, they are more likely to distrust your online business
  • Maintain Consistency: If your page layout changes drastically between tabs, then it will be jarring and confusing to your customers, causing them to bounce
  • Follow Standard Formatting: This includes having a logo on the top left that always leads to the home page. Also, remember that information above the fold (top of the screen) is the most valuable since most people don’t like to scroll

Unless you’re well versed in website design and programming, it’s much better to hire a professional to handle everything for you. Penji is a fantastic design service that can make your brand stand out. What’s great about Penji is that you get unlimited designs and revisions at a flat monthly rate.

Build a Community

One crucial aspect of sustaining your online business is cultivating loyalty. If your customers begin to prefer you over the competition, then you are guaranteed success. However, it will take a lot of work and commitment from you to make it happen. Fortunately, with the abundance of social media accounts, it’s not too difficult to establish connections with your audience. Building a community is a matter of reaching out to your fans, engaging with them on a regular basis, and letting them know that they matter to you.
These days, consumers don’t want to buy things from a mega-corporation that sees them as a dollar sign instead of a person. As a result, they are more willing to spend money on a business that values their input. Simply put, investing time and energy into your customers will provide you with an incredible ROI.

Maintain a High-Quality Mailing List

When you’re first starting out, building a community is relatively simple because there aren’t that many customers to interact with. As you grow and become more popular, then it becomes even more necessary to develop and curate an active mailing list.
First, you want to get people to provide contact info for your business. Email addresses are all you need, although phone numbers can allow you to engage in SMS marketing, which is another valuable tool.
Calls to action on your social media and website will help bring in new leads and generate a more extensive mailing list. You want your CTA to be bold and engaging without being too pushy. One method to ensure a better response is to let customers know that they get exclusive access to discounts or new content by subscribing.
When reaching out to your subscribers, it’s essential that you create a personalized message. Again, people want to feel respected, which can’t happen if they are part of a 3000-person email blast.  If possible, categorize your mailing list based on each customer’s needs and customize messages for each category. Overall, the more time and effort you invest in this, the better return you get.

Be Self-Sustainable Before Asking for Money

Unfortunately, getting into debt is far too easy for most businesses. One of the reasons that debt happens with new businesses is that they didn’t know how much they needed to begin with, or they try to expand before they are ready. Thankfully, online companies don’t need a ton of capital to start out.
As far as expansion or development, you want to make sure that you’re not outpacing your popularity. Don’t jump the gun just because your website traffic has increased. Instead, wait until you have a well-established base before you start worrying about doing more. In the end, it’s better to be financially stable than risking your whole enterprise on a foundation of credit.

Fall in love with your project

Considering how much time and effort you will have to put into your new company, it should be something that you love to do, not just a means to an end. If your primary goal is financially motivated, then everything will feel like work. As a result, you will start to resent how much “work” you have to do, which will either lead you to outsource things to other people (which will cost money) or give up altogether.
Instead, start a business because it’s your passion. Think about it like this: Are you willing to work 80 hours a week on something that you don’t enjoy doing very much? If not, then why are you putting yourself in that position?
Even though an online business don’t necessarily involve as much blood, sweat, and tears as a standard storefront, you still have to put a lot of yourself into the company. In the end, it will become part of you, so make sure that it’s a part that you like, not one that you’ll grow to despise.

About the author

Johnathan Grzybowski, is the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Penji. His content covers marketing, scaling your business, sales, and lead generation.

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