Building an online business is always challenging, particularly if it’s your first business venture. Competition for customers is high in almost every marketplace, so you need to find ways to stay ahead of your competitors. Planning and preparation are crucial for long-term success
When it comes to online entrepreneurship, the CEO of SMEJapan.com, Joel Devidal enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge for his career with others. He serves as an advisor and board member to companies, helping them create bright futures through decisions around strategy, marketing, and development. His intuition and experience help these organizations eliminate excessive operational costs while still delivering quality to the end users.
Here are seven steps detailed by Mr. Devidal for building a successful online business.
Find a Gap in the Market:
Look for a niche or gap in the market that has not already been filled. This may be as simple as finding an area where your competitors are falling short of customer expectations, or it could mean finding a way to provide extra value or novel additions to your products.
For example, if you want to start a business selling residential smoke alarms, it would be difficult to compete with more well-established companies. However, you could create your niche by making your products from recycled materials and working with a designer to create unique and attractive designs.
Do Your Research:
Proper research forms the foundation for any business, but its importance is often overlooked. Researching your competitors is crucial for planning, starting and growing your business.
Customer research enables you to define and target a specific type of customer, making it easier to market your products and reduce advertising costs.
Create a Platform:
Your website is the storefront of your business; it should contain all the information potential customers will want to know, including your contact details, mission statement, FAQs (frequently asked questions) and any legal notices you need to include.
The design of your website should complement the type of business you’re running. Consider hiring a professional web designer to make your platform attractive and easy to navigate.
Build Your Reputation:
Posting regular content on your website or blog is a simple way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Create well-researched content that is useful to your customers. Stay informed about developments and important issues in your area. Writing content for trade magazines and other appropriate websites will also help to build your reputation.
Drive Traffic to Your Website:
It takes time to achieve high search engine rankings, but there are other ways to drive traffic to your website.
Social media is one of the cheapest and most effective tools for increasing website traffic, but monitoring several social media accounts can be time-consuming. Focus on maintaining a presence on one main social media platform rather than trying to spread your time across multiple platforms. Alternatively, if your budget allows, you could hire a social media manager.
Paid advertising campaigns can also be highly effective at driving traffic to your website, but you will need to consider whether the results will be worth the cost of running the campaign.
Convert Site Visitors to Customers:
Once visitors arrive at your website, it’s your job to convince them to buy your products. Showcasing your products and services with targeted landing pages will increase your chances of immediate sales. However, visitors often need time and extra information before making buying decisions.
Therefore, the main aim should be to capture the email addresses of your site’s visitors. Once you have their email address, you can work on building a long-term relationship through regular email communication.
Keep Customers Coming Back:
Providing an excellent customer experience is the key to keeping your customers satisfied and ensuring future sales. “Happy customers are more likely to recommend your products to family and friends,” stated Mr. Devidal. Keep in touch with customers by sending regular email updates, exclusive offers, and discounts.
Building an online business is a difficult task, but proper preparation will increase your chances of success. Taking the time to do your research and plan your strategy will make all the difference when setting up a new business.