Posted on: 30 April 2015
Starting an online business is a dream for many people, but the decision should not be taken lightly. Before you consider opening your business, consider these 5 tips to increase your chances of success.
1. Don't Reinvent The Wheel
A major problem for many new online businesses is they are not unique. When you are planning to start a business, you need to consider what ideas you have that are different from anyone else. It can be easier to sell yourself as different from your competitors when you are offering a service. Unless you have a unique product, simply reselling items may be too competitive to sustain. Most products can be purchased from major online stores or mass merchandisers for good prices, making it difficult to attract customers.
2. Gain Name Recognition
Once you are serious about starting your own business, you need to find ways to begin marketing yourself before your business ever opens. Social media is your ally in gaining name recognition and showing people you are an expert in your niche. Written or video blogs relating to your niche are a good way to start. When possible, be active on multiple social media outlets, especially ones that allow you to interact with your audience by using various types of media.
You should consider building a following up to a year before your business opens. Once you have a steady following, you will already have an audience when you announce your grand opening. By starting your business with a large number of potential customers, you might avoid problems with initial sales. Having an online presence also allows you to benefit from word-of-mouth advertising, which is essential for spreading information online and attracting customers.
3. Spy On Your Competitors
You need to gauge what your audience wants and how much they will pay. If this is your first business or you are venturing into a new market, you may not have a clear idea of what to buy for your business or how to price items. You should not attempt to copy what other businesses are doing—bringing something new to the market will attract and retain customers. Your goal is to look for problems with your business, such as large pricing discrepancies for similar items, which will drive customers to your competitor.
4. Take It Slow
When you are passionate about starting a business, it is easy to be overly ambitious. If your business is selling products, find several major items to sell and focus on the inventory you have. Similarly, when your business is based on a service, focus on offering prospective clients a few, related services. If customers are interested in other products or services, they will let you know. Doing too much when your business is new can leave you unable to meet your client's demands, in the case of services, or with excess inventory when selling products.
5. Find Networking Opportunities
Competition between online businesses is high, and many businesses rely on networking to generate sales. You need to be creative in your networking. When you are a small business, it is unlikely you will successfully network with popular companies or online personalities. Find people and other small businesses that are not in direct competition with you when seeking networking opportunities.
For example, if you are a web designer, you may find better opportunities for networking if you ask writers, photographers or crafters. Since many of these professionals need a website to promote their business, they are likely to have many followers who may be interested in web design services. In exchange for mentioning your business, you may offer them a free or deeply discounted web design service.
When you want to start an online business, careful planning is imperative for increasing your chances of success. Many of the factors that create a successful business need to be done before your business opens.Share