Success has a way of standing out.
It stands centre stage, where all the lights are shining on it.
The media bytes and the attention lavished, successful online businesses are testimony to this.
But, behind every online business success is a story of smart business planning and the adoption of agile practices that can pave the way to success.
Here are 20 tips for a successful online business:
1. Have a business plan: The great American scientist and philosopher Benjamin Franklin had this to say about planning “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” .If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! Click To Tweet
So, the first cardinal rule is to have a sound business plan; not as a one-time act, but as an ongoing process. Take care to include your business goals, your products, your competition and your prices.
Consider the financing, the management, facilitators for transactions, content, promotion and how your online business will make money.
2. Invest adequately and on time: You are familiar with the very common problem of “too little, too late”. If you’re serious about growing and scaling your online business successfully, invest adequately and invest on time.
3. Watch those expenses: A lot of online businesses, having secured funding, start spending like there’s no tomorrow. Bootstrap ventures with little capital need to be particularly careful watching both expenses and cash flows.
4. Avoid paralysis through analysis: Some entrepreneurs take planning to such extremes, that they are barely seen to be acting while the market is screaming change around them.
Be agile and react quickly to changes around you. In the world of online businesses, changes happen rapidly. Be alert as in this industry, change is the only constant. You don’t want to become an outdated or fossilized dinosaur.
5. Perfect your pricing: You do not want your online business to run up losses with year-long discounts and price-off coupons.
Nor do you want your products to be out-priced and expensive so that the only gainer is your competition.
Experiment with price sensitivities of your customers, and arrive at a balance that gives your customers good value, while you run to the bank with good volumes and revenues.
6. Use your network: Network extensively with mentors, experts and friends in similar online businesses.
Seek their advice and learn from their successes and failures to build your own successful online business.
7. Have a great content strategy: Organic leads are always better than paid leads. A good content strategy drives organic leads. Pay attention to developing compelling and relevant content by studying your target audience and providing value.Pay attention to developing compelling and relevant content by studying your target audience. Click To Tweet
Analyze conversions, what type of content is working and why. Have total clarity on how you are going to distribute the content with a proper distribution strategy –website, blogs, e-marketing, social media, SEM.
Be regular with fresh content.
8. Make site navigation easy: Not finding the information you are looking for can test your patience. Sites that have cumbersome navigation run the real risk of customers moving away to more friendly sites.
9. Have fast sites: Customers do not have the time or the patience to stay on sites that take ages to open.
Attention spans are also shorter. With slow sites, you could lose your business mid-stream.
10. Don’t build your campaigns on PPC: Use pay-per-click campaigns only on rare occasions.Focus on the more solid foundations by building brand awareness and increasing customer engagement with the brand.
With sustained efforts, such an approach will result in more durable business.
11. Ignore SEO at your peril: There are many effective ways to achieve Search Engine Optimization for ranking your site in searches.
You cannot depend on keyword searches alone. Factors like content, navigation and links, among many other factors, help enhance rankings.
A great SEO could result in a great amount of business revenue. Having achieved it, maintain the ranking to keep the traffic and the revenues flowing.A great SEO could result in a great amount of business revenue. Click To Tweet
12. Optimize product listings on your site: Work extra hard on optimizing product listings on your website. Include meta descriptions with important keywords, use compelling propositions and product images.
13. Use Live Chat: This facility makes interactions with customers easy. It could help them make purchase decisions more quickly by providing information on products, pricing, promotions and warranties.
14. Leverage social media: Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn are incredibly powerful.
Use them to build your online brand. Get people to talk and share their opinions and experience about your brand with friends, relatives and colleagues across the world.
15. Blog for business success: Blog frequently. It increases visitors to your site.
16. Be smart about smartphones and mobiles: More and more people are doing their buying through their mobiles. The numbers are increasing by the day.
Do not ignore the business opportunities through mobiles with responsive websites that adapt to different hardware formats and platforms.
17. Make transactions easier for interested buyers: A lot of online business is lost because the website is too slow and payment options limited. Remove these transaction barriers by making payments easier and quicker.
18. Security for peace of mind: Demonstrate the safety and security of your website by showing your security certifications. Use a secure platform. Run PCI tests. Have strong passwords.
Security and privacy are the biggest concerns of many online shoppers today because of incidents of online frauds, stolen passwords and identities.
19. Ship for success: Work out details of a great fulfillment and shipping strategy for your online business.
This should include great packaging for branding and protecting the merchandise, timely and correct delivery, a returns policy and more. Keep your shipping costs low.
20. Seek feedback: Encourage feedback from your customers and invite their suggestions.
Pay close attention to complaints. Address the problems that are frequent and critical to your online business immediately.
I hope above online tips will be very much useful for your online business success.
If you have any other tips which can help online businesses grow, please help others my mentioning about it in the comments section below.
Keep learning and keep growing 🙂