- 1 The Basics of Running Your Online Business
- 1.1 Establish Your Market
- 1.2 Register A Domain Name
- 1.3 Host Your Domain
- 1.4 Create Your Website’s Design
- 1.5 Set Up Online Payment Options
- 1.6 Establish Product Delivery Options
- 1.7 Create Website Traffic
- 1.8 Create an Email List
- 1.9 Monitor the Growth
- 1.10 Other Business Requirements
- 1.11 The Benefits of Online Business
- 1.12 The Bottom Line
The Basics of Running Your Online Business
Starting an online business requires attention to key factors that determine its success. Technology plays a significant role in helping online entrepreneurs reach a good number of target customers. Online business runs on low operation cost since you do not need a physical store for your clients. Building the success of your business takes into consideration the following steps:
Establish Your Market
It’s important to understand your target market. Where your target group is found online will help you lay platforms to reach them quickly. It will eventually help you with the right message and ways to offer the right products. Carry out research about your market to understand the needs and preferences.
Register A Domain Name
A domain name is your place on the internet. There are many companies online where you can buy your domain. Some companies offer free domains but with a hosting cost. While registering your domain, ensure it’s under your name. Another option is to outsource your website to another company whereby you need to ensure it’s registered under your name as well.
Host Your Domain
A web host offers you space on servers for you to host your website. You can register your domain and host your web with one company which is much easier. Key features to consider while choosing a web host are:
- The storage capacity.
- The security aspect of the server.
- Domain based email features.
- Uptime percentage.
- Marketing tools available.
- Ability to offer customer response forms.
- Blog hosting capability.
- Customer support accessibility.
Create Your Website’s Design
Building the site is a simple step. Most companies that offer hosting services provide free website building tools. Platforms like WordPress have plenty of templates to customize your site. However, hiring a professional designer may be an easier alternative. While customizing the site, yourself may seem complicated, the e-commerce platforms can help you customize your website and run your online store.
Set Up Online Payment Options
The ability to receive online payment is critical to your online business. It ensures that customers process transactions on your website. Common online payment platforms include PayPal, Stripe etc. Ensure you check the terms and conditions for the use of available payment methods. It significantly affects the business at the start. Choose providers that allow upgrades whereby you can start at a low cost and improve as the amount grows.
Establish Product Delivery Options
Create Website Traffic
Having an excellent design and a good product isn’t the end. Remember its business and millions of websites are out there. To generate good sales online, you need to draw your target group to your site. Ways to drive traffic to your website include:
- Registering with search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.
- Online advertising using available options such as Facebook ads. Here you can create a page and post a link to your website.
- List your blog in major blog directories.
- Offline marketing using billboards, posters, etc.
- Content marketing.
At the start, choose the most favourable option for your products to drive quality traffic to your website. Incorporate more ways later to increase traffic. Because creating massive traffic may take time, you may use e-commerce software. The software keeps a tab on customer data and financial information.
Such software also helps you make sales on new channels like Amazon. The platform plays a significant role in marketing your business. It’s, therefore, important to research and choose a reputable one. It plays a principal role in customer experience and relations.
Create an Email List
Capture your website visitors’ email addresses to help you grow your business. Publish useful information regularly to maintain them. It will help you build clients from prospects and increase rates of customer coming back for your services. Email your web visitors with weekly updates on offers, discounts, and new product notifications. Increase email subscriptions by posting offers or discounts on certain products which build clientele.
Monitor the Growth
The growth rate of any business helps to implement marketing strategies. Track customer engagement in your website using traffic analysing tools. The tools help you see how many people are clicking on links and opening emails.
Follow the transactions comments from customers to determine what does not work and where you need to improve. Product sales determine the success of your online store hence it’s important to monitor your growth curve. There are e-commerce platforms that track your product sales and monitor your business’s growth rate.
Other Business Requirements
While running your online business, other consideration may affect its success. These factors include:
- Tax requirements
- Banking services
- Acquiring licenses and trademarks
- Legal requirements that apply to internet marketing.
- Sourcing of products and warehousing
- Accounting and bookkeeping.
However, these factors should not prevent you from starting your online business. The most important thing is to have your market, build your website and start making sales.
The Benefits of Online Business
- Online business helps you reach a large crowd. Your profits are not determined by the number of customers that can physically contact you. With modern technology, you can make sales anytime and anywhere without geographical limitations.
- Selling online helps customers acquire products and services more conveniently when retail stores close. It saves time for the customers. A few minutes online is enough to have your order ready.
- E-commerce helps you acquire data on customer responses. It allows you assess what products interest them and the impact of what you offer to them.
The Bottom Line
Engage your target group and gather feedback to improve your customers’ experience. Ensure all information is transparent and readily available to your clients to ease transactions. Follow your business plan to evaluate the growth rate. Update your website’s information from time to time about your products and services. E-commerce software tracks the performance of your online store and eases your operation.
Written by Helen Cartwright: helencartwright.com