I am a professional accountant and worked for 8 years in the development sector. But I was more inclined towards technology, internet and web surfing. I started my own small website back in 2012. In the past years, I learned a lot from hand on experience and many web experts. Today I am giving you a sequence of all time proven tips if you are starting a small business online. These are proven steps and hundreds of individuals started a successful business after following these tips.
Don’t treat it as a Game, it is not. If you want a successful business, consider it as you would a normal business in the real world. you have to perform certain activities in a certain order to meet your objectives.
No Body Plans to Fail, But Many Fail to Plan
Step 1. Know Your Target Market
Most individuals start a business first and then look for a market to serve. This is not a good plan at all.
To increase your success rate, start to find a target market. Try to find a certain group of people who are facing a problem and looking for a solution, but not yet fulfil their needs. Start your market research on the internet.
- Make a list of your competitors visit their websites and Facebook pages. Try to find out how they are satisfying their customer’s needs. Don't forget to write down the important points. You must have got an idea, use it and make a product for your customers.
- Also, consider new niches. You are not going to reinvent the wheel. No one is perfect in this world. Look at the big players in the industry, try to fill what they are missing.
- Visit online forums or do a proper keyword research, what people are searching, but target a low competition area.
Step 2. Write a Copy that Converts
According to Neil Patel, the best copy answers the people concerns and objections, your sales copy is more likely to convert. Remember write fast and write smart. Always one step ahead of your competitors.
“Remember Copy is not written, Copy is assembled”
- Your Headline is very important. It should stay and address the problem. 80% visitors read the headline and 20% the content.
- What are people problems, concerns and objections?
- Give a detailed answer to all these problems or objections
- Write a copy for different types of segments you are looking for.
- Add testimonials, rating and review. All these are signs of trust.
- Follow up people over email
Step 3. Create a Website for your Small Business
Now what, you have a target market and a great sales copy. Get ready to create a website for your small business. According to many small business owners creating a website from scratch is a difficult task, but it is not true. WordPress is a good platform, with some little efforts you can do it by yourself.
- Purchase a domain name and hosting from namecheap.com or godaddy.com
- Always use a premium theme, select the one that meets your requirements
- Keep your navigation clear and simple
- Use Call-to-Action buttons on landing pages to increase your conversation rate i.e. “Add to Cart”, “Free Trial” “Sign Up”
- Offer a free Newsletter to increase your email subscribers
- Keep it minimal. Two or three clicks and your visitor on the right place to buy.
- Make it load faster by using cache plugins and CND services.
Step 4. Use different advertisement platforms to drive buyers
After creating a website, make sure to submit it to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo. It will give you free traffic and buyers. If you have a marketing budget you can use Pay Per Click advisement. It will help you to start your online presence immediately. PPC advertisement gives you the opportunity to test variety of Keywords and Headlines this will give instance traffic and a list of highly converting keywords.
Every business owner wants to grow his business. Here I will teach you how to market your business without spending money on advertising.
- Use Quora and try to answer more and more question within your market niche.
- Post your products, services or blog on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Possibilities are everywhere, constantly share your Content on every social media platform.
- Use Twitter and search for those asking question within your niche, simply respond to them in 140 characters.
Step 5. How to Stand out from the Crowd and Get Online Reputation
Online reputation is not only your business website. If you want to stand out and get reputation, you should provide free information to other sites.
According to PWC survey, 80% of internet users search for reviews and rating before making purchasing decision. Out of this 72 % will not purchase if there are negatives rating, reviews and comments.
- Be a part of the community. Be an active participant on social forums within your niche and answer more and more question. Help the community and this way you will become an authority.
- Write amazing and engaging content, podcasts and videos. Sharing the content on different direction and social media sites.
- Ask visitors to share your content or product information with their friends, colleagues and family members. Referral groups are always imporant.
This is not a one-day activity. If you are persistent you will notice an increase in your visitors. They will share your content and link back to it. Backlinks are always increasing your business online reputation and presence.
Step 6. Email Marketing Covert Visitors into Buyers
Building an opt-in list is very imporant factor of your online business success. This way people visitors and customers permit you to send them emails. You can create webinars addressing the problems and solutions. Offer a free monthly newsletter discussing the new issues and updates. You will see the list will increase day by day.
- Develop a long-term relationship with your customers and subscribers.
- Each time tell a story because it is engaging and people love it from centuries.
- Include two to three links in the email to increase Click Through Rate (CTR). If you include too many clinks you can move to the spam folder.
Email is a cheaper but effective way to follow up your visitors and convert them into buyers.
Step 7. Increase your online Sales through Backend and Upselling
According to a study making a new customer is 20 times more expensive than retaining the existing customer. Believe me, it really makes sense. Develop marketing strategies that help you to retain your customers for life time.
Do you believe this, that the 40% revenue of online business generate from 8% customers? This 8% is your repeat customers and they are extremely profitable. Try to use back-end and upselling and serve them again and again.
- Use loyalty coupons and your existing customer can redeem it till coming Sunday
- Try to offer them an upgrade to their purchased product
- Try to offer same product but at discounted rates
If you want a successful business, make sure you are offering backend products to your loyal customer. If Not, you are losing 40% of your revenue.
These steps are evergreen and will work for you. If you want to start and grow your online business, follow these steps. If you are ready for starting a small business online, please strictly follow this sequence. If you are already online from quite some time, please review and find if you are missing any step.