The Essential Elements You Need to Launch Your Online Business
The world of online has changed the face of the business immensely over the last decade. The digital world has opened up a brand new platform for companies to conduct business online, and reach new customer bases that they could never before. Statistics show that 1.79 billion people have shopped online in the last year, with 60% of millennials preferring to buy online rather than in the store. eCommerce sales are expected to hit the $40 trillion mark by 2021.
Entrepreneurs are flocking online due to the ease and cost of launching a new business relatively quickly and efficiently. In fact, over 68% of all small businesses have a website currently, with almost 30% of them spending under $500 to get the site set up. Small businesses with limited capital find it more cost-effective and efficient to start a website, launch the product and then possibly grow into brick and mortar from there.
So, if you are one of those people with the next big idea waiting for the right time to launch, we are here to help. We have delved into and expanded on the key elements that you will need to kick off your new business online, and how you can start your empire today.
Start With a Website
This might seem like the obvious place to start, but there are various more complicated sides to getting your website going than you may think. The first thing you need to consider is whether you will be buying, creating or building a website.
Buying a website
Most people usually buy a website when they buy a whole business. The website forms part of the business and is inclusive of the transaction price. In certain cases, however, some people may buy a website that is similar to their business model in order for them to make some changes and continue with business as usual. Buying an existing site comes with several advantages like the fact that it already has established traffic and a recognizable brand and customer base. There is very little development that will need to go into the site and you can really start a business as usual from day one.
Creating a website
By this, we are referring to using online tools like WordPress or Wix to create a site with already made templates. These have, over the last few years become easier and easier to use and the themes, interfaces, and add-ons have progressed significantly over the last few years. There are various levels of payment options, depending on your unique needs and whether you want to own your own domain (which is highly recommended).
Building a website
Building a site from scratch will mean that you will need the use of developers to code a site from the foundations up. This is an immense and potentially very expensive task. However, your site will be created around your entire brand identity and will suit your unique needs and your customer needs.
Generate the Right Content
The next thing to look into is your content on your site which is generated for the pages, as well as the blog. Let’s look at your pages first. Content for your pages, your home page, and product pages, for example, need to be carefully researched and curated in order to optimize your SEO rankings. You will need to do careful research into the right keywords that need to be added in order for Google to scrape your site and rank it within the search results. The savvier use of keywords in your content, the higher you can rank.
On this note, before we touch on the all-important blog, it is the images that you use for your site. Images and pictures are what will attract your customers to your brand. They represent you and your brand and convey what your client is buying into. Images are considered by Google to understand what your brand and content are about. Make sure that your images relate to your product and are sized properly to be properly ranked by Google. If you need to, online photo retouching tools to make sure that your images are crisp, defined and represent your brand.
Lastly, your blog. It is highly recommended that every online business has a blog. Not only can the regular content include the relevant keywords that you need to improve SEO rankings, but well-written content can do wonders for your marketing. Relevant, informative and educational content will attract new customers to your site and develop a sense of trust with your brand. With the right content, you can become a reliable source of information for customers to turn to.
Build Up Your Database
The next thing you will need for your online business to take off, are contacts. Your database is your valuable source of leads and potential customers that you need to develop, grow and protect on a permanent basis. You will need a good couple thousand contacts in your database in order to launch your first campaign, and there are several ways of achieving that.
Apart from buying databases, which comes with its own pitfalls, there are various tools that you can use to generate a mass of contacts quickly and easily. LinkedIn bulk inviting is one method of reaching out to a select amount of people on social media and gaining their contact information quickly and easily. The other option for you to try is referral campaigns, where current contacts are encouraged to refer their contacts to your site in order for you to gain their contacts.
The rule of thumb with your database is to keep your data as clean as possible at all times. In most cases with mailer tools like Mailchimp, you will pay more for more contacts, your click-through, and open rates will not be accurate and you will simply be wasting time and money on useless contacts. Make sure you keep getting rid of contacts that are not verified and that have not taken any action in a while.
The last thing that we want to leave you with is to never stop researching ways and means to grow your business. The digital world is constantly evolving. New tools are permanently being launched to assist you automating processes to free up more time for your business running. There are permanently new ways to reach customers, and your customer base will continue to expand continuously if you are using the latest methods of reaching them.