The internet is changing the course of the world and the connectivity now is making people and businesses around the world to be closer than ever. Any person from any part of the world can search for a product or service they need with the aid of the internet and even complete the purchase with the touch on their device. Businesses no longer require the traditional brick and mortar set up to showcase their products or services and to find clients.
The internet is making it possible to start online businesses that can cater to a wide audience from anywhere in the world. If you have an idea, you can easily start an online business and scale it to grow as far as your ambitions. Business owners can start their business online for a fraction of the cost that they need to set up a physical store. Shopping online is now a convenience that every customer looks forward to making their buying experience smooth and effortless.
Even though we all dream of building a million-dollar business, it is common knowledge that you can not make it into a reality overnight. The process of launching a new business can be daunting and scary. Once you establish it, you will need to scale it to grow to bigger heights constantly. Every major company today started as a startup decades ago. This article brings you the five ways to start and scale an online business.
1. Choose Your Niche And Make A Plan
Choosing your niche is the most critical decision you need to make before starting your online business. There are several areas on which you can focus your business and every industry will have plenty of competitors fighting for their share of the market share. You need to select a specific niche within the broad category and construct plans to make your business stand out among your competitors.
You will find better results if you plan on business ideas that align with your interests and goals. If you are starting your business on something around your passion, there is a higher chance that you will be successful in your business. The reason being that you will have a deep understanding of the customer needs and an innate interest in the product. It would be best if you also researched on existing competition and current trends to make a plan that will be profitable.
As you begin to achieve goals, you will find sufficient time to evaluate and set further goals for the future. You will need to build the capabilities for your business to handle greater demand for sales within a short time once your business gets going. Make a forecast on the technology, workforce, systems, and infrastructure you need to start your business and also scale it according to the growth in business. Having a proper cost estimate will allow you to prepare for making your business successful and avoid bottlenecks.
2. Register Your Business And Brand
You will have to legally register your brand while starting your online business. One of the first steps you need to take is finding a proper name for your brand that is both unique and reflects the nature of your business. You will gain tax benefits and legal protection from registering your company. Although your official business name and the name of the website domain does not need to match, it will be beneficial to show that your brand is legitimate to your customers.
The next step is to apply for licenses and permits that allow you to legally conduct your online business. The laws that apply for acquiring the business license as well as sales tax license varies with every country. You will also need to get an Employee Identification Number for your business even if you do not have even a single employee. This identification number allows you to open a business account in the bank and apply for business taxes at the end of the financial year.
Use colors and other visualization features that best reflect what your brand represents and also aligns with your audience persona. This will create a subliminal visual effect that promotes the authenticity of your brand. You need to create engaging landing pages, sell products with a high conversion rate, create mesmerizing descriptions for your product, and showcase your products with intuitive visual representations such as images and videos.
3. Investing In Technology
Technology is the most powerful asset that aids in scaling your business to grow with the increase in demand for your products and services. By timely investment in the right technology, you can effortlessly scale your business while requiring less labor to run it. An excellent technology that allows you to reduce manual labor in your online business is adopting automation.
It also lets you improve the efficiency of your business and lower operating and labor costs. Technology systems, such as inventory management, customer relationship management, sales management, marketing automation, and more can aid in efficient scaling and bringing more revenue to your business while improving efficiency. You can also use the best in class technology to provide exemplary user experience to mobile users, which provide an engaging, fast, and reliable user experience.
4. Focus On Delighting Customers
Customer satisfaction and acquisition are critical for any business and the perception of your brand among the customers can have a huge influence on the success of your brand. Word of mouth is very powerful in making your online business to be successful as it is one of the only ways your brand has a physical presence. If you satisfy a customer with your product or service, they will spread the word about your business to other potential customers.
According to a study by Nielsen on peer recommendations, media, and advertising, over 92 percent of all the consumers across the planet trust consumer experiences. The recommendations of family and friends and earned media trumps advertising any day in bringing more sales to your brand. You do not need to restructure your business or even invest an excess of time into delighting your customers as it is an innate value of a business.
5. Keep An Eye On Your Analytics
You can analyze the pace of the growth of your online business and sales growth by keeping track of your business performance. The sales performance is a key indicator of the health of your business and it is one of the crucial parameters that let you determine a plan on scaling your business.
Consistently positive metrics provides a clear indication that your business is growing stably in the future. You can also understand if there is a need to expand your product line and determine which products are having the most sales. Strong analytics will also provide you with the ability to judge the need for upgrading the technology in areas that most need it in your business.
Even if you already have a store for your brand, you need to establish an online presence for reaching the highest potential of your business. Most customers prefer to research on online platforms about the brand and product before buying. From luxury goods to grocery, from traditional Chinese food to buying cannabis online– all options are open for the modern consumer. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, your customers may not find your brand as trustworthy and can decide to purchase an alternative brand. By taking a strategic approach to managing and growing a business, you need to prepare for further steps and challenges.