Thanks to increasing demand for internet-based labor and steadily growing online consumer market, 21st century entrepreneurs across industries no longer have to rely on brick and mortar for high profits and corporate sustainability. Still, not every internet business is a successful one, so you should plan your entrepreneurial endeavor carefully before you cut the ceremonial ribbon and start your corporate engines. Here are top five things an entrepreneur should bear in mind when setting up an online business.
Set the Scene
Even if you decide to work from home, you will still need basic equipment to kick-start your business. Though the list of home office essentials will mainly depend on industry and/or type of service you intend to provide to your clients, you will probably need at least a computer, desk, chair, proper lighting, landline, and basic office staples such as paper, pens, and post-its.
Pro tip: When designing the home office, bear in mind that quality and comfort are of paramount importance. Spending a few extra bucks on an ergonomic chair or sit-to-stand desk will minimize unpleasant side-effects of long work hours and help you preserve optimal physical shape at the end of a busy day.
Define your Business Goals
Never underestimate the impact of timely goal setting on final corporate outcomes! To create a winning business plan, you should first define your vision, target audience, business objectives, and corporate mission. These four points will help you outline the marketing strategy and optimize the action plan for maximum revenues.
Pro tip 1: When setting business goals, write down the most important objectives first, and then identify the milestones you will strive to achieve on the path to each goal. For instance, your first business objective can be to attract 1,000 clients and secure a turnover that will cover the initial capital investment. The second objective can be market expansion to 5,000 customers and improved brand visibility online. The third objective can be winning local recognition and partnering up with a well-known brand outside your niche for advertizing purposes, and so on.
Pro tip 2: If possible, create long-, mid-, and short-term plans, monitor your progress, and revise strategies regularly to ensure optimal corporate performance and adjust line of action to new circumstances.
Hack your Growth
When looking to expand your audience, you may want to tap into various channels: Facebook is a go-to for most small businesses, but Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram hold major potential for corporate growth if handled properly. Sticking to one marketing platform was okay back when networking was new: nowadays, however, you need to cover all your internet bases if you want your business to grow and remain sustainable over the long term.
Do not forget about Internet Speed
Internet speed is a force to be reckoned with when running an online business: the last thing you want is to lose clients’ trust through shabby IT architecture and technical glitches. Before you go into business on the web, run an internet speed test and see whether your software or internet service could use an upgrade.
Pro tip: Every cent spent on IT updates will be money well invested as it will ensure smooth operation and prompt response to clients’ inquires. If you handle the technical aspect of your business properly, you will save yourself a lot of nerves and build a reputation through referrals much faster without having to pay extra for ads and sponsored social media posts.
Reach Out to your Audience
Make it a priority to always deliver in full, but do not stop there. According to recent surveys, customers love brands who value their time and opinions, so active, respectful interaction with your audience is one of the safest way to keep them interested in your offerings. On top of that, user feedback can help you improve your product or service, and scores of loyal clients and testimonials backing your merchandise quality are always the best hook when fishing for new customers.
From scratch to success, your business can evolve quickly and to your inner entrepreneur’s delight if you follow the steps listed above with due care and attention. Ready, steady, go!