Launching a Business Online – 5 Tips for the Debut
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It always seems like a pretty dope idea when it comes to leaving behind your regular 9 to 5 job in pursuit of starting an online business.
Perhaps, starting an e-commerce venture or a blogging looks like an achievable goal, however, can get a bit tough as you continue further with it.
This does not mean that you stop dreaming big or setting huge goals; it is, however, essential to make a plan so solid that you even get to hit that far. Unfortunately, quite a number of aspiring business owners fail to design that plan which plays a pivotal role in succeeding. According to Huffington Post you must always plan before starting anything. No plan means, no business growth at all and that is the truth many fails to embrace.
Speaking of this, there is a misconception that it is easy to find success in a niche which is popular. For instance, many budding entrepreneurs believe establishing an apparel business is easy to handle due to the niche’s popularity. Again, the reality is way different than how one may think it is. And to put things in perspective, it is totally opposite with a niche this popular. There is pressure especially in the beginning, as it requires a really effective strategy to stand out from the other competitors or you might end up wasting your time.
If you are looking out for some effective tips on how to start a business as successful as Uber, that too which sells apparel, then you are reading the right post!
Choose Niche Wisely
Narrowing down a niche is the foundation block for a successful business. It will give you a clear picture of what you seek as a potential seller. In other words, a business owner then knows where to start from, when they are clear with what niche they are going to work on.
With a well-defined niche at hand, you get to draw out on a product list that would specifically cater your agenda. Moreover, you then will know how to make a business plan and where will it center on in addition to where you, as a business owner will reach in terms of success.
You have completed the first step once you have identified your niche. A relevant example here would be that of the fashion aficionado Sophie and Trey. It serves as a one-stop shop to women, selling everything from clothes, swimwear to handbags. They identified that it is a real hassle to visit a different store every time for a woman with a lot already going on both personal and professional front. They filled in and emerged as a one-stop shopping portal.
The most important thing is to know what you are passionate about. If it excites you, it is your call! In addition to this, you need to identify your chosen niche’s earning potential. For that, we recommend a thorough market research to look out for any gaps within.
Have a cost-benefit analysis done so that you know where your niche stands in terms of the budget you have to allocate. After this, you are free to draw the business plan out and yeah, everything is good to go then!
The Affiliate Program
This should be at the top of your priority list when you are planning your business. Speaking of affiliate program, that is how it happens at Sophie and Trey. It has contributed quite a lot in their revenue generation and overall business popularity.
Now, we the question must be popping in your mind that why a affiliate program, considering the fact that it involves quite a bit of investment. And the answer is, sometimes your business requires an extra promotion from external sources to both survive and thrive. A word of mouth can prove to be catalyst when a business’s success is concerned.
Through an affiliate program, an affiliate publicizes about your product in return of a commission. It can sound a lot like giving away too much considering that you, as an owner would have to provide the product as well as the marketing materials. But, in the long run, it can be pretty fruitful if an affiliate manages to generate sales for you.
This is super good for the longevity of a business and to establish a reputation in the market as well as in the eyes of the customers.
Make Shopping An Exciting Experience
Now, how can you do that is a million dollar question.
One thing you should know, is that the last thing a customer wants to feel is unwanted. And we believe neither you, as a seller, would want a customer to feel that way. Therefore, make it a point to give your customer base a more personalized shopping experience by offering gift certificates or displaying recently viewed items the next time customer logs in. Sending personalized emails on birthdays is another way a business can make a customer feel special
This can be seen on Sophie and Trey’s website. They have truly made shopping an exciting experience by offering a personal stylist and that too for free. Which woman would not want to experience such an opportunity?
Other than this, their blog does some exceptional content too! From producing look books to even doing light content like beauty hacks and DIYs, Sophie and Trey surely knows how to strengthen their customer base and ensure that their relationship with their customers remains intact.
Such strategies not only keep the business thriving for good but also keep the customers engaged throughout.
Work on the Web Assets
There is no smart approach than working on the business model in combination with a focus on its assets. And by assets, we mean that your website and social media should be well taken care of. They should and must be in order as they are what propels your business further and ensures its success.
At times, businesses have been noted underestimating the power that nurturing web asset brings to a business. They see it as frivolous investment and keep going for the traditional means for advertising, which should not be the case. In this era, where everyone symbolically carries a world within their hands in the face of a Smartphone, such an approach appears to be medieval.
In fact, digital media offers unmatchable opportunities for networking and if used rightly, to the very optimum, can garner a large number of viewers, and clients. Above all, you can reach out to people across the globe without even getting up from a chair. It is safe to term it as a bridge enabling you to broaden and expand the reach of the business.
Speaking of this, each and every outlet should be made use of to its fullest. After all, it is the digital age! Any brand or business is easily accessible and approachable through social media channels, considering the profound media transition. Hence, they should be updated and in sync with the increasing demands and trends.
Here, you can see how Sophie and Trey serves as an awesome example as they use every social media portal quite productively, be it, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.
Know Your Competitors
Before you put your foot forward in the market, you must know who your competitors are. A business who does not know about their competitors is bound to go haywire and flunk real bad.
It is a widely acknowledge fact that any good business will definitely be well-versed about its competitors. This sort of knowledge is a validation of a business’s legitimacy as well as credibility. A special focus should be on the marketing strategies that they have applied and are currently using.
Researching about your competitor’s web assets is equally essential. You should know which social media platform your competitor uses, to know where you as business owner is headed.
It is to give you that edge which tends to play a role in a success of a business.
Additionally, knowing about the pricing of the products your competitors sell is beneficial as you would have an insight about what range your target market is willing to pay. Not only this, but you would even know which pricing model seem to appeal a large customer base. Also, you will have a better understanding of pricing ethics as well as the psychological impact it casts on customers.
There you go! We hope the above information proves to be fruitful and gives you a framework to finally start working upon. There is no proven set of sequence when it comes to launching a business, but if you have the basics right, as discussed above, your business for sure is going to be successful.
To sum up, a little research about the industry you have interest in, will always work in your favor in the long run.
Author’s Bio: Judy Robinson is a passionate marketing and business blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking B2B and B2C marketing related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently she is associated with an Orlando based SEO Company ‘PNC Digital’. Follow her on twitter @JudyJrobinson for more updates.