Now that everyone is on quarantine and most office jobs are done at home, many people are starting to realize the advantages of working remotely. Along with this new understanding is the curiosity to venture into the new possibilities that are presented with the situation.
Most notable among these new ideas is the concept of starting one’s own online business. And why not? Along with an initial inventory capital, you really only need your computer and a great online selling platform to get started.
If you’re one of the many looking into this possibility, here are some tips to help you set up right and maintain your momentum for being a successful entrepreneur.
Choose the Right E-commerce Platform
If you have no basic knowledge of programming and simply want to manage your business without having to consult a coder every now and then, then you need an e-commerce platform that’s easy to use and has all the features necessary to help you run the business.
Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As you shop for the most viable e-commerce platform, you’ll also have to consider the following features:
- Availability of support
Ultimately, think of the long-term aspects that your platform can offer. Go back to your original objective. What do you want to do with this site? How do you want it to expand? Go for a platform that is flexible enough to grow as you grow.
Streamline Your Logistics
The success of an online business depends on multiple parts working coherently together to ensure that the customers’ orders reach their doorsteps. This is a process you would not want to compromise on.
So be solid with how you plan to go about your process. After the customer successfully makes a purchase online, what things are in place to make sure the customers get their products at the promised timeline?
Logistics make your business happen. See to it that you have reliable partners on the ground and contingency plans to implement for when emergencies occur.
Most importantly, make sure every aspect of your logistics is optimized for timeliness, cost, and compatibility with your processes. Weighing the pros and cons of different shipping methods can help you find the one that works best for your business. For example, while FedEx Ground Economy (formerly SmartPost) can help cut your shipping costs, it also tends to lead to slower delivery times, so you really need to consider your business’s priorities when optimizing your logistics.
Focus on Marketing
In the age of social media, it’s imperative to play if you want to bring people’s attention to your products. But that’s not all. You also have to have a portfolio that can convince them to invest and make a purchase.
Marketing has been an inevitable and vital part of businesses since time immemorial. The tactics have changed over the years, but the purpose remains. Be creative in your pursuit, see what competitors are doing, copy, or revolutionize a trend.
Despite being a critical part of the business, marketing your own product can also be the most fun.
Learn from Your Customers
All your beautiful marketing ads are nil if you cannot listen to what your customers are saying. Remember that the purpose of your sales funnel is to create a purchase. If your customers are satisfied with your product and services, they are most likely to tell others about it. The problem is, if they had a bad experience, they’re also most likely to tell others about it.
So if your customers have issues and concerns, listen and start improving from there. They will appreciate the effort and will most likely leave a positive review—on your website and with their friends.
Keep Focused on Your Niche
The slow death of too many businesses begins when they start getting too ambitious. In the end, their brand gets too broad, and it becomes hard for people to actually know what their brand is all about.
Learn from these mistakes, and instead, keep your focus on a single niche. Do you want to sell children’s toys? Sell a lot of toys. Do you want to sell homemade bath bombs? Experiment with different ingredients and colors and designs.
The problem with being all over the place is that people will end up not remembering you for anything. But everyone always knows where to go when they want a set of LEGOs for their five-year-olds.
And this is advice on every aspect of your business, be it in your branding, in your delivery time, in your product quality, or your responsiveness to client concerns.
Being consistent is what solidifies your reputation as a business. It establishes your reliability. It builds customer trust, and it’s what keeps them coming back.