If you’re considering taking the plunge into having an online business, you’ve likely begun building a plan in your head or on paper. More times than not, I speak with entrepreneurs who have been working for months or even years before realizing that they’ve been missing a piece that costs them the success that they desire. If you would like to prevent struggling when you could be succeeding or if you’ve already started and want to improve your results, read on.
- Plan your business. Even if you are starting your business all by yourself and don’t need to convince investors, create a business plan. Complete a SWOT and Marketing Plan (4 P’s) as pictured below.
- Source your products either by building them yourself, wholesaling them from suppliers, dropshipping or using affiliate links.
- Create your branding starting with your color scheme. This article can be particularly helpful in producing the results you’d like based on your product, customer, and desired psychological effect. Design your logo yourself, give Fiverr.com a shot, or use 99designs.com to have logos created by numerous designers and pick the one you like best.
- Build your website using the CMS that best fits your skill level and budget. I suggest trying a few to see which you like best.
- Here are my favorites: Zoey, 3dCart, Shopify. There are cheaper options out there but they will generally cost you much more in the long run through added apps, added work, missing features, and fewer sales. Each has their advantages depending on what you want/need which is why I suggest setting up a free trial store on each then proceeding with the one that you like best.
- Create and Manage a Blog and Social Media Accounts. This article explains in detail how you can create an external business blog on WordPress to increase your ranking for relevant keywords and easily share the content across multiple social media channels for maximum benefit.
- Email Marketing is a great way to stay in front of people who have bought from you before or have shown interest in your products before. Mailchimp is a popular choice for email marketing although there are many good solutions available.
- Automate everything possible. As you develop your online business more and more, you’ll find that there’s a lot to do and you can get stuck in the weeds working on things that don’t generate revenue so consider automating some tasks using online tools like IFTTT.com or Zapier.com.
- Optimize your site using A/B testing. No website is ever truly complete and you are doing yourself a disservice to not try to make it better. A/B testing is a great way to experiment with different layouts, pictures, descriptions, etc to find out what converts customers best.