You’ve come to the point where all research is complete. You have reviewed multiple articles and blogs that were resourceful. Some of them filled with too much technical content; some were over worded, which let’s face it, got lost in translation or you and Google became well acquainted; some articles were immaculately well written that it gave you sense of hope to strive for your goals. This leads into jotting down business plans and ideas for your future business.
So you have your business plans written in notebooks, some on index cards and sticky notes. Now that your ideas are on paper and out of your head, where do you start from here? First, all of your plans should be in one centralized location; not scattered on different pieces of paper. After all of the hard work and effort to research your niche and targeted audience, you now have to decide when and/or how to make this gigantic leap to start an online business. At that very moment, your heart is racing and anxiety kicks in as you think about finances, family, resources, and your future. At the same time you’re excited that your dream of owning a new business is becoming a reality. I have listed 5 key steps to get you started on your venture.
1. Build your website with great CONTENT and KEYWORDS. Showcase your products with clear pictures. The majority of consumers are visual and they will notice a picture before reading a paragraph. If the picture is captivating, their next step will be to look for the detailed (but brief) content about the product. If your website is unprofessional with lack of content and looks “scammish”, don’t expect that consumer to stay on your website long. I’ll give them 30 seconds at the max. Your website should be as interesting and exciting as a short descriptive book. The more they look through the website, the less likely they would want to leave and will continue to browse to see what else you have to offer. Keep it appealing.
2. OBTAINING customers and BUILDING your CUSTOMER BASE. Traffic towards your website is a key to increased conversion rates. But how you might ask?
a. Social Networking-Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Get with today’s times and start an account with a few social networking sites. Create a page for your business and ask your friends to share your page. You will be amazed how the word spreads on these sites. Make sure you consistently engage with your audience to maintain their trust and loyalty to your business. It also never hurt to run Promotions or Giveaways on your pages. Think outside the box to promote your business. This is one of the best ways to increase traffic toward your website.
b. Engage in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Article Directories, Blogs, and post videos onto YouTube.
c. Some old fashioned approaches can get your name out there as well. Such as, acquiring an article in the section of your local newspaper or leaving business cards in area where consumers will notice. Be creative with advertisements.
3. STICK WITHIN YOUR BUDGET. As a new business owner, you should not go over your budget. The worst thing to do is having a business and cannot maintain finances. You must discipline yourself, as other successful business owners have, in this area. Keep a close eye on your checks and balances. Not good with numbers? I suggest a personal accountant should be in tow.
4. Keep your business plans UP TO DATE. This is a routine practice for active entrepreneurs. In today’s society, inspiration is all around us. We thrive on being in the “now” so why not keep our business plans updated. Your business plans are like blueprints.
5. LEARN THE VIRTUE OF PATIENCE. After weeks/months of marketing (which should remain consistent), your marketing efforts will pay off, but in due time. 1000+ customers a day will not happen overnight. Consumers can be somewhat hesitant when it comes to visiting and/or shopping at a new business. Your convincing content should put them at ease. First impressions are very important. Make sure you strive to make a good reputation for your business and yourself.