For many people, an online business is the key to their financial independence. For others, it’s a way to express themselves to the real world. Regardless of what the reason is for starting an online business or what goals you set, there is one thing that every online entrepreneur share – the desire to succeed. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to act on a year-long idea or an existing eCommerce business owner struggling to take off, here are seven tips that could very well be the turning point to your dream online business.
Master Your Niche
Online businesses have been around for decades, so there isn’t any shortage of competition in the digital space, regardless of the industry or niche you plan on jumping into. If you want to stand out from the saturated market, you need to look for new or under-served niches and fill the gap between supply and demand. You’ll find it incredibly simpler to get your business to take off if you zero in on a market, whether it’s something as plain as HTML5 games to something more complex like email marketing for a specific industry or business.
Plan Your Offense
You don’t necessarily need a formal business plan that spans 20 pages, all hardbound or laminated. Nevertheless, you still need something that, at the very least, resembles a plan. You need to know who your target audience is, what you’re selling, and how you plan on acquiring customers month after month. The latter is also known as a customer acquisition plan and is one of the more important documents that angel investors and venture capitalists look for when considering your funding request.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
A lot of new people in the eCommerce space take too much time and effort into planning everything down to a tee. Unfortunately, most never ship anything to market while others dig too deep into a rabbit hole that it takes them years before they do anything concrete. Avoid sweating the small stuff. If you are building your website’s database, stick with a database management program you know, whether it’s MySQL or PostgreSQL, instead of following the herd and trying to learn MongoDB or some new technology that you don’t know about. What matters is to get small tasks done, one after another, until you have a minimum viable product.
Build a Site
This one sounds brutally obvious, but there are still some dotcom entrepreneurs who forget to make a responsive and fully functional website to showcase their product line. Whether you’re building an e-commerce website and using it to make money through ads or need one to market a software product, make sure you have a site that is up and running.
They say content is king, but the fact is that content can only get you so far before you eventually plateau. With the increasing globalization of social media, the human element has supplanted content as the most important ingredient in the digital space. Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, offer countless opportunities to reach a wider set of audience and potential customers.
Don’t Neglect Other Stuff
Unless you’re a serial entrepreneur who’s already launched successful companies before and can afford to make some costly mistakes, you probably have just one or two good shots, budget-wise, to make your business work. For most people, it’s either they succeed or they go back to their day job. Devoting every waking hour of your day to building your online business shows passion and drive, but you’ll want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and an income-generating job to keep you financially afloat whilst your business is growing.
Establish a Timeline
Since online businesses are usually out of sight unless you open a computer and connect to a WiFi, it’s fairly easy to get distracted and stop working on your business. Establish a clear timeline when you want the software product or website to be finished by, whether it’s within a week or a month.
It’s all a numbers game. The more products you launch and bring to market, the more opportunities to make money in at least one of them. Keep coming up with ideas and developing a minimum viable product.