These seven steps have been tested and are trusted. They are steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you’re starting a small business online. Thousands of people have started and grown successful businesses by doing what we have listed in this post.
Whether you are a novice, or a seasoned online entrepreneur, you can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.
Design and build your website.
In this present age, businesses thrive more when pushed on the Internet and on social media. So, once you’ve decided on your service and/or product, you’re ready for your small-business web design. Remember, it’s about keeping it simple as you don’t want your audience to get confused. In truth, you have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention — otherwise they are gone, never to be seen again.
The following are some important tips to keep in mind when designing your website:
- Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
- Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
- Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
- Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
- Make it easy to buy– no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.
Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling
Following up on customers is very essential if you must not lose your customers to other competitors. One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer's lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them.
Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part — not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again: Offer products that complement their original purchase, send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit, offer related products on your “Thank You” page after they purchase, and reward your customers for their loyalty and they will become even more loyal and recommend you to others.
Find a need and fill it
This is probably the very first thing you need to have done to be able to say you have a business in the first place, but in case you are not solving a real life problem, then it’s time to rethink your plan in the first place.
To be able to build a thriving online business, you need to build the business around a need. You need to make a research on what a lot of people are in need of. It could be information, products or services. Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.
To increase your chances of success, start with a market. You can surf the web to see what questions people ask and what problems they are trying to solve. Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching for, but for which not many sites are competing.
You can also Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they are doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists — and do it better than the competitors. There’s always a loop-hole in any market. Investigate it, and fill it!
Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers
Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it is highly targeted. Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a hot lead. And there is no better tool than email for following up with those leads.
When you build an opt-in list, you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them email. What this translates to is this:
- You’re giving them something they’ve asked for and this increases the chance that they’ll read your marketing content.
- You’re developing lifetime relationships with them.
- The response is 100 percent measurable.
Establish an expert reputation for yourself
One of the ways to build an expert reputation for yourself is by offering something other competitors do not offer. You will reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours.
Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings. People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.
Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites. Include "send to a friend" links on valuable content on your website. Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.
Write copy that sells
Copywriting is very important to the success of your business. The following 9 steps is a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:
- Make an offer.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
- Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
- Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
- Make a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able to solve peoples problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask “What is in it for me?”.