Did you know that many startups take 3-5 years before they start turning a real profit? Trying to make an online business successful can feel like all the odds are stacked against you. However, there are a few things you can do to help give your business the greatest chance of success. Ensuring you have a good workspace, solid branding, and quality products/content/services will give you a big leg up over your competitors, but that’s not all there is to it. Here are our top tips!
Build your online brand
Your branding can be a make or break moment in the steps you take to make your online business successful. This extends beyond just your logo and the photos you post on the ‘gram too: all your online assets need to be aligned, from your tone of voice and your website to your email marketing and social profiles.
On top of this, all your relevant assets need optimising for search engines. This starts out as simple as making sure that all your content is relevant to your business and helps bring in online traffic, but can fall into part of a larger integrated marketing plan.
Branding is also about your reputation. Responding to customer complaints quickly and positively (even when the customer is wrong) is vital. When starting your business, consider your branding and make yourself a firm set of guidelines. This will help you out of tricky situations and will also help anyone you bring on board later to know what you expect of them.
Invest in digital marketing
It would be wrong to say that an online business must invest lots of money in digital marketing to be successful, but it will help dramatically. With good SEO, PPC and content marketing teams being able to bring your company up from the depths of the search results to the top of the first page, digital marketing should be seen as a necessary expenditure.
However, employing someone to bring the marketing in house or working with an agency can be pricey. It’s a great way to see a return on investment but frankly isn’t affordable for many startups or small businesses. The good news is that there are cheap and free marketing tools (like plugins for WordPress) and software that will comb your site and your blog posts and give you SEO and content pointers.
Spending time figuring out how to make digital marketing work for you is vital, even if you can’t spend large sums of money. It’s possible to do a decent job by yourself, especially if running your business is a full-time job. Taking a couple of courses in basic content marketing and SEO can give you a great jumping-off point.
Focus on your target audience
Building a brand and a digital marketing strategy is pointless if you don’t know your target audience and your competition.
All good businesses should understand their competitors in order to understand their audience and vice versa. The only way to get your audience to choose you over your direct competitors is to understand:
a) what your target audience needs,
b) what your competitors offer,
c) how you can better fill that need than your competitors.
Networking with complementary businesses can help you get a feel for this, and also help you build relationships that could be beneficial.
You should also be aware of how your biggest competitors are using social media, and try to do the things they do that work – with your own brand’s spin on it, of course.
Make high-quality content
With online trends coming and going in just a couple of days, you must spend time in online spaces relevant to your business to stay on the cutting edge of online content. Creating high-quality content is vitally important, whether it’s meta descriptions for your pages, product descriptions, blog posts, press releases or social media captions.
Great content is one of the best ways to bring traffic to your site and a great way to make a first time customer into a returning customer.
Make sure your content is informative, easy to read/consume, right for the platform (e.g appropriate for Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or your site) and adheres to your branding so customers instantly know who you are.
Find office space for your online business
Whilst building an online brand and investing in digital marketing is an essential stepping stone to make an online business successful, the novelty of working from home or working as a digital nomad can wear off quickly. When you have nowhere to keep stock and records and an intermittent internet connection, things can get tricky. Whilst you might not want to invest in a full-time permanent office, renting a part-time or shared space that you use even once or twice a week can give your online business a sense of stability.
It’s vitally important to have a reliable internet connection so you don’t miss important orders or customer questions. You’ll also need decent internet speed in order to monitor your site and stay informed of what your competitors are doing.
Business owners also need a secure way to store customer information. As an online business owner, you have a legal obligation to protect customer information. This can involve storing information on separate devices and having multiple secure backups.
You may also need a place to store stock on a scale smaller than a warehouse. Self-storage can be handy here, both for back stock and secure record keeping.
For office space or business storage, contact us here at Magenta Storage. We offer flexible self-storage to suit your needs, and office spaces designed to work with you. You can choose from co-working areas to private office space on either a short or long term lease. Get a quote today.