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Of course, there are lots of things you’ll need to do when getting started. You’ll be carrying out market research, forming a business model, and registering with HMRC, for example. But for now, I’m going to share a few simple tips specifically for getting to grips with essential online tasks. I’ll concentrate on those that are necessary for growth and development as you get ready to roll-out to your chosen market.
One of the best things about the world of online business is that anyone can be an entrepreneur. The digital realm has removed many of the traditional sticking points of starting a business. It’s also given us many great organisations that perhaps wouldn’t be here today, without the flexibility of the online space.
Having said that, building an online business isn’t as easy as throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s one thing that every business – right through from tiny boutiques to massive multinational corporations – all have in common. They all know who they are.
As well as combining your beliefs, missions, and values into a single, sharable message to create your brand identity, it’s essential to map out and create an effective sales funnel for your products or services. This allows you to be targeted and fine tune a marketing plan that will allow you to attract your chosen buyer personas and nurture them into being valued customers.
Can you build a business by relying on listings in online directories? Or selling through marketplaces? Sure. Can you thrive in this way? Not always. In my experience working with businesses of all sizes, and across a variety of industries, what I can say is that I don’t see a brand website as a luxury. I see it as a necessity.
A website or app is your digital face; it’s your online persona and your silent salesperson. It’s a chance for you to promote what you do, to engage with your target audience, to take control of your reputation, and to track your success. Essentially, a website is the digital equivalent of a brick and mortar venue. It’s everything to your brand and a highly accessible way to get found for the great things that you do.
To build a website or app that really delivers, you’ll need to be pretty good at the creative side of things. If that’s just not you, consider partnering with an agency that offers creative design services. This can save you time, so you can focus on your core business during those vital early stages of growth.
You could have the most innovative, revolutionary, incredible business idea in the world. But at the end of the day, that’s all completely useless if your target audience doesn’t know about it. If the right people don’t know that your business even exists, then you’ll find it hard to succeed.
Unlike traditional businesses, digital organisations can’t rely on foot traffic to get the word out. They can use online alternatives though, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email, and on-site/off-site content. All will help to improve the visibility of their brand in the search engine rankings.
Better still, social media platforms allow you to grow awareness for your products, services and ideas for free. Understanding the type of customer who will be your buyer will help dictate which platform would work best. LinkedIn works best for B2B sales but don’t forget Facebook for this market as every customer is likely to have their personal account on the network and access it daily. For B2C sales consider leading with story-telling on Instagram to build a loyal following but again, try to create a strong presence on Facebook.
There’s a lot that goes into marketing an online business. It’s not a small job, and it’s not a one-time job. The good news is that a combination of digital marketing automation and strategic content planning can make things a lot easier. At first, you might find it useful to invest in a digital marketing support package.
Handling the online side of things while you’re also trying to sort out funding, business models, and everything else isn’t always easy.
That’s why we’re here to help.
Thank you for contacting us.
We will reply to you in the next 24-48 hours.
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