If you’re looking to start a business online, it might be easier than you think. With the amount of tools and strategies available, you can succeed in almost any business. So whether you’re looking for some extra income on the side or a highly specialized business service, here are 5 important tools that any business needs to thrive online!
1) Understand Your Market
If you would like to establish a successful business online, it’s important that you first understand your market. This kind of research can be done in many different ways. For example:
- Market Research: what is the competition doing? Are there any tools you can learn from either to replicate yourself or to differentiate you?
- Target Market : what does your audience look like? Is there any data or publicly available information you can use to better understand what they’re interested in? If you plan on using social media as part of your strategy, you can often look up beforehand what kind of hashtags or titles your audience is engaging with.
Once you start doing this research, you should have a better idea of the journey ahead of you. How does your business fit into the existing market? If you still feel that your business plan is solid and have confidence in it’s success, then your next step will be to work on your brand!
2) Build Your Brand
This is where things start getting interesting! Now that you have a better understanding of your market, coming up with strategies to make your brand stand out should be a little easier. What can you do to differentiate yourself?
- an engaging logo
- a name
- a company story
- business benefits ( pricing, quality, planning, etc)
- social media strategy
Your brand will be very important in setting your identity. For most people, it will be the very first point of contact between them and your business. They say a brand can make or break even the best ideas. Even if your idea is great, but your brand is off, people may not be as willing to engage, costing you a potential client or opportunity. To help avoid this, there are plenty of branding specialists, or even free tools such as editing softwares or research tools that will help you strategize for a winning brand!
3) Make A Website
Any online business is going to need a great website! It’s Ok if you’re not a tech specialist or a web designer since there are many tools you can use. Here are a few of the steps you’ll want to focus on!
- Obtain a great domain name – It is also known as your website address. It is important to make a good impression for usability purposes as well for SEO.
- Purchase secure and website hosting with good tech support – A website host is a company that offers the technology and services needed for a website to be viewed on the internet.
- Create an engaging and user-friendly website – Websites should be easy to navigate and easy to understand.
- Regularly create and publish content – It is important that you create a plan to publish quality articles and blog posts on your site for SEO purposes.
All of these tools will help you build an ecommerce website, which in turn will help your onlive business thrive!
4) Try Email Marketing For Client Engagement
After going through the trouble of building a website and attracting high quality traffic, one of the best ways to keep your clients engaged is with email marketing.
Email marketing is as simple as it sounds — there are tools that will send a regular email to your customers or website visitors. What’s amazing about this is people are checking their emails all the time, but might not always be thinking about your online business. Once you get their permission to send emails, this is a great way to either engage with potential new customers or get return traffic from previous engagements.
Common ways to use email marketing successfully:
- welcome popup on your website to obtain email marketing permission
- new sales or special discounts
- company updates or new products
- marketing content strategies / social media
As you build up your list for email marketing, you will see even more engagement with your new online business.
5) Analyze Your Results With Data
Now that you’ve got a brand, a website and some email traffic with email marketing, you may want to circle back and analyze your progress.
What is working? What isn’t? What can you do differently to increase your performance even more?
Whenever possible, if you can use data to help influence these decisions, that will increase your confidence that you are making the right choices. If you can set up your websites and email marketing in such a way that you pick up important data points, this will help you analyze your results.