Before I was a blogger, I owned a costume shop that started as an online business. Our Guest Geek post this week covers seven steps to starting your online business, with a few editor’s comments from me, since this is a topic I have a lot of experience with!
Starting your first online business is an empowering step in life. But without the right insights and plans to push forward, you may find your brand being left behind before you’ve even launched.
Below are the 7 key steps to making your online company mean more, making a great first impression, and securing trust far quicker.
Write out your five-year plan
The best-laid plans always have an end point to strive for. If you can plan where you’d like to be in five years, you’re better able to plan for strategies to help make these goals a reality. Each year of your plan should be marked with much smaller, more measurable goals that all feed into your larger business plans.
Editor’s Note: If this part overwhelms you, don’t let it hold you back! Your business and business plan will often change as the business grows and you learn exactly what you want to do with it.
Get your marketing and business materials into one place
Stacks of paperwork and files are a thing of the past. And despite the vast number of platforms and places your data and documentation are currently stored, it’s time to embrace Cloud Digital Asset Management innovations to keep your content, images, files, and other important information in one easy-to-access place.
Editor’s Note: I’m always recommending using “the cloud.” Keeping all your data in cloud storage keeps it safe so if your computer crashes, you don’t lose everything. It also saves you tons of space on your phone if you happen to take lots of photos for your business.
Determine the best possible audience for your business
Now that you have a plan of action and a simple but safe place to keep your content together, what kind of audience are you targeting? Figure out your ideal consumer, and think about their tastes, needs, social media channels, and how you can capture their attention.
Dedicate time to researching your competition
Look into a few of your biggest competitors and make note of what makes them so successful. List common themes between each successful business you find. Take time to check out some bad companies too, and note where they’re going wrong. The more information the better!
Find a way to offer something a little different
Now it’s time to compare these competitors to your own business ideas. Ideally, you’re searching for a small avenue of something that’ll make your brand stand out from theirs. Perhaps it’s the speed of your delivery, the quality of your product or service, or maybe even a hipper, less formal tone of voice. Either way, the more you stand out, the easier it will be to attract new business.
Editor’s Note: Taking extra time when shipping items is always a nice touch. Include a thank you note, or use nice wrapping paper. People will remember that.
Create content that solves a common issue
Once you’ve attracted eyes to your business, it’s time to offer up solutions and answers to common frustrations or problems in your respective industry. This helps to establish trust with new customers and gets your new business on track to being seen as a thought leader that can offer new insights.
Market and promote your content
It’s finally time to promote your innovative business to the people who are actively searching for the products and services that you offer. Stay consistent with your ads, online posts, and social media updates to generate interest. Plant seeds of interest in the reader’s mind, so that when it’s time for that official launch, you’ve already got a line of new customers at the ready.
Categories: Mom Blog