The idea of running your very own business is a very enticing one. You get to think about how you do not have to answer to a boss while having the potential to earn much more than your regular day job. Everything looks good on paper.
But just like everything else, in reality, it’s not that easy to maintain a business. Around 20% of these new businesses fail in their first year, and up to 70% do not last a decade. This only proves that running a business is not as easy as how people make it seem.
With the technology we have at our disposal now, plenty of businesses are taking their stores online. Creating online platforms to sell merchandise and services has significantly affected the way businesses earn. It is even expected that 2 14 billion people all over the globe will be shopping online by 2021.
Despite the added ease and wider reach of the internet and social media, online stores are not exempt from failing. Similar to their physical counterparts, a lot of these online businesses fail as well. Around 90% of e-commerce startups fail after about 120 days. That is a much higher failure rate in a shorter period.
It will be extremely risky for you to just improvise along the way. For this very reason, it is important to always plan before you start an online business.
With all these steep failure rates, it is clear that starting an online business is the easy part. Know that as a business owner, you are also responsible for maintaining it and keeping it alive. But how should you do it?
Here Are Some Important Things You Can Do
Know Your Target Market
Almost everyone is on the internet. It was observed that at the beginning of 2021, there were 4 66 billion active internet users all across the world. Out of that 4.66 billion, 4.2 billion are active on social media. That is a lot of people. And as much as you want to market your products to every single one of them, you just can’t.
Your target market is essentially the people who will most likely buy your products. These are the ones whom you want to appeal to. By identifying the characteristics of your customers, you can direct your marketing efforts better to make sure that the people who want to buy from you will find you.
Improve Your Customer Service
Every business needs solid customer service. You are more likely to retain customers and gain new ones through referrals when you have good customer service. With customer service, you are making sure that your consumers will have a positive overall experience.
But customer service for online purchases can be difficult. You are not as accessible to your customers compared to when you are operating in a physical store.
With that, it best that you put up a customer service hotline or email to make sure that your customers will know how to find you. Make sure these contact details are on every social media page and also on your website. A frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) page can also provide quick answers for those who have questions.
Create a Clear Buying Experience for Your Customers
One annoying thing about online businesses is that their buying process can be unclear. Make sure that your process is clear and easy to follow. Let them know how they can avail of your products and direct them accordingly.
With a friendly buying process, your customers will have a positive experience associated with your business which leads to better customer satisfaction.
Ask for Help
A business is never made up of one person only. It is similar to the gears and cogs of a good clock. A successful business runs on the efforts of multiple people who share the same goal. Note that as a business owner, you do not have to do everything on your own.
If you can afford to outsource some work that needs to be done, you have every right to do so. For operational processes, you can entrust business support services to do those for you.
If you can automate processes for your businesses, do it. This frees up your time and allows you to focus more on growing other aspects of your online business.
True enough, tackling the business world is already difficult as it is. Entering the online business world is even harder. You have more people to please and more businesses to compete with.
But with a bigger market and a much wider reach, the possibilities are endless. If you do this right, the online space is yours for the taking.