Setting up an online business

You have a product, you have a vision, and now you can’t wait to start an online business. You talked to a few other entrepreneurs and they’ve imparted advice on how to succeed. Yet has anyone warned you about what not to do?

Online presence

Don’t spend hours on the Internet looking for a suitable e-commerce platform for your business. Instead, visit Shopify and read what others have to say about the site. The platform features over a million active users who have sold over $55 billion. Join them, so many people must be on to something.

What it takes

When the first shine of setting up your own business wears off, it will take energy and a will to succeed to make your business a success. Don’t think that you can sit back and relax and the sales will come. Successful online businesses are built on drive and sheer determination. Don’t get discouraged as sales are less than expected, perseverance pays off.

Social media

Once you’ve set up your online business don’t think that this is it. On the contrary, now it’s time to get busy. Create profiles on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. In addition to explaining what you have to offer, make use of pictures and videos. Interact with others and encourage them to visit your business.

Pricing

Before you start selling, have a look what others are charging for their products or services. Setting your price too high might have customers running to the competition. On the hand, pricing your services or goods too low is not recommended either. Keep in mind that you’re running a business, not a charity and you need to make a profit.

Freebies and discounts

While there’s nothing wrong with offering something for free or for a lower price, don’t hurt your budget. With everything you offer for free, you are losing money.

Customer service

Don’t underestimate customer service. Be sure that your domain has a feature for customers to contact you, whether it be a phone number, email address, live chat or even a survey. Never forget that you are dealing with people and a happy customer will be most likely a returning customer.

Relying on others

While good word of mouth is valuable, don’t rely on others for your online business to succeed. This is your initiative, with your products or services and you will reap the rewards. As such, you should put in the time and effort to advertise your business, generate sales and follow up with customers.

Promotional materials

Even though you run your business online, not having at least a set of business cards could cost you dearly. Every time you go out you meet people and those people could turn into potential customers. Hand out your cards, leave them at strategic areas such as train stations, bus terminals, coffee shops and medical offices.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a blog. With a blog, you can talk about your business and share images to your heart’s content.

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