The internet era is unarguably the best time to invest and start an online business. It is the golden age for growing your startup from the ground up while still maintaining your employment job. The transition from a wage dependent on a profit dependent person is the journey. The rate of growth in businesses right now has never been seen before. In a world where most news shares a lot of the world’s shortcomings, the time to prepare an actionable business plan is now. For impressive business growth, commitment, and hard work is expected. We are in an era of smartphones and the internet. Human beings are glued to the internet every day of their lives. Therefore, this makes it easy to target and build brands that are centered on them and their behavioral tendencies.
It is, however, essential to know that building a business brand from scratch is not going to be easy. There is no shortage of competition. Virtually, almost every business has an online presence that it explores fully from the convenience store in your neighborhood to large companies like Amazon and Apple. Ideas start from somewhere, and you must be ready to make them a reality. The approach must be solving a problem or creating a need for the consumers that you have targeted.
The internet is a space where you can create your business and earn much more with very little to no capital. If you have a background on the basics of online marketing, you have a very high chance of succeeding. Although you are not required to be an expert to build the business, you must be willing to learn every day.
As said earlier, you want to maintain employment before fully transitioning to an independent business owner. After you have started the business, you have to be dedicated to it. No business grows overnight. Time and money are investments that need to be accounted for. Since you will not be online to run your business all the time, you can hire a social media and digital marketing expert. Your role will be the supervision of the firm that needs to be done correctly. This way, you can see your business shortcomings and improve every single time.
With employment, you enjoy certain privileges and guarantees. These include a regular income, job security benefits, and the opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder. Deciding to be an entrepreneur is wanting more for yourself. To be able to build yourself, you need to be very strategic and understand what you are venturing into. The transition from the employment world is not smooth. A few steps have to be undertaken in the right direction. Here are some of the tips to come out on top when the transition begins.
Get ready to invest more working hours
As an employed person, you have a schedule that must be followed. This comes with day-offs, vacation time, leave days, national and religious holidays being observed, and weekends. The free time here is what you use to go through your account’s books and any other pending business-related issues. The regular hourly wage you are used to might not come from the business at the beginning. To gain more value, you have to put in more hours relentlessly. Spare one to two hours every day for your business and more hours in your free time.
Come up with a target audience
You have to create how you want your business to be associated with the exterior and how your brand resonated with clients and suppliers. Research shows that a stable earning middle-aged man enjoys specific things. Tap into their interests make campaigns around the behavioral norms of your target audience. This is the stage that needs you to research on your competitors. In the business, you have to play catch up because they started earlier on and have carved a niche already.
How are you going to satisfy the consumer who would rather go on an expensive date with their spouse instead of going to the golf club? What unique qualities does your new brand possess compared to the other brand that has been there for a longer time? Decide whether you want to tap the local market only or also target regional and international markets. With all these questions and suggestions answered, you can come up with targeted advertisements and monitor responses.
Expand your thoughts to those of a business owner
Many times in the employment sector, decisions made by the management are rarely questioned. The management of any firm has veto power. When you finally start the business, you are the manager now. You come up with reasonable goals and targets and work towards achieving them. The strategy and plans to make them possible should come from you. You will get challenges and obstacles along the way. You have to always believe in your end goal. You also have to be very vigilant and attentive to business suggestions. In case you feel a proposal or business course does not in any way impact what you want to achieve, you can always say no.
Come up with the right position for yourself
Let's say that you have been in the IT profession working for a law firm for about 12 years. You understand the law, and you are an expert in IT. You have to work with your most potent skill in the business venture that you are undertaking. Most of the time, the strengths are what you like doing. What you have always desired to do. Having said that, you have to use your powers in your business. Your role is not limited to financing and managing the business. Use the expertise that you have earned in your field of education to your advantage. Other times, your passions will lead you into the business venture that you will undertake.
Create a schedule for each day
Time is a never-ending resource. Unfortunately, you have to work tirelessly to make the business work. Come up with a weekly and bi-weekly schedule. The schedule should be filled with content plans and single targets that lead up to the ultimate goals. Create a long term strategy and stick to it. Revise and improve on the procedures too. Planning is the work that needs to be put in. Flexibility in approach is an important thing. The extra time that is from free workdays can be used for research and different activities in the business.
Save and bank some living expenses
The business venture will not be profitable immediately. You have to have an expense account that deals with the day to day running of the business. It takes time to earn meaningful income from the venture. Come up with 6-12 month’s expenses and their schedule. Sometimes, through luck, dedication, and hard work, your investment will bring good turnover in a short time. Before you finally quit your day job, come up with a sustenance plan for the business. As a business owner, you will not be guaranteed payment for all the hours you put in. This is unlike employment terms. You have to be mentally and physically prepared.
Many startups do not live up to their expectations. Others just run out of the will to continue. You have to be ready to work even when there is no motivation. Before sharing your notice with your employer, make sure that you have done enough preparations. At this time, financial advice is very vital. Make sure you have done research that is very much showing a light at the end. Remember going from being an employee to a business owner takes a lot of faith and believing in yourself. Study past mistakes of existing entrepreneurs and what has been done right. Finally, strive for a progressive venture, learn something new every day.
Expect to do the work yourself
In the employment sector, tasks are shared. You have someone doing the delivery, another preparing the reports, and maybe someone who answers correspondence. However, for a business, you have to do the work yourself if you are not able to hire experts to help. You might start as the CEO, president, and only company employee in your venture. You have to be ready to play all these roles. That involves learning to do things you never imagined you could do. The challenge here is always to be able to shift gears mentally and wear different hats. That way, you stay learning of the expectations you will have when you finally afford to offer employment.
Make use of the resources you have
In the beginning, a lot of learning and unlearning is expected. If you have resourceful people around you, say a spouse or friends have discussions with them. They will share insights and offer help where they can. Having capable people around you makes it easier to learn the ropes. However, always verify the information they have shared and only take on what is of value to you and your venture.
Make use of social media
Running your business online is an essential key. What I need to address is the use of social media for online reputation management. A new business requires the best reputation. You are required to work tirelessly to make sure that your firm has positive reviews all the time. In case of a misunderstanding with a client, always have a way to resolve it as soon as possible. You also share the positive reviews online each and every time you receive one. As a new business, trust and credibility are the most valuable qualities that you need to be associated with. Online reputation is second only to quality products. Come up with tailor-made content for the target audiences to engage with. Collect consumer insights to improve product and service delivery. Social media will help you understand your target consumers very easily through behaviors, tastes, and preferences through what they post online. Resonate with them at all times.
Prepare for stress
While it is known that owning a successful company is a good feeling, you have to work and act on the many trials that come with building one. The tests come from both professional and personal backgrounds. You have to be courageous to allow the type of growth to transition from employee to business owner. With every step taken to amplify your business, you are made aware of new challenges from the industry. Avoid putting yourself and the business under unnecessary pressure. Work with deadlines that are achievable to avoid stress and disappointments. In the company, since you take up many roles, allow yourself room to learn how to do certain things. Address issues and shortcomings individually and avoid piling up tasks. To get satisfied, you have to work on procrastination and dealing with problems one by one and not all of them together. Acknowledge what you have done right, the small wins are very crucial to progress. This way, you are guaranteed of growth.
When all this is done right, the end goal is delightful. You can enjoy working short hours and having time for yourself as the business runs itself. An online store also allows you to work remotely and still be effective at it.
Your business must have these qualities to enjoy maximum profits:
Make the use of your online platforms and ensure that they are user-friendly. Shoppers are very particular and want to land on the product or service they are looking for immediately. However good the product is, it makes it easy to access the website. Over 70% of users value easy usage. In a physical store, the customer has enough patience to walk around and shop for deals. You are not accorded the same privilege since they check and move to the next website. Create the advantage of making a sale almost immediately because they will land on the site. The website has to be decent looking. Run your most popular products as the primary products. Show the users any deals that you have as promotional materials. The payment platform and process should also be very smooth. Checking out should take seconds. Your website must always verify transactions and issue receipts.
According to Google researchers, most people shopping do so on portable gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. Many searches are conducted during their free time away from their work stations. At other times, the potential consumers make online searches as they commute from work to home. By optimizing your site for mobile use, it is easier to accommodate these consumers as they are the majority. Imagine the hustle that one has to go through when filling in a form on a computer. Now imagine if he has to do so on the phone, it is very infuriating. If you avoid the mobile site, you will have search engine optimization problems. The platform will disappear from the preferred search page. Creating a mobile-friendly website enables you to make the most out of a client’s time. Loading time is reduced and the quality of images and information remains flawless.
Efficiency in Delivery
Social media users are very impatient people. You have to consider them when delivering their products. The buyer has specific timelines when the product is expected to be delivered. Look at it this way, how many times have you had your purchase delivered promptly? How did that make you feel? Would you not want that to be the normal common trend? I’m sure the answers were affirmative. With that said, always consider the cost of delivery and do not overcharge the client. Speedy delivery helps you build on the trust of the business as well as credibility.
Reliability in Delivery Times
It is effortless to lose the credibility of your business if you are not reliable. Make sure you keep the promises of delivery time and day. If a shipment is to arrive on a specific day, make sure it does so to avoid backlash. In case you have difficulties delivering, you can always reach out to the client beforehand. Clients tend to understand when a problem occurs, and they are notified. Make sure the package arrives in the best condition. Your packaging will always determine what communication will be shared on your brand. If you are selling a service, make sure that the client is satisfied because you have delivered the best service possible. If you can balance between delivering the best product and doing it promptly, you will have built great customer relations very early.
Quality of Images
In normal shopping, people check the quality of their products. For instance, if you walk into a grocery store, you will look at the mango for bruises. You try on a suit before purchasing or a show. Trying also applies to online shopping. The only quality check they can use to verify is the quality of images used here. Giving consumers high-resolution images of your products is equivalent to shopping in the store. Even when offering an after-sale service, you have to offer exactly what you have advertised on the site. Do not download images and qualities you are not offering. The images must be of the actual products and services. With the creation done, the customer is satisfied and intrigued to buy the products. With your products displayed properly, you will be seen as professional and credible.
Create Wish Lists
Why is it important to have digital wish lists? The customer looks at the products and finds himself interested. Someone might want to buy a treadmill on a fitness platform but cannot afford it then. Having a wish list normally leads to bookmarking. The platform creates an automatic reminder. If they revisit the platform, the system reminds them of the item. Create a shareable wish list where they can share with other interested people. The idea is to generate as many user reviews at the end of the day as possible. The people they share will log on to the platform.
Online businesses that do not share their prices are normally seen as scams. Most of the time, the customer asking for the price through direct contact is seen as a way of scamming people. This is mainly because prices shared vary from client to client. If you have discounts, you have to share the discount prices. Having the prices of your products builds credibility and uniformity among clients. Make the client have the best reason to purchase. Have competitive prices with competing brands too.
The most important thing to know is clients are your biggest ambassadors to vouch for your business. What they write and share on social media regarding your brand is critical. Positive reviews on review platforms notify clients of your brand. Remember, you cannot build a wall around negative comments. It is suspicious because no brand has a perfect rating. You have to address those reviews and improve your services every time. If you address the issues, the clients relate to you and see that you are listening to them. Share the positive reviews on social media for credibility. Build your audience through the delivery of the best products, services, and engagements through social media.
Test and come up with new approaches. Imagine working on a fitness brand that people do not sign up for? You have to give the desired customers testing phases where they can see your online tutorials or come to the site for free. Enable them to know you before you take their money. You can interact with the people who come for the pseudo launch and share some insights with them. Engage them and make them understand why joining or signing up for your service is important. Most of the time, you are the first client on your platform. Show the people what you have gained since you started using the products offered. You can also share the company’s story.