Most people believe that you need to have a very specific type of product or service to sell in order to start an online business. However, from my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. No matter what you are selling, as long as you are able to facilitate the transfer of value from your business to your customers there is an opportunity for you to take your products and services online.
The specific approach I will be outlining in this article will help you to successfully make the transition into the online business marketplace.
Firstly, I need you to put yourself in one of two groups.
Group A – Someone with money and/or access to resources.
Group B – Someone with no resources, but large amounts of grit and determination.
This reason I am making this distinction is because, in reality, the details associated with each step will be different depending on which group you fall into. And, whether you are a part of group A or group B, my goal is to ensure that you get relevant information you need to have the best chance of success.
Step 1. Develop a Website or App
If you have money, then great. With resources at your disposal, you will be able to save yourself dozens of hours and get huge head-start by hiring an expert like myself. One that will professionally craft a targeted and intentional online experience for your current and future customers. Do your research, and find an individual or company who you believe has the experience and capacity to provide you with the best possible online solution.
If you are strapped for cash this is still no excuse neglect your web presence. If this is you, what you will have to do is start small and slowly refine over time. Look into low-cost website creation tools like WordPress.com, Wix, Squarspace and Shopify. These will help you to quickly establish a basic online presence, and will facilitate your ability to complete the remining steps that will be discussed further down in this article.
Step 2. Send Traffic To Your Website
If you are a member of group A, the most efficient route to achieving this is to hire an online sales/marketing consultant to develop a specific strategy for your business. I recognize that many of you may already have internal sales and marketing teams, however I would suggest that you respect the online marketplace. It is like a chameleon, a very peculiar beast that is constantly transforming.
In order to get the best results as quickly as possible, you will need to procure the services of a person or company that is solely focused on internet sales and marketing. They are the only ones who will have the expertise and time to provide you with a relevant up to date strategy to get you the best results for your specific business use case.
If you do not have any money, what you need to do is lean on your talents. Think about what you are good at and use that to get attention online for your business. These are things like photography, writing, teaching and comedy.
Research the various means through which you can drive traffic to your site and figure out how and if you can use your particular talent to have success with these various strategies. If you fancy yourself a comedian, maybe try promoting your products/services on social media with humour; if you are a writer, learn about SEO and start blogging.
Step 3. Schedule Time (Weekly) To Manage Your Website
Regardless of whether you fall into group A or group B you will need to block out a slot on your calendar to monitor your online business. Ideally, this should be done on a weekly basis to ensure that things are always progressing in the right direction.
At this point, most of your time should be spent learning the ins and out of your particular online marketplace and monitoring the results of your sales and marketing strategy. During this time, you should also be focusing on learning the various tasks needed to manage the online portion of your business (i.e., your website) and recording the most efficient ways to perform them. Essentially, you should be systematizing and recording these processes with the aim of introducing employees to into the mix to manage these tasks for you.
You have your website, you have a means to generate traffic, now you need to focus on making more money. Figure out ways to improve your service/product offering and monitor the results of your sales and marketing efforts.
You have likely made many mistakes up to this point, and this will be reflected in your results. Because it of this, it is particularly important for you to consistently keep tabs on the progress of your business.
You have done most of the heavy lifting to get started, so now you need to start cleaning up your errors.
Install Google analytics, and monitor your total traffic, traffic sources, sales and what GA calls "bounce rate". The bounce rate is essentially the amount people who visit a page on your website, and then immediately leave (i.e., they "bounce"). This particular statistic is really important because your website was not professionally created, so you will need to identify the pages that are not resonating with you visitors in order to improve them.
Overall, your aim as a member of group b is to solve your money problem so that you are able to invest into others and free up your time to work on your business. You will need to strategize based on the results you are seeing and apply the sweat equity necessary improvements to scale your business. This should not be a problem for you. As a member of group B you have the grit and determination to stick though the rough times until you are able to reach the end of the rainbow.
If you are a member of group A and would like to give yourself the best possible head-start in your online business, reach out to me and let us have a discussion on the most efficient ways to get your business online. There are many ways in which software can be used to achieve your monetary and personal goals.