5 ways to create a successful online business

Categories How To

The web plays an important role in today’s business. With more and more and more consumers heading online to do their shopping, now is a great time to look at starting an online business. With extensive online traffic, new advertising opportunities through social media and new ways to merchandise products online, a new generation of savvy business people are taking their knowledge of the vast power of the Internet and starting their own successful online business ventures. If you have a great idea for a business, here is what you can do to turn it into a successful online business that will generate revenue.

Keep your design simple

You may have the idea that creating an overly complicated, flashy website will help you to stand out among the competition. You may feel inclined to include sound in the background, add a catchy carousels and a lot of large graphics to your site. These types of additions are great for personal websites, but if you are running an online business they can spell disaster. Many of your customers will most likely visit your site while they are at work, and the last thing they want is to experience an onslaught of music the moment they navigate to your site. You want to make sure that your design is well organized so that visitors can find what they are looking for, without having to spend a lot of time searching through your site explains Glen Stansberry, writer at Smashing Magazine.

Focus, focus, focus

When you are starting your online business, it is important to remain focused. When you are first starting out with your Internet business, you have to expect some setbacks. In order to keep yourself on track, you want to focus on what you want from your Internet business. If you find that your business isn’t exactly where you had hoped it would be, then you need to step back, refocus yourself and work on ways to increase your sales and turn your online business into a success.

Engage your visitors

Every successful business has gotten to where they are at because of their customers. To turn site visitors into loyal customers and increase your sales, you want to get your visitors to actively participate on your website. This can be as simple as creating a blog and opening it up for comments from your site visitor. If you send out an eNewsletter, advertise your blog posts in this and ask for comments. Another great way to engage your visitors is by setting yourself up on the popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These platforms allow you to share high quality information with your customers and can remain informed about current updates in the industry.

Maintain high customer service standards

Many online business owners often forget that they are dealing with real customers at the end of the day. When it comes to your online customers, you have to give them the same, if not better, customer service than they would receive at a brick and mortar store. Make sure that you and your employees are doing everything you can for your customers and they will in turn reward you by coming back to purchase products from your site, as well as telling their friends about the wonderful customer service they received from your store. They will remember the service they received, both good and bad, and will tell their friends via word-of-mouth or by social media, so while good customer service might cost you a bit more time and money, bad customer service online could cost you dozens of prospective customers, notes Derek Gehl, writer for Entrepreneur online. Make sure they only have positive things to say about your online business.

Always be testing

One of the last things that you need to be doing is testing every single element of your website. A more apt measure of success for online businesses is the number of conversions that the website produces from its pool of traffic according to the Web Designer Depot website. This will help you to increase the number of transactions your website sees and help to increase your business’s conversion rates. There are a number of tools online that you can use to test your site’s conversion rates. You should be testing your calls to action, form length and content placement and making the necessary adjustments that will help to increase the number of successful transactions that your site sees on a daily basis. Running a successful online business is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to see the kind of results that you are hoping to achieve. The more you understand the business and what you will need to do in order to make it successful, the more likely you will be to take the appropriate steps to succeed in your online venture. The vast power of the web is the perfect setting for savvy entrepreneurs to find online business success. If you decide to go for an ecommerce business, you may want to check out this recent article as well.

header image courtesy of Sean Farrell

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.