What if there was a recipe for success? What we can tell you is that if there was, the internet would be at the top of its ingredients list.
We have compared all expert advice to put together these five savvy tips that will enable you to have a successful online startup:
1. Do your homework
The best thing you can do as a novice startup owner is to know how to stay relevant in the digital information age. This age has forced the face of the business to rapidly evolve and adapt at a rate that leaves ignorant online startup owners in the dust.
One simply cannot use the phrase “I didn’t know” as an excuse, as today, blog topics that range from social media trends to step-by-step guides on how to go about fundraising are readily available to anyone with an internet connection.
By doing your homework, what we mean is that you research every idea that comes to mind. In the quest for originality, some sifting is required.
A great way to see if your idea can make you an online entrepreneur is to try to see if it has been implemented before.
2. Have a fool-proof plan in place
Developing a solid plan starts by scrutinizing your online startup as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
There are too many online startup ideas that would have been great initiatives, but failure to give them a good ‘foundation’ has led them to fizzle out.
Knowing why you want to launch a startup is the first step, then you can go about how you are going to launch your online startup.
We encourage a culture of constant introspection as it enables you to gain insight of what it takes to launch your startup, and if you do not know where to start, here are some questions can determine whether or not your startup idea has what it takes to be successful:
- Will my startup be relevant five, fifteen or even thirty years from now?
- Would I monetize my startup if I were the investor?
- Will my startup have the traction to grow its client base 5 percent a week?
If you can introspect and answer an honest ‘yes’, then that is a good place to start. If not, decide on actions that you can take that will approach the problems each of the three questions posed.
3. Invest in a mobile-first website or web application
Now is as important a time as ever to be generous with your budget as far as your start-up’s mobile or web application/website is concerned. Building a quick, cheap DIY website just won’t benefit your startup as much as a dynamic, responsive user interface (built with SEO algorithms in mind) might.
It is an investment as the quality correlates to the cost. We encourage you to seek out reputable industry professionals. Building and deploying your website can be done (as a last resort), although be sure that you implement measures that satisfy crawling bots.
Crawling bots are algorithms that are coded up to analyze websites in order to index them according to their prevalence and quality. Bots are the reason why you do not have to click through multiple sites trying to find content that can ‘answer’ your search inquiry. Bots sift out the spammy sites and bring you the most recent and valuable sites that include the keywords of your search.
Users might find themselves leaving a slow website that is trying to load over a slow internet connection, professional web developers are able to cater for slow internet speeds, they can also ensure that your webpage will resize to various screen sizes to ensure that every user has an attractive user interface.
4.Utilize a reputable payment processor or a wide variety of options
Have you ever been directed to a website off of your social media feed because you saw an item that you knew you had to purchase as it would enrich your life, only to find that once you have entered in all of your credit card information and delivery address and hit the “Confirm Payment” button, the page hangs and there has been an error on the server’s side?
Too much business has been lost to users that are genuinely interested in purchasing the product but are discouraged the minute they follow through to the checkout and find unsuitable payment options or an unfamiliar payment processor.
Here is where you do not choose the most affordable option, please choose a safe and trusted payment processor such as Stripe or any other reputable payment platform. Here is a list of noteworthy characteristics that any reputable payment processor should offer:
- Strong encryption
- Integration compatibility
- Speedy transactions
- Transaction reports
- Security features (fraud detection)
- Invoicing capabilities
5. Keep your target audience engaged
Creating content that is not only personalized but also interactive will generate user-interaction.
Build features that your target audience will use, and when deciding what content to generate, always remember to establish a connection between what your audience wants to hear and what your product or service is offering that can add value to their lives.
People do not care about your online startup, only how your startup’s product or service can enrich their lives.
Draw up a monthly calendar that features your online startup meeting all of its marketing goals, such as live streaming on Instagram on Thursdays, then an email campaign on Mondays, new promotions every fortnight and so on. Be consistent and precise with your content and you will see results.
Keep in mind that once a successful sale has been made, it is up to you, the business owner, to keep your customer coming back.
The user’s online experience will be what ultimately determines this (hence the need to reiterate why having your website coded up by professionals is so important), but you can also follow up with your customers and get their valuable feedback.
Be sure to make any interaction is personalized, “Dear valued customer” is way too general! Use their full name, give them a birthday discount or have a ‘lucky draw” that appeals to that individual’s purchasing history.
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This is a post by one of our VIP Contributors. For sponsored posts, collaborations and partnership requests on the blog, please send an email to the Editor at ideasplusbusiness[at]gmail[dot]com for pricing and terms. You can also follow IdeasPlusBusiness.com on Twitter here and like our page on Facebook here.