Running an online business can seem easy at first. After all, you don’t need to physically rent a shop, or build one. Almost everyone is on the internet nowadays so the market may seem like it’s there.
However, setting up an online business requires more than just the internet and a social media profile to reach them.
Online businesses can fail just like physical businesses. This is because nothing about the customer has changed, nor the market. The only bit that has changed from the traditional business is where the customer is located.
Here are five things you need to pay attention to before you embark on this journey:
What are you selling?
First of all, whatever you are selling needs to be what is needed. There is a reason why “selling ice to an Eskimo” is such a popular idiom for describing tough challenges. This is because you cannot sell something to people who don’t need it. Either because it does not meet their needs, or it’s available in plenty or they can get it for free anyway.
Who is your target audience
Just because you’ve come across a cheap deal going for a discounted rate in China doesn’t mean you should go ahead and order it, hoping you’ll get enough people to buy it and make a profit. We all remember the fidget spinner wave that swept the world for a few months sometime in the mid-2010s. A lot of eager online entrepreneurs jumped on this fad,which quickly ended and years later, some still have their unsold stock while servicing loans they didn’t profit from.
Your online brand
This does not mean that you need to be an influencer or have a lot of followers first before starting an online business. It actually works the other way around.In the words of Ray Liotta, “If you build it, they will come.” Customers judge an online business by the way it is represented online. From how attractive the product looks like in its description, to the photos taken and even reviews if you already have a running business. Keep improving these and the customers will come.
While spamming your close friends and family with links to your online page can be one way to start, it will not last you beyond the first week. You will need a small budget to run some advertisements for people to find your business.
Social media companies invest a lot of money to make it the enjoyable place that it is. However, for you to make money too, you will need to pay a fee depending on the amount of people you want to reach. Take the time to research on how to run these ads as there are a lot of free resources online. The good thing is, unlike traditional media platforms where you need a lot of money to start, with social media you can run an advert with as low as $5.
Remember when we mentioned earlier that you need to build a good online brand? Reviews help with this a lot. One way to get good reviews is to make sure that you leave your customers happy. Getting your products to your multiple customers in a timely manner and in good condition can be a tricky task if you are juggling multiple roles within your business. This increases the risk of your customers getting a bad experience.
Partnering with a fulfillment service like Sendy helps you focus on growing your business because it takes away the logistical nightmare of sending your goods to your customers. Here is how Sendy Fulfillment works.