Everyone in business both offline and online wants to know this: What must I do to succeed? Is there anything like guaranteed success in business?
Well the answer is not set in stone, but there are best practices to follow. In every system or endeavor, there are tested, tried and true patterns to follow that will greatly maximize the chance of success. Below, I have covered some of the critical elements to almost guarantee the success of your online business.
Why do Online and Offline Businesses Fail
Before we go into that, let me tell you a bit of my story that you may already know. Nevertheless, for the sake of this topic, I find it relevant to share it again.
I first ventured into the online business world at the age of 21. I saw it as my fastest ticket to create the wealth I needed to achieved the kind of freedom I wanted in life because ever since the age of 16, the 9am - 5pm lifestyle was a no, no to me.
I was in my second semester in college and my monthly allowance for food, charity (because I love giving a lot to friends and strangers in need and for church missionary work), some utilities bills and everything else was $200.
My house rent and school fees of course were not included in the $200.
Yet, every month I took out $60 - $80 to pay for online business books, courses and other tools and resources I needed to start and run my own online business. I was that determined to have financial freedom; freedom from "the system".
I told you my story to help you realize that even if the odd might currently seem to be against you; it is still possible to succeed. I also want to make the point that although lack of clients and money are usually cited as the major factor for offline and online businesses, it is not the root cause.
How to have a successful online business
Businesses and business owners who understand their business environment and market, and who take action to meet the current demand in the most relevant way, are the ones who remain aloft.
We use the internet almost every day. In fact you are using it now as you read this.
What are you doing? You are seeking information to help you find solutions or products and services that offer solution to you need.
What am I doing? I am providing the relevant information to help you solve the problems you may have. That is the reason why I am still in business.
Do you get it now? It is still business, whether offline or online. It is about meeting the needs of those who want it in the most effective way. That is part of the 8S principle code of becoming rich and powerful.
Hence, succeeding in business involves doing that. It also involves having a great marketing plan and a good financial budget. It involves delivering an excellent customer service and support; and following through to execute your business and personal plans.
Below I have expounded on ways to avoid the root and final cause of online business failure.
1. Your Plan, Habits and Attitude Affects your Online Business Success
After chatting with you for 5 minutes, most times I can tell if you will excel in a business or not.
How do I know? How can I tell, you may wonder?
This is the secret: when I converse with you, especially young people, I pay extreme attention to your character and attitude. Are you optimistic or pessimistic? I search through your words to discover if you are a lazy person or someone who can follow through on a plan.
“Successful business owners and entrepreneurs are optimistic people. They know it is possible 99.9% of the time and they find ways to make it happen.” – Frank Chisom
Plan your business before you start (but don’t get stuck there)
We hear PLAN>PLAN >PLAN over and over again yet when we finally decides to start our business, most of us act as if we don’t even know what it is . I know this because I also made the same mistake; thank God I learnt my lesson on time.
Plan your finances, how much do you have now? How much are you willing to invest into the development of your business and yourself? At that rate how long will your funds last. The answer to that last question is exactly how long you have to start earning regular income from your business (online or offline). If you don't, you will run out of cash and may be forced to close down.
How do you plan to reach your customers, who exactly are they, how fast will the business grow and in what direction, what solutions (ideas, products and services) will you be bring to the online marketing table, etc.
“The path of successful entrepreneurs is the path of consistent learning and personal development.” --- Frank Chisom
“The path of successful entrepreneurs is the path of consistent learning and personal development.”… Click To Tweet
Invest in books and courses in order to expand your knowledge of your niche, online business and entrepreneurship as a whole. The more you know, the faster you progressive and the higher your chances of survival.
Have the right expectation
You might have noticed, I do not try to paint the life of an entrepreneur as being all rosy and sunny days. That’s because it isn’t. I know you stand the greatest chance of survival if you come in with the right expectations. Get it straight, you will not get rich overnight and you will have to work hard; that’s business everywhere.
Set business and personal goals
What are your ambitions and dream. Where do you want to be in 3 months? What about your business, how much should it have grown in 1 year. Set ambitious but realistic goals for your financial and business growth.
Be Disciplined, Plan and Execute
Even if you get away with all that I mentioned above. You can’t escape this one, if you try, you will fail like all the 90% that fails in their first 3 months. You must be discipline to stick to your plans and to change them as circumstances change.
You must execute and make progressive, if you don’t, you will get runned over. I am not being harsh; just telling you the hard truth. This resource will help you in your planning stage.
If you want to succeed, you must plan for success. You must leave no room for failure. Go ahead and list in great detail what each step of your business entails, including the projected cost of completing each stage.
2. Your Online Business Success is greatly determined by your Message (content)
Make should you know what you want to say and that you are saying it the right way. You blog post, website articles, social media pages and profiles should all be in sync.
You content (all you publish online) is your main medium of communication with your audience, readers and buyers. If they can’t know you through your content, they will never know you and you have probably lost a potential client/buyer.
Have a solid content strategic, this way you are sure of what your audience are receiving from your brand.
A study by the Ruder Finn Intent Index (listed from most frequent reason) revealed that most people come online to educate self (96%), research (89%) and be kept informed (79%). So they expected (as if they are entitled to it) to find valuable information. Like they say, the customer is always right. Your goal is to sway them through the enormous value you offer to become buyers and followers.
The study above is gold for any online business owner. It reveals people’s needs, habits and desires. Map out your business to fulfill those needs, meet them where they are and you are set for life.
This is where customer targeting come in. Are you reaching the right people? If your audience think that your content is irrelevant (has nothing to do with them) even though you are sure that your message is accurate and clear, that means you are not reaching the right people.
When that happens, you will never make any sale, meaning; no clients, no buyer, no money: shut down is around the corner.
Engagement and Communication.
Below is a study by Forrester Research of US online users. Do you notice the rising number of people who interact on blogs and websites? Those are your potential clients and buyers. You can only keep them by engaging with them on your website through your posts and making their experience a pleasant one.
3. Website Design: First Impression Counts
Most online users judge the quality of a website by it design even when it has great content. It is true that people love great content but your website design will ensure that more of them keeps coming back for more of those great content you offer.
Online, how you present what you want to say is as important as what you say. --- Frank Chisom
Accessibility and usability.
What make for a marvelous users experience is accessibility and usability. How have you design your website navigations. Can readers easily find what they are looking for? Is your site chaotic and is it looking like an open market (overwhelming number of ads and other noise?
Balance the look as well; you should not go overboard, ultra-bright colors and blinking light and uncountable number of ads.
4. Targeted Traffic is Essential to Your Online Business Success
No business survives without customers. No business thrives with a constant and ever increasing flow of customers and brand popularity. Find the people who are interested in what you have to say and tell them. This should be a continual task.
Acquiring new client, customers and traffic; and maintaining the old customers is the lifeline of your online business. So how do you do it?
Use the Booked Method
Josh Turner in his recent book – BOOKED, reveal critical and tactical steps to take to build your brand reputation and constant traffic flow. He explained strategies he has used for the past 8 years to constantly have paying client and traffic for free.
Targeted audience through content
You can’t have a discussion about website traffic without content and SEO turning up. Although I do not advise new online business owner to depend on advanced SEO as their main source of traffic (unless you have a large budget for it), you still can’t neglect it.
SEO is a long term strategy so the earlier you start the better. However, advanced SEO is also expense, so my advice is to perform basic seo now and advance later. You do that by making your content valuable and relevant; paying attention the keywords you used; and minding your headlines and meta-tags. Start generating backlinks to you website as soon as possible.
Make a connection before they leave
This increase you return on investment (ROI) of acquiring new customers. By making a connection and getting them on your email list, you are sure you have not lost the customer forever. Create multiply opportunities and lead magnet to get as much of the traffic to your site onto your email list.
Bring them back
The point of getting them to your list is to continue to offer them valuable solutions, contents and to also the sell to them after they left your website. Most online business owners do not know how to treat their subscriber in order to keep them happy and to keep coming back. The exact principle you need have been explained here.
5. Increase your Conversion rate for more success in your online business
So you have a great plan, great content strategies, they are coming, and they even like your website design; will they buy? Not necessarily. People like spending but they do not want to feel guilty after spending. You next task is to make them feel good and even wise as they decide to buy from you. This is how you do that:
Design again (first impression)
Design your website in such a way that it increases your traffic conversion from reader and visitor to buyers and followers. Make it neat and ease to navigate, sleek and profession looking, place your products and sign up form as high up the page as possible.
Clear and Visible Call to Action
Your call to action button (buy now, sign up, read more) should be obvious, attractive and clear. Place them strategically in relevant places. Also do not give to many options; humans do not like making decision some do not confuse and burden them with too many options.
The Message on your sales page
Have you ever heard that no one care about what you are saying? They are always asking, what’s in it for me; so to sell more, tell them what they wants to heard without lying to them. Tell them how the product or service will benefit them, give them a reason to buy and always add a sense of urgency to your sale pages.
Find the right price balance
People are most reluctant to buy from you if it is their first time to do business with you. So it is vital that they feel as comfortable as possible. They are asking themselves if the product or service you are offering is worth the price. So find the right balance, sometime offering a trip wire (low priced product) first will increase your conversion. Find more on pricing from Veena Prashanth
Upsell as often as possible
They are already in the buying mood, their credit cards are already out, and the initial barrier has been broken; so why not sell more of your valuable, helpful and relevant solutions to them. All successful online business does it, amazon does it, and I do it, eBay and almost everyone else. The exact steps to upselling have been explained in here.
What have I said? This is it: if you want to guarantee the success of your online business, you have to paid critical attention to your planning stage, to your online content, to the first impression your business creates, to acquiring new customers and maintaining the old ones and to increasing your sales by increasing your conversion rate.
Just as I usually say, there is a principle to everything and if you apply the principles well you will see good results. Now it is your turn, I like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Do you agree with all I said, or just some parts? What will you do differently? What tweaks will you make to your online business to guarantee more success? Are there more tips you know or have used to increase your online business success?
Share them below; I am eager to hear your thoughts. Also use the button below to share the post on social media with your friends or stranger, however you want it.
Until next time, chaw!!! 🙂
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