Strategies for doing business online.
These days, having an effective online presence can make or break your business. Even if you have a traditional brick-and-mortar location, setting up shop online will give you access to a larger customer pool, provide a cost-effective avenue for information sharing, and dramatically open up your opportunities for marketing.
More and more entrepreneurs are skipping brick and mortar altogether and are exclusively doing business online. For small business owners who are used to working behind a storefront or in an office, making the switch or expanding into the online arena can be challenging, confusing, and overwhelming.
The benefits of doing business online are undeniable. A website costs far less than a shop or office. You can communicate with hundreds, thousands, even millions of web users at a fraction of the cost of doing a television commercial or major ad spread. And you can sell your products or services across the globe, removing geographical limitations entirely.
How you handle the details of doing business online will depend on your industry, target customer demographics, and professional goals, mission, and philosophy. You might sell products using an automated online store or you might sell a service to a small, select group of clients. You may use your online presence strictly for marketing but keep transactions offline. You might even offer free products and services, like a blog or informative newsletter, as a strategy to entice customers. Read more
Grow revenue with multiple income streams.
Most small business have established an online presence. They have a website and are running ad campaigns and using marketing strategies to draw targeted traffic to their sites. But some small businesses are missing online opportunities for diversifying their income streams because their efforts to draw traffic are too targeted or their offerings are too limited.
Think Outside the Box and Beyond the Zip Code
Take, for example, a small nursery with a simple website that provides their location, hours of operation, and listings of plants and flowers that are in season. The only customers they’re targeting are people who live within a reasonable driving distance and who are interested in gardening or landscaping. They have an online presence but are not doing business online — yet. Read more
Doing business online with transparency.
One of the benefits of doing business online is that you have a platform from which you can communicate openly with the world at large.
You can engage customers, relay information about your industry, and broadcast details about your business.
You can also practice transparency. Merriam-Webster defines transparent as follows:
2 a: free from pretense or deceit; frank b: easily detected or seen through : obvious c: readily understood d: characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.
Let’s examine these definitions and see how they can be applied to doing business online. Read more
Niche marketing and doing business online.
Today’s businesses are learning to harness the power of niche marketing, and many modern small businesses are being built entirely around niches.
This smart strategy puts small businesses in a position to target a smaller and more well-defined pool of customers.
Niches are effective for business models in the brick and mortar world, but they’re even more effective when you’re doing business online. Read more
An introduction to doing business online.
Many of my clients do business offline. And by offline, I mean they do all their business in the three-dimensional world that exists far from the computer and way beyond the Internet.
Some of them are new business owners who are just starting out and want to make sure they establish an effective online presence. Others have been in business for years and are finally ready to harness the Internet to expand their customer reach and product or service offerings. Many want nothing more than to update their website with current information, a fresh design, and compelling copy. A few would prefer to keep it entirely offline, but they know better. Read more