Starting an online business requires you to be extremely smart because 9 out of 10 startups fail and just 10 percent are lucky to enjoy the sweet taste of success. But there are essentials your online startup needs to follow. There are certain things that most of the startups fail to recognize. They either follow a wrong approach or don’t do the things in the proposed manner.
I have listed 7 important essentials that every startup needs to follow in order to increase their chances of success.
1- Build The Right Product
Your product is the fulcrum around which your entire business rests. Hence, it is extremely crucial to build the right product.
Follow the below essentials to get started:
- Understand your users and make sure that your product solves the problems of the customers.
- Conduct a research and validate whether the proposed solutions actually solves the problem.
- List down your USP after analyzing the product features offered by your competitors.
- Launch your products in different versions and A/B test each version separately.
- Get appropriate feedback from your audience with each iteration.
- Try and improve your product with every new version and continue the process.
2- Design a Great Website
The success of your online business depends largely on your website.
You must pay very careful attention to it. Share your understanding. Follow the below steps to design the perfect website:
- Create a design plan and list down the features you need in your website. Think about your audience and make sure your list is user friendly.
- The next step is to choose a platform to design your website. Here are some great website builders to get started.
- Decide on the layout and menu navigation.
- Choose a color template and fonts.
- Add content and images and start testing your website.
- Create AMP pages for mobile users.
- Check the performance of your website on Search Console, Google Page Speed Insights, Google Analytics and fix problems if any.
3- Get Appropriate Funding
It is always good to have extra money in your hand so that you can utilize the funds as and when needed. Online startup will surely need time to succeed and an appropriate amount of money is needed to get the dice rolling.
Here are some great ways to continue generating regular funds for your startup:
- You can continue to bootstrap your business until it becomes profitable. Taking the help of your family and friends can prove to be extremely beneficial in this regard.
- Crowdfund your startup using platforms like Kickstarter.
- You can take the help of venture capitalists or angel investors. Platforms like co allows you to network with angel investors with just one application.
- You can also look for partners who are willing to invest in your business in return for shares.
4- Build a Financial Plan and Project Your Revenues
Financial projections are really important when you are starting out your business but achieving accuracy is crucial.
Always list your expenses first.
Each and every expense should be listed including fixed and variable costs. Forecast your revenues considering both conservative assumptions and aggressive assumptions. Decide on the gross margin, operating profit margin and total headcount per client.
5- Market Your Business Smartly
As a startup, you will always face the problem of budget.
You can’t spend lavishly because you need to be certain about the returns before you think about investing. This is where smart business marketing becomes essential. Here are some powerful ways to market your business smartly:
- Search engine optimization is far the best technique to generate organic publicity for your business.
- Email marketing is not dead. It is infact one of the best ways to generate leads. You can take the help of semantic email marketing to invoke user actions.
- Socialize on social media platforms especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Running an advertisement campaign on relevant social media sites where your niche audiences are present can be a great method of generating publicity and leads in a low budget.
- Chatbots are one of the newest ways to boost your lead generating efforts. You can add chatbots in your site and allow users to interact with them so that they are able to move deeper into the sales funnel.
- You can also take the help of text message marketing in order to reach your prospects easily. Mobile devices are present in the hands of your customers 24×7 so there is no better way to reach your prospects other than text message marketing.
- Create useful content and promote them across your entire social network. Content marketing still remains one of the most ROI friendly ways of generating branding and conversions.
- Don’t forget offline marketing because you need to make sure your business is seen everywhere. It is wise to invest in billboard marketing, pamphlets, newspaper ads, seminar marketing etc.
6- Build a Great Team
You need to great team to effectively manage your tasks. Your company can grow bigger only if you have an efficient team.
Here are some tips to build a strong team:
- Focus on roles and assign the right responsibilities to the right person.
- Adopt a tough selection process that automatically filter out inefficient or inappropriate people.
- Value the role of each and everyone in your company.
- Follow a smart company policy that consists of both rewards and punishments.
- Improve your team communication using apps like Slack because this will help to streamline your entire workflow.
- Always assign targets and follow up with your team regularly.
- Meetings with a reason. Focus on solving problems rather than discussing them.
7- Offer Exceptional Customer Support
Customer support is extremely important to the success of your business.
It is not about talking politely with your customers but rather it consists of an entire process that makes the task of interaction smoother. A set of policies must be followed by your employees whenever they interact with the customer. Here are some steps that you need to follow in order to provide an exceptional customer service:
- Develop and implement customer service policies that caters to each and every aspect of customer experience.
- Hire the right people in your customer support team and train them thoroughly.
- Survey your customers regularly and implement the revisions in your policies based on the survey results.
- Try and solve the problems of your customers immediately because people tend to share their complains directly on social media and being lazy can prove costly to your brand’s reputation.
Managing a startup is not easy and you need to follow the right practice from the very beginning. The above listed essentials can prove to be extremely beneficial to convert your business from a startup to a brand. Always remember, your customer should be your main priority and you must make every effort to solve their problems and keep them happy.
Richard Parker is senior writer at https://www.equities.com/user/Richard & https://www.theselfemployed.com/profile/richardparker/ . He covers industry-specific topics such as Entrepreneurship, Data/Security, Startups, Industrial, Growth Equity Community, Smart Cities, Connected Devices & Smart Homes.