Running an online business can be extremely profitable, but also challenging. There are a lot of things to consider, including what type of business to run, your marketing strategy, and how to acquire customers or clients. If you start your business without a plan of attack, you will surely fail. Furthermore, if you focus on the wrong things at the onset, you could end up behind before you even really get started, and could even be put out of business later on.
There are three primary considerations that will greatly improve your chances of a successful online business. They may seem obvious at first glance, which is exactly why most failed entrepreneurs initially skip them. Instead, they opt to focus on crafting a business plan, creating a logo, and building their website.
However, answer the following questions and you will have the solid foundation needed to build your entire online business:
1. What is the problem you are attempting to solve?
A volume data extraction company like ecrawl.com, recommends you imagine the problem as an illness spreading across the globe that is affecting your target customers every day. What is that illness and how does it impact them? Does it prevent them from shopping online? Does it impact them offline as well?
Ensure you are not wasting your time on problems that are not affecting your customer. This problem should be an itch they can’t scratch, or an extreme inconvenience they would like to alleviate but can’t do so in stores or physical offices.
2. Who is your customer?
In order to solve the problem, you are going to need to understand who your ideal customer is, how they think, and where they hang out online. e-commerce is unique because you have the ability to reach nearly anyone on the planet, but being more specific about your target audience allows you to speak more clearly in your marketing vs. casting a wide net. It will also save you a ton of time and money down the road.
Entrepreneurs with smaller budgets may want to create surveys and utilize Google for customer research, while those with larger budgets or more complex needs may need to consider analytics services to help with their customer research strategy. Aspiring business owners can use analytics data from various online sources to understand (and market to) their customers better. Definitely begin with a small operation, but consider analytics as your online company expands and customer preferences change.
3. How will you reach your customers?
Leveraging various online platforms is one of the biggest benefits of an online business, but you have to know which channels to operate in. Choosing your platforms really depends on the customer you are targeting as well as the solution you are providing.
For example, social media channels like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube are ideal for businesses that feature demos and live video of their products and services. On the other hand, selling physical and digital products is best on retail storefronts like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Of course, you can always market directly to your customer on your own website. Utilizing one or more channels is a winning strategy, but the key is to begin with one main channel, and scale to other platforms as revenue comes in. Otherwise, you risk spreading your business too thin and not making an impact in any of those channels.
Running an online business can be daunting, but also simple; it all comes down to the strategy you use. If you understand the customer and the problems they are facing, as well as how to reach and sell to them, you will have a thriving digital business in no time.