Starting your own business requires a lot of planning, research and investigation. There are many things you need to consider and arrange before launch, such as devising a clear business plan, refining your product and registering the business. When it comes to starting your own online business, most of the same steps apply, yet added to those is also a string of other boxes to tick.
Starting your own business requires a lot of planning, research and investigation. There are many things you need to consider and arrange before launch, such as devising a clear business plan, refining your product and registering the business. When it comes to starting your own online business, most of the same steps apply, yet added to those is also a string of other boxes to tick. Because the Internet is so vast, it offers a variety of different opportunities for aspiring online business entrepreneurs, but it also brings with it a whole new space to navigate through. Read on to find out the essential tools you’ll need to get your e-commerce site up and running.
First thing’s first: arranging a suitable web host. Since it’s the web host that will form the technical backbone of your site, it’s important that it’s of a high standard. Whilst there are many free web hosting options available out there, you’d be better off looking into enlisting the services of a professional web hosting company because in this way, you secure a dedicated space in which your venture can exist through a virtual private server (VPS). Going this route almost always ensures you’ll get a high quality, sleek-looking site and you’ll avoid having to share any resources, as is often the case when using a free option.
Helpful hint: Before even looking for a web host, be sure to secure a domain name for your business. It should be concise – make it something easy to remember and fast to type (for example, avoid using hyphens).
Content management platform
Once you have your chosen web host, you’ll want to consider where the content you create will live. Having a platform that is easy to use and versatile is key, so you may want to go with something like Sage Online Tools. From the market leaders in business management software, Sage Pastel comes a platform that allows you to build an entire site, Also, because it’s fully customisable, business owners are able to mould their site into whatever they want. However, if you have specific needs or a particular vision in mind, then you may want to consider hiring a professional developer who you can work alongside as they build the site for you.
Simple check-out system
Especially if as a small business, your main source of revenue comes from selling products online, a simple, quick check-out system is a must. Part of creating the best possible user experience (UX) for customers is ensuring that once they’ve found what they were looking for and added items to their shopping cart, they can easily pay and then leave the site. The last thing you want as a business is to make it complicated for your customers to get what they need. Offering a wide variety of payment options will also help make the check-out process as smooth as possible.
Social media presence
Since your business lives online, it only makes sense to utilise it as much as possible. As it is, most successful businesses make sure they use social media to their full potential as it is one of the most effective marketing tools. Establishing a solid social media presence is an important part of your online business model, as it will allow you to connect and interact with current and potential customers or clients, thereby marketing your business and ensuring your customer service is of a high standard. It can be used to build your community, as well as a social listening tool that can help you make changes to your online business so as to deliver maximum customer satisfaction.
Newsletter and mailing list
Consider putting together a mailing list and weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter for those on the list. You can get visitors to sign up on your site to receive the newsletter and in so doing, provide you with an excellent opportunity to form a strong connection with your customer base. Having a mailing list will allow you to contact customers en masse and inform them of any deals or promotions, whilst also sharing any information from which you feel they may benefit.
Once your online business gets off the ground, why not consider another online tool such as Sage One to assist with all your financial business needs? Easily one of the most efficient systems available, having Sage One on your side will help you take your online business to greater heights.
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