Starting an online business is not as easy as it seems. If you are a new entrepreneur, you need to LISTEN to these 8 great tips: Online Business Advice For All Entrepreneur. It will definitely help you build up your confidence in building a success online business empire.
#Tips 1: Value proposition
As the marketplace is getting more crowded online, it is wiser to differentiate yourself by offering value to your customer. Think about the “Pain” your customer may be suffering from which you can focus on providing a solution that can help solve their pain. The more painful you can help solve for them would mean a higher value proposition and this would allow you to have a greater advantage in differentiating yourself in the marketplace.
Your value proposition can be design, brand, performance, customization, job speed, accessibility, convenience, usability, experience, price etc.
It can be a bundle of product or and service that you provide to each customer segment. It doesn’t matter at all… all that matter is to provide an overall solution or experience that you would be able to satisfy your customer needs; solving their pain.
Therefore, it is extremely important to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Otherwise, you will end up just like any other businesses offering the same thing and you will find yourself competing with them; struggling in the red ocean. Thus, stay away from the red ocean and swim in the blue ocean instead.
For instance, many women who started their online business selling clothing end up selling the same varieties of clothing as any other people.
Why not differentiate yourself from the marketplace by selling customized clothing or just dresses for your niche. This way, it would also help your customer to quickly identify and remember your business by your unique value proposition when they have a need in future.
#Tips 2: Customer
After finding out your value proposition, you should be able to clearly identify who is your ideal customer. By recognizing their demographics, characteristic and behaviour would help you as a marketer to better communicate with them, set your price point and market for your product or services.
So what are the characteristics that will affect your ideal customer behaviour?
Social factors such as working status, family roles, social class (Higher professional, managerial, skilled or unskilled labours),
Personal factors such as age, marital status, occupation, personality or lifestyle which can be classified as Innovator, thinkers, achievers, experiences, survivors.
Psychological factors such as what drives them to buy, their perception, learning, beliefs, attitudes, goals, desires…
#Tips 3: The Markets
The benefit of starting an online business is that you can sell to your ideal customer in any country. Thus, the goal to breakdown these markets to different market segment; into group of customer is so that you can tailor a suitable marketing program for each market.
The reason is because different market segment will react and response differently to your marketing program and you want to tailor a suitable marketing program for them.
The most common criteria that you can segment a market when doing your business online are by demographic segmentation, country segmentation or behaviour-based segmentation. So before you advertise anything on Goggle or Facebook, it is wiser have a different tailored set of marketing strategy/program that are suitable for the group of customer so you will achieve higher ROI.
Basically, you want to decide how you want to position your product/service in the end mind of your ideal customer.
#Tips 4: The Finance
The goal of starting an online business is to make money but the idea behind it will require some capital set up. So do you have sufficient capital to start the business because most of the new business only gets to recover back their capital after 1-2 years of running the business?
And are you financially illiterate because 30% of new business failed as they did not watch over their finance, otherwise you may want to learn and know your numbers well if your business involved a huge capital set up.
As a green entrepreneur, I understand that majority of you may feel that you are probably not ready to folk out that capital because you are not confidence enough. The lack of confidence is because of the lack of all kinds of business, marketing or finance knowledge. Don’t make the hurdle stop you. Business and other skills are learnable. You can learn how to start your online business while holding a full time job. Nothing is impossible.
#Tips 5: The People
Starting an online business seems easy but the thing is that, similar as brick and mortar business, you will realised that there are actually many business functions to manage. When you first started in your entrepreneurship, you probably will end up managing all aspect of a business function from finance, marketing, web designing to customer service and more. Eventually it left you exhausted and less time doing what you enjoy most.
Your job to start a business is not to do one particular task: What you love. Your job as an entrepreneur is to run a business, you are accountable of running a successful business. So before you take charge in a business function, ask yourself if you have the knowledge and skills to do it. Otherwise, free you time up, hire someone who is more competence than you to do the job for you, they may do the job fastest and better than you.
If the skills or knowledge can be hired virtually, such as website design try hiring someone from fiverr or 99design. Conversely, if you need a physical presence staff to work for you in the office, you can try to recruit people from Facebook group or LinkedIn!
Yes, I know for a new entrepreneur like you will try to avoid approaching the hiring agency since it will pose a higher expense unless you really have the funds.
If you have a big team, you would also need to look after your team well. A team leader spirit is required to keep your team inspire and motivated to works towards your business goal. Thus, never neglect managing your people.
Basically, if you want to achieve the 4 hour work week, you would need to consider the power of leveraging… Leveraging on people’s time or technology to work for you.
#Tips 6: Technology
Leveraging on the technology is the greatest advantage for an entrepreneur to probably achieve the 4 hour work week.
For an online business to operate, you would need to know what are the right and suitable technology that you can acquire to keep your online business operate. Hence, it is important to follow closely to the technologies revolution changes because you never know… one day, you might need to consider alternative technology platform when you found out that your current technology is not doing good.
Check out the list of Tools & Resources that may help you leverage on.
#Tips 7: Process and System
It is said that if you want to succeed, always follow a proven system. Never create a new one if you are a green entrepreneur.
So what is the process and system of a success online business?
Well, I would said that once you have created a website, you would need to quickly build a list; a subscriber email list before allowing yourself to get in touch and communicate with your potential customer; also known as leads. And all you need is an email auto responder system to do the job. The chances of your customer buying from you will increase only after you build a relationship with them through email (It takes time to build the trust).
Depending on the call to action (CTA); the action you want your customer to take after reading your email, you would need to create an effective CTA process.
For instance, you want to choose a squeeze page rather than a landing page to direct your customer to download your free E-book because you want them to land on a page with clutter free information. The purpose is to collect their email address and their purpose is to download your free e-books. Nothing else…
Another example for a CTA process which need more structure design is the landing page. For instance, you want to choose a landing page for your long sales speech when you send them an email to promote on your new book price at $27. The only thing they can click on the landing page is the “Buy now” button. Once they click on the “Buy now” button, you want to bring them to another page to fill up their credit card particular and once they made the payment, you will bring them to final page to download your book.
This step by step buying process is to direct and guide your customer to understand your offer first before telling them how they can purchase the offer from you and untimely how they can download the offer.
The thing is when you decide to sell the new book price at $27, you will get a portion of customer buying the book and the other portion who are just not keen or ready to purchase yet.
In this case, it is important for you to separate them in your communication list in the system.
For instance, it will look like this.
Customer who had purchase the book: You further communicate with them through email and upsell a $99 program to them. Once they click on the link you provide in the email, they will be directed to a landing page and listen to your long sales speech and so on…
Customer who has not purchase the book: Once they exit from the $27 book landing page, this is when you can use your email responder to further communicate with them, persuading them to buy the $27 book which you really think would benefit them.
I hope you have a better idea of the important of the process and system. The overall process the customer experience will differs depending on the action they took. Therefore, it is critical for you to have a well structure communication process so you can use the system effectively to achieve higher CTA.
Remember a different powerful copy is needed to communicate with different customer’s end mind when you use different communication process.
#Tips 8: The Sales and Marketing Funnel
You probably have seen articles written on sales funnel but not many on marketing funnel yet. Regardless of what you have learnt, it is crucial to understand that sales and marketing must come together in order to bring out the best results.
Most of the time, when you decide to set up your own online business, it would mean that you can eliminate some of the sales process task, which mean you no longer need to have a physical sale representatives to help you identify potential customer, to educate and sell to them.
Since the sales task can be taken away physically, it does not really mean so when you set up your online business. Thus, it is essential to set up a sales and marketing funnel process; like a flow chart technique that allows you to see the steps and strategy required at each stages to sell your products or services to your customer.
A sales funnel should reveal how many prospects you have in each stage of your sales cycle, and also detail your conversion rates for each stage. Along with marketing funnel, it helps track how your leads or purchasers move through at each stage to eventually make a buying decision.
If you have a sales and marketing team, I would encourage you to plan and map out the sales and marketing funnel with the two teams. Because very often, there is bound to have mistrust and miscommunication between the two teams which can affect your company’s overall growth.
The discussion between the two teams is crucial too because sales people can point out the traffic roadblock at each different stages they believe the customer would encounter. Next, the marketing team would be the better advisor to implement or improve the overall sales and marketing funnel process.
Let me help you picture out how a typical information product sales and marketing funnel looks like.
Hook them up with FREE bait such as free E-books. Focus on popular blog post, social media marketing to make them subscribe to your mailing list.
Website: Subscribe now button at top right hand corner homepage, Subscribe pop out at popular post or use squeeze page to capture email addresses.
Build relationship and interest by introduce yourself to bring yourself closer to your prospect, enlighten them how you or your offer can help them through a sequence of email auto responder.
Website: About us, Why us, Our story, Testimonials, Introduce yourself in the first email.
Build a stronger relationship by educating your prospect to uncover their needs and to recommend suitable product/services by a proper guide that they can follow or through a frequent blog post updates.
Website: Start here, Blog, Tools and resources.
Prospecting: Identify the right fit of leads to your core products/service. This can be done by holding a webinar or bring them to the full length sales page.
Your subscriber: Email your prospect to announce on the webinar or any future product/service they might be interested in. If they are keen, they will read your offer or watch the webinar, this is how you identify who are your prospect.
Consideration & Evaluation:
Close the gap by convincing and assuring them such as minimizing the risk they think they might have, emphasize the advantage they will get.
Webinar or Salespage: Walk your prospect down the buying process from problem recognition, need recognition to consideration & evaluation.
Make them act now, give them a sense of urgency such as providing them exclusive bonus if they make the purchase today or how many seats are left.
Webinar or Salespage: Time clock sales ending, showing how many people had made the purchase.
Okay, there’s actually more things to share with you but I don’t want to get too technical with you too early because you probably just started on your online business empire. It’s still a long way to go and there’s other more things you should be doing and worried of first.
The reason why I am covering these fundamental parts is so that you know the concepts and important of the online business development process. It’s like putting all the bits and pieces of the puzzles together to help you see the BIG picture of the whole online business development process because they are closely related. One missing puzzle could cause hazards to your overall business health.
So at some point if you realised you are not achieving the desired level of your business goals, I hope these tips would be of a great help to you to identify which are the area you need to focus on to do some tweak work.