If you are running an online business, chances are that you are jumping from one urgent job to the next, and have little or no time to focus on your strategy. The fact is that you will need to work more on your business than in your business, and some of the processes in your online venture can either be automated or outsourced, so you can focus on the big picture and deal with things that will take your business to the next level.
You will need to create the right infrastructure for your business, so you don’t have to complete things manually. If you have an eCommerce store, you will need the right plugins to take care of orders, secure your customers’ data, and ensure that you are able to deliver your promises and have the stock in. The good news is that these software solutions are not expensive, and they can easily be integrated into any major payment processing system.
Your marketing is essential if you would like to grow your online business. No matter if you are an affiliate or are selling your own unique items online, you will need to be present on every channel possible. Creating social proof and branding your store on the internet can be an effective way of making the most out of your business and saving time. You could use a company or a software to schedule your posts up to a month ahead and create consistent messages.
Get a Sales Funnel Built
If you don’t want to market your company every day for hours, you can automate the follow up process and build a sales funnel or get someone to build it for you. Finding a full service sales funnel agency is not hard; you just have to google companies and search by location and expertise. Clutch.co is a great source of quality companies reviewed by real users. Once you have an advanced marketing funnel, you will not have to worry about turning your leads into clients and cold calling.
Image via Pixnio
It might also be a good idea to focus better on the task ahead, so you can improve your productivity. There are plenty of distractions you can eliminate if you are smart and want to finish early or get more done in less time. For example, you could get a ringless voicemail installed, so you don’t have to worry about sales calls when working on your next promotion, writing a proposal, or a report.
One of the main issues most people in the online sales world face is that they have to build their credibility up. If people don’t see your brand enough, they will not trust you with their money. You have to remember that people buy from those they know. Like, and trust. You can create behind the scenes videos or posts, and use customer testimonials to build your credibility. Branding and marketing should go hand in hand when it comes to promoting an online business.
There will be a few tasks you should outsource, such as your accounting, admin, and report generation. Before you decide which hats to drop, you will have to ask yourself whether or not doing the job yourself is the best use of your time as a business owner. If this is not the case, you might as well find a virtual assistant or a freelancer who will take care of all the tasks you simply cannot be bothered to do. Outsourcing will increase your productivity and free up your time.
Managing your finances might be challenging, if you don’t have any previous experience. However, there are plenty of people who can provide this service to you, so you can see clearly where your business is going. Clarity is power in the business world, and it is crucial that you are having a birds’ eye view of the system, so you can spot the problems before they escalate and cause you stress.
Image via Needpix.com
No matter where you are getting your website hosted, you will need to ensure that you are setting efficiency targets. User experience is one of the main ranking factors of websites, and you will need to take into consideration your feedback scores, as well as Google’s suggestions. The faster your site loads and works, the higher it will rank in the search engines, and the better you can serve your new and existing customers online. Test every function on your site, and set efficiency and speed targets and benchmarks.
If you decide to work with a content manager, a web designer, or graphic designer, you will need to save time and resources. Set clear guidelines and goals and set up a shared cloud account where you can exchange views, monitor and manage projects, and even hold meetings. You might have been told that you will have full freedom if you start an online business, but managing your workload will become more challenging as your order volumes grow. To keep on top of the tasks, take advantage of cloud collaboration tools.
You don’t want to wait for days or weeks to get paid through your payment processing system. This would be bad for your cash flow. You can automate payments, set up subscription packages, and ensure that you are getting your money as soon as possible. You can sign up for a system that works with different currencies and automatically handles your commissions and your exchange rates, so you don’t have to spend time crunching numbers and chasing payments. Use a secure system and consider a member registration page, so your customers can manage and track their owners, reducing your customer service workflow.
Running an online business is not different from running an offline one. You will need the right systems and infrastructure in place, so you can serve your customers to the best of your abilities. Improve your productivity and efficiency, and you can retain clients.