Online business is the new pop trend both for those entrepreneurs who wish to earn passive income and those who intend to make this their main job. The many benefits of having an online business are quite appealing - after all, who doesn’t want to be able to work from home? Of course, these benefits can only be enjoyed if you are able to establish and maintain a strong online business which initially can be a bit challenging but we are here to help! 

  1. Know what the market needs

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a start-up business is to enter blindly into the market. Without doing proper research to find out what your market needs, you run the risk of not being able to compete with other established businesses who are selling the same products and services as you. Supply and demand is the bread and butter of any successful business. By conducting a simple survey to see what problems you can help solve, you are able to craft your business on a more solid foundation. Some key questions to answer are:

  1. Who is my target market?

  2. What do they need most?

  3. Who are my immediate competitors?

  4. What is my Unique Selling Point?

Once you have the information you need, you are ready to move on to creating your brand presence. 

2. Know how and where to find potential customers

You might think, ‘well it’s an online business so they’re online, duh!’ but it’s a bit more involved than that. By knowing who your market is you will know where you are most likely to find them and capture their attention to push them to your store. Any successful business will need to market themselves, especially in the early days. Most online business operators have turned to social media and digital marketing to help grow their business. This is because the cost of advertising on digital platforms is significantly lower than traditional media and allows for a wider reach. For instance, if you want to reach men and women between the ages of 25 and 30 who live in Kingston, Manchester and St. James, rather than run an add in the newspaper, you can simply run an online ad that links to your website. You can immediately see how many clicks that link received from just that ad and this will help to inform you on how to run future ads. You can also look into promoting your business with CoolMarket.

3. Set up a proper website

It goes without saying that your online business needs a website or landing page. The first step is to secure your domain name. Now this domain name should be related to your business to make it easier for customers to find and remember. For instance, a site that is called would be expected to sell coffee cups and not candle holders. 

There are a few platforms such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly which offer templates that you can customize or simply make a site from scratch. You also have the option to create an e-store instead of a website which usually is a much easier system to manage and can be a cost-effective solution. Whichever option you choose, ensure your site has secure payment methods and a variety of options. Consumers are now even more vigilant about sharing their credit card information online so check to make sure your site covers all the bases. Here are a few ways online shoppers are looking to be more secure to give you an idea of what your online business needs to do. 

4. Maintain great customer service

Customer reviews and testimonials can make or break your business. You want to ensure that your customers' needs are met, that they are responded to promptly and politely and that your products or services deliver on the promises made. Whether you manage your site alone or with the assistance of a team, put together a list of frequently asked questions and responses to ensure consistency in how you communicate with customers. Never be afraid to apologize for any mistakes on your part and do what you can to make up for them. Remember - a business doesn’t fail because of a bad experience, it fails when this experience is not properly managed. 

So, do you feel better equipped to go out and start your business? Leave a comment below!