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As a small business owner, creating an online storefront can be challenging and a rather daunting task. Taking your business online gives you a tremendous opportunity to showcase your products and services to anyone across the world with an internet connection. Starting and growing your online business is definitely easier said than done, however with an impressive product and the right marketing strategy can have you earning a decent living.

The first step to have a successful online business is figuring out a profitable niche, that you can see a million people being interested in. Focus on ‘what people need’ before ‘what you have to offer’. Let’s assume, you make jewellery – but so do plenty of other sellers on the market. What sets you apart defined how well your business will do online. Make sure you either have a very specific, truly original idea or have a better alternative to what is already available out there.

If you’re looking to set shop online, here are a few quick tips on getting started:

  1. Setting up the website:
    Once you’ve decided upon the products you will be listing and the market you intend to target, create a well-designed and user-friendly website of your own. You can either opt for professional services from an experienced web developer or simply get handy with WordPress yourself. With powerful features and customizable designs, a WordPress website is SEO optimized, responsive on mobiles, and delivers a high-performance experience. Speed up WordPress even more, by using over 45,000 plugins that allow you to add analytics, mailing lists, forums, galleries and much more to your online storefront.
  2. Write persuasive copy that sells:
    Attract potential buyers with a compelling welcome message, describe the problem you’re solving, establish credibility as a service provider, add testimonials from past buyers, and create product descriptions that show how you can provide value to the customers. It’s a no-brainer Focus on brevity, and clarity to make your point across, by sticking to the facts and including a call-to-action that creates a sense of urgency. Efficiently and accurately isolate your target audience’s problem to draw a buyer’s persona, to inspire action and attract attention.
  3. Leverage email marketing to convert visitors into buyers:
    Create an opt-in list, where potential customers can give you permission to send them an occasional email about the products and services you have to offer, that might interest them. Cheaper and more targeted than radio, print or TV, email marketing helps you develop lifetime relationships with your customers, by providing them with something they voluntarily signed up for. With a 100 percent measurable response rate, sending emails is an effective and cost-efficient way of reaching out to new and existing buyers.
  4. Use search engine optimization to drive traffic:
    As a vital marketing tactic, search engine optimization (SEO) helps you rank higher in organic Google results, against frequently searched keywords that are relevant to your business. Use Google Keyword Planner to discover the highest-converting keywords for your business, and distribute them throughout your website copy and code. If you’re targeting a niche market, then use long-tail keywords in your landing page title tags and meta description.
This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.