Starting and growing an online business is a challenging task. The online world is constantly changing and if companies don’t adapt, they struggle to reach success. Learn six strategies people can employ to grow their business to new heights.
Growing an Online Business
The first thing to understand is there are different online businesses and the strategies to scale them can all differ. In addition, while this is not an easy path to walk, for those who see it through, it is a life-altering and rewarding one.
That said, growing a company takes hard work and requires a positive mindset. Here are six steps to scale an online business.
1. Research Your Market and Customer
When first starting, you will need to select your business idea and the niche you want. When choosing a niche, it is better to specialize than trying to help everyone. In other words, make the service or product you want to sell as specific as possible.
This will help you clearly define the market you wish to target. The next step is to learn more about the industry you are entering. The best way to grow your business is to know your market and target audience.
This will help you make decisions that will scale your company. You will need to know where most of your customer spends their time. If many of your clients are frequently on YouTube, you will have little success growing your business if you target Facebook.
In other words, if you keep advertising Facebook ads but your audience is mainly on YouTube, your business will see little growth. The best thing to do here is to perform research. Many people prefer to do this on forums and social media sites.
2. Prioritize the Customer’s Experience
One essential factor in growing an online business is prioritizing the customer’s experience. This means ensuring your website is well-designed. Your site will need to load fast and work properly on mobile devices, as well as other factors.
Think of it this way, how many times have you clicked on a product you liked but closed the browser tab because the website took too long to load? Or, when the page opened, it did not work properly on your smartphone.
All of these factors are important and if you wish to grow your company, consider looking at ways you can address them. Many online tools can help with this, such as PageSpeed Insight.
In addition, when clients land on your website, they should easily find what they are looking for. If they have difficulty navigating around, your online business will struggle to make conversions.
This is why the customer experience is so essential. According to a study with 6,000 different individuals, 76% of them expected a company to understand their needs without them needing to explain it. Ensuring customers have a positive encounter with your business every step of the way will help you effectively grow your company.
3. Choose Your Marketing Channels
The next step is to choose the marketing channels for your online business. Many people think clients will randomly start to show up as soon as they have built their website. Unfortunately, this is not a case of build it and they will come.
When first starting, it is better to pick only two or three marketing avenues rather than targeting all of them. The reason for this is money is limited in the beginning and if you apply your focus to the wrong areas, those resources can drain quickly. There are many different marketing channels available and the best one will depend on your business.
Here are a few popular choices:
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
One golden rule to remember is that what works for one company might not work for another. As mentioned, choose the channel where your target customer spends most of their time.
For example, if your research has shown your audience is frequently on Instagram, then that is the route you should primarily focus on. For most businesses, it makes sense to invest in SEO, content marketing and video ads.
Both video and content marketing helps to build your brand. This is especially important because it shows customers why they should trust you and what differentiates your online business from competitors. On the other hand, SEO allows your company to show up when people search for products or services you offer.
When it comes to marketing, it is vital to consistently manage and adapt your campaigns. You should constantly look for ways to fine-tune what is working and eliminate what is not. With a holistic approach, you can effectively grow your organization to immense success.
4. Create and Build Partnerships
Building relationships and strong partnerships with other companies is a great way to grow your business. It could open you up to linking opportunities which help your website rank higher in search results. For you to find partnerships, both parties involved should get benefits out of the arrangement.
Also, they should share the same audience as you but not be a direct competitor. For example, you could agree to market their products on your blogs and get a percentage of the profit from the clients you sent them — affiliate marketing. One of the best ways to do this is to email the company explaining how a partnership can provide value to both of you.
5. Automate Your Online Business
Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of thinking they can do everything in their business. While this could work initially, it is not a sound strategy if your objective is to grow your company. The best thing to do is to look at areas in your online business you can automate.
For example, this could include setting automatic billing for clients, using automated email campaigns or utilizing a social media tool for scheduling your posts. Which parts to automate can differ from company to company. It is recommended to do adequate research to determine which areas will benefit the most.
6. Grow and Adapt as Needed
The last step is all about managing and adapting. Look at what areas in your business are working and how you can improve them. Also, eliminate procedures that are not providing you with any value.
For example, spending a lot of money on pay-per-click campaigns, but they result in little to no conversions, is a sign to pursue different avenues. Don’t be afraid to experiment and embrace new technologies.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail because they don’t adapt to their ever-changing environment. At this stage, your main objective is to continue seeking ways to make company operations run smoother and enhance the customer’s journey. With a growth mindset, you can effectively scale your online business.
Scaling Your Online Business to New Heights
While starting and growing a company is daunting, it is well worth the effort. One of the most important things to remember is there is no predefined path to success.
What has made one company successful might not work for another. Constantly look at what you can improve and how you can adapt to deliver the best experience for your clients.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.