We’ve explained the keys to making a successful online small business in each chapter.
You have a successful product.
Created a beautiful website, optimized for ecommerce.
Grew a strong customer base by offering innovative and superior customer service.
Exclusive discounts for a limited time, resulting in enhanced customer experience.
The list is endless.
Now hear the opinions of the experts . What factors need to be considered during e-commerce success?
25 Tips For Online Small Business Owners 2021
#1 Understand your customers
As you grow your business, you must listen to your customers, to stay tuned in with customers.
Negative feedback can be removed from a composition, but constructive criticism can be a boon to an entrepreneur.
Meet Jason Boyce, the CEO and co-founder of Dazadi. In his previous position as the CEO of a startup, Jason has learned the ins and outs of organizing a business. From raising capital to designing and sourcing private label products worldwide to software development and project management to digital marketing and more, he has found great success in creating meaningful strategies in the ever-changing world of ecommerce.
Jason’s #1 tip for small business owners is to make the customer experience a priority and to engage with the customer.
In this day and age, you cannot do enough to improve your product based on what the consumers are saying with their personal experiences.
If you don’t continuously re-position your brand online, you’ll never build a large following.
The days of big advertising budgets spent to promote mediocre products are at an end.
Listen to the customer, improve your product, and develop better products that will have higher appeal and sales.
Developing high-quality products with outstanding service will help build your brand. “
Also, be sure you are encouraging your customers to communicate with you. Like Jason mentioned, product reviews are a great way to garner feedback. Other ways to connect and receive feedback include social media and documenting customer support communication.
#2 Manage customer support
Sammy Gibson, a director at Neon Poodle, knows that the business cannot afford to ignore how important it is to put the customer first.
”… our focus is customer service, and fast email and social media response is critical for building brand trust. We try to keep response time to 24 hours or less for all emails from customers and wholesalers.”
Assigning your important customers to a higher priority level helps you turn unhappy customers into loyal ones. If you can supply a quick and temporary solution, you can present your brand promise.
Plus, continuous high quality support often leads to increased awareness and loyalty and trust from customers. Sammy has found that “with brand trust comes social media tagging between groups and good word of mouth.”
#3 Get an understanding of your niche.
When you start a new business venture, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and desire to expand into different markets. This means hiring too many people can lead to missed opportunities to capture an engaged audience.
Dan Kogan, president at 1Digital Agency offers advice on how to build a successful brand.
“Stay focused on targeting your niche, and…
- Optimize your products and services.
- Outline organic SEO growth as it increases trust for consumers.
- Be focused on a niche, so that you can differentiate yourself from others, and.
- Renew digital priorities. You are wise. “
#4 Make an experience your customers will remember.
Think of your favorite brands, what makes you prefer them over the other products you could buy?
The customer experience.
Customer experience has a cascading effect. If good customer experience is implemented, you will see increased traffic, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.
Kaleigh Moore, a freelance writer at kaleighmoore.com, advises small business owners to place their efforts on building their business.
“Take pride in making memorable experiences for customers, and go the extra mile”.
#5 Be efficient.
As a small business proprietor, you take on multiple roles.
On your journey to CEO, you become the CEO.
The Project Manager.
The list is endless.
If you wish to expand your enterprise, you must make time use efficient. To help you do this, we suggest looking to technology and automation.
Ailsa Chibnall, owner of Border7, shares, “if you don’t value your time, no one else will.” Partner with technology to reclaim your entire day and reinforce your processes. ”
There are a variety of tools available which can aid you in this matter. Seek out your business and your competitors’ weaknesses to figure out where you should invest.
Use Hotjar to determine how visitors to your site like it.
Keep for automated and personalized marketing and other tools.
Connect for setting appointments over the phone, and avoid scheduling over email.
#6 Think omni-channel.
Omnichannel strategies are increasing in use, and they’re not surprising.
Customers will shop in more places, in 2020. With your online store, like Amazon, on Instagram and other sites,
To offer more flexible options to customers who purchase their products through different channels, you need to develop an omnichannel strategy.
Nick Gramatikov, CTO at Digitawise, advocates that small business can see numerous advantages by implementing an IT cloud strategy.
Give the public access to your brand in a way that is convenient for them. Customers are omnichannel today, meaning they transact with businesses across a variety of platforms including social media, instant messaging, text, and email. By providing omnichannel support to growing businesses, you demonstrate that you value their success.
In the beginning, you may not be able to sell everywhere and everywhere you don’t sell. Learn what you need to know about your target audience as you build your omnichannel strategy.
Nick suggests small businesses to consider having a live chat tool for support. Monitor and respond to all social media outlets frequently, and remain current with clients and potential via email.
This way, you’ll be able to capture as much customer information as possible and leverage your relationship with them to implement your omnichannel strategy.
#7 Achieve a balance.
Prepare to enjoy long, late nights and early mornings, to celebrate successes and to revisit steps in the learning process. Being a small business owner takes a lot of hard work.
That is why maintaining a balanced work life is key.
William Harris, Senior Consultant at Elumynt, possesses a great deal of experience in all areas.
Press hard but be wise. You will work harder than you have ever worked before, but those efforts will be unsustainable, and the effort will in fact decrease your performance in the long-term.
You will wear a lot of hats, but continue to find ways to take small risks on hiring the right people to take over certain tasks and functions so you can focus on actually building the brand.
- Improve your knowledge of Google Analytics – it’s so powerful and underused by nearly everyone.
- The best companies know that they do not have to master everything they’ll do. Even if you are exceptional at advertising, there is still a point where you need to back off and let someone else focus on the advertising.
- Content, content, content — think through and truly map out your audience and what you want them to read, hear, and see. What differentiates you? Then, create content relating to the platform you are on, so it will be relevant.
#8 Don’t fear other, larger, more established competitors.
You are entering a rapidly changing competitive market. That can make one feel intimidated.
You are introducing new products to target an unmet market need. You have an important characteristic that your competitors lack.
David Zimmerman encourages small businesses to not be afraid to compete with companies that are bigger or older than they are. Many of these older businesses still haven’t made the shift to online sales, leaving the door open for smaller businesses to win their customers and capture market share.
An effective way to be ahead of the competition in eCommerce is with a technology-based solution.
“With the advancement in technology over the past decade, certain commerce solutions and back-office systems are becoming more progressive, user-friendly, and easier to integrate, permitting smaller organizations to scale faster and compete with the big boys at a fraction of the cost.”
#9 In an organized manner.
By keeping all aspects of your business organized, you’re likely to have smoother running functions.
Scott Ginsberg, Head of Content at Metric Digital, proves that it is important to write things down in order to remember them.
Writing down ideas is a great way to narrow down your different startup options, and keep your priorities straight.
If your organization wishes to replicate your team’s knowledge more accurately and practically, then create a method to generate things into objective, reviewable formats. Not all that glitters is gold. There is a clever saying from the construction industry that should be posted in every small business. “We got a dollar waiting on a dime.” Meaning — let’s not allow the shiny, trivial things distract us from the real issues.
In some instances, every idea you write down may not be realized. You must determine which ideas will yield the best or most successful results. Small business owners must learn how to establish a good-standing business with limited resources.
“Learn how to do a great deal with a minimal amount. Startups force you to confront a wall that you need to find a creative way around in order to succeed. Don’t overestimate your resourcefulness Trust that you will find a solution to your situation and be able to tame the beast.
It is important to remain organized and focused so you can address the morale of your team. If you have great morale, you’ll perform better and be more creative in your work.
Recognition is the only cultural currency that requires no purchasing. How to boost professional morale? Create employees who feel seen for everything beyond their work, including themselves. Even if they only do it in a weekly meeting or leave a review on their online profile. In effect, it is called herd mentality. Determination is what makes employees loyal.
10. Choose your battles efficiently.
Like in your life, it’s important to select battles that are worthwhile.
Starting a business and adjusting to it’s challenges can be stressful. Focus on your most important assets and plans to remain steady so you can continue to succeed.
If there is one piece of advice that is relevant to small business owners, I would say that it is to not fight every battle.
Even when you are young you don’t have the capacity or resources to do everything at once. You need to be careful about what you select to market and how much you allocate to it. Each small victory will help in the next struggle.
For businesses which already have a storefront, Joe suggests taking a look at:
- Email advertising. It has the greatest impact on the bottom line of any digital marketing activity. You already have loyal customer. They just need to be reminded periodically to make sure to come back again.
- SEo. It is easiest when your name carries some degree of weight. Once your business has some of the required authority, you can rank for key search terms more quickly.
- Kept up to date By keeping your site fresh, in both design and content, you will improve the user’s experience and also help you make more money.
#11 Form a team.
While you may be very enthusiastic about your business, you won’t make success with it happen through your own efforts.
When Kim Terry, CEO at Subscription Systems LLC, began her business, she realized that both human and technical resources were required to achieve the company’s goal.
When asked what advice she would give small business owners, Kim said, “remember that the most successful businesses have many owners and employees.” The most important part of growing is to have confidence in oneself and trust in others. Too many small business owners I have met never take the time to develop their company. Thoughts on this? They burn out or progress slows down when they cover too many topics in too little time.
Utilize Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud and Outsourced services as much as possible. These services already work for you and are being provided by other companies with no input from your staff. Hire people who will be able to effectively manage vendors instead of work ‘hard-noses.’ You will need less of them.”.
#12 Learn to be adaptable.
Joe Palko, Specialist in Integrated Marketing, shares his number one piece of advice:.
“Learn to rely on others.”
The answer, being this is important for small business owners because…. Being flexible allows you to adapt to the latest standards, be open to change, and be ready for new opportunities. This will help you stay ahead.
Joe believes that small business merchants should focus more on innovation and technology.
“Technology changes quickly, and the small business owners I see do not keep pace with the pace of change.” Just because something is working for you right now doesn’t mean it will continue working in the long term.
Pay attention to changing trends. Merchants keep insisting that we have to do things this way because that’s the way they’ve always done them.
Listen to what the experts and your customers say.
- Product reviews — Make sure you are using product reviews and that you are doing them in a way that they are being indexed.
- Mobile-friendly themes — should be implemented to ensure that your website is easily usable on mobile phones.
- Email marketing — the best job you can to identify your customers, segment them, and communicate with them in an effective way.
#13 Remain faithful to your business.
Don’t do what others do.
When you decided to start your own business, it was due to a deficiency in the market. By staying true to a passion and honing your message, you will be able to communicate with your customers with genuine and organic authenticity.
Tessa Wuertz, Director of Marketing & Partnerships at efelle Creative, believes successful brands are authentic.
“Stay True to Your Path.” If a business has achieved success, there’s a reason for it, so take that into account when you’re making decisions moving forward.
The author also shares three key things every business owner should consider when creating a go-to market strategy.
- “Your site is an effective tool. With a website, visitors can get information about your business and shop using your website. If you’re not online, then you should have a website that details why you’re not online.
- Learn from your customers’ needs. Whether it’s about your product, customer service, or website, get input from your customers often about what is or isn’t working.
- Email marketing and marketing automation. E-mail sequences such as welcome e-mails, abandoned cart emails, and newsletters can build your business’ relationship with current and potential customers. When marketing automation is used, a lot of the work it does is done for you, so you never have to worry about it again.
#14 Data analytics are always your friend.
Shane Barker, who founded and runs shanebarker.com, offers encouragement for small business owners through his own advice.
Leverage data analytics to achieve results.
Data is needed in order to understand customers. You shall analyze it and improve your offerings, By using our product, you will grow your business.
I am a strong proponent of using Trello, Slack and SEMrush tools. They are advantageous in improving coordination, project management, and website growth.
#15 Become the best at your profession.
Forget about the competition, the trends in the industry, or the details of your management strategy for a moment.
Return to your voice and your story! You should continually focus on being the best at what you do. When you think about what you are the best at, you will find that your priorities come much more easily.
Michael Prusich, Director of Business Development at 1Digital Agency, advises that you are better off focusing on a few things, rather than trying to master everything. From my experience working in small businesses and overseeing business development for small businesses and our clients here at 1Digital, I believe one of the biggest roadblocks that small business owners run into is that they want to solve every problem at once and want to try to do too much at the same time.
Although this is typical of an entrepreneur and a small business owner, I have found that being great at one thing lends itself better to the initial growth and development of a smaller company as opposed to trying to spread yourself too thin.”
Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can face obstacles with confidence.
Michael explains, “A merchant is trying to have the largest inventory, the fastest shipping, the lowest prices, and the widest selection. When resources are limited, this can be a huge challenge for small businesses.
- You shouldn’t underestimate how important SEO and online ads are. A low budget is not an indicator of poor results. With regard to online business, proper strategy, implementation and execution are critical to a business’ health
- Don’t be afraid to evolve and change; Even if something is currently working, it doesn’t mean the industry trends are staying the same. One of the biggest challenges I see small businesses struggling with is that they struggle to stay ahead of the curve.
- Life is everything. It is the company’s employees that are most important, and working with people who challenge you, think outside of the box, are willing to speak up, and are appreciated is a factor that can’t be measured.
#16 When Be holistic.
“Think strategically”. Your business is a range of marketing channels, not just your website; these channels can be leveraged to increase sales and brand visibility.
View your business as a whole – how all the experiences and messages tie together? How is it related?
The article discusses three ways to success for small business owners.
- “Establish a consistent brand across all channels,” If we don’t have a consistent brand, we weaken our business.
- Take the free tools they provide to increase website traffic and conversions.
- Consistently market— Obtain customers and market sufficiently in order to establish a monthly budget.
#17 Be passionate in what you do.
Last, but not least, I wanted to offer my own advice to business owners.
From contributing to a digital transformation on a Forbes 500 ecommerce team to side-hustling with my blog, influencer marketing and small business marketing, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to build a successful small business.
My tips? Be passionate about everything you do.
The reality of being a small business owner is running a small business. Having a true passion for both what you do and for the clients you work with will give your business a sense of purpose and drive for growth.
The emotional and intellectual connection and drive will motivate and entertain you through the daily management of your business.
Focusing on the features that your business needs to succeed, and on providing a quality user experience to your customers will help you make strong and effective decisions. One of the most effective steps you can take to maximize your business’s performance is to choose an ecommerce platform that is most appropriate for your needs.
After reviewing 15 expert tips, you will be well on your way to stable and profitable online business.
#18 Data analytics are your ally.
Shane Barker, Founder + CEO of shanebarker.com, demonstrates that getting your name and brand out there is essential to small business success.
“Use analytics to your advantage.”
Data provides the key to understanding a customer. By analyzing the data, you will be able to improve your product. This, in turn, will help your business grow and prosper.
The three tools I use most often are Trello, Slack, and SEMrush. They help with coordination, project management, and application development.
#19 Think broadly.
“Think holistically”. Your business isn’t just one channel — it’s a multitudinous of channels that can be leveraged to increase sales and brand visibility.
Look at the overall mission of your enterprise and how your message and experience tie together. Does the topic connect?
Richard provides three key tactics for small business owners to consider, to help them be successful.
“Establish brand consistency across all marketing channels. Without this you weaken your objective.”
Drink the Google Kool-Aid and use the Google tools to boost your online visibility and increase conversions.
Consistently market — Establish a monthly budget and schedule to plan how you will market your products.
#20 Be committed in everything you do.
In conclusion, I want to pass on the following bits of wisdom.
From contributing to a digital transformation on a Forbes 500 ecommerce team to side-hustling with my blog and influencer work to managing small business content at Marcelo Design X — I was able to learn a lot about what it takes to build a successful small business.
My solution? Be passionate in everything that you do.
The reality is that owning a business can be challenging. Having a passion for what you do, the products you sell, and the customers you do business with will help spur the growth of your business.
This emotional connection and drive will ensure that your journey to success will be enjoyable, and will extend into how you manage your business.
Focusing on what features your business needs to succeed, and how to best deliver a superior customer experience will make for strong decision making skills. One of the most helpful decisions you can make for your business is deciding which ecommerce platform will best support you to bring your store to life – your way.
#21 Select the correct niche.
The selection of the niche is often where people notice they’ve chosen the wrong niche. If you want to have a broad-based business, you’ll need to figure out who your audience is. If you aim too narrowly for a specific type of store, you may miss your mark.
Additionally there is also a seasonal trend. You could start up a Christmas business, but it might be harder to get customers in the cold months of February. Another beneficial business tip is whether you can be able to draw new customers for a long time into the future. For example:
if you’re offering maternity clothes, conception only occurs for nine months. After her pregnancy, she will likely avoid shopping at that store. When choosing a niche choose one that people are engaged in year round (Google Trends can show you how stable a niche is). You’ll want to choose a subject or niche with promising search engine traffic, such as beauty, fashion, fitness, or home decor. And finally, a niche that isn’t short-term so avoid maternity, weddings, or any niche business you won’t be able to build a long-term email list with. Consider unusual business ideas instead.
#22 Solve a challenging issue.
It is important for new entrepreneurs to create a business that solves a problem.
If you asked most failed business owners why they failed, they either don’t know or don’t consider the problem to be a problem. The problem can be a simple one such as a cure for a disease. We help people overcome boredom by providing a fun and exciting way to spend time.
However, you need to know what you want to accomplish with your business, and how to accomplish it. Knowing the burning problems that you are solving, helps you market your solution in the most effective manner. When you are selling anti-snoring products, a sleeping disorder is the best thing you can point out. Then showcase your product as the ideal solution for getting back to a deep, restful sleep.
“” Focus on customer needs””
Unmet needs is a common source of conflict in business. If customers do not get the desired product or service, they will not be satisfied, and they will complain.
The most important business tip is to always understand and empathize with a customer. When you know that they’re feeling hurt and frustrated, you can better tolerate the insults they throw at you. Instead of trying to understand what they mean, you should try to detect what their words mean.
At the end of the day, you are working towards a resolution that meets their needs while still listening to what their concerns are. By returning an item instead of issuing a refund, you will establish a positive relationship with the customer even if they had a negative experience with your brand initially. For more information on non-violent communication, please read Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.
#23 20% Focus on revenue instead of profitability.
Entrepreneurs are usually obsessed with making money. “I made $900,000 in 8 months,” they claim. In the end, you can’t help but wonder, “Did you really think?” Getting deeper, it is clear that profits are much more important than sales. You probably made $900,000 but if you only made $10,000 after eight months is it really worth the effort? And can that be solved? Definitely not. Switch from thinking about your revenue to thinking about your net-profit.
The more profits you have, the more money you can spend on your employees and your business, or reinvest it back into its growth. As an entrepreneur, the payment comes last. Your startup expenses need to be paid first. You’ll want to make more than enough money to supplement your income. Register for Oberlo’s free Profit Margin Calculator to learn how profit margins can be increased.
#24 Start with a precise focus, then widen.
Amazon did not begin as an all-in-one store. It began as a small bookstore. They went from toys and other traditional products to expand their business. This is how you grow a company.
The most important business tips involve identifying a limited number of narrow verticals and going from there. By having a focused audience, you can maintain a loyal following who will continue to buy from you. It provides you with a targeted audience to make your marketing efforts more effective. To illustrate, one can start a women’s fashion specialty store. At first you sold clothing. Eventually you can expand to include shoes, jewelry, fashion accessories, and beauty. Or you can branch out into men’s and/or women’s fashion, or even children’s fashion.
Both types of online stores have built-in vertical synergies, and are appropriate. You can test out one-product store ideas on a smaller scale before launching your larger website. However, first you must have a big following and loyal customers. You need to look at future demand levels for the verticals you currently produce.
#25 22% Focus on increasing employee morale.
The best boss I’ve ever had once explained to me that a productive team is one that has happy and engaged members. It is true. We celebrated actively or regularly.
On my last day, I cried when I didn’t want to leave. I was forced to take a mandatory leave of absence from my part-time university job to gain greater marketing experience. I work in the same area now as I did then, so I keep in touch with all my colleagues. That’s how long-lasting the impact of an organization’s employee morale is. Unfortunately, it is many entrepreneurs’ one and only failure. Most first time entrepreneurs think they have a lot of authority. Also, no one would want one of those.
Your employees want to feel appreciated, heard from, and feel that they’re in the right direction. If you constantly criticize others for doing things differently, you will receive an overall poor performance as a team. The best way to handle employees is to ensure they are happy. When you do that, you will be helping your company make more money.
#26 Start a business that better represents your character.
Fundraising, product validation, and market segmentation consultant Naval Ravikant believes that product/market fit should actually be founder/product/market fit. Essentially, you are the only person capable of running that business. You should consider starting a business that suits your qualities and personality.
Moreover, it is beyond doing what you’re passionate about, and it requires doing what you’re destined to do. How can your business help make the world a better place? By doing something unique, one can create a legacy whose consequences will be felt for generations. In summary, start the business only when no one else can.
#27 Always be aware of the competition’s moves.
Business is dirty. Competitors will always undercut you in order to secure themselves the top position. Although you should never be at the expense of your competitors, always be aware of what they are doing so you always have the upper hand.
What are the products/services offered? The marketing plan of their brand. What does the price they charge represent? How does this establishment treat its customers? You need to learn the market and the competition so you will know how to compete. If a company has good customer support, you can place a greater emphasis on that feature of the company.
The goal is to identify the competition’s major weaknesses and utilize those as your own strengths, while still offering a wide range of unique and valuable services and products to your customers. Remember, it’s important to not obsess too much over the day-to-day activities of your competition. You should put your focus on your customers and employees. Make those two groups happy and you will be successful.
#28 Just do it even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly.
The final business tip for entrepreneurs is to simply start your business.
I am referring to starting it. After all, stop thinking about whether or not you are making the right decision, and just do it. New business owners can sometimes be on their way to realizing their dream but have their ideas clouded by outside circumstances. But that doesn’t guarantee your success. Do you make mistakes? Of course. Will there be any obstacles? Absolutely, and you have to jump really high to clear them. But isn’t this what you paid for? Entrepreneurship is being willing to take risks. Taking big risks helps you live a life full of adventure.
The goal isn’t to become the best. The primary goal of this business is to assist people in solving their problems. The sooner you can make people’s lives better, the sooner you can make the world a better place. That’s what your business has the potential to do for someone’s life. The more people you can help, the earlier you can begin.
At Marcelo Design X, building a business isn’t a complete process overnight
Using these expert tips and our How To Sell Online Guide, the aspiring entrepreneur will be well on their way to creating a scalable online business.