You might have created an excellent product or service, but that’s not enough if you want to see success. You need to think beyond that and work out what else you need to do to make people want to choose your brand and be happy with the results. There are several essential elements you need to consider before you pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
A Strong Online Presence
Any business today that doesn’t exist online is going to miss out in comparison to other businesses. People use the internet to find what they’re looking for these days, so you need to be there. A quality website should be your first step to establishing your brand online.
If you want to get your brand noticed, you need to have the right marketing strategies. You need your brand to get people’s attention using smart methods, not by making them annoyed, baffled, or even offended. Select your marketing firm carefully.
A Unique and Recognisable Brand
It can take a lot of work to develop a brand. When you work on your brand, you need to create something your customers can recognise and identify with. If only people who work for you notice when something doesn’t gel with your brand, your branding probably isn’t very strong.
Superb Customer Service
Don’t forget to focus on creating an excellent customer service experience. You should aim to deliver on your promises and even go beyond what your customers expect from you.
These days, your business has to have a strong and consistent presence online. If you can’t deliver that, you’re going to have real trouble getting to where you want to be and achieving what you want to achieve. It’s not something that you add onto the side; your approach online matters needs to be all-encompassing. It needs to be at the core of what your business is and everything it does.
So, how can you go about improving your online presence and making more of it? It’s certainly not easy, but the most important things in the world of business never are. Here are some vital tips to get you started.
Make Sure It’s Mobile
First of all, you should think about how people interact with your website. These days, people browse in their phones just as much as on their laptops and desktops. This is something that can’t be ignored if you want to get the most out of your website and have as many people as possible use it.
It has to be responsive and flexible in order to suit the needs and demands of the modern user. If you fail to adapt to the times and the demands of users, your website and possibly your business will simply get left behind.
Tie Your Website to Your Overall Business Goals
The goals of your business should not be at a distance from the online activity. The two things should go hand in hand. Your overall business goals should be linked to the steps you take to improve your website and your online presence in general.
If you can do this, you will be on the right tracks, and that has to be a good thing. Everything you do to improve your website and online presence should also help you to get closer to achieving your overall business goals. It’s an approach that will really pay off in the long-term.
Eradicate Any Downtime Problems
If your website has downtime problems, you need to eradicate them as soon as possible. The minimum that your website needs to be is functional and available to use. If there is too much downtime, it will only cause you problems.
So, if you are having these kinds of problems, the first thing you should look at is the web hosting service you currently use. This SiteGround review at WHSR might help you make your decision. There are plenty of options out there, so consider them all.
Come Up with a Website Design That Can Wow
The design of your website is going to matter a lot. You want people to be impressed by what they see when they land on your website for the first time and see what you have to offer. You want them to be wowed immediately.
It’s not easy to make that happen, but if you can achieve it, you will have people coming back for more. The difference between the impact of a modern and sleek website and a website that looks like it was designed a decade ago is huge. You need to hire the right people and get the design right.
Be Patient and Realistic
You can’t expect your business to have an incredible online presence overnight. There is a lot of hard work that has to go into this process. Being realistic about what can be achieved is really important. If you expect too much, you will only end up disappointed.
That’s when you will be tempted to throw in the towel. That’s not what you want to happen, so set some goals that you think are realistic, and be as patient as you can about reaching them. It’s important to take a measured and sustainable approach whenever you can.
Monitor Your Progress
Finally, you should make sure that you track how your website is doing. Every website out there is unique. There is no one way to succeed. You have to be willing to change things up and see where the current takes you.
If you track how your website is doing, how it’s performing and how it’s being used, you will be able to ensure that you respond in the right way to things that develop. There are so many analytics tools out there that you can make the most of, so don’t hold back any longer. You need to make use of them.
If you make the most of these tips and start to take your company’s online presence more seriously, it will benefit massively.
Is the future of your business online or on the high street?
The brave new world of business is all about online commerce and social media marketing. A business with no online presence is at a disadvantage in the modern business world.
Conversely, there has been a recent shift from online business into good old brick and mortar and this may be the best direction for your business too.
The future of brick and mortar business
If online giants like Amazon are choosing to open physical stores like its flagship enterprise in Seattle’s University Village then perhaps you should sit up and take notice!
Amazon are not alone in their venture. Warby Parker, Bonobos, Birchbox, and Casper have all opened up stores in the last 12 months indicating that real estate may be the way forward.
So, what’s in it for you and why would you want to take on the hassle of an actual shop when you were quite happy living in virtual reality.
It’s all to do with overcrowding. Online marketing is an incredibly crowded marketplace right now and it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out. You can try clever branding, a killer logo design and an impressive social media marketing strategy but you are still competing with thousands of other businesses who are all doing the same thing.
With a local store, you only have local competition and, if you are lucky, no competition at all.
Take back control
As a small business, it is easy to feel that your entire marketing potential is outside of your control. Are you spending hours trying to outwit the vagaries of the Facebook algorithm so that your posts get seen by the people who matter?
The all-powerful gatekeepers of your online presence, such as Google, dictate your every move and some entrepreneurs are simply turning their backs on that in favor of a more traditional approach.
Setting up your brick and mortar store
Getting your hands dirty, literally, in opening a physical store brings a great sense of satisfaction and achievement that is harder to reach in online retail. Technology is never far away so technophiles will still be satisfied.
You can install the latest tech so that customers can purchase items using such using Apple Pay making it convenient and easy for them.
This is a two-way street. Your physical store can drive traffic to your website, perhaps by recommending a wider range of products that can be found there. Your website can drive footfall into your store by advertising the ultimate in retail experience.
You can care for your customers in a store by providing a gorgeous environment for them to shop. If is smells great, looks great and feels great people are more likely to buy. You can’t portray this via a website alone.
Your store does not have to be huge. You could follow the Bonobos model where you essentially provide a ‘sample’ store where clients can try out products before ordering online for delivery at home. This allows you to provide a seamless service between your high street and online presence.
Stress, it’s a big thing, and when you own a business, you’re going to run into your fair share of it. Of course, this mainly stems from money worries. Trying to squeeze every penny across expanding departments and attempting to increase your online presence requires a lot of investment, so what can you do to minimise spending while maximising your business potential?
Outsourcing to freelancers is not such a dirty word anymore. Every business is feeling the pinch, and it’s a very natural part of the process to hire outside sources to take over the vital components of your business. From getting web/graphic designers to give your site a makeover toIT Support services. It’s a very cost-effective measure.
Many IT support services can be affordable, and on a monthly payment plan, so you can get the most suitable infrastructure for your budget. The start of any business means getting a lot of little tasks complete, and you can make the most of the job websites that hire out freelancers.
When you’re at the point where it’s all hands on deck, freelancer sites are a lifeline to get those last important bits ready to go.
Advice from Influencers
Never underestimate the advice from people who were once in your shoes. We all make mistakes, and you will make a lot more when trying to realise your vision, but the advice doesn’t cost anything, and you can learn from other people’s mistakes very easily.
Aligning yourself with the key influencers in your industry from an early point should be part of your whole entrepreneurial ethos. It’s a common misstep of many startups that fail to see and leverage the value of networking. It can be a big obstacle to overcome, especially for those who are still trying to find their feet as a leader.
However, by networking with key influencers, you will have an opportunity to learn lessons quickly. You never know, you could end up becoming an influencer in your field, which will only help to increase your business connections.
On the upside, the location was in a prime part of London’s City Centre, so the correspondence gave out a good impression before anything else.
He conveniently held meetings in rented spaces to avoid being found out, but the proof was there. He built up his business image before doing anything else that made the clients and customers come in droves.
Make the most of your image in this way because operating a business out of your residential address does not look good. Instead, make the most of the virtual office services; which, as part of the package, is a professional address. It’s simple, cheap, and it will do a lot for your reputation right from the start. Cheap ideas do not have to be cheap in quality, and the best ideas come from nothing.
One of the major reasons that many new businesses fail is that those in charge are not fully prepared for just how much work there will be. This might sound strange, given that running a business obviously requires a lot of effort from anyone — but it’s true.
No matter how much you think you might know, it always turns out that there’s more to it than you had originally anticipated.
A successful entrepreneur needs to know how to approach their business from all angles simultaneously.
There are so many ways in which they need to look at what is going on, and sometimes it can feel like trying to be omnipresent. You really do have to be everywhere at once.
To get you ready for that feeling, we have put together some of the major aspects of running a business. However, this is not an exhaustive list, so keep your eyes open as you get into it.
As your central hub, the office plays a very important role in the growth and sustenance of the business.
It is often surprising how some business owners are unaware of the importance of running a smooth office. Any problems that occur in your headquarters, are likely to trickle down to your customer and subsequently affect their experience with your business. No business wants to affect their customers’ experience, so you need to be sure that you are keeping an eye on what’s happening in your office at all times.
There will be times of low morale, as this happens in every workplace environment at least once. But you should be sure that you have the necessary tools and personal persuasion to be able to limit those occurrences and to deal with them accurately when they do appear.
Run the office as smoothly as you can and the rest of the business will eventually follow suit. Conversely, allow it to fester and the same will happen in the rest of the business too.
Your customers are as important to your business as your employees. It is vital you remember this, as it determines the success or failure of your business pursuits.
No matter what’s going on in your business behind-the-scenes, always ensure your customers are happy.
There are numerous sides to just this issue that you could write an entire book on the subject. One core tenet of good customer service is communicating well. The quality of communication with your customers should be honest, direct, polite, and professional. This translates into happily returning customers and possibly referrals for your business.
Good customer service experience can very often make up for anything, like a product delivered not being slightly disappointing. It’s important that your customer service staff are well-trained, as this makes a world of difference.
And above all, ensure that you are over-delivering on whatever you promised. This is a great way to keep customers happy.
The Digital Space
In a digital age, traditional brick and mortar businesses now need to thrive online as well. For some businesses, retail has been outpaced by online (direct-to-consumer sales).
To keep your business in good shape, you’ll need to undertake a few things, like hiring professionals with specific technical skill sets like web development, UX design, SEO, data analytics, etc. This will help to make your website more functional.
In fact, some argue that accessibility, usability and SEO go hand in hand. With a strong SEO, you can be sure that you are attracting web traffic to your business. This promotes online marketing and demonstrates that you are a modern business.
This could be a product in the more traditional sense — something tangible as opposed to digital.
Do your best to guarantee your product is as good as it can be. You will find that this is one area that necessitates you pay attention to customer feedback. Customers will offer invaluable feedback on your products that will save you time, money and effort to conduct a market research to solicit the same data.
This will help to grow your business much faster.
Figure out how to make all four moving parts work cohesively and you’re well on your way to making your customers happy about their overall experience with your business. Everything else should fall into place as you grow.
It is kind of stating the obvious when we talk about just how much of an impact an online presence is for a business. But it really is of paramount importance.
We all spend our lives online, and as a result, our habits of how we shop or search for things is changing. So it makes sense that your business, especially a startup, needs to move with the trends and gain a strong presence online.
One of the best ways to start that up is to have a website that just jumps off the page. It helps potential customers know just what you are about and what they can expect from you or your brand. It also makes your site (and therefore your business) completely searchable.
Coming up higher in search engine results means more potential customers as it increases your visibility.
So you want to be coming on the front page when someone searches for something relating to your business. The search engine and online world is constantly evolving.
So you need to stay on top of it, and perhaps perform a bit of an SEO audit, as you don’t want your page to not rank because of mistakes you have been making.
What are the best ways to ensure that happens? Here are some quick, easy, and useful ideas to get you started.
Put Your Name in the Domain
It might sound quite obvious, but there are quite a number of businesses that don’t put their business name in the domain name. It also helps having your business name in words on the front page of your website, not just using a logo or wordmark.
Search engines can’t search images, and so can’t join the two together if that makes sense? As a rule of thumb, always include your business name in the domain.
In the instances where your business name is long, you can shorten it in a way that still makes it identifiable to your prospective visitor/customer.
In my case, I debated whether or not I should’ve gone with “phreshideasanddesigns.com” versus what I settled on, “phreshid.com“. That was 21 letters in comparison to eight — the decision was a no-brainer.
Set Up Your Contact Details
If someone already knows about your business and wants to search your email or contact number then you need to have a contact page set up as part of your website, otherwise it’s counterproductive.
Again, having your business name in words, not as a logo or wordmark on that contact page will help to you come up high when someone looks for your business.
If you want to keep ranking high, then the more your business name is online, the more you will come up.
So if someone was looking for ‘Joe’s Computers’ (as an example) and there is a Facebook business page set up with that name, that is likely to come up in the search too.
In general these days, people love looking on social media, so having that as an option is beneficial in terms of ranking, but also in terms of potential customers. If they like what they see on your social channels, they are likely to follow.
Update Your Website
You need to stay on top of the quality of your website, and also the ‘backend’ of the website. Using a site map plugin can help search engines to pick up every page that you have.
If you’ve been doing it yourself (DIY) then look for a plugin that does all that you need it to do. Otherwise the alternative is to outsource and go the route of having a website developer manually build you a custom site map.