6 Disastrous Ways To Grow An Online Business and Solutions
There is no simple way to grow an online business. The old days of "build and they will come" is totally obsolete today. It's not like getting up in the morning and wishing for things to happen while doing bare minimum, thinking somehow people will love in love with your product. You need to plan, test different theories, build a strategy and execute. Some of of your strategies will fail and some will yield great results, and others will give you a new beginning.
Remember, these are online business growth tips that will work for one business - but fail for another, so it's not about working hard if you had the tools.
To grow your online business you will need to do things in a unique way that connects with your audience and potential customers. If you've been looking for ideas, you might find a couple that will tell you;
1. Growth = Money
This can sound good to your ears but it's not entirely true. If growth equals more money, it will depend on your ROI (Return on investment).
You need to have your accounting straight, before you start to look at growth as being a reality for your business when you have money. Growth does not equal success in many cases, keep that in mind. It just means you might have a bigger problem and you'll need to solve it with other techniques.
This is why money should always be accounted for as you are in the business of making money not solely in the business of growing to a number of customers or users on your wish list.
Sometimes, it is better to make money in your small niche rather than wasting time doing the same thing in a larger market with bigger competitors who will make you run through your tiny marketing budget to no avail.
2. Copying Your Competitors
I hear this a lot!!!! Want to grow?
Why not copy what your competition is doing and you'll succeed? Sounds really easy right?
Well, this is a shocking advice and there is a good reason for this.
Have you extensively analyzed, researched with conviction what your competition is doing? Are you sure their results are not going to plummet in the long-term? Do you understand their in-house or outsourced strategies for growth? I can bet you don't know!
Don’t you want to be ahead of the game rather than being a copycat of your competitors?
It's simple, don't copy your competitors. Yes, you can learn from what they are doing and take notes, but stay clear of being a wimp to your competitors.
Instead, you should work on putting together a comprehensive solution.
3. Focusing On Your Product Rather Than Customer Service
There are so many people who feel their product will be the holy-grail to people. That might be true but also you might be over your head.
Two years ago, I met an entrepreneur who had spent $200,000 dollars on developing a product, only to fall flat on marketing their product. With non-existent customer service he couldn't launch his product and was in a huge pile of debt. Cool guy, but business can be cut throat without the proper strategy and planning.
Brand positioning, reviews and customer service will bring your product to the forefront than having an amazing product without proper branding. Growth comes from existing customers who are willing to advocate for your brand because they already trust you - keep that in mind!
They are the ones who are going to end up being repeat customers and will influence growth.
Just take a look at some of the largest online businesses and you will see the emphasis they put on customer service. They will do whatever it takes to appeal to their customers.
The product is important, and so is customer service if you are growing. Take care of your existing revenue base and referral opportunities will follow.
4. When You Hire Based On Resume First
It's time to hire more people to help you with growth. You'll want to bring in skilled talents to spread out the work load, and that will be a great idea. When you get started, you go through your needs, how to approach the hiring process. It's really good to focus on the experience and the person that connects more with your brand. Hiring is hard! because you are bringing some one you don't know to help you get to the next level. In most cases you gamble the chances of hiring based on resume rather than the personality and work ethics of the individual. Why, the process is simply not easy.
When you get the interview process, its best to look at how they work and that approach to questions that resurrects with how they will work with you. Only then should you hire them. It's best to ovoid hiring someone to contribute towards your goals, who will end up, slowing your growth due to miss communication. Do at least two rounds of interview with your last final candidates before make the final decision.
5. Not Present On Social Media Platforms That Have Your Audience.
Social media is here to stay, so its best to be on the best platforms that will enable you to connect with an audience. Today, if you need referral in masses through word-of-mouth is only going to be possible through social media. Making sure to share connect regularly or periodically is key to increase your brand visibility.
However, keep your social accounts to platforms that will bring value to your brand. Some great examples; If you are a photographer - it best to use Pinterest, Facebook, Flikr, to promote you images. If your sell products that have images tor represent the brand, you can use most and all major social networks. Even Twitter will get you a lot of publicity if done right.
6. Waiting Until Everything Is Set Before Growing Into Other Markets
Sometimes when growth is eminent and revenues are rising, you know you will need help to expand you brand to other markets - but you keep stressing on things that slow you down rather that boosting the engine for growth. Its best to take action and get more help to balance your workload, so you can focus on making your present and new clients happy as you grow your company. If you can't keep your present base clients, you won't be able to sustain growth.
Link Building & Content Marketing
You will need to build online connections through link building and content. Create good content that connects with your brand, this will give other industry insiders a notch to link with your company giving it a vote of approval. As an online business, you need to rank well on the web to see any sales. This should be a priority of every startup and small business out there who want to increase their revenue. What is the value of not building links?
Growth does not take place without link building. You can attract this via earned, paid and owned media connections within your industry and through social media.
What to Keep In mind
Running an online business is not easy, but that does not mean you sabotage yourself and hinder growth by following the wrong advice. Complete your research and see what works and what does not before moving forward. You need to be a little radical with your testing approach. Use theories that do not directly affect your business but see results before you apply them to your actual plan.
Do not experiment with your business period. Get advice from a real professional who has done it and can prove with data - not I will do it this way because????
How will you advertise your online business?