Six Useful Tips to Take Your Small Business Online
Trading is as old as man, and while it has undergone a series of evolution in terms of methods and types, its primary function of reaching as many customers as possible hasn’t changed.
Today, the world wide web is one of such revolutionary changes that have transformed the way we trade in recent times.
Now more than ever, small businesses must take their business to the web where they can receive wider exposure and reach more markets through ecommerce, content marketing and websites. Today, customers are being treated to the ease of buying and selling products online. This shift in consumer behaviour has also prompted companies to find innovative and more creative ways to take their businesses online.
For small businesses, the need to go online has never been more apparent. With a growing preference for online shopping and trading, small businesses can use the internet to their advantage to streamline their business and more importantly save cost.
Below are some steps that small business owners can adopt to take their business online and reach out to even more customers.
1. Invest in an Ecommerce Website
Your website is basically your online shop. Treat it like you would treat an actual physical store. Here, first impression matters a lot. As a small business owner, it is paramount that you have an online ecommerce store that is not only up to date, but also easy to navigate and equipped with some of the latest and seamless payment systems.
Also, remember that more and more shoppers are going mobile. Thus it would be a great idea to invest in a responsive ecommerce website that will work on a variety of mobile devices. Ensure that items are easy to find on your ecommerce platform and potential shoppers have a variety of payment options to choose from. There are a couple of ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce that can get you started with an ecommerce website in no time.
2. Go Social
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, have become a great way to personally reach out to millions of customers. Small business can take to these platforms to organise contests, advertise promotions, publish and share news and even solicit feedback or suggestions from customers.
There is a myriad of options for small businesses on social media, from staying on top of market trends to understanding the current market demands of their target audience. Small business owners should ensure that their online social presence is strong and they regularly update their social accounts with new and fresh contents. Also, social media goes beyond Facebook and Twitter; small businesses should also explore Pinterest and Tumblr too.
3. Automate Your Inventory and Order Management
Small business owners must aim to streamline their business as much as possible, as this will not only help them save cost but would also increase the overall productivity of your online store.
To achieve this, small business owners can turn to a smart and automated order management and inventory software like the EMERGE App. Keeping track of your inventory and sales can be a herculean task if you run an online store, which is why it is smart to automate this part of your business. EMERGE App helps small business owners to manage their sales and order better, keep track of their inventory and monitor and manage shipments with ease. The beauty of automation is that it allows you focus more on actually running and growing your business than worrying over day to day inventory and tracking issues.
4. Run a Blog with Exciting and Updated Content
Not only does blogging increase your online exposure and help your SEO, but it is also the perfect way to inform your customers about discounts, events, promotions and so on. You do not necessarily have to update your blog every day, but a couple of posts every week is enough to keep your customers and potential customers informed about what’s new with your business.
5. Move Your Business to The Cloud
Contrary to popular belief, it does not cost a fortune to take your business entirely online, and this privilege is not accorded to only big companies. Small business owners can also benefit from ditching a physical location and moving all of their data to the cloud.
Small business owners can take advantage of a cloud-based software like EMERGE App to gain instant access to their data from a remote location. Moving to the cloud ensures that you can make changes to your business while you are on the move, securely access and store your business information and respond to trends or effect new changes whenever you need to.
6. Plan Your Fulfilment Process
Once you take your business online, you are going to have to decide whether you are going to sell just locally, in your region or globally. Depending on the market and region you have chosen to serve, you would need to build a reliable and dependable fulfilment process.
For customers to keep coming back to you, you need to demonstrate that the products they buy from you online can successfully get to them in the agreed upon time. Therefore, it is imperative that you sort out your logistics and delivery processes. There are a variety of local and international courier services that you can use for your online business. Ensure you do your homework and settle for the best and most cost-effective solution.
Having, building and maintaining an online presence is quintessential to the growth and progress of any online based business. Small business owners should keep the points above in mind when looking to expand the horizons of their business to the world wide web, where they stand a chance to reach out to more people and break into more markets.