How to Start an Online Business in 2020

How to Start an Online Business in 2020? An 8 Step Guide

If a company is to weather competition in this digital age, it must maintain a strong online presence. Whether it’s through a website, social media pages, a website, an e-commerce platform or a combination of four of them, maintaining an internet presence is the key to staying above competitors and reaping major economic benefits. The biggest challenge for new entrepreneurs is how to start an online business in 2020 choosing a product or multiple products to sell.

And while it is true that many start-ups don’t have the time and financial muscle to start a business online, it isn’t as complicated as many may want to think.

There are multiple software development companies that can help business owners build customized websites at a very affordable cost. Additionally, there are free web builders that allow you to create simple websites and spruce them at a later stage.

Starting an Online Business in 2020- Why It’s Important?

How to Start an Online Business in 2020
How to Start an Online Business

But despite the availability of such tools and services, many companies still continue to operate in oblivion. True to this, a recent report by Blue Corona indicates that only 51% of SME’s in the US have a website.

Even worse, only 32% use social media to market their business while a meager 25% are engaged in any form of online marketing. In this article, we are going to shed light on how to build an online presence, the emerging trends to look out for in 2020, and how you can embrace them to strengthen your brand.

It helps to Create Wider Reach

Are you looking to get a global customer base? Online presence is the way to go. Marketing has shifted from audience generalization or painting the customers with one brush.

Nowadays, people loathe watching ads on TV, immunity against billboards is at an all-time high, and newspapers have been relegated to lining car floors. The winning formula lies in looking for a target audience and selling them what matches their interests.

Thanks to powerful online marketing tools and platforms like Facebook and Google, you have a wider reach compared to placing an advert in the local dailies.

Online Business Builds Credibility

As we have already hinted, maintaining a digital presence can make or break your business. For example, if you are operating a pedicure and manicure shop, a referred customer can search for your business online, find it, and book an appointment.

This means you secure a new customer at almost zero cost and it also enhances your brand’s credibility and image.

Allows you to Control Your Business Narrative

Another great advantage of having an online presence is the fact that you are able to control your own narrative. You may not have control over what others say outside but you certainly have the freedom to choose what appears on your platforms.  As such, you are able to create a positive perception to your audience all which eventually help strengthen your business.

Allows Instant Communication

Once you have established an online presence, you have a communication leeway with your customers where you can communicate instantly. News about new products and upcoming sales and can be placed on your social media profiles or website without having to mail them to your customers or print flyers.

Enables Effortless Marketing

The Internet gives you an effective platform to showcase what your business has to offer. Whether it’s customer testimonials, portfolio, or an album, all these can be placed on your website or Facebook page to be reference points for your potential customers. With a simple click, they are able to see what you can deliver irrespective of the day and the business hours.

Online Busines Builds Consumer Trust

On your business website, you have the freedom to start a blog where you can connect with your customers to offer expert advice or solve any queries. This could result in author popularity and recognition which eventually trickles down to a strong relationship with customers governed by trust.

As a business owner, it’s also important to read the reviews and comments left by customers on the blog section and act upon them. This is because they allow you to see whether customers are happy or not, and help in resolving issues before they escalate to the extent of damaging your reputation.

Provides Measurable Results

Compared to traditional advertising where you had to wait for ages to evaluate the impact of your campaign, the success of a digital campaign can be ascertained almost instantaneously.

For instance, email marketing software helps you track the performance of your emails; Whether they were delivered, at what time, how many were read, and so much more. On the other hand, Google Analytics allows you to measure specific goals that you need to achieve on your blog or website.

How to Start a Business Online in 2020? : Major Elements to Adopt

How to Start an Online Business in 2020

By now, you can see why it’s important for a business to maintain an online presence. It is the best bet to remaining relevant in this highly competitive business world and keeping your customers engaged at all times via different digital channels.

Business owners can also use these platforms to alleviate any misconceptions, address customer questions, and generate sales. The above-stated trends will have ripple effects on the way businesses conduct and interact with their customers in 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is slowly becoming a major player in the digital marketing world. Statistics indicate that approximately 51% of the leading digital marketing firms have already adopted AI, with 72% planning to use this technology by 2020.

Why is Artificial Intelligence important to the future of digital marketing? AI helps businesses personalize user experience by building customized solutions. As a result, brands are able to easily transform casual prospects into real, frequent customers.

Additionally, artificial intelligence is used to predict the future and decrease the turn around the time taken working on repetitive tasks hence making it the appropriate technology to conduct repetitive tasks.

Mobile is the Future

More than ever, more people are using mobile devices to interact with the digital world. The modern consumers are using these mobile devices to communicate, read the news, and even shop.

According to a report by SEO Tribunal, mobile services accounted for 52% of all internet traffic searches in 2018. In terms of emails which are the leading outreach methods for businesses, 61% of emails originated from a mobile device in 2017.

As an entrepreneur, if you are sending mobile incompatible emails to your prospect, chances are high they end up in the spam folder. Similarly, companies are seriously considering mobile by embracing them as part of their digital marketing strategies.

Animations and Graphics

A few years back, animations were a  sort of luxury in any digital platforms. Fast-forward to today, customer’s demand for better has led to the sudden boom of animations, interactive logos and intuitive graphics which dictates how to build a website.  As a result, developers are and will continue to build less static digital platforms that are compatible with different devices, browsers, aspect ratios, input methods, pixel densities, etc.

Minimal Ads

It is a well-known fact that people don’t hate ads. What they hate are bad ads. According to a recent consumer survey, pop-up ads have a 73% disapproval rating thanks to their annoying interruption of an otherwise great browsing experience.

Today, customers are more educated and result in using ad blocking technologies. To avoid this, ensure you focus on accurate targeting whereby you send relatable ads without appearing to stalk them.

Similarly, non-skippable video ads will soon be antiquated by more accommodating ones. It’s interruptive and downright rude to shove customers with an autoplay video ad. Very few will return to your website if a loud video pops up while they are on a subway train.

Personalized Content

We are living in a world where no one has a monopoly of information. Consequently, customers are now gravitating toward brands that offer relevant and easy to consume information.

This calls for businesses to use short and eye-catching visuals to grab the reader’s attention and compel them to take action. Going into the future, more and more businesses will start incorporating 10-30 seconds videos and GIF’s in their websites and social media profiles to communicate their message.

The key lies in building a platform that will hold the customer’s attention for the longest time possible as you build a credible reputation to make them a loyal customer without appearing to be stalking them.

In this digital age, it is vitally essential for your business to have its own online presence. No matter if it’s a website, social media page, e-commerce platform or a mixture of all three, then getting your company online is sure to reap huge benefits.

How to Start a Business online? 8 Steps to Follow

How to Start an Online Business in 2020

When you start looking for a product to sell it always seems like everything is already being sold and that competition is overwhelming. Nowadays, potential customers are already accustomed to working with online giants like Amazon or Walmart who are surely very difficult to compete with.

Even though the internet is crowded with online businesses selling various products you shouldn’t be discouraged. There is still room for more. Successful online businesses are being launched every day.  ..Read on our comprehensive guide on how to start a business online?

The opportunities are there and you just need to find them and grab them. After reading this article you are definitely going to be a step closer to starting a profitable online business yourself. Here are some of the best techniques you can use to come up  to know How to Start a Business Online and an idea for your product:

1. Analyze customer passions:

As we all know passionate people tend to spend more money to support their passion. There the price of the merchandise doesn’t mean anything. It is important to show results. For example, passionate gamers will spare no money to acquire an expensive mouse or keyboard if it helps them improve their gaming performance, even slightly.

2. Pay attention to customer pain:

Products that relieve people of pain almost always turn out to be a profitable business. It is simply because customers that are in pain are always are constantly searching for solutions to their aching. Remember that the mentioned pain doesn’t necessarily have to be physical. There are various kinds of pain such as mental and spiritual.

3. Make It Easier For Customers To Come To You

If someone is wanting to find more information on a company, then it is likely that they will do their research online. No matter if they’re looking for your business or they just want to find a company which offers the same products and services that you do, then having an online presence is likely to give you a competitive edge.

New, potential customers are unlikely to put extended effort into finding you and they shouldn’t really have to. A simple Google search should bring up all the information which they seek, whether it be your business website or social media pages.

4. Be Better Than Your Competition

The well-known saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is especially true in the digital age. You must study and get to know your competitors, especially when it comes to their online efforts, closely.

Get to know who’s who in your speciality and, if you’re only just bringing your business into the digital age, you have a lot of catching up to do. The road to building an online presence can be hard and is often done with very little help, so by studying your competitors and getting to know their digital efforts, you can learn what may benefit your business.

You can see what SEO keywords are most frequently used or which featured rich snippets are commonly applied. You can also see which social media platforms are the most popular in your industry, why and how customers interact with other like-minded businesses.

As well as this, you’ll also see what type of engagement works best with your potential customers. All of this isn’t just about copying what your competitors do, but also how to analyse their ongoing efforts to get your own big wins.

Starting an online business is certainly very exciting. On the other hand, for new and inexperienced entrepreneurs it means swimming in uncharted waters and can be difficult and intimidating at times. The biggest challenge when starting an online business is, of course, choosing a product or multiple products that belong to a certain market niche and a knowledge base about How to Start a Business Online?

5. Optimize For Local Searches

Since the rise of mobiles, local searches have increased dramatically. One-third of all mobile searches are related to location-specific queries, so in order to monetise on these queries, you must correctly optimise your business’s presence to suit local searches.

It’s best to start simple by building business directories. Whilst you don’t need to spend hours inputting your business information on each and every business directory you find, you should spend time finding quality sites which matter and have a direct impact on your local search result.

Sites such as YellowPages, Google My Business and Yelp are all good websites to start with. Then, you must find the directories and business indexes which are tailored toward your business niche, for example, if you are a construction company then you should list your business on the appropriate directories.

You mustn’t overlook video content either. YouTube is the second most popular search engine, after Google, so by applying basic SEO strategies, such as geotagging in videos and using keywords in the titles, then you will be making it easier for search engines to associate your store location with your potential customer’s needs.

6. Find opportunities by examining keywords:

This technique requires a certain level of technical and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) knowledge, but at the same time presents maybe the best way of picking your product. It means studying and analyzing the keywords that people search in search engines like Google and identifying the terms that have high volume but low competition. This approach will definitely provide you with the best findings of potential customer needs.

7. Use your own passion:

Although some think that following your own passion is a path to disaster, because passionate people can sometimes be unreal in their expectations, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that.

The upside of selling a product you are passionate about is the extensive knowledge and experience you have on that product, as well as the will and tenacity to make it work.

No matter which one of these techniques you use to find your product it is important to remember a couple of things. When analyzing your potential merchandise, it is crucial to ask the following questions:

What is the market size?

It is important to not go with a product that only a small number of people can use. For example, a product for women in their forties is ok, but a product for women in who are in their forties and are 5.11 might be too narrow.

Who am I competing against?

It is important to scout your competition and act accordingly. If you are the first one on the market you will have to do extensive marketing research to find out if there is a need for your product. On the other hand, if the competition is high you will have to come up with how to differentiate your product from your competitors.

Is my product available locally?

When you pick your potential product, find out if it is available locally. In case it is there is a chance that people will not have the need to order it online.

Who is my target audience?

One of the most important things you need to analyze is your target audience and their habits. For example, if your target audience consists of people in their seventies and eighties it is less likely that they are going to order online. They simply aren’t used to it.

What is my product weight?

Since you are planning to sell your merchandise online and ship it to your customers, bear in mind that the weight of the product significantly affects the price.

8. Use your own expertise:

If you are an expert in some field then you should use that to create your own unique and quality product. For example, if you are an expert programmer you can write a book or a course for beginners or if you are a dance instructor you can make tutorial videos and offer them to people online. This technique is the best from the investment side since it will not take you a lot of money to create the mentioned content..

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Kerrie Haynes

Kerrie Haynes is a strategic sourcing manager with a strong background in HR. Besides this, she is a passionate freelance writer mostly focusing on subjects related to business and HR practices.