Even with the tens of thousands of successful businesses in operation, aggregating the best business tips or advice is no easy task. There is no single recipe for business success.
Check out our 9 valuable tips from beginning business owners to help inform you as you start selling online.
1. Create a culture of trust
Do you feel that you are too demanding when choosing who to work with? Everything is fine. The only connections possibly more important than the ones you have with your customers are the ones you have with the people who work with you. Try to work with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, everyone you know who would run the business for the business.
Successful entrepreneurs know that they will always have gaps in their knowledge. Learning from your trusted peers is one of the strongest investments in professional development you can make.
“The ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust is the key professional and personal competence of our time.” – Stephen MR Covey, NY Times best-selling author
2. Understand the importance of your social network
Many business owners devote all of their attention to the technical aspects of setting up a business. However, getting involved with a professional network and building a strong community for yourself can pay off later on. By networking, you can effectively market your brand, turn relationships into potential partnerships, and gain insight into the industry and your competition.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: frivolous social networking sites, right?
Well, not exactly. Simple tricks like curating and organizing your social media feeds, engaging with your followers, and posting unique content for your business are great ways to continue building a strong network of connections.
In addition, a good presence in social networks pays. More than 90% of current and potential customers get a brand online . If you have great networking skills, chances are you can transfer those skills to businesses and drive more conversions or customers.
“Your network is your net worth.” – Porter Gale, former vice president of marketing for Virgin America
3. Every interaction represents your brand
Today, a digital record can be obtained in a matter of seconds, revealing all past and present violations of a company or individual.
As an entrepreneur, you are the steward of your brand image, whether you are helping with customer service or contacting a business for quality guest-posting.
Even if you run a small online store, your words and actions can have a significant impact on your business, for better or worse.
“A brand (Brand) is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, together, explain a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin, Marketing Guru
4. Money isn’t everything, but don’t act like it isn’t.
Throughout the journey of building your business, you will need to take risks. Sometimes these risks will involve money. While taking calculated risks yields generally positive results, squandering newly acquired capital is not recommended.
Your expense account should be kept in good shape: no fancy offices, no fancy cars or furniture. When done incorrectly, these expenses can bankrupt a company.
Do you think your employees or partners will be happy to know that they are not giving you the bills and that you will not be able to pay them on time? Or that your marketing budgets will need to be cut for the next month?
By monitoring your cash flows as early and often as possible, you will avoid becoming one of the many companies that wind up folding.
“Too many people spend the money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers, American actor
5. You will fail, get used to it
You invest time and energy in your business idea, only to discover that there is no market for your product. What are you doing? Nobody wants to start a business that will fail, but failure is an intrinsic part of business. How do you handle this paradox?
There are many solutions, but the most effective way is to treat every failure as a learning opportunity.
Obstacles can represent opportunities that you might not otherwise have had if everything had gone according to plan, and they offer you valuable insight. Make the most of your failures and get up after you fall.
“Even if you fail in your ambition, it is very difficult to fail completely.” – Larry Page, former CEO of Alphabet
6. It will never be the “right time” to launch
You got your million dollar idea. You are sure that it benefits people and stands out from the competition.
Every day, you work in your company or store, you work hard putting in the effort to make sure everything is perfect. All good, except your business was scheduled to launch three months ago.
Maybe you don’t think the product is ready, or maybe you think it can be improved. Perhaps you are doubting the market demand for your product.
Let us tell you: there is no perfect time to enter the market.
The sooner you get your product to market, the sooner you can get feedback and feedback from customers to improve the product overall.
“In business, perfection is the enemy of profitability.” -Mark Cuban, Shark Tank
7. Keep your idea as a priority
As an entrepreneur, you have a unique opportunity to share your experience with the world. Your experiences alone can be as valuable as your products!
Contact various publishing platforms and offer to create articles (blog post) or other content based on your particular experience and knowledge.
Many online platforms have content needs to be presented, and as an added benefit, you’ll increase your brand’s reputation as a) the superhero that comes in and gets the job done, and b) as a valued content provider.
By focusing on your idea, you can turn valuable knowledge and innovative thinking into content that can bring more profitable streams to your business.
“Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it.” – Andrea Fryrear, Marketing Coach
8. Value your personal time
Your business is just that, your business. It’s not you.
You have family, friends, hobbies, and interests that also deserve your attention. Even after devoting all your attention and energy to developing your business, make sure to keep something for yourself.
You could burn out prematurely, which will prevent your business from growing as fast as it could.
Think of your time as an investment: would you place all your bets on one outcome, or would you diversify (a little) to avoid potential losses? Commit to using your personal time for yourself so that when you return to business you can be even more effective.
“You can’t have everything, but you can have the things that really matter to you.” – Marissa Mayer, former president and CEO of Yahoo
9. Love your consumer, love your competition
Make no mistake, consumers are important. In a world of nearly 2 billion digital shoppers, overlooking the needs of your consumers could land you in trouble. However, it is even more difficult to understand the importance that your competition plays in your commercial strategy.
It goes without saying that the internet is developing faster and faster, every day. It can be difficult to keep up with all the changes in the marketplace. However, as with anything, data collection can always improve any project.
Research your competition and find out these three key ideas:
- What your competition is doing better than you
- What your competition is doing worse than you
- What your competition is doing just like you
Backed up with this information, you should be able to create new marketing strategies and engage with your potential customers in ways you never thought possible before.
“The competition is always fiercer, even when you can offer a much better good. Getting customers to try something new is an uphill battle.” – Josh Nickell, Saturn Security Systems Manager