New Year New Business! Whats Their To Be Grumpy About
Starting a business as a new years resolution? Here are some tips to get you started in the online business world
This article is based on the assumption that you are familiar with/ are an expert of the industry that you want to get into.
First things first in the digital world, having your domain name sorted is very important, as your domain name is what people will search for when looking you up online for example, if you have a bakery it would make sense to name your website johndoebakery.com as the reference to your self and your bakery services makes it simple for a person to remember your website address, remember if your potential customers can not find you online they will go to a competitor, so take time to invest in a good domain name! what I will also add here is that when selecting a domain name make sure it has no hyphens (-) like johndoe-baker.com as again the searcher may not remember the hyphen and so end up at your competitors page.
Your domain name is something that you should be in control of at all times! DO NOT let anybody obtain your domain name on your behalf, because they will be in control of it and you may find like with a client of mine that when you want to use a different service provider (web designer) you have to pay them a fee for them to transfer YOUR domain name to you.
Some of the domain name providers you can use are Go Daddy, 123 reg, 1 and 1, Fasthosts + many more, however after helping to set up countless domain names for clients I personally have found fasthosts to be great as it's very simple to use.
Right the next thing to consider is finding a web designer and this can be difficult. As there are many people who make websites but only a few know how to create websites for business, let me explain, when a person is on oxford street and they see something in the shop window that catches there eye, they may decide to enter the shop, look around at all available information and depending on if everything meets there approval they may decide to buy. A website works on these exact same principles, only difference is where a shop may only be able to manage thousands of customers a day a website can handle a limitless amount. But for this to happen the website needs a simple sales funnel in place, so that when a customer arrives they can easily view products, they can quickly locate necessary information on the product and if needs be have options of being able to talk with someone directly and be in full confidence that when they go to purchase that their card details are secure through industry standard encryption.
Why this is so important is that, in a physical shop if a persons at a checkout it's unlikely they will change their mind and put back items, simply because being in the line is a sort of added pressure for them to buy, but a person at your website has none of these real world pressures so it's VERY EASY for them to abandon the items when there at the checkout stage. That's why many ecommerce websites have high abandon rates at checkout!
A good web designer needs to have a very good working understanding of these processes.
So things I would suggest to look for in a web designer is checking there portfolio, seeing who there previous clients are, checking previous client sites to see if their still up and running, as this can be a sign of bad site design or mismanagement, as usually a client will stay with their chosen web designer. Also it makes sense to ask the web designer how many projects they are currently working on, because if they have too many projects either they will not be able to give your project the time it requires or they may take a long time in developing your website;
Next ask the web designer what cms (content management system) they use, (we use adobe business catalyst but other popular ones are wordpress).
With a content management system when the web designer has finished making your website you will be able to access the backend of the site and make changes add content and check your site stats.
For the pricing of Wordpress Ecommerce please click here
For the Pricing of Shopify please click here
For the pricing of Adobe Business Catalyst please click here
What I will add is that we use Business Catalyst as it's a cost effective solution with a built in sales funnel, for instance if a person purchases from your site you have the option to add automatic auto responders that are emailed to your customer with your message, they will than be added into a customer database so that when you have a new product to sell you can simply send them an email campaign. I have used this feature many times to turn stagnating businesses into ones that flourish.
When your website is live the next thing to do is in planning how to market it, this will be based on knowing who your audience is and the budget you have to reach this audience (in my ultimate cheat sheet to sales and traffic i explain these procedures very in depth and it only costs £1 !) What i will add to this, is spend time and really know, as believe me, from personal experience this will save you a lot of time and money! I will also mention as part of your marketing strategy you should look into email campaign systems ( email campaigns are inbuilt into the websites we build, but other providers to use are mailchimp) a good email campaign strategy can be very productive! (I explain this more in my ultimate cheat sheet)
Lastly I will add that even with all of these things in place, it will be down to you how far it goes, the effort you put in is what will come back out, and it has to be more than just a three month new years resolution hype, it needs to be an everyday doing something consistently and than you will start to see the fruits of your labour!
Happy New Year
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