Image by: By SEOPlanter
By Richard K. Noots
Many people think that those who work at home, or conduct most of their business online have it easy. This is a classic example of the grass being greener on farther pastures, and it is untrue. Reality suggests that running an online business, and keeping it successful, can be much more difficult than just opening some hole-in-the-wall business at your local mall. The real question is Why can it be so difficult, and what can be done about it?
Whether you’re thinking about opening a business based in the Cyber-world or have already been running one, this information can apply to you. Business plans should always be reworked for improvements as you progress, and this goes doubly-so for a business being run on the wild, wild Internet. So be prepared, True-Consumers! It’s time to take notes and get our business plans back online.
#1) Terrible Site Names
Basically, having a good business name isn’t as important as having a good domain name. While it’s important for businesses to have names that are catchy and capture people’s attention, it isn’t as necessary as a one or two word .com website address. Look at sites like Ebay or Amazon. Those site names have nothing really to do with what their platform is, yet they are now dominating, household names in the business world.
So, take a cue from online business addresses that have been successful. If your website has any symbols like /, – or _ you should probably consider a change. It’s little actions like this that could make you see double on sales or even just clicks, and in the world of the internet, clicks are money!
#2) Slow Load Times
This will be the bane of your existence. Look, people in the world that are connected to technology are slowly becoming more impatient as our species gets more and more instant gratification. Now, times that by ten for Americans. If your site is taking longer than a minute too fully load, you’re already losing hundreds of valuable customers. How many times have you gotten annoyed with a website’s load times and clicked away to a different site in frustration?
Heed your own needs. Keep your images on the smaller side, usually around 10KB. Having Flash-based dynamics spring up on your webpage may be cool as hell, but it does you no good if no one sticks around long enough to see it. You’ve got to keep in mind that not all internet speeds are equal (What was that Net Neutrality argument about again?). Do yourself a favor and check your webpage often on other devices to see how your load times reflect on multiple devices as well.
#3) Neglecting Proven Strategies
Maybe you don’t want to badger people on Facebook all day about your site. Maybe you don’t know what a Twitter is except for being a sound a bird supposedly makes. If that’s true, you probably don’t know what content marketing or keyword research is either. Your strategies need to change. Marketing is important, and the reason why you’re constantly barraged with reminders of consumerism and links to click is because it works.
It may be annoying to think about, but if that’s the case then maybe this business idea isn’t for you. Think of yourself as a door-to-door salesman, and selling your product is how you’re putting food on your table. Would you pussy-foot outside a person’s porch, unsure if you should bother them with a knock? No! You’d sell, and you’d sell damn well. Your online business needs just as much dedication.
Lastly, an important business lesson for anyone is the simple prospect of having someone do your work for you. However, it’s actually far more complicated than that. Not everyone is equal when it comes to skills, so if you find yourself a bit lackluster at page design or coding, hire someone who is proficient! You can’t be expected to do everything at once, and if you try to it’ll probably come out terrible anyway.
Any problems you have with your website won’t be fixed over night. That’s OK though, you’ve got nothing but time. This is your livelihood, your creation. You must dedicate yourself if you really want to see profits like everyone promises will happen. But reading this article was the first step. Perhaps now you’ve a better idea of how to improve things, or at least a general idea of how to move your website forward. Now, the rest is on you.
Good luck, and let’s hope we all make it rich!
How’s your online business doing? Ever thought of having one if you don’t currently? What’s stopping you? Post your fears, worries and joys in the comments to help out all us future would-be entrepreneurs!