It’s no secret that the internet is the future. And it’s more apparent than ever right now: in the middle of a disruptive pandemic caused by a deadly virus. In times like these even massive corporations are taking the step of working from home and primarily relying on the internet for day-to-day operations. On the other hand, if you own an SME, it’s marginally easier to digitize your services and create a newer layer to make your first online business.
Why Take Your Business Online?
Taking your business online has inherent advantages. You instantly have access to brand new leads and a whole new frontier to explore. eCommerce is a massive industry that seems to be unstoppable, while the eLearning industry is growing by the week. While we here at Themeum have been working from our homes, the Tutor LMS user base has expanded by more than 20% in the last month alone. Everything from services, to product deliveries, have had a spike in usage and we think now is the best time for you to hop onto this train and start building your online empire!
Now let’s check out the core points you need to focus on while taking your business online.
Master the Art of Communication
One big hurdle of taking your business and all your work online is the barrier in communication amongst your team. Efficient communication between team-mates has always been a tricky part of running a business. Now with taking your business online, it’s even more complicated. Fortunately, there are remarkable tools to at least alleviate the pressure of devising a channel for communication.
- Slack: A proprietary business platform to optimize communication for small to medium-sized businesses. From sharing files, videos, and creating custom threads, to creating team channels, it’s easy, cheap and works well on all devices. You also get the benefit of making VoIP calls and video conferences, which are crucial to maintain synergy.
- Trello: A productivity application based on the Kanban system. It’s more of a project management tool, but at the same time, it has a very significant role to play as a team-wide communication channel as well. You can keep track of a backlog, ongoing, and completed tasks very efficiently.
- Facebook Messenger: This might seem a tad bit unorthodox, but a messenger group along with Slack is very useful for online communication. No instant messaging service can ever surpass the accessibility of Facebook Messenger. As most people don’t have Slack on all the time, messenger provides an effective addition. For company-wide announcements, emergencies and notices, a messenger group is pretty neat.
Adapt Your Platform
When creating an online layer to your business, you have to adapt your platform to the challenges of an online company. A few key features of having a successful online business are:
- Hosting: After all, an online business is worthless if the customer can’t even visit it. Studies have revealed that even 0.5 second shorter load times can change the visitor retention rate by 10%. And these load times usually depend on the hosting provider. We have an in-depth article on fast and reliable WordPress hosting services here, give it a read!
- Domain Name: The domain name shouldn’t be an issue if you already have an existing website. If you don’t, here are a few “do”s and “don’t”s of domain name selection.
- CMS: Being a WordPress company, we’ll always recommend WordPress. It’s fast, secure, and most importantly, easy to use. You’ve got massive libraries of plugins, themes, and services that can practically do whatever you want.
- Website Security: It’s a crucial part of an online presence. To protect your business and the users from security disasters, take a look at how you can protect your WordPress website from malicious attacks.
Optimize Your Monetization Plan
Generally speaking, a monetization plan will differ between offline and online businesses. eCommerce plans and models vary a lot and depending on your needs as well as your product, you can fine-tune them to make the most profit. A few models are:
Freemium product Model: This model has two versions of the same product. The free version has limited functionality and will not do the more advanced tasks while the premium version will add more features and do everything in between. Only the premium version has to be bought. E.g.: Tutor LMS.
Subscription-based Model: This model grants the user a limited-time access to your product. Once the time expires (usually created as monthly or yearly cycles) the user must pay more to keep access to your service. E.g.: Netflix or Spotify subscriptions.
Custom Product Model: This model is very free-flowing and has very little “rules”. In very simple terms, your client tells you what they want, you make it, and if it works properly, you get paid. E.g.: WordPress agencies that create custom websites.
Create Public Business Profiles
To create an online presence, a very engaging way is to broadcast your business in social and professional networks. A few items that should be in your checklist are:
- Creating a Facebook Page for your business
- Creating a Google Business Profile
- Make a LinkedIn profile for your company
- Create an Instagram business profile
There are tons of more social networks you could be on but these are the most crucial ones that are practically a necessity to have an online existence.
Increase Your Website Authority with a Solid SEO Plan
A strong SEO plan will benefit the overall visibility of your website. As your customers search for your products, search engines are one of the biggest contributors to your visitor count. As such, having good SEO practices is essential.
As well as that, keyword research tools like SEMrush can help in finding the right keywords for your articles, landing pages, and product pages. Slowly, as you build your online presence, the site’s visitors will grow, and so will its authority. Remember to keep your texts readable, SEO friendly, and concise.
If recent events are any indication, relying less and less on physical infrastructures and adding an online dimension to your business is the way to go. This adds a layer of contingency as well as expanding your business without a lot of effort.
So, what are you waiting for? Press
Cmd + T, create a new tab on your browser and start taking your business online!