So many are vying for a position on the Internet that will earn them a side income, get their small business up and running, or expand their already flourishing business into a more elevated position. There is advice coming from all directions for those looking to succeed, but how can you condense all this information into one understandable, compact module?

We have done the legwork and want to share with you the most basic facts you need to know to have a successful business.

Find and Remain in Your Niche

Great or small, your business needs to find and latch on to its identity by what e-commerce calls “finding your niche.” But what does that mean? Concisely put, it means:

  • Concentrate on one small area.
  • Give customers an extensive selection of things in that domain.
  • Solve your customers’ “problems.”
  • Even if your types of products and your inventory grow, stay in your niche.

Furthermore there are plenty of marketing companies that focus solely in a few niches.  This can be much more effective then a general marketing company that serve many niches, because they will know the “ins and outs” of a sector more natively, with less of an adjustment period.  There are companies that soley do SEO for roofing contractors, or PPC for personal injury lawers, or lead generation for tree services. You get the idea.

Design Your Online Presence Well

  • Make it as simple as you possibly can.
  • Make your load times fast.
  • Stick to:
    • what the product is
    • how much it costs
    • how customers can return items
    • who makes up the company
    • adding a privacy statement to which you adhere
  • Keep content fresh.
  • Learn how to drive quality traffic.
  • Select, write, and manage a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Partner with other companies
  • Use Google Analytics

Follow Your Passion

It’s been said so often that people are beginning to call it cliche’, but if you are not excited about your online venture, the results just will not occur.

  • Ask if you are excited about logging on to your store.
  • Ask yourself why you want to have a business online.
  • make things interesting for yourself. Be creative.
  • Have an action plan. Yes, you do need one.
  • If you want this and time for doing this is an issue, stop doing something else, like watching TV.

Customer Satisfaction

In e-commerce, as in mortar and brick businesses, the customer comes first. Do not forget to:

  • Respond quickly to any customer communication. Remember, the customer is always right.
  • Go overboard in offering more bang for their buck.
  • Follow through on everything you promise a customer.
  • Encourage your customers to leave comments.
  • Consider a discussion board for your site.
  • Add Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin buttons to your site.
  • Add a “Follow” widget to your site.
  • Offer excellent content.
  • Build a quality mailing list.
  • Treat your customers in the same way you would treat them in a brick and mortar store if you had one.

Keeping it Real

How can you check-in with yourself occasionally to see if you are on track?

  • Google Analytics is always informative.
  • Go to your site and pretend to be a customer. What would you change? What would you add? What would you eliminate?
  • Ask your friends to give you honest feedback about your business.
  • Ask someone else who has a successful online business to critique your site.

Starting an online business, large or small, is an exciting venture. If you are patient, diligent, persistent, and motivated, you can make a living, be your own boss, and enjoy yourself. Good luck!