There are many people in the world who have the dream of starting their own business and with today’s technology always evolving, the competitive marketplace is moving to the World Wide Web.
Running your own office and schedule may lead you to feel that you have the power to do anything you want, but there’s a lot of competition out there and just having an idea doesn’t mean anything unless you put the time and effort into cultivating it until it blooms into a great business model. It can be a daunting task for anyone just about to start, and sometimes there are lessons to be learned from others in the past.
The following lists describes things that many entrepreneurs learned about the hard way through experiences that everyone will find themselves dealing with sooner or later in the world of creating an online business.
Any and all actions matter
While many new business owners are more concerned with the big gains, it’s important to remember all of the tiny steps needed that accumulate to the main objectives. You can’t cook a steak on the grill without starting the grill first. And even if they slow you down, any progress is good progress – as long as it’s done correctly. This includes organizing important papers like receipts, invoices and bank statements while also double checking the calendar for appointments.
It’s common to think about the upcoming weekend and how you are going to enjoy the two days off from the office and forget about everything on your desk until you walk in on Monday. This can lead to daydreaming in the workweek’s final hours. Rather than think about what you’re going to do, Fridays can be one of the most productive days of the workweek to catch up on any backlogged work and creating less of a pile to walk into on Monday – which is already considered the hardest day of the week on the job. It would also make Monday less dreadful if you didn’t have concerns about the work you left unfinished when you’re supposed to rest on the weekend.
Networking, building relationships
This is where the world of social media comes into play. Sometimes you find a person through an online forum about your industry, or you viewed a profile on LinkedIn that has skills that could benefit your company. Using the internet to learn more about potential business acquaintances can be an easy task that grows as you share information or provide feedback. And in an “I scratched your back, you scratch mine” scenario, they may do the same for you and that only benefits your business knowledge.
Where do your leads find you?
One of the most important questions you should be asking your leads is how they found out about you in the first place. This helps you keep track of what types of advertising are working and which ones have had no factors in the early success of your online business. This can be done using an excel sheet that lists whether the lead was through a referral, a social media website, or a networking meetup.
Email lists – an important tool
An email list helps get the word out to interested partners and clients. This should be one of the first things to work on and have ready to go on the first day of operation. Part of the email list is sharing a blog about your company where you can write about related topics regarding your industry. Another good practice is sending content-based emails that include one promotional and two sales-based.
It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks – especially ones that can help you learn how to better market your business. Our brains are like sponges and it’s better for the overall business to soak up knowledge from more than one source to create a well-balanced look on the industry. In addition, learning different skills like blogging, networking, social media use and other online tasks strengthen your ability as an online business owner.
It’s better to get done fast
A big part that leads to backlogged work is focusing so much time and energy on trying to make each specific job perfect and that sometimes leads to an entrepreneur nervous about pulling the trigger to complete each task. But sometimes, perfection takes up time that could be used on more tasks. It’s better to get 10 done than only getting one or two done well.
Response to emails promptly
If there is an enquiry, responds within minutes of the inbox folder turning bold with a new message. While they sent you a message asking for help, the odds are in favor of the possibility that you weren’t the only provider they asked in an effort to see who would respond the fastest. Usually the early bird gets the worm, meaning they’ll get the business before the competition. Don’t wait till the next day to respond.
Compare with current competition
It is a futile effort to compare yourself with someone who started five years ago, leading to things such as comparing the wrong things and your weaknesses to their strengths. It also takes away focus, motivation and joy while also being a difficult habit to cut once it begins – just like many vices that can also destroy one’s attention and drive. The best thing to do Is keep working on the tasks at hand for your business and less about what worked for who and why it did or did not work.
Service leads to product
When starting out in the early stages of an online business, there will be an abundance of time over money. Starting with a service allows you to become connected with a client base and allow you to perfect a craft. It is time consuming to focus on one client at a time, but it will provide lessons in their pains and aspirations while walking in their shoes. This also allows you to develop a personal touch in the world of customer service.