Tips to help you start your business today
As with any business, the first steps to trading online involves conducting market research to identify your target market, assess demand, competition and reaction to your prices from potential visitors. With a population of over 5.5 million businesses – of which small and medium-sized companies account for 99% – the UK has become a focus for innovation and new business ventures, and its reputation is expected to flow further this year.
Find your problem for your solution
Help your chances of success, by starting with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy by visiting online forums. You can see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve. Another way is by keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which, not many sites are competing. Make sure to check for potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and created a product for a market that already exists–and do it better than the competition.
Sales process
There’s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive at the moment they make a purchase:
  1. Headline Stimulate interest with a persuasive headline, this should draw the reader’s attention to the product
  2. Tag Line Describe the problem your product solves, make sure you stand out from your competitors with a great selling point.
  3. Promise Establish your credibility as a solver of a problem, this can include a number of problems other competitors/industry has.
  4. Review Add testimonials from people who have used your product, more visitors are likely to buy knowing other visitors have bought a product.
  5. Description Talk about the product and how it benefits the user. This can be as small or as big as you want it to be as long as the customer has a clear sense of the product.
  6. Price Make an offer, this helps the customer know a price range of your products. They are more likely to go through with the sale if they know how much it will cost.
  7. Trust Make a strong guarantee. Trust is very important and offering a money back guarantee/easy refund for the visitor adds value to your company.
  8. Urgency Create urgency, this could include ‘quick low in stock’, ‘free delivery runs out in [Countdown]’ or ‘buy and now save before midnight’.
  9. Buy Now Ask for the sale. You can add a ‘Buy now’ button or add to basket, so the customer can check out quick and easy.
The best way to analyse your website is to think like a customer. What would you want from a website, what would make you make a purchase, what information would you ask for? Headline e1487947880252
Designing and building your website.
Once you’ve got your market and product, and you’ve nailed down your selling process, now you’re ready for your small business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention–otherwise they’re gone, never to be seen again. You should choose one or two plain fonts on a white background, this will make your information stand out more. Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page so that the visitors can easily sail across your website. Visuals are important but only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message. Including an opt-in form so you can collect e-mail addresses, is a great way on connecting to your customers. The checking out section is always the hardest part as people can tend to drop out before they buy a product.
Important website information you must include
Your business website must include your address and contact details, privacy policy, terms and conditions, exchange and refund policy, quality commitment and information about delivery and payment. Stock availability and pricing should be kept up to date and you must state how much VAT and the cost of post and packaging is per item. To collect payments you need to include a shopping cart function, as well as a secure means by which customers can enter their card details when paying. Most website designers provide a shopping cart function and payment facility as part of their service. You will also need a merchant account to collect payments. PayPal is very but you should also enquire at your bank. You pay a service charge on each transaction, a set-up and monthly service fee. Make sure to test your website site thoroughly before you launch. You can ask potential customers what they think, too, and act on their feedback if valid.
Use search engines to drive targeted visitors to your site.
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you by itself. PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and the ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest- converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results. Blue Search
Establish an expert reputation for yourself
People use the internet to find information. If you provide that information for free to other sites you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. You should always include a link to your site with each bit of information. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Then distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites. Include “send to a friend” links on valuable content on your website. Be active in industry forums or comments and social networking sites, this is where your target market is, this way you’ll reach new readers. Every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.
After sale
One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer’s lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. You can use back-end selling and upsell to get them to buy again. This includes offers to products that are similar to their original purchase and sending out electronic loyalty coupons to redeem on their next visit. Rewarding your customers for their loyalty will make them become even more loyal. Creating an opt-in list helps your customers and subscribers keep up to date with latest information, products, offers and news. Email marketing a lot cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it’s highly targeted. Loyalty Marketing The internet changes so fast that one year online = five years in the real world. The principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’re just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you’ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics.

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