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When it comes to starting up a business, you have to make the initial decision of whether to go down the traditional brick and mortar route or the more modern online business route. More and more people are opting for the second option. Why? Well, there are plenty of reasons. Firstly, starting up online involves lower levels of commitment. You don’t have to sign contracts for commercial property or overheads like gas, water, and electricity. You won’t initially need staff, which saves you the time involved in interviewing potential employees and the responsibility of maintaining a workforce. So, if you’re planning on starting an online business, here are a few ways to maximize its potential.
Aesthetics are key when it comes to making sales online. Remember, your website and social media are the main ways that your potential customers will be able to form an image of your brand in their mind. They don’t have a storefront or store layout to be able to see what your brand represents. If you want to grow your business, you have to explore both online and offline promotional opportunities which can attract and engage more and more customers without breaking the budget. Before starting, remember to do your market research. This way you will be able to figure out the styles, layouts and web designs that your customer base prefer and find easiest to interact with. This will vary dramatically across different sectors. Think about it: sites catering to the elderly, selling products such as stairlifts and mobility scooters will have basic, minimal, easy to operate layouts with long product descriptions. Sites catering to the young tend to have more visual displays featuring showreels of models and links to company social media feeds. So make sure you know what your customers want! Once you have an idea of this, here are a few things to focus on.
Brand Font and Logo
Your brand font and logo are just as important in your online store as they would be if they were placed above your store on the high street. This is what will define your brand. It is what will stay in your customers’ minds when they purchase products from you. So have them custom made by a professional graphic designer.
Web design includes anything that affects the overall appearance of your site. Look through competitor brands’ sites to gain a more clear idea of what you will want from your own site. Co-operate with a web designer, who will be able to put all of your ideas down in CSS code. Good things to settle on before contacting a designer are preferred color schemes, layouts, page transitions and features such as slideshows, mailing list signup forms, and checkout payment options.
Social Media Feed
This is where you can get a serious follower base: your business’ social media feeds. Set up pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instagram is possibly the most effective, as it communicates through images. Whether you post pictures of stock or just things that reflect your brand. It will quickly create an apt aesthetic for whatever you’re selling.
On top of all of this, you want your online business to look professional. Almost anybody can set up a website nowadays, but you want to make sure that yours looks like it belongs to an established brand rather than someone sitting at home on a laptop. So do your research. Whatever you see successful brands using, try it out yourself. It will give your company an equally professional look. Here are a few tips and tricks you might like to try out.
Have an Office
Okay, you might not have a tangible office with employees, but your customers don’t need to know that. Try outsourcing office tasks to yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk. This service will give you a virtual office London address and personalized call answering, which your customers will be able to contact you through. These small additions won’t cost you a lot, but will make your company appear much larger than it may be. This gives customers more faith in your products and service. The result? More sales. Perfect!
Have a PO Box
A PO Box (or Post Office Box) allows customers to return products to you, without having access to your personal home address. This is essential for any business dealing with physical goods. Down the line, there will inevitably be a problem with someone’s product. Being able to post to a PO Box doesn’t only ensure your personal privacy, security, and safety, but gives the customer satisfaction that you are running your business professionally. Posting goods to a home address may give them doubts in regards to the level of professionalism they are dealing with.