The business world is slowly shifting online. Entrepreneurs have begun to realise the profitability of building a brand on the internet, primarily for its three key-factors: limitless reach, growing pace, and cost-effectiveness.
As someone looking to build an online business, you need to understand that you’re venturing into the most competitive market there is. To ensure that your brand name stands out as clearly as a poodle in a restaurant (it’s happened!), you have to master the basics before incorporating the game-changers.
Despite the plethora of industries which have set up camp on the internet today, there are still some basic factors, or pillars, that (almost) all online businesses are structured around. These are:
“I did write some code in Java once, but that was the island in Indonesia.” – Richard Stallman
While it isn’t necessary for all online business holders to be ‘Anonymous’ level hackers and coders, they do however need to be well-versed in basic technology. This usually involves a three-step process: acquiring a domain name, hosting an account, and creating a website. The first two follow the standard procedures of registering the domain and then connecting it with the host. The last can be executed through any blogging website, such as WordPress, which can be connected to your official site once its theme is selected.
“Great companies are built on great products.” – Elon Musk
While this holds true for any business, it is all the more relevant to online business holders considering the sheer intensity of the market they cater to. The limitless resources and reach of the internet allows a dozen other players existing in the same market to offer the same kind of products. As a result, it is important for those looking to strengthen their brand online (exclusively) to make sure that their product is both attractive and beneficial to its potential users. At the same time, they also have to ensure that these same targeted users prefer their products to its many counterparts being offered in the same market.
The Right Online Marketing Model
“Never let your campaigns write cheques that your website can’t cash.” – Avinash Kaushik
In the online world, businesses run the risk of failure if their owners don’t know how to market them the right way. The challenge of getting people to recognise a brand online is (arguably) greater than doing the same offline. As a result, online business holders have to determine the kind of marketing model they wish to imbibe, which includes factors like digital advertising, SEOs, online referrals (via links), social media, and more. The aim should be to adopt a marketing model which will perfectly fit the brand in question.
“In today’s information age of Marketing and Web 2.0, a company’s website is the key to their entire business.” – Marcus Sheridan
‘Google it’ has become a commonplace verb for today’s generation. People rely on Google and other popular search engines to receive information. The same principle applies for online businesses. A note to all online business holders: the best way to raise numbers is by generating and driving traffic to your website. And one of the most effective ways to achieve this is by creating innovative strategies which will help your website rank high on the search-engine pages.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
As an online business holder, you have one great advantage – the internet! Today, the unchallenged reach of social media itself can bring you the maximum number of potential users to form your required customer base. You can use platforms and tools like Facebook Groups, Facebook Page, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram to reach out to their several thousand users, to convince them – through attractive incentives, pitches and otherwise – to become your customers.
Many may argue about the reasonable subjectivity of these factors, which, as stated earlier, are bound to produce differential results for different brands. However, they still function as the pillars to any online business – forming its base and allowing it to grow.