7 Tips to Grow Your Online Business in 2014
If you are ready to grow your online business in 2014, follow these simple steps to get you on the right path. This list is created with the assumption that you have the basics covered. A few of the basics you should have at this point are your own online store and email address. If not, you should sign up and create your store at Jooy today.
1. Use Social Network to Grow Your Online Business
It is essential that in 2014, you maximize your web presence using social networking. It’s likely that as an online business, you already have a Facebook page or Twitter account. You want to make sure you are maximizing your online social potential by taking advantage of the full array of high-authority sites that can be used to promote your business.
Along with Facebook and Twitter, you should also utilize other established social networking sites relevant to your trade. These include sites like Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, deviantART and Myspace. Aside from getting an increased follower base, you’ll also get relevant backlinks from authority sites back to your online store for each of the profiles you set up. That’s a great way to tell Google “I’m here!”.
2. Become a Part of an Online Community
In addition to social networking sites, there are many popular forums that house an active community of potential customers with highly specific interests. Look around on the web and see if you can find a forum, Yahoo group, or other online community relevant to your products or services. There’s a forum out there for most every interest.
Once you’ve found one, create an account for your business. Don’t forget to fully fill out your profile page when creating your account. It never hurts to get another free legitimate backlink to a relevant website. From there, just make yourself at home. Browse the forums, introduce yourself, and join in on discussions. Most forums don’t allow you to promote yourself without permission, so be careful what you say. Just be transparent in who you are and build trust in the marketplace.
3. Invest in Advertising
You’ve worked hard to build your business to where it is today, and you are hopefully seeing some of that return in your bank account. If your business is making a profit, some of that return should be re-invested in the form of advertising dollars.
Be careful and smart when spending it. You’re not buying tangible goods and the return isn’t always easy to measure. Make sure that you are able to track the return on your investment and know exactly how many conversions or sales you’re getting for each advertising dollar spent. Knowing how much you spend per click or impression isn’t enough to make sound financial decisions about your rate of return or how much you should be investing.
4. Become friends with a Competitor
This one can be difficult, but if done correctly can benefit both parties. Look closely at your competition and begin to think of ways you could benefit from some form of cooperation. Think about it the same way as if you would sit down and plan out how to best maximize the profit at your own business, except include theirs in the equation. In the simplest form, this may work as a mutual advertisement where you exchange links to help boost rankings and traffic. Perhaps you’ll find that your markets don’t exactly overlap evenly and there is room to partner on a particular service or product to benefit both of your customers.
5. Hire a Freelancer
As you’ve grown your business, you may find that some of the more remedial tasks you spent a lot of time working on are consuming the majority of your time. As a business leader, you should have a long-term strategic plan to eventually fade from the front lines and let go of tasks that can be completed by an employer. If you aren’t financially ready to take on the responsibilities and commitments involved with hiring employees or increasing the number currently working for you, consider hiring a freelancer. There are freelancers all around the world available for hire online that can provide you with repetitive work and free you up to brainstorm and make decisions that will propel the company to new levels.
6. Establish an Office
We’ve all been there. Most online start-up companies begin in a garage, parent’s basement, corner of the kitchen, or bedroom computer. There are a lot of benefits to taking that next step to secure affordable office space. Aside from the tax benefits, you might find that leaving your home each day and going to work for yourself at your own office might help keep focus and drive you to put forth a solid effort the entire day. It always help to avoid distractions you’ll find at your home office such as family members, television, noisy neighbors, and pets that need attention.
7. Expand Your Product or Service Offerings
Whether you are selling a product or providing a service, there might be a sector of the market you are overlooking. Think carefully about the feedback you’ve gotten from your customers in the past year. You might be able to think of a way to provide an additional service to your customers that could prove very profitable for your business. Consider higher margin luxury add-ons, products, or services that you can upsell to your customers looking for something a little above and beyond your current offerings.