Almost everybody, at some point in their life, wants to own their own business. One of the most popular choices for this is selling either products or services. In the modern age, the most accessible platform to do this in is the internet.
As a result, many of us have taken advantage of the worldwide pandemic by making our own, home-grown businesses and websites to help spread our passions and hobbies with more and more people.
But, as most of us are slowly going back to work, it can be an issue to find the time to carry it on. This is a shame as these last 12 months have meant that some of us even want this ‘side gig’ to become a full-time occupation. This can be upsetting, especially if you have been bending over backward to get your business on a roll.
But if you already have a strong business idea going, then you are already off to a good start, at the very least. However, even if you have been running this business a while, there are still going to be some things that you don’t know.
With that in mind, here is what your online store needs to be successful, whether you are a beginner or you have been doing this for a year or so – starting with five things your business must have to be successful in the long-term.
#1 Make sure your business has the good, strong financial support to help you through rough patches (and as your business grows)
Making sure your business has good, strong financial support can be vital for your business’s survival. This can be to either help to tide you over a bad patch (all businesses have them, and yours won’t be any different) or can help you fund a game-changing product launch.
There are some good ways to boost your financial support, especially if your little home-run business is more of a side gig than your full-time thing. There are some boxes you need to tick to help the financial status of your company:
Start saving money. If you start saving your own money out of what you’re already earning, you can get a tidy stash put away quite quickly as a fallback. The bad news here is that you will need to economize on how you shop and live (which might have been the opposite reason why you started this off in the first place).
The alternative is to take out a business loan. You can take out a business loan to help your business; however, you will have to pay this back on a weekly or monthly basis, and you generally need a good credit score to be able to get the best deal possible.
#2 Be more Eco-friendly with the way you operate your business to benefit from customers from all generations
This doesn’t just mean cutting down your use of plastic and reusing your old Amazon boxes to send orders out in. This means using sustainable and responsibly sourced ingredients and materials to make your business appeal to all demographics.
Many people, especially millennials and generation Z, are far more likely to do business with a company that is vegan and far more environmentally friendly, not to mention cruelty-free.
#3 Having the right protection of your business can stop a wide range of problems and tragedies from occurring
Having the right protection for your business can be a real game-changer when it comes to cybersecurity threats. 43% of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses, mainly all being malware designed to trying to steal data and sensitive information from your clients.
More than half of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack, and if you want your business to be a long-term thing, you want to have the best protection you can against cybercrime. For a small online business, you will need to invest in a number of things, such as network security and Cloud security, to even have a hope of defending against an attack.
#4 A strong website that can help you broaden your horizons and grow your business even further
For many side gigs, a lot of people tend to and build their websites themselves. This can be a struggle to get right, and you often need to invest in a website designer to make your website look more professional.
You might also be considering using marketplaces such as Etsy, if you’re in the creative market, as most of your advertising is done for you, but on the downside, you are grouped with people who are doing very similar things, so the competition is right next to you.
Alternatively, you might want to consider Shopify. This is a ready-made eCommerce website platform that allows your business to grow and expand. It has a large selection of marketing tools and plugins for you to get more Shopify sales, which can be a better alternative to having your own website and trying to do it all yourself.
#5 Build good brand identity and association to boost your advertising schemes
Building a positive brand identity could be seen as a ‘must’ in this day and age. This is because brand identity is very important when it comes to selling things on an online store, as the bigger the identity is of your brand, the more people will know it on social media.
The practical upshot of having a strong brand identity is that people will tend to search for your brand online rather than the type of product (for instance, when people search for ‘iPhone’ instead of ‘cellphone’).
As well as brand identity, the brand association is also very important. Brand association is kind of the personality of your brand and who its ‘friends’ are. Take the point mentioned before about being eco-friendly. This would be a trait or an association point that customers would have with their clientele.
As you can probably tell, this is an extremely important part of advertising and getting your brand name known by the general public. If a brand association is used well with your brand identity, it is sure to make your business known and can help your advertisement schemes greatly.