How to take your offline business online - WPExpertsonline

How to take your offline business online

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How to take your offline business online

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The only constant thing in Life is Change and COVID-19 was one such Change. If taking your offline business online was something you had as one of the goals for 2020, then with recent events it became a “need” now.
Running an offline business is not easy; it has its difficulty too. COVID-19 gave all of us a chance to understand, the challenges that offline businesses will face, especially the SMBs post lockdown period. With more and more customers using the Internet for shopping—for purchasing everything from books, grocery items etc. it makes good sense that so many entrepreneurs are looking for a smart way to take their offline businesses online.

Take the chance and take your offline business online

There are more possibilities available today than ever before and this is the right time to take your business to online business marketing . Technology and the ones who know how to leverage technology will sell or advertise their finest products online, or even create a custom line of products specifically for their online audience. So, start small and keep adding more products and services as you keep learning about your new line of (online) business.
One of the advantages of taking your business online is the creation of Brand Recognition. While it used to be an enabler for business earlier to attract and convert interest of a local customer, or in other words foot traffic into a successful sale – in the post corona world – the foot traffic is going to become less and is going to be replaced by online traffic. Also, taking your business online will open more opportunities and possibilities for you – which includes new customer acquisition and enhanced sales.
So, if you are a freelancer or a SMB owner who is toying with the idea of taking your offline business online here are a set of actions you need to take to launch your online business like a Pro.

  • Assess Current State of Affairs of Your Offline Business.
  • Develop a Pricing Strategy to Get Your Business Online.
  • Identify the tools and resources to get your business Online.
  • Create an Online Marketing Plan.
  • Get the Right Help to Take Your Business Online and Sustain the same.
Assess Current State of Affairs of Your Offline Business

With over 4 billion internet users, irrespective of the nature of your offline business, there is always money to be made by taking your business online. A small business can easily go online with minimal expense and easily scale-out and cater to a much larger customer base.
For every business, customers are its lifeline and driving force. Thus, it is important to keep your customers in mind while taking your business online. There are several factors that must be considered while identifying your target market like geographic, location, age, sex, religion, marital status and income. Understanding your potential customer is critical in making a successful online business. Hence it is important that you take the time and effort to develop a better understanding of your existing as well as future customers and their thought process and needs.
Taking a stock of your current market, your brand recognition, identification of your target market and the assessing the branding needs are some important steps while taking your business online and should be ideally done before you launch.

Develop a Pricing Strategy to Get Your Business Online

After getting a thorough idea about your customer, competitors, and target market, it is time to create an attractive pricing for product/services. The most important element of any pricing strategy is to offer products of high quality at optimal price. Online pricing strategies depend upon the products and the prices of the competitors who offer similar products. Offering Special Discounts, coming up with seasonal offers, making products available at an offer price can also rope in impulsive customers looking to save money from the MRP, can all be part of this strategy.

Identify the tools and resources to get your Business Online
  • Setting up DBA
  • Your business maybe properly set up offline, but here will be a few tasks you should undertake before you take your offline business online. If your offline business is going to have a special name through online, you will have to set up a Doing Business As (DBA) for it. The DBA allows the state to know you are running the business as a name that is exactly not your name, otherwise the legal name of your LLC.

  • Purchasing Domain
  • After setting up DBA the most important step in getting your business online is purchasing a domain. The domain is the name that your customers would use to reach your online business and hence should ideally match your brand name. You can easily register your domain name by visiting a domain registrar such as godaddy.com or namecheap.com. You can search for a domain name that best reflects your business and pay online to register your very own domain.

  • Creating Website
  • The next important element is to create an online space or location for doing your business. WordPress is a free and open-source software that can be used to create beautiful websites. WordPress is perfect for taking your business online in minimal time. However, there are several steps involved in getting your online business setup on WordPress.

  • Choosing Host
  • The next step is purchasing a hosting space to host your WordPress website by visiting a hosting provider such as a2hosting.com or bluehost.com. This is the space where WordPress and its associated files will live. Once you have both your domain name and hosting space, you can proceed to install WordPress.

  • Selecting Ecommerce Platform
  • An eCommerce platform is the backbone of every online business. Choosing the right platform can make a huge difference in how your business interacts with your clients, customers and employees. E-Commerce platforms enable businesses to streamline and execute complex front-end and back-end functions. These functions include CRM, inventory management, mobile commerce, web design and warehouse fulfillment. Selecting the right ecommerce platform should be based on your business objectives such as revenue, improving customer engagement or entering or creating a new market. There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from such as Shopify, BigCommerce, etc. Once you choose and signup on an ecommerce platform, you can integrate with WordPress to start your business online.

  • Identifying Collaborations Tools
  • One of the key things or changes that you are going to experience when you shift from offline to online mode is getting things done in a virtual world with the same or better efficiency. It needs to have discipline and tools to collaborate with others and that will define success of your online business. Please find below some online tools that will help your team work together and run projects more proficiently.

    • Asana
    • This is an amazing tool as you make your offline business online to handle projects, connect with your team, and keep everybody on the right schedule. The Premium version of Asana have some very useful templates and features.

    • Hootsuite
    • This is a simple tool to run your online business community well and help to schedule social content. There are few more choices like Buffer, MeetEdgar, or CoSchedule. Choose what is aligned with your goals and is easy to manage.

    • Feedly
    • This tool is perfect for curating contents. Like Pocket, this helps to save articles which you can share and read later.

    • Google Drive
    • To run a business proficiently, sharing information between various stakeholders is a must. In other words, sharing files and information in a secured way is a must and this in one of the best utilities available in the market. Another option that you can check out will be Drobox.

    • Google Duo
    • Another wonderful tool offered by Google is Duo. It is a perfect tool that helps you to keep in touch with your clients, your friends, and your team. It is a wonderful tool that is super easy to use and some great features that will come handy when you take your offline business online.

Develop an online marketing plan

At present you will be having a clear idea of your offline business product/brand, your potential client, their requirements, and what you are providing to solve their issues. This knowledge will come handy when you create online marketing plan. You need to identify and evaluate areas that need changes and you must focus your efforts on developing those areas to bring benefits to your online business.
For an online business to be successful, it is of utmost importance to have a solid marketing plan in place. Online businesses now have a wealth of digital tools and techniques to get noticed in the digital marketplace.
Here are few important elements that needs to be factored as part of your online marketing efforts.

  • Social Media promotion
  • Social media has now become a necessary time investment for every business. Online businesses can put up ads and conduct contests to get more customers to their business. You need to identify the platforms you are going to leverage and create specific plans for each platform based on the nature of your business. Sharing posts/contents on Social Media with consistency is key. Using Influencers for outreach is another thing you can consider as part of social media promotion.

  • Email promotion
  • Email promotion is the act of sending emails to your potential customers. Such emails can contain advertisements, offers, etc. One of the key elements of your online marketing initiative is to target your end customers with relevant information without spamming them. Right content at the Right frequency is something you need to keep in mind.

  • Blog
  • A blog is a way to connect with your customers directly and establish your brand through the blog’s followers. It is important to keep the blog updated frequently; a dormant blog is worth nothing.

  • SEO
  • SEO or search engine optimization has the potential of bringing in the highest amount of revenue for your online business. So, optimizing your website for the site engine giants like google and Bing can have a huge impact on your online business.

  • Content Management
  • Creating compelling contents and using the same to engage with your end audience should be an important part of your promotion strategy. This includes creation of promotional offers and other special offers to incentivize your offline business customers.

Get the Right Help to Take Your Business Online and Sustain the same

Last but most importantly, getting the right help is critical in making or breaking your online business. So, it is a worthwhile investment to build a team that can carry out the daily social media marketing activities, content writing and updating of the blog, Email marketing and designing, and updating the online business portal.
Daily updation of the business’s social media ensures high customer engagement and potential new customers. A team capable of producing quality content on its blog with an emphasis on SEO can also drive in potential customers.
Keeping your website up and running 24×7 and keeping your site safe and secure are also important elements as far as your online business is concerned. So, you need to ensure that you have competent folks who will take care off all those hassles while you focus on your core business.

Wishing you all success!!!
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About Author : Rajesh Shashi


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