This is a guest post by Anakha, a content writer at PaperMarker. She is well-experienced in software design and passionate about music, reading and writing non-tech articles.
Online businesses are flourishing immensely.
But even when most of the businesses are on the verge of getting online, there are some devil’s advocates that give you such advice that’s definite to backfire.
The worst part is that many people end up taking their strong, confident but awfully wrong advice, which is actually how not to build a business.
Here are some such bad tips about online businesses and the reality about them:
1. Do your website yourself, there’s so much information available online.
While the second part of the advice that there’s a lot of information available online is true, how and where to apply it can make a huge difference.
A website which is not done professionally can cost your brand reputation. You may be tech-savvy, but would you let your business suffer because of incomplete knowledge?
If you want your website to be designed and developed by the experts, you better let the experts do it.
2. Just upload your products online and start selling.
This can be fatal! If you have your own website, it is your responsibility to upload your product details and then market the site decently.
You can adopt a combination of traditional and modern marketing techniques to become successful.
Social media marketing is one of the most popular internet marketing methods that work well with SMEs as well as large organizations.
Unless you promote your product, it will not reach the target customers. SEO, CMS, and social media marketing involve some basic techniques, which you need to learn and work on. But the best part is that you can outsource these aspects to the specialists to deal with them every day.
3. Market your business on social media yourself, why pay unnecessarily.
Social media marketing is a lot more than posting your products and services on Facebook and then sharing it with your friends.
Targeting the right audience is essential for your social media efforts to succeed. That involves a lot of aspects to be analyzed and monitored such as the gender, age, location, demographics, and many behavioral patterns online.
What is being posted and when also matters a lot in making sure that it reaches out to the target audience to the maximum.
4. Offer and bargains are a great way to attract customers.
While offers and bargains do attract a large number of customers, discounts can backfire too.
If your brand targets premium customers, they would never consider products and services on discount.
Frequently offering discounts on your products and services can also jeopardize your brand reputation. People will wait for the offers endlessly and you will end up selling most of your stock only on discount.
This affects your reputation and margins adversely. Moreover, you will lose your premium customers who would lose interest in your products.
5. Do not accept returns, it can affect your sales adversely.
Easy returns of products sold online will make your brand more credible among the customers.
They will feel more confident buying the products online since they can return them in case something goes wrong.
The more stringent your return policy is, the more the customers will also be reluctant to buy your products.
To earn your customers’ trust, you must make your quality policy more stringent so that your customers will never get sub-standard or damaged products (which are usually returned). This will let you ease your return policies, which builds trust.
6. Your business is too small to go online.
This is the worse advice to take. No business is too small to go online.
While some of the businesses do not need an online presence, every business will gain a lot of brand recognition and wider audience online.
A website with crisp and competent SEO content, which is kept up-to-date, will attract many customers to your site. It will also prove to be helpful to gain a larger local audience, as the local pages (geo-tagged and search engine optimized) will be more visible on the search engine result pages.
Never doubt the potential of your business or any business for that matter. Global attention will help you flourish even better.
Now that you know all this, do some research to decide what advice to take.
The world has become quite competitive and the smallest mistake can take a huge toll on your brand reputation. When you try looking for the one who gave you the hapless advice that put you in trouble, though, they will be nowhere to be found!
Trust your intuition and get expert advice on such suggestions before you decide on them. Online businesses have a great future as they help to cut the cost considerably and let you break the boundaries.