5 steps for building a successful online business
Australian small businesses are the back-bone of our economy. Recent research found 99.8 per cent of all Australian businesses are considered small to medium enterprises, with the most common size having 1-4 employees (71 per cent).
Whilst it may seem daunting to take the leap of faith to join this cohort of enterprising, innovative Australians, there are simple steps you can follow to ensure your small startup is set for success.
1. Set your foundations
Australian law requires every business to hold an Australian Business Number (ABN). Once you have done this you can register your business name, apply for grants, secure your domain, and send invoices off to receive product. At this point you can also choose the most appropriate business structure with the help of a lawyer or accountant to ensure you get off on the right foot.
2. Secure your SEO-friendly domain
Purchasing a domain name that is related to your business makes you instantly recognisable and helps you rank higher on search engines, working with brands like Melbourne IT, who can help you get online, you can check if the domain you are interested in is available, and how it will help differentiate your business.
Your online efforts will be impacted by the domain name you select, for example if it’s misleading your customers may struggle to find you or they may be sceptical of your brand because your domain name doesn’t match your business name.
3. Set up your shop
Setting up your e-commerce store and building your online presence is where you can get creative. This encompasses designing not only the brand’s aesthetic, but also deciding who will host your website and e-commerce shop, determining the best cybersecurity options, building an SEO strategy, and ensuring your design is mobile friendly to name a few. It’s an opportunity to truly customise your business to your own preferences.
If this sounds a little over whelming, or you’re not quite sure where to start, find a digital partner you can collaborate with to bring your dream into reality.
By giving an expert the opportunity to help build the foundations of your online presence you will have more time to focus on other important tasks. This includes collating your product assets like videos, imagery, and descriptions, pulling together your brand’s collateral and developing a content pipeline that incorporates both your social media platforms and newsletter schedule.
4. Launch with a bang
To launch your business, there are a number of opportunities you should consider to maximise your reach within your target market – both online and off. There may be potential partnerships with like-minded organisations you could approach, events or markets in the calendar you can use as a starting base or media opportunities with your local paper. By considering these avenues prior to launch and doing your research, your business will likely be received by a much broader spectrum of potential customers than if you only launch on socials without a cultivated community.
Imperative to building momentum is considering prior to launch how you will engage the people you reach during your launch, on an on-going basis. Digital marketing offers endless opportunities to nurture and engage your target audiences. You could collect emails to build your database, direct people to your social media platforms, or hand out samples with your branding – either way, have a plan prior to taking the leap.
5. Prioritise building your community
So, you have completed the admin setup, built your website, maximised your SEO, your shop is up and running and you’ve either launched to the world or are about to – what next?
Your next priority should be to cultivate your community, online and offline. Your social following and engagement should receive a large proportion of your attention, through publishing relevant content and business updates. However, your offline community is also important as there could be business groups or organisations you could join that will give you access to people also on a small business journey who can share their journey and knowledge with you.
Step into the digital world with Melbourne IT
The startup journey is taken one step at a time, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Whether you’re at the starting line or leaps and bounds ahead in the race – our experts can help you navigate the best way forward. We have all the tools you need for a successful online business, including; Website Design, Productivity Apps, SEO, PPC and Social Media Advertising. To speak with our specialists, call 1300 793 248 or submit your details online.