Running an online business can be tough as it is, and the economic and social climate of the world since 2020 hasn’t made anything in life much easier. Many businesses have suffered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and many are hanging on by a thread. The world has had to change the way it thinks and does almost everything and big changes have had to happen for nearly everyone. Fortunately, the nature of the current crisis puts technology on somewhat of a pedestal – anything that can be moved to the online space has been.
This means that while business in itself has been a struggle, switching over to online has been a saving grace for many, and those who were already operating online have fared far better over the past year. With the massive increase in online businesses we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic in 2020, it’s become important to make your business stand out above the crowd. Here are some seemingly small improvements you can make to your online business, that could help propel you ahead of the rest.
Sustainable businesses aren’t just trendy – they’re winning the game. Changing up your business practices to be kinder to the earth has almost no cons. It contributes to environmental protection and preservation, it’ll win you the praise and the business of like-minded clients and customers, and it will almost always save you money. If you’re operating online, you’re already ahead by not occupying office space or having employees commuting back and forth each day.
Another thing you can look into to boost your sustainability creds is improving your packaging for products you ship off. An overuse of plastics and excess packaging, in general, is a major problem when it comes to online shopping. Being one of those businesses that take this into consideration will boost your name and make a vital contribution at the same time. Take a look at these custom boxes to fit whatever packaging needs your business might have in a much more sustainable way.
Leverage Social Media
Being in the online space gives you a leg up, but don’t forget to use each and every aspect of what’s at your disposal. Marketing and advertising can be expensive when they’re doing via the conventional routes of television, radio or printed media. Even online advertising in the form of placing ads can be damaging to your businesses budget. Marketing isn’t something to skimp on, but there are other avenues available to us in the modern age.
Social media is probably the biggest and still the fastest growing marketing strategy today. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok are where people consume the vast majority of their content today and advertising on these platforms isn’t particularly expensive. Promoted posts offer you the option to send your marketing messages out to a very specific audience.
More than that, social media influencers are the advertisers of the future – product placement has never played a more vital role than today. Customers trust in the opinions of celebrities and even the smaller ‘micro influencers’ they look up to online, and to an extent, this is performing the function of good old word of mouth – it’s just much more intentional. Doing brand deals, ambassador programmes, referral programmes or other types of promotional work with influencers is a solid way to get your products noticed and get people interested in them, and it can also be affordable if you work smart.
Work on Your Branding
Your online presence is the crux of your business, so tailoring it down to the finest details is important. Relating to the above section about social media, it’s important to remember that simply posting and advertising isn’t enough. Your branding, imagery, logo, copywriting and online engagement needs to align with what’s going to appeal to your audience. If you’re trying to sell luxury products with a big price tag, but your company logo still looks like it was made on Microsoft Word’s WordArt, you’re likely going to come up short.
Investing a little money in a good graphic designer to work on your online branding, a web designer to clean up your website and perhaps hiring a qualified content creator for all your copywriting needs could do the world of good if you feel like you might be struggling in the brand image and social media department. When all your business comes from online, it’s important that your online presence is a true representation of who and what your business is, and that’s worth spending time and money on.
Reassess Your Goals
This tip might not be for everyone, but sometimes a business struggles and the only reason why is a lack of passion. Perhaps you started your online business as a means (any means) to pay the bills when COVID-19 struck and you decided to stick with it even once restriction eased because working from home was an appealing idea. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good enough reason to be running your own online business.
In most cases, it’s crucial that your business aligns in some way with what you’re passionate about, what you like and what you want to be doing with your time. If this isn’t the case, you’re going to find yourself as unmotivated and stressed out as if you were working for someone else. If this is the reason your business is struggling, take some time to reassess your business, your goals and passions and if there is any way you could reconcile the two to align your work more with what you want out of it.
These are some things you could think about if your online business is under pressure or perhaps you’re just looking for a boost in the right direction to step it up a notch. All things considered, make sure you’re always making the right decision for yourself, your business and your staff above all else.