Due to the demand of online options from customers and the easily-accessible entry in the marketplace, the sheer amount of internet-based businesses is constantly going up. Online sales are predicted to increase substantially over the new few years, projecting to be over $430 billion in 2017, according to the site eMarketer. As an aspiring business owner, you’ve more-than-likely pondered the idea of starting an online business before and might even have started the process. Whether you are currently designing your plan or have yet to begin, there are several things you should focus on as you customize your business plan’s direction.
Choosing a value proposition for your online business
First, think about the true value that your company offers to its consumers because it’s something you’ll need to cover in your plan. Varieties of online businesses are prevalent all around the internet, selling just about any product or service you can imagine, so what is it that sets your business apart from the competition? If you can’t effectively prove to your investors about your website’s offered value when they read your plan, your chances of obtaining the money are nonexistent. Setting your endeavor apart from other similar online businesses is crucial. With that said, your business must offer its users some form of an extra value, whether it’s lower prices, better site usability, or better mobile functioning. This is paramount to showing your business’s “pull” when it comes to the open market.
Defining your target market
Choosing your target demographic isn’t the same for online businesses as it is with on-location services. To begin, your target demographic will be much larger than your usual on-site small business. Also, your target demographic must also be capable of easily using technology, which includes the confidence and ability to conduct transactions via the internet. Though this is something you should always consider this shouldn’t be too hard of a concept to tackle, as a study by E-Tailing Group and Marketlive shows, 55% of Americans use the internet to order products and services. Additionally, you need to efficiently analyze your business’s offered value when you hone in on the size of your target demographic. If the bigger value of your business to your clients happens to be lower prices, then you should forget about the higher-level spenders when factoring in your estimation. By considering everything factors into your target demographic, financial lenders will see you as realistic and that you can operate effectively in today’s marketplace.
Conveying your value proposition with an effective marketing strategy
Having your voice or message heard is one of the greatest obstacles in getting your online business going as advertising efforts continue to multiply. Stampede of different kinds of pop-ups are shoveled on top of us on a daily a basis has made us grow to instinctively ignore them or even download programs that block them. A 2013 PageFair report resulted in showing that 30% of web visitors are blocking ads, which could honestly be even higher. Every business owner must change with the market, so your marketing tactics must be unique. Nowadays, financial lenders that are reading your business plan want to hear about intelligent ventures through social media and SEO (search-engine optimization) techniques. With the never-ending evolution of the World Wide Web, it’s time to put on your thinking cap.
Including safety and security measures
Our concluding thought is a warning to make sure that you set up security measures for your sight. This process of creating an online business should be one of your top priorities because it ensures a safe online shopping experience for your clients. Not just establishing, but maintaining, these security measures are crucial to gaining credibility, growing your customer base, and building brand loyalty. You should take the time to become accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and make sure to enlist a data privacy management (DPM) company that can secure your customers’ information. As an example, TRUSTe is a leading DPM company that issues the TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal to companies that meet their complete list of privacy qualifications. Once you are accredited from TRUSTe and the BBB, you can proudly place their verified seal on your website. Though this might seem minor, it goes a long way when your customers can see for themselves on your site that you are a validated and credible business. This makes even more of a difference with online businesses because of how customers can feel much more vulnerable with their information. Concluding, you need to obtain PCI compliance. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council creates a number of regulations to assist merchants by making the internet shopping safer on their website. If you fail to include these important safety procedures in your business plan, it’s sure to alarm lenders that you’re ignorant to the imminent danger of conducting transactions over the internet.