Seven Things You Need to do to Grow Your Business Online

In the digital age, there are many tools available that can help grow a business. Like everything else though, they need careful consideration and planning.

Here is some advice on seven things you need to do in order to help to grow your business online:

1. Carefully target your online audience
To a large extent, e-commerce depends on a reputable, accessible online presence. Identify your target demographic and ensure your marketing and content speaks directly to that audience.

2. Harness the power of social media
Most social media platforms are free to use and they provide many useful functions for businesses, including, a means of advertising, promoting brand awareness and building relationships with your customers. If you are short on time, pick maybe just a couple of platforms initially and manage them well, as quality is important if you want to build a following.

To help you to keep on track and be consistent, put together a simple content calendar so that you can plan when and what you will be posting. Then you need to ensure that you always analyse what happens and learn from it, i.e. what posts work, what posts get lots of attention, what posts send traffic to your website and, most importantly, what activities result in sales.

3. Invest in mobile compatibility
Increasingly consumers are using mobile devices for shopping. If this is applicable to your business you will need a robust mobile e-commerce platform. Solutions include responsive sites, mobile sites, apps, click-to-call tools, real-time notifications and maps. Your site needs to load quickly too, as a customer’s attention span will not wait for product descriptions and pictures to load – they will click off and look for the product elsewhere.

4. Provide high quality content
Put yourself in the position of your customer and ask yourself – what does my customer need to know? And then ensure that this is what you deliver. Useful infographics, ‘how to’ posts and videos, engaging and interesting pictures, polls and surveys and links that people want to share. If you are unable to do this yourself, delegate this to a member of staff or perhaps look to engage a copywriter.

5. Personalise content
Technology can generate shopping experiences that are based on personal preferences. BatchBook and Zoho are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions that small businesses can use.

6. Integrate your sales channels
All methods of shopping and interaction with your company should provide the customer with the same great experience. Promotions, offers, company information and mission statements, should be reflected in both your online presence and in your business premises. This will help to encourage customers who engage with you in the ‘real’ world, to begin to use you online too, and hopefully encourage their friends and contacts to do the same.

7. Look at subscriptions
Ask people to sign up for your newsletters/special offers emails. Newsletters can be populated with your high quality content (as recommended earlier) using a tool such as MailChimp and Mad Mimi.

You can send out special offers when you need to, for your business this may be seasonally. Ensure your offer emails have an engaging subject line, a call to action and a landing page on your website which corresponds exactly to that call to action.

Most newsletters and email distribution systems can provide you with statistics, so that you can analyse the response of your efforts, for example, which subjects are more popular and which links do people click on.

Botting and Co Chartered Certified Accountants can support your business from the start. Our business support services for business in Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Chichester, Worthing, Goring by Sea, Rustington, East Preston, Arundel or West Sussex include business start-up and planning, raising business finance, strategic and financial planning, cash flow and profit forecasts, financial systems and exit planning. Contact us today on 01903 713508 or email info@bottingandco.co.uk

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