Starting a new online business can be an exciting venture for new entrepreneurs. Most online businesses don’t take much time or resources in order to get up and running; however, if you ask anyone who’s started an online business before, it’s not as easy to make sure an online business becomes and stays successful. That’s why there are about a billion websites on the internet but only a 10-20% success rate for online businesses.
While figuring out which type of online business you want to start, you’ll also want to make sure you’re setting clear goals to focus on for your business. Without goals, a business does not have a definitive way to measure success and determine if it’s on the right path.
Whether you’re an influencer, ecommerce entrepreneur, blogger or have a subscription business, you need to set good goals. Hopefully, you’ve thought about your goals before you started your online business. But, if you haven’t, we’ve outlined 5 crucial goals online business owners should consider setting to keep them on track for success.
1. Be Mobile Friendly
55% of people access the internet via mobile phones and only 45% use desktops to get online. Therefore, online businesses cannot afford to ignore the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.
One way to ensure your website is mobile-friendly is to implement a responsive layout that scales your website according to the size of the user’s screen. Other practices to include are compressing images, changing button sizes and layouts and avoiding tiny fonts. Overall, a move towards decluttering the mobile website experience should be made.
It’s essential to have a responsive website that provides a seamless user experience across various devices to make sure your website is accessible to all internet users. Before launching your online business make sure to test out the mobile user experience. Google’s Mobile Friendly test is a free way to do so.
2. Drive Traffic
One of the most crucial factors for the success of any online business is getting customers to your website. Even if you have the most exceptional product or service, no one can buy it if they don’t know it exists. For an online business, driving traffic should be one of the major short-term business goals that are set.
Organic and steady website traffic doesn’t happen automatically. You may need to use a few strategies you can focus on to help drive traffic:
- Creating valuable content through blogging and becoming a resource to others.
- Implementing SEO best practices to rank higher on Google.
- Diversifying marketing strategies and having multiple sales funnels.
- Engaging with customers online and building a community around your brand.
These are only a few ways to begin to drive steady traffic to your website. By analyzing traffic sources you can identify effect channels and start to optimize your efforts.
3. Build an Email List
If you’ve ever wondered why employees will ask for your email when checking out at a store, it’s because that business understands building an email list is a great way to continue to connect with customers so they keep coming back. Email marketing is easily something new online business owners can put on the back burner at first but starting to build an email list from day one can give you a headstart for a strong email marketing strategy.
Some of the top benefits of email marketing are:
- It’s owned media. A company has complete control over it and changing algorithms won’t affect it.
- Businesses can create loyal repeat customers by staying top of mind and bringing valuable content to their inboxes.
- Email metrics can bring insight into what brand messaging is working and what isn’t and can help to create more target messaging that resonates with a specific audience.
There are several ways to begin collecting email addresses and you can start by asking at the point of sale, having a pop-up window, and having a standard sign-up form on your website. Offering incentives like a free product or short course is a great way to get customers interested in signing up as well.
4. Increase Social Media Following
If businesses want to stand a chance in the online world, they need to begin to create a solid social media following to build brand awareness and establish their brand identity. In 2022, social media ad spend stood at approximately $230 billion, with spending expected to surpass the 300-billion-dollar mark by 2024.
When first starting out, it’ll be important to focus your efforts on social media. Choose only the platforms where your audience prefers to be rather than trying to market your brand everywhere. Make sure your brand is cohesive throughout your social media profiles as well so people can easily recognize your business.
To boil down the majority of social media marketing tips, the way to build a community online is to post quality content regularly to your pages and engage with your audience consistently. By being consistent with your online presence and establishing your brand identity through posts and interactions you will start to build a following. As you grow online, continue to build on the marketing strategies you use.
5. Diversify Revenue
While generating revenue should be a good first year business goal for anyone, diversifying revenue should be something entrepreneurs seek to do as their businesses grow. In fact, diversifying revenue is one of the most important financial business goals you can set. Relying on one stream of income can put a business at risk if and when that income stream dries up. When thinking of the long-term success of your online business, diversifying revenue streams earlier can strengthen the stability of your business and increase opportunities for growth and expansion.
Beginning to identify other opportunities of revenue can be as simple as reviewing what your business already does and what makes sense with your brand. Some ideas for additional revenue can be offering premium services to customers and bundling certain products together. Also, consider adding a new product or service that compliments what your business already does.
6. Improve Customer Satisfaction
While diversifying revenue is a key financial goal, improving customer satisfaction is an important non-financial business goal. However, customer satisfaction ultimately contributes the bottom line. When customers have so many other competitive options, customer satisfaction becomes a significant differentiator. A happy customer not only brings recurring business but also serves as an advocate. Which, eventually, enhances your the brand’s reputation through positive word of mouth. On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer can quickly switch allegiance to competitors. Consequently, your revenue may be hampered.
So how do you improve your customer’s experience with your online business? One way is by focusing on online personalization. Understanding individual customer preferences and tailoring product recommendations and communication accordingly can significantly enhance the customer experience. Coupling this with an easy-to-navigate, user-friendly interface can make customers’ shopping experience seamless and enjoyable.
High-quality, speedy customer service is another key area. Also, regularly seeking customer feedback and take action with the feedback. Demonstrate the business’s commitment to meeting customer needs and expectations. Finally, implementing a strong after-sales service can ensure a positive end-to-end shopping experience for customers. Customers want to know that you won’t abandon them once you’ve made the sale.
7. Find the Key Metrics for Your Business Type
When it comes to an online business, it is easy to get distracted. There are a lot of shiny objects that you can potential chase after. Likes on your social media profiles, brand mentions, even organic traffic can be great for some business. However, some other businesses may not benefit from some of these metrics. That is why it is important to focus on the most important metrics for your type of online business.
Focusing on key metrics is vital for an online business because these numbers provide a quantifiable measure of performance. Understanding these metrics allows the business to identify strengths and weaknesses, track progress against goals, and implement changes strategically.
Conversely, if you have growth goals that will be met through emails marketing but you are focused on social media engagement, you will be wasting time and money. When trying to find the key metrics for your business, take a look at what is working. Then ask yourself how what is working will help you reach your most important goals. If it turns out that those metrics do little to grow your business’s reach and revenue, limit the amount of resources you allocate to them.
By setting and focusing on these 5 online business goals when starting out, you can create a sustainable and profitable business. With any business venture, success comes from continuous adaptation, innovation, and dedication.