3 Min Read
We live in a digital world whether we like it or not, and people are using the internet for more and more things in their daily lives; whether it’s research, socialising or even business. It’s the business side of the digital world that’s really starting to expand and develop, as brands move online to reach new levels of success. With that in mind, running a business online may be something that you’re interested in yourself; maybe your shop front is doing well, but you could do with a boost in sales or footfall, or perhaps you’re looking for a new avenue to explore and to keep up with the digital era that surrounds you. You may even be setting up a brand new business and want to start online straight away.
Whatever reason you want to run a business online, you will no doubt face some challenges along the way despite the advantages that it can bring. At Digital Next, our mission is to ensure you overcome those challenges and continue to bring increased success to your brand, making sure that it grows year after year. Understanding those challenges in the half the battle, so let us give you a little insight.
If you’re a new online business, it’s important that you’re getting your message across and portraying your brand in the best possible light. You need to build an online persona for your business, ensuring that customers know who you are and what you do.
This can be difficult for many online businesses as you are marketing to the internet, as opposed to pitching in front of a boardroom of physical customers. Knowing who you want your audience to be is a challenge in itself, and then you need to find where they are online. Do your targeted audience use social media frequently? Or do they rely on Google search results to find their needs? This can help to shape your approach in running a successful digital business.
Learn which channels are going to benefit you most; do you need to set up social media pages for your customers to find out what’s going on, or should you focus on email marketing campaigns and blogs on your website?
This is a challenge when you’re operating from a digital platform as you’re limited when it comes to developing real, face-to-face relationships with your customers. It’s not quite the same as having customers come into your shop or office, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
Being online means your reach is wider; you can operate in markets across the world, but it’s automatically harder to maintain a personal relationship with all of them. Tackle this by making sure your business is approachable online, with ample opportunities to get in touch or find the information they need easily.
Another challenge within this is customer retention. A butcher will have loyal customers coming to his shop back over and over for high quality cuts of meat, but it’s a bit different online. Customers have access to multiple companies that all offer the same thing; so how do you build a good relationship that means you keep your customers?
It’s highly competitive out there, so you need to be one step ahead of others in your industry. It can be a challenge to make sure you keep up with your customers’ demands and needs. Trends change and customer behaviour can shift very quickly; it’s your job to be in the know and how to use that information to your advantage.
As the owner of a business, you’re probably already good with company money and how to spend it. However, budgeting for an online business can present a challenge especially when it comes to marketing costs. Finding and targeting your niche audience is incredibly important when it comes to overcoming this challenge, as you don’t want to be spending crucial budget on marketing campaigns that simply aren’t going to have an impact.
Managing your budget is a challenge as you can often overspend very easily on marketing campaigns such as AdWords or social spend. Carefully invest your business’ money in something that will maximise the investment; digital marketing can provide an impressive ROI, as long as you know what you’re doing.
For help on running a successful business online, get in touch with our team today.