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January 30, 2018

Get Into That Top 10: How to Ensure Your Online Company Succeeds

Time and again, experts tell you that 90% of startups — and in particular, online businesses — will fail. It’s a reality you must face if you want to start an online company of your own.

But knowing that, can you come up with an effective strategy to be in the successful 10%?

First, keep in mind that all successful startups have this in common: exponential growth. You will need to hit the ground running and grow consistently in order to ensure long-term success.

Now, you might be wondering:

How can I ensure that my online company can grow exponentially?

Unfortunately, there is no specific formula you can copy. But successful startups have a few things in common. You can learn from their past success stories to forge a path on your own.

Below, I will share 5 core principles successful startups employ. And I will explain why you must adopt these principles in order to make sure your company launches quickly and successfully.

Do Some Pre-Startup Planning

Businesses require a great deal of planning.

Here’s the deal:

You might not become rich overnight. Make realistic goals and measure success based on your unique situation. It might take years before your company takes off and maintains a consistent cash flow.

Now, here are four things you need to consider before you can set up your online business.

1. Find out what consumers want. 

Your online business starts with an idea, but not every idea is profitable. Your business will fall flat if not enough people want your product or service.

Make sure you’re fulfilling a specific need by talking to prospective customers.

2. Reach out to users on social media. 

Social media marketing presents two immediate benefits: It gives consumers an early look at your product. Secondly, it provides networking opportunities.

Additionally, you might be able to build a base of loyal customers. And you might find other business people to give you advice.

3. Come up with a dynamic business plan. 

Whether you have a local or worldwide focus, you’ll need an appropriate business plan. With a business plan, you can establish goals and have something to present to any investors.

Making a business plan can be a complicated process, but here are a few things you should do with it:

  • Find out about your strengths/weaknesses. What do you do well and what are some realistic challenges you face?

4. Figure out the Practical and Legal Issues.

There will be a few legal and practical issues you will need to take into account, including:

  • Trademarks. Do you have legal ownership of your product and the brand name?
  • Ownership. When you accept money from investors, you might have to give share in the ownership of your company. Establish ground rules before accepting money and decide how much control you are willing to give up.

Create Your Website As Soon As Possible

Your online business begins and ends with your website. But how will you get people there and convert visitors into customers?

Do the following:

  • Make a “dynamic” landing page. You don’t have to use JavaScript heavily, but your website needs to do its job. Your home page should be pleasing to the eye, be mobile accessible, and give your visitors a reason to signup and buy from you.
  • Create valuable media, including blogs, images, infographics, slideshows, and videos. Your media should lead people to your website and establish you as an influencer.

Test the Potential of Your Product

Get your product out to the market as soon as possible. Then use your social media channels to get early and consistent feedback. Make sure you keep an ongoing dialogue with your customers.

Release your minimum viable product (MVP) quickly and have potential customers test it. Find out what works, what doesn’t, and if you need to include more aspects/features, put them in place.

Build a Team

Do you need a business partner?

Neil Patel points out that some startups find success because they have co-founders (who work well together).

Business partners are accountable to each other and they can bounce ideas off each other. Sometimes, it’s better to have two heads working on the same problems.

If you build a team with more people, make sure that team is talented, faithful to your mission, and adaptable. Also make sure not to grow your team too fast.

Sometimes, a lean startup can be more flexible.

Perform a Consistent Analysis

Before you begin your analysis, your metrics should be based on realistic goals for your online company. In any case, you will need to measure:

  • Your web traffic.
  • Your conversion rate.
  • The on-site behaviors of your visitors.
  • The number of customers acquired and your monthly retention rate.

Depending on what you find out, you might need to make changes to your website in order to make it more secure, usable, and to improve on conversions. Make sure you do this consistently so you are aware of your position in your market.

Conclusion

Creating an online company is never easy. You need to improve on conversions and account for them even in the planning phase. The 90% of failed startups often take these things for granted.

Be informed, focused, and diligent in order to prime your online company for success.


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Hammad Akbar is a tech entrepreneur with a passion for technology and online marketing. He's currently focusing on a new startup TruConversion, a SaaS application in web/mobile analytics space. Check out his blog HammadAkbar.com

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