So you want to start a business?

Let’s not mess around – it’s hard, the hard part is sticking at it, you get out what you put in.

I’m a firm believer that you can monetise anything, old rope, farmed seaweed – you name it. Put the effort in, differentiate yourself, market it – and keep at it.

  1. Find a need (preferably a niche) and go for it
  2. Learn to market yourself, engage with people online / offline – in a meaningful way
  3. Get online – make sure it’s SO easy-to-use, strip out the waffle
  4. Search engines are great, but content is king – BE ORIGINAL
  5. Be the customer, know what people want – and BE EXPERT
  6. Provide a great service, follow up on everything, DELIGHT PEOPLE
  7. Learn how to upsell and compliment your service

Take advice, research and learn, check out my full-fat blog on how to start a business

1 Find the niche and go for ti

So often, you’ll see someone else’s success and replicate it.. WRONG, if you can improve on it great – but the best business should be totally unique and solve a problem, or address a gap

To increase your chances of triumph, start with a market, research and find a group of people who need a solution to a problem. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:

  • Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve.
  • Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
  • Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists–and do it better than the competition.

2: Engage

Proven formula makes visitors engage the moment they arrive at your site… then you can lead them to purchase:

  1. Stimulate interest with a captivating strapline
  2. Tell them how you can help them
  3. Set out why they need you, over others
  4. Tell them about your successes
  5. Explain why your product is so awesome
  6. Offer an incentive, money off – free shipping, anything to get your first sale
  7. Underwrite you claims, “or your money back”
  8. Create time limited offers – “last few items” “expires at midnight”
  9. Push for the sale, contact those who abandon, and quickly

3: Get online and make it slick

Keep it simple, limit the sales process to 2-steps, keep it clean and simple

  • Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
  • Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
  • Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
  • Make it easy to buy–no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
  • Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

The next steps will appear in Tuesdays post…

Contact me for more details, I provide consultancy for start-ups… just get in touch!