In the age of technology, starting a business has never been easier—and it’s possible to do it from the comfort of your own home. How does an online startup entrepreneur tactfully attract a clientele base who will advocate positively for their company? How do you get the people who visit your website to stay long enough to purchase something?
Focus on Building Relationships
No doubt you’ve heard the expression that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The same is true of your startup business. However, Rome also wasn’t built by only one person either. In order to secure the stability and growth of your sales, you’re going to want to make sure your customers are not just pleased with your product, but also advocating for your product to other potential customers.
It is often said that “people buy from people.” In the online realm, this can be hard to achieve. Consider the customer experience. How can you promote goodwill and build a community of fans? Building a positive relationship with your customer base is what’s going to keep your customers coming back for more.
Give the Customers What They Want
It’s not about you. It’s about the customer. Taking our first step a little further, it’s common sense that keeping your customers happy is going to keep your business thriving. While owning a business is, in the long run, about putting money in your pocket, entrepreneurs must keep their clients happy in order to continue producing revenue and growth.
One of the best things about running a startup is that in the early days, you can execute changes quickly. It is essential to keep an eye on feedback and reviews. Customers will always have suggestions and preferences. Not all of them should be acted upon, but especially early on they should all be listened to. If you begin hearing the same complaint or request over and over again, it may be time to make a change.
Try Samples and Freebies
No one can put faith into your product if they have no idea what it is, so why not allow them a taste? This may be in the form of a free trial, an introductory offer or even a free product. It all depends on your business model and what makes the most sense.
In the early days of a startup, you’ll be tempted to price your product or service low, in order to gather sales and attain business growth. This is a risky proposition if you can’t sustain relatively low prices. Introductory offers, freebies and extreme discounts should be approached carefully. Make it clear this is a special offer and have a date in place to end the promotion.
Get Creative with Your Target Audience
Buzzwords and phrases can be difficult to navigate. How many advertisements promise that a product will “change your life?” Now compare that to how many of them actually do. Creative promotion is more likely to be successful than tired platitudes.
Flash sales, viral videos and focused content marketing may be more targeted and cost effective than writing a blank cheque to a big marketing firm. Especially if you’re bootstrapping, get creative and stretch a dollar and an idea where possible. Grass roots campaigns can be successful and necessity still breeds innovation and creativity.
Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can act as valuable tools for your startup funding. The idea behind them is simple: you create a profile for your product, blast it all over social media, people visit the page and donate money to get your product up and running.
Circling back to point one, you’re going to need to build some fundamental relationships with your customers and have at least a little buzz going before you can hope to be successful. Crowdfunding has been enormously successful for everything from wireless earbuds to barbecue sauce, but it is very much a grass roots campaign and not a sure thing.
The downside to startup crowdfunding is that in most cases, especially as with online services, the funds are not immediately available until the goal is met. If the goal is not met, you don’t get anything.
Be Creative and Focused
The goal of any startup is revenue and growth. In most cases, they go hand in hand. Be creative and focused on these goals and you’ll put yourself in a position for success.