Personal Development, Business, Finance, and Investing for Everyone
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Now is the best time to start an online business.
It’s true that nothing compares to shopping and window shopping in physical stores. However, due to mobility restrictions brought by COVID-19, shopping behavior has now shifted mostly online.
Online shopping is fast, convenient, and allows customers to communicate with sellers 24/7. Here in Southeast Asia, the e-commerce industry is expected to reach an estimated $172 billion by 2025 compared to the previous estimate of $153 billion.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for the next big opportunity or if you’re a seasoned one looking to widen the scope of your business, take advantage of the growing digital marketplace. It’s a good place to promote and sell your goods and services. Start maximizing its full potential with these six practical tips:
Be particular about your niche or market
When thinking of a niche for your business, observe the market. Look into people’s pain points and see how you can address them in your unique way. While looking outwardly into your demographic’s needs, you should also look into yourself as an entrepreneur. Will your business idea match personal passions or beliefs? If you’re going into business with a value proposition that you don’t believe in or does not excite you, you may have difficulty committing to it and promoting it in the best way possible.
As soon as you’ve identified the pain points you can solve with ideas, goods, or services you’re passionate about, you should be able to narrow down your target demographic. After doing so, communicate and reach out to them through effective marketing channels.
Connect and empathize with your market
One of the advantages of having an online business is it connects you instantly to your target demographic. You can track their buying behavior, what they enjoy and love, what they consider to be essential in their lives, and their dreams and goals. This means you can empathize quickly and deeply with them. You can effectively strengthen this understanding of your market and your connection to them by using social media platforms.
Here’s a quick tip for you: Humor, when used appropriately, can easily attract attention online. Promote your goods and services with it’s-so-funny-because-it’s-true memes that can range from silly, inspirational, relatable, to even socially relevant.
Know your competition
Look at direct competitors, indirect competitors (ones offering similar goods and services), and substitute competitors (ones offering different goods and services but target a different target demographic). Study how they present their goods and services to the market, their competitive advantages, and their apparent business and marketing strategies. Once you've done this, assess how you can better position your business and how you can improve your own marketing and pricing strategies.
Maximize the power of social media and the use of free content marketing tools
Social media is indeed the online entrepreneur’s best friend. It’s so easy to use, and everyone is on it. However, you can’t do a regular post the way you do with your personal accounts. What you post on social media about your business should be presentable and speaks to your target demographic.
You don’t need to be a social media expert to pull this off. There are tons of free content marketing tools online, like Canva for Negosyo, which offers branding kits and template sets for many types of businesses and provides quick guides and tutorials on how you can market your business online.
Consistency, patience, and sacrifice - the keys to success
The key to success in any endeavor is not innate brilliance but your perseverance in making it work. This is true for your online business, especially if you’re a new entrepreneur with minimal experience. You should not expect your business to fly off the shelves the moment you start it. Instead, expect a lot of hard work. Take the time to study the digital marketplace, your customers, and how you can sharpen your unique selling proposition. Be consistent in your efforts. Show up for your business every day, and even if you make mistakes, be patient with yourself and learn from them.
Be prepared to make sacrifices. Learn how to multitask because as a budding online entrepreneur, you will have to source your goods, be your own customer service agent, and your own marketing manager.
Get a mentor
Having a mentor in business is necessary because you can learn from their experiences. It can be as simple as learning their basic processes of starting their online business to something more complex, like setting long-term goals and minimizing risks. Have someone to look up to so you'll have an idea of what you can expect for your business in the future. There are uncertainties when going into business, but having a mentor can help you be inspired and motivated to thrive.
Running an online business is not so different from running a typical brick-and-mortar business. Both have advantages and disadvantages, challenges, and unique opportunities. The key is to know your market inside out — learn their spending habits, what engages them, and what makes them tick. Once you know and apply this knowledge to your business, your potential can be limitless.
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ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Hi, I'm Ralph Gregore Masalihit!
An RFP Graduate (Registered Financial Planner Institute - Philippines).
A Personal Finance Advocate. An I.T. by Profession. An Investor. Business Minded. An Introvert. A Photography Enthusiast. A Travel and Personal Finance Blogger (Lakbay Diwa and Kuripot Pinoy).
Currently, I'm working my way toward time and financial freedom.