Ask any entrepreneur about building an online business, and they’ll tell you it’s a great way to work on your terms. But, it ain’t easy.
Yes, it’s fulfilling, but like most rewarding pursuits, the road to independence is paved with hard work, sacrifice, sweat and a fair few tears. Just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, but there are some things you can do to save your sanity and keep your cash flowing.
Here are 7 tips to help you live your best entrepreneurial life.
The Perfection Trap
A wise old entrepreneur once said ‘done is better than perfect,’ and when it comes to getting up and running, never have truer words been spoken. Waiting for perfection is a sure-fire way to miss the boat, so don’t get caught up trying to create the perfect product or website. To get sales, you need to get started. Tune into your customers and use their feedback to keep refining your offering.
Focus on Retention
While acquiring customers is good, retaining them is great. Always look for ways to grow, nurture and retain your database. Use the power of personalisation to reward their loyalty and innovate around your customers. Use content, email and social media to grow engagement; focus less on the size of your database and more on the loyalty of your customers.
Instead of guessing whether your customers are engaged and happy – ask them. Send them an incentivised survey, asking for direct feedback via email or pick up the phone and have a conversation. It could be feedback around shipping or a couple of questions about customer experience. In any case, there’s no better way to understand your customer than to ask them.
Facebook groups are a great place to check-in when you’re having one of those days. Aside from keeping your sanity in check, Facebook communities are a great place to share learnings, failings and stay on top of trends. When you’ve got your head down doing more than you can handle, it’s not only isolating but can also keep you out of the loop. To get the most of Facebook groups, don’t be the shameless self-promoter. Sure, there’s a place for a friendly intro, but, you need to earn your stripes before dropping discount codes.
Fact: people buy from people. With so much emphasis on success, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to be vulnerable about their experiences. We don’t live in a fairytale – so be human in your content. Share the story of why you started your business, what you’re learning along the way, and give your audience reasons to engage and support you. You don’t need to be a people pleaser to be relatable.
Don’t be a Sheep
Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. While competition is a good thing, copying your competition isn’t. Whether it’s social media campaigns, website designs or shipping incentives, always choose strategies that suit your business and your bottom line. A great example is free shipping. While it’s fairly standard that an online store would offer a blanket free shipping incentive, it may not be the best solution for your product or business. Before making sweeping statements or keeping up with the industry for the sake of appearances, make sure you pick products or solutions that help you differentiate your offering as opposed to blending in.
Invest in Solutions
Trying to do everything yourself will only get you so far. If you find yourself drowning in deadlines, missing courier cut off times, ignoring emails and messages and simply not knowing how to fit it all in – it’s time to invest in solutions.
From social media scheduling tools to a helping hand with online advertising, outsource the things you’re not good at so you can focus on building your business. The same goes for shipping. With many carriers, costs and cut off times to consider, finding the best way to get your goods from A to B is not only exhausting but also impossible to keep on top of. With a cloud-based platform like Shippit, you can take the guesswork out of shipping decisions and make your deliveries simple, seamless and cost-effective.
Click here to find out how Shippit can help you make shipping simple, convert more sales, automate shipping and returns and return complaints.