A Few Tips for Operating a Successful Internet Business

There is no one key that unlocks the door to success for business owners. Instead, operating a successful business often requires getting a number of fundamentals correct. Below are some tips specific to running an internet business that does not guarantee a victory, but when executed properly can go a long way on the road to success.

Great Website, Font & Back
We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it we often do. Having a clean, up-to-date, eye-catching web design is important because your website is the face of your company. It creates the first impression of your business and you only get one chance at making a good first impression. You want that impression to make visitors want to look around and ultimately turn into customers.

Just as important as the look for your site, is its functionality. Investing in the right software can make it easy for your customers to search, shop and purchase. It can also automate operational tasks to free up your time to focus on business development and growth.

Reach Target Market
Figure out your target market and how to reach them. First, you must decide who are the customers for your product or service. What are their demographics: gender, age range, education level, social group, etc.… Once you know who they are, then you need to do the research to figure out how to reach this particular audience. Make your marketing efforts effective by showing up in the right places to reach your target market. Optimize your website for the keywords that are popular to customers in search of for your goods & services. Place ads in the places online where your customers visit. Reach out via social media to interact with customers and people you hope to make customers.

Excellent Customer Service
You have spent a great deal of time and often money to convert a visitor to a customer, now you need to dazzle them to keep them. With the expansion of internet use and growth of mega marketplaces like Amazon, people have access to huge amounts of information and numerous choices to shop. Providing superior customer service is crucial to stand out above the crowd to keep customers coming back and referring your business which helps your company to expand.

Build Email List
Keep track of your visitor and/or customer email addresses. Collect email addresses however you can. This creates a list of people that not only can you market to for ongoing or future products/services but this list will be valuable when you decide to exit and sell your business.

Analyze Financials
Don’t rely solely on the reports from your e-commerce platform. Using an accounting software program to track the business financials and keeping separate books for each internet business, makes it easy to review the current picture of the financial health the business and distinguish profitability by the company which is important to making future decisions. Not only is accurate bookkeeping necessary for you to make decisions for your business, but it will be necessary to provide to any potential buyer if you decide to sell the company.

Beyond reviewing sales or revenue trends, analyzing your Profit and Loss Statements offers information about your true margins. Figuring the all-in cost to bring your product to market or all costs involved in offering your service, demonstrates the profitability by product or service. Knowing which generates the biggest profit margins is critical to building a sustainable business. This information helps you determine where you should focus your resources for future growth, and where you should be trying to cut costs or raise prices.

While there are numerous influences including timing that factor into operating a successful business, focusing on the fundamentals that you have control over like the tips shared here can help you reach your business goals.

Natalie Oliverio
Vice President of Finance
Website Properties, LLC.

David Fairley is President and Founder of Website Properties.com. Having started Hamocks.com, Strollers.com and Drums.com as an early e-commerce entrepreneur, David's 25+ years of experience in the internet and Website Brokerage industry gives him a unique and experienced outlook on all things internet.