Starting and Scaling an Online Business in 2020 [Top 7 Tips]

woman starting a businessPeople start their own businesses for various reasons.

Some start them because their ambition to find new things to start is just too strong. Some people start them because they simply don’t like office politics. And then there are some who start them because they don’t want their earning potential to have a cap, like corporate America tends to do.

When owning your own online business, there is no cap on your earning potential. In fact, you can start your online business and scale it as your business grows.

In knowing why people start online businesses, the next question would be what would cause a small business owner to scale their business?

Well, the reason to scale an online business typically comes from one of two reasons:

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  1. The business has hit a growth plateau
  2. The business is growing so fast that it’s getting harder and harder to meet the customers’ demands

According to entrepreneur.com, there are actually more reasons as to why your business needs scaling, especially when it’s hit a plateau.

But in business, you have to “know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.” And despite the Small Business Administration’s statistics of two-thirds of small businesses not making it past two years, it’s still very important to plan for your business’ future growth.

Why?

Because who starts a business with the objective of only making it to a certain point when the sky is the limit?

In starting and scaling your online business, you have to thoroughly understand that planning for your business’ growth is crucial to the success of your business.

As the owner of a small online business, you need to always be prepared to face significant growth head-on if you want to be a top player in your market… The competition is thick but not enough to where you can’t make your mark.

The key is to make smart decisions from the very start of your business. This is not only going to boost your confidence as a business owner but it’s going to give your business a bright and successful future. Follow these helpful tips to start and scale your business to take it to the next level.

On your mark, get set, GROW!

Starting Your Online Business

Find a Need to Fill

One of the biggest mistakes business owners tend to make is trying to find the products they want to sell before checking out the market. In order to start your business off on the right foot, you’re going to have to first identify and solve a problem or issue customers are facing to meet the demand. 

The takeaway here is that regardless of the product or service you’re wanting to provide, make sure there is a substantial demand for it before you invest time, money, and effort into it.

Determine Your Target Audience

Once you’ve found a need to fill, you can then determine the demographic of people who experience that particular problem and who will benefit the most from your products or services.

This is the time where you have to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. It even helps to check out competitor sites and check out the reviews and comments of previous customers. 

A lot of times when people comment or leave reviews, they’ll not only say how a product or service helped them or didn’t help them but they’ll also say who they are the lifestyle they lead as to why the product or service helped or didn’t help them… that information is golden.

Find the Right Products to Meet the Needs of Your Target Audience

In finding your target audience, this is going to help you find or make the right products to meet the needs of your audience. The key is to sell products they’ve never seen or heard of or to sell products that already exist but to make them better or more appealing than your competitors.

Build Your Store On a Scalable Platform

The key to scaling your business is to build your online store on a scalable e-commerce platform. Just think about it… If you start your online business with clear intentions to grow it in the future, you’re going to want to make smart decisions from the start, remember? 

You need an e-commerce platform that’s going to provide everything you need to build and run your business. Everything from templates and themes to a powerful management system and blogging platform, you need everything in one place.

You’re not going to have the time to download applications from here and there… you need a platform that allows you to build a fully-featured website to give your business a smooth transition to scale.

Scaling Your Business

Analyze Your Business’ Performance

Analyzing your business’ performance is what’s going to give you direct insight as to how quickly your business is growing. Metrics are key. Sales is the first thing you’re going to want to look at.

What products are doing well and which ones aren’t and what’s causing your growth speed, whether fast or slow?

Other metrics to look at are lifetime value, cost per acquisition, and e-commerce conversion. This is going to help you have a strong pitch when you go to investors for financial backing.

pitching a woman-owned businessPitch to Investors

One of the biggest issues that small business owners face is the issue of funding to run their business. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll have the opportunity to get on Shark Tank! But if you’re like the other small business owners who aren’t lucky enough to be on the show, you’re going to have to pitch to investors.

When pitching to investors, you’re going to need a business plan that strategically explains the ins and outs of your business. The only thing about investors is that they’ll have part ownership of your brand.

So if you don’t want to do that, there are other options to take to fund your business but pitching to investors is going to add great value to your business.

Ramp Up Your Marketing Strategy

This is where you have to create a buzz with your business. Whether your business needs scaling due to it growing too fast or hitting a plateau, you have to stay engaged with the public.

You can always build off your business’ existing traffic through various channels but new customers are what’s going to grow your business. 

Things like social media, influencers, PR firms, and SEO strategies are great ways to increase interest in your brand. Ultimately, your marketing strategy is what’s going to scale your business.

The more people know about you, the more leads and potential sales you’ll have. Just make sure your business is built on a scalable platform.

 

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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