10 Essential Elements to Create a Successful Online Business

Success QuoteThere are many factors that will impact the success of your business. With the increasing number of businesses moving online, the competition is huge!

Many of those businesses will fail but there are certain basic elements you can establish to help turn your online business into a successful one.

1.    You can’t push your product or service if it’s crappy!

A great product or service and a strong business model is essential. It doesn’t matter how much marketing your do, if you don’t have a solid business (which is your foundation), you’re setting yourself up for failure.

“You can put lipstick on a pig…but it’s still a pig”.

 2.    You have to offer something people want and need

Understand your market and their needs. By identifying their pain points, you’ll be able to offer a compelling solution.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker

3.    Make a good first impression and have a clear message

People don’t want to search to figure out what you’re selling. Provide tangible value your customers will receive by buying your products or services.

Your website, marketing materials and the way you present yourself on and offline is a direct reflection on the way you conduct your business.

“Regardless of the changes in technology, the market for well-crafted messages will always have an audience.” Steve Burnett

4.    Make it a good user experience 

  • Make sure your website is easy to navigate
  • Pay attention to both function and aesthetics
  • Don’t overwhelm your visitors with ads
  • Don’t make website visitors jump through hoops to get what they’re looking for (including your free offers)

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”. Steve Jobs

 5.    Put your customers first. It’s not about you!

People really don’t care about you, your business or what you’re selling. Your customers only care about what your business can do for them and how you can solve their problems-what’s in it for them.

Focus on how you can help your customers and avoid excessive self-promotion (continually talking about your business and products or how great you are).

“I am wired like a CEO and care a great deal about the bottom line, but I care about my customers even more than that. That’s always been my competitive advantage”. Gary Vaynerchuk

6.    Make it social

Allow your audience to be involved in your community and connect with your business to create more meaningful relationships.

By being a social business, it will help to humanize your brand, make you more accessible and drive your audience to inter­act with it even more.

“Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers”. Bryan Weiner

 7.    Educate

Assist your prospects during the purchase journey by educating them about your products or services.

Producing helpful content that will educate your visitors is the best way to portray yourself as a leader in your field and will make your business accessible 24/7 which would be impossible to do if you were solely an offline business.

“Blogs are about sharing with authenticity. A good enterprise blog can help you really connect deeply with your customers in a meaningful way because the content is not only relevant but insightful and personal. I think most enterprises miss that point.

When you do it right, your customers will walk away not only having learned something new but will also feel much more connected to your brand”. David Armano

8.    Keep track of your supporters, fans and advocates

Providing a unique and personal experience requires knowing and understanding your audience. A CRM system can help you identify, categorize or segment your target audience.

By tailoring your communications, you will be able to provide a more personal experience and develop deeper and stronger relationships with your audience.

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them” W. Edwards Deming

9.    Do something unexpected and delight

Sadly, the bar is not set very high when it comes to customer service. Exceeding people’s expectations by showing how much you value their business with simple gestures will make your business memorable.

According to Ipsos, a global independent market research company, “delighted customers are 5 times more likely to plan on repurchasing than merely satisfied customers”.

This doesn’t have to apply to only your current customers. Think about how you can also be memorable with your prospects, employees, peers and with your audience in general.

“Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people”. Mary Kay Ash

 Why customers leave

 Source: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com

 10.  Be helpful

Help people solve their problems, give without expectations and provide value.

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed”. Napoleon Hill   

Of course there are many other important factors to consider which may influence the success of your business. Making sure that you have a solid foundation will increase your chances of succeeding with your online business.



Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »