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Useful Tips to Start Your Online Business Successfully

Useful Tips to Start Your Online Business Successfully

There are many steps to take before starting your online business.

A business in general has its own characteristics which all need to be conveyed to the audience in an effective and clear manner. Displaying these to the correct audience in the digital landscape can be extremely difficult, with countless others all competing for the same spaces. Below are a handful of tips to guide the creation of your online business:

1. Leadership

Before going out to realize an idea on the Internet, you should ask yourself if you really are willing to take on new challenges and to devote time, resources, and much of your patience to achieve it.

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You should be aware that online business rules are not the same as those for traditional brick-and-mortars. You need to keep up to date with the latest news in the digital landscape in order to steer your business to online success. Things change so quickly, so you need to be adaptable as a leader and a company so that you adapt to change, rather than crumble. The online entrepreneur will need to be innovative, creative, and light on their feet so as to stay ahead of the market and move forward towards success.

2. A Good Domain Name

Your domain name is the avenue through which you will identify your business on the Internet. A good domain name should be short and memorable, that clearly identifies what you are selling and most importantly, easy to type. Ideally, a user should be able to just hear it and know how to write it or spell it with ease. In fact, any word difficult to spell should be abolished. Finally, the extension “.com” is typically better than “.net“, because browsers are set to default “.com” (be aware that your domain affects the search rankings). Prestige also goes hand-in-hand with any domain that is registered as .com, so short, recognizable and punchy works best.

3. Business Research

Remember that the product or service that you’re going to be offering is likely to be purchased by users like you, so ask yourself with no agenda, would you or other consumers buy this type of product or service online and is it already available? If you can answer ‘yes’ to both of these, then you already have a foundation of demand to tap into. However, you will want to be sure to check and see how many competitiors are out there. If you ask yourself “Are all the needs of customers already fulfilled by others performing this service or creating this product?” If the answer to this is also ‘yes,’ you’ll need to come up with something very unique that will set your business apart, or may want to consider a new idea. There are a number of tools out there these days that allow you to analyze your marketplace to assess the competitiveness and how your competitors compare against you and one another. This allows you to segment your market fully to see where you can try to position yourself.

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4. Content Management Software and E-commerce Software

These are two essentials that raise your businesses offering significantly. Selecting a good content management software and e-commerce is a difficult choice due to the variety of companies out there, but it is important to pick those which are most appropriate to your business needs, rather than something overly complicated that you might not need. It would be a good idea to future-proof if you can, but don’t stray too far from your current goals either. Over 20 years ago, Bill Gates proclaimed that “Content is King” and this is still recognized as a foundation of best practice for building your own site. And hand in hand with this, you want to maintain a complete focus on relevance, so anything that can boost this is recommended. Standard e-commerce and content management systems are pretty versatile, however, you might want something more niche and specific to your business, like a church website builder. The beauty of the plurality of software companies is that there numerous offerings out there that you can tailor to your needs, regardless of how specialized your business is.

5. SEO: Search Engine Optimization

This is a mysterious art that is broken down into many different areas. Because there are so many areas which need to be monitored and tweaked constantly, the world of SEO can seem mind-boggling and intimidating to business owners. You can either invest time learning this yourself or consult with specialists who are geared up to tailor techniques to every kind of business- the choice is yours. The most important thing is to implement a strategy one way or another as, without one, you won’t stand a chance of securing enough traffic to your site to be recognized by search engines or your potential customers.

6. Avoid These Common Mistakes

– Offering the same products or services of your competitors: Remember that customers have different needs, tastes, and likes, so there should be a niche out there for you.

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– Not being original or creative: You need deep subject knowledge, fresh creativity, and a unique selling proposition. Many businesses do not stand out enough to get traction in their chosen area.

– Starting a business you aren’t passionate about: Do not only think about making money, you also need to love what you do, sell or offer (regardless if it’s a product or service).

– Ignoring or dismissing feedback and reviews: Do not dismiss these two aspects because they are a valuable tool to understand what your audience or customers need, think, or do. Consider having a customer service team as well.

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– Not thinking about a targeted audience or ideal customers: Doing good research is the way you get to know your clients better and then build a product according to their needs or choices. Consider that, the more you can target, the better, since it will be easier to identify with your customer’s needs.

If you have all you need and heed this advice, take a chance and start your own online business!

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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