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6 Essentials You Need to Consider Before Starting an Online Business

6 Essentials You Need to Consider Before Starting an Online Business

We live in the Internet age so, sooner or later, you will need to make yourself present in the online world with a business or a store. To do this, you will need a domain name and a web-hosting service, as well as a website theme and a CMS to manage and publish content. There are many online strategies that entrepreneurs are using to take their business to a new level.

There are tools that will promise you a lot of wonderful things, but beyond all the technical stuff, there is still an informed decision you need to make. So, here are six essential tips you need to consider before launching an online business:

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Find profitable products or services to sell

This is the most important step. It is the key and the starting point of everything. What are you going to offer/sell? Whatever you choose (a product or a service), you must look for any competitors that are offering something similar to your idea so you will know how to improve the idea or learn about what your additional value is. Choose something that will help you earn money. You can know this by conducting market studies, surveys, and statistical proof.

Choose a segment

Find a necessity and fulfill it by choosing the right products to target and meet those market needs with. To have a better chance of success, start with a specific market. The trick is to look for a group of people that are looking for a solution to a specific problem. You can find a lot of information on the Web that will make your research easier, like your competitor’s strategies, statistics, etc.

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Register a web domain and create a website

One of the first things you will have to do is register a web domain and that will depend on many aspects of your site’s main goal or purpose. It can be a personal blog, or a business blog that acts as a resource for your intended audience, an online store or a market.

You must take your time while planning this step, but if you have already decided a name or have a good idea, don’t take too long on introducing it to the world.[1] You have probably heard about the most common websites for this task, like GoDaddy or WordPress, but there are many other alternatives that will help and guide you while creating and designing your new website easily.

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Choose the best hosting service

You will probably find numerous service providers offering hosting services at different prices and offering multiple benefits. Most people tend to choose a cheap but qualified web hosting plan from a reputable hosting company. Others, who demand the highest possible security and best server performance, opt for choosing an SSD cloud server. That’s why you should conduct some research first (read comments, reviews, ask experts forums, etc.) and find a trusted hosting provider that can deliver the quality of service you require. There are a bunch of scripts out there that will let you administrate your whole web page, its content, images, user registration, etc. Some of the most popular ones are WordPress, Joomla, and Drumla, among others.

Keep in touch with your clients and subscribers

Use the power of email marketing and convert your visitors into customers. When you build an opt-in list, you are making one of the most valuable business decisions on the internet. Your clients and subscribers are giving you permission to send them emails with information, updates, offers, etc. and this marketing strategy is cheaper and more useful than TV or radio ads because it is more specific. But don’t rush, you can get this service after your business is well established and has some months of operation.

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Another good and easy way to get in touch with your audience is through your social networks. It is recommended for your business’s organic traffic and visibility that you know the current social media trends. Remember that people (users) consume actual and relevant content, and they love getting it from their social media accounts every day.

Make use of search engines to bring traffic to your site

For this, you have two options: free organic traffic (which is more difficult to get) and advertisement alternatives that offer “Pay for Click” traffic (one of the easiest and fastest way to gain traffic for your new website). Organic traffic is free and can be sent to your site from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, in case they like the content of your site. On the other hand, Pay for Click is a method where you pay for each advertising banner where people can click. Here, advertisers have to target specific keywords so their publicity appears in first place.

So, now you have some important tips to help you begin your online business. If you follow these steps, you can be sure that it will be a success because you will have a connection with your clients and subscribers and that will make them want to come back and buy your product or service. Don’t think about it too much and start your online business now!

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Erick Clifford

Journalist

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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