Transitioning from corporate America, a cramped cubicle and the confines of an employer-employee relationship to a small business with online access can be an intimidating project for the inexperienced. While entrepreneurial aspirations provide a great mode for creativity, prosperity and flexibility, one might have to undertake significant risks in order to accomplish this objective. There are some tricks that can ensure success though. For one, learning how to navigate through the online world is highly important. Let’s take a look at some of the tricks of the trade that can help you out.
“It was a ‘Sanford & Sons’ organization that had a poor reputation for collecting on overdue rent,” said Desiree Carter, a small business owner from the south who recently inherited a struggling storage company. Due to poor maintenance and inefficient bookkeeping by negligent management, the 50-unit facility had begun to resemble that of a junkyard. In order to circumvent loss and turn a profit, Carter invested in numerous upgrades such as remodeling the front office, installing an automatic gate and putting security cameras around the property. These out-of-pocket expenses were partially recouped through auctioning off the belongings of delinquent tenants. However, initial returns were substantially less than the funds she invested.
However, diligence eventually led to success. Now, under new management and an online presence, the company is flourishing. “Occupancy is at 90 percent, customers pay consistently and our reputation has improved around town,” Carter boasted. “Business is way up. The extra capital enabled me to spearhead an internet campaign that morphed into an impressive company website. This allows customers to pay bills online, take a virtual tour, reserve units, view monthly statements, get directions to our location, receive notifications about upcoming auctions and contact our office via email for general information.”
Despite a sluggish economy, dedication and hard work paid off for Carter. She now operates a successful, independent franchise on the outskirts of town.
Advantages to Internet Marketing
An online venture typically starts off as a small enterprise that is advertised locally or through the paper. Once revenue and demand increases, an online “branch” is an attractive option that merchants use because it conveniently bridges the gap between buyers and sellers. It also greatly expands earning potential through connecting a small operation to a global clientele. In addition, a web-based marketing strategy can be an inexpensive venture compared to other forms of advertisement such as direct mail and media broadcasts. There are free website design tools available and monthly usage fees that start at around $10.
Tips for success in the virtual world:
• Produce a quality product that garners repeat business and rave reviews.
• Internet tools such as social networking sites, viral videos and online advertising boosts your company profile
• Make use of Search Engine Optimization [SEO] to increase traffic to your site
• Use logs and newsletters as a cost-efficient ways to promote your services
• Membership in relevant organizations can be a thrifty link to new customers
While the online market can provide a safe haven for the struggling start up, know-how and perseverance are necessary components of a successful operation.
What moves did you take to make your business online compatible? Let us now in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of The In Site Online