One of the most revolutionary additions to the 21st century is the internet. Interestingly, a good number of Africans and Nigerians are leveraging on it to set up internet or online businesses.
An early company that tapped the internet to establish a viable business in Africa is Jumia even though it was birthed in Nigeria. The entry of the eCommerce company in Nigeria in 2012 and its subsequent expansion to 12 other African countries created a bandwagon rush to establish online businesses. This doesn’t mean it was smooth sailing for the leading eCommerce company in Africa.
Truthfully, starting an online business is not easy. There are some things that you are required to introduce to your business to guarantee success. If you are planning to sell your products or services online, here are a few things you must know.
Have a business plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Before you kickstart your internet business, you must find out an appropriate business plan. Proper planning of the business is essential for its success. Your business plan should include a niche in which you are going to work; at the same time, it must also give an insight into an idea of the possibility of the success that you are going to achieve
Know your customer (KYC)
The statement ‘customer is king’ has never been as valid as ever in this internet age. They will make or mar your business and plainly, they won’t worry because they have a lot of options which is just a click away. Research all the demographics as well as psychographics of your potential customer base and keep a check on their buying habits. Also, watch your competitors, browse the websites of your competitors and try to comprehend the feedback of their customers on social media platforms.These strategies will help you to understand the market. But make sure you are not obsessed with your competitor.
Pick the right product
Even after outlining the idea of the business and finding out the niche of your business, it is very important for you to be very particular about the type of the product that you are going to sell. This is very important for all the individuals who are looking forward to launching their business online – pick the right products. If you are not the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the product, choose a competent supplier to serve the purpose for you.
Domain name and site location
Once you are done with strategizing and choosing the product, a good hosting provider shall come next in the list. After this, you can proceed to set up your very own website and begin with your online business. If you do not have any kind of knowledgeable experience on the domain name and site location, it is always suggested to pursue the advice of an expert.
The right use of social media
Marketing and advertising strategies could be well-executed by using social media. Today, some social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are taken into use to market and promote many business ideas. Using the platform provided by social media, you can easily reach your target customers.
Plan an email list
Starting and maintaining an email list is very important while you are setting up your business online. A number of business enthusiasts though begin with an email list, fail to maintain the same. Your email list should be well-maintained and regular. Using an email list, you would easily be able to connect with all your potential customers and prospects. Send all kinds of content-based emails to your contacts added in the email list.
Be quick with the customer responses
Whether it is via email, phone or social media, it should be your utmost priority to respond to customer inquiries as quickly as possible. Helping all your potential customers is very important for the sound growth of your business.