Perhaps you have a small retail shop, but are unsure of how to take it to the next level and compete with so many other businesses popping up all over. The store might have been enough to keep you afloat for a few years now, but you see a decline with all the competition going online.
Many people have taken their business online… or even started online and not dealing with the high overhead costs and hassles of having a traditional storefront. It’s hard to compete with those who are exposing their products to the world, when you are relying solely on the local market, isn’t it?
Well, join them! Actually, it’s an easy way to expand your business. Taking your business online is a great way to boost your sales, without adding a lot more cost and work. There will be some, but that is what growth is all about. The good news is that the costs in this type of growth can be quite low, with the profit margin significantly higher.
If you have a product that could be sold online, you are missing a great opportunity to see your business grow. So, read further to see what you can do, to keep up with the competition, if not surpass them.
Develop a Quality Website
You might already have one, but if you don’t have a website, this should be one of your first steps in taking your business online. Developing a quality website is fairly easy to do, even for those without experience in it.
WordPress is a great tool for building a website to be proud of, and one that functions well for any type of business. And, it’s free.
It’s important to place quality and interesting content on the website, to capture new visitors, and have them coming back often. If you aren’t comfortable in writing your own material, look to freelancers to do it for you. Websites such as eLance.com offer a platform for clients and contractors to do just about any form of business, while keeping your overhead low by not having to add anyone to your payroll.
Also, keep the content informative, relative, and current. Changing the content on the pages will help to maintain your audience. And, don’t forget to promote your new site…
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Once you have a running website, you will need to promote it. You can do this through word of mouth, but that will only go so far. Placing it on all your marketing material will help. But again, only so much.
One of the best ways to promote it is through social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This just might be the easiest way to promote your online business, as well as the most effective. If you are involved at all in social medias, then you already know how everything spreads like wildfire on these pages.
Set up a business page on all 3 sites mentioned above, and get all your friends and family to help share these with all their friends and family. It will snowball like no other form of advertising. Just make sure you stay involved in these pages with new postings and communications. Careful it might get so big that you need help in maintaining them. But, that’s a good thing!
Now, let’s get to one of the best tools available to use for an online store…
5 Reasons for Utilizing PayPal
It’s possible that you are already familiar with different forms of online banking and financial transactions, including ordering banking checks online, reconciling bank accounts, and online accounting software programs. Those are all great…for you to pay your bills and work with banking transactions. But, what about making it easier for your customers as well?
If you are going to be selling online, you really should utilize PayPal. Here are 5 reasons why you and your customers will be happy:
- Setup is Easy – Setting up a PayPal account is incredibly easy…and quick. In just minutes, you can be all set up and ready to go. When using a standard merchant account, it takes days (at a minimum) due to having to apply for it in person and waiting for approval.
- Speedy Payments – When a customer makes a payment to you through PayPal, you can have instant access to it, as it is directly deposited to your account as soon as the customer hits the ‘pay’ button. Other merchant accounts will take a couple days before you see it in the account.
- Customers will be Happy – I have used PayPal several times when making a purchase online, and I love how easy it is to use. It’s instant, simple, and safe.
- Protection from Fraud – PayPal is a safe way to do financial transactions online, for both you and the customer. They screen for fraudulent activity and take extra measures in preventing it.
- Cost Effective – You will love the low cost of doing business with PayPal, as it’s often less expensive than working with most merchant accounts. There isn’t any setup fee, and the fee (per transaction) is lower than the average merchant account.
PayPal makes it incredibly easy, safe, and cost effective to do financial transactions online, which makes taking your business online that much easier.
There you have it. Not one reason to not take your retail business online, and plenty of them to do it. Take your business into the current century with the wonderful technology that allows you to work smarter, rather than harder.
Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer who often writes on inspirations drawn from browsing the Internet. For example, when visiting www.personalchecksplus.com she decided to tackle a series of articles on personal finances. Melissa often writes to help others with information she gathers from her own experiences as well. In fact, her husband calls her a walking infomercial. Living in Austin, TX, Melissa is also a mother to two children, who help keep her life busy. When she has any free time, Melissa enjoys yoga, knitting, and movies.