What do you need to start an online business?
In our increasingly digital world, it’s more tempting than ever to follow your dreams and launch an online business. The advantages are manifold, including control of your schedule, financial freedom, and a chance to indulge your creative side.
Succeeding online isn’t easy, but a few skills will give you a better chance.
An understanding of SEO
Perhaps the most important skill of all, SEO is about a lot more than just spreading keywords across your website and hoping for the best. Search Engine Optimization is the crux of your online presence. It dictates how highly your website ranks in search results and, by extension, how discoverable it is to potential customers. Google updates its algorithms on a routine basis, but you’ll need at least a working knowledge of optimization before you begin.
Some data crunching ability
Running an online business is more of a number’s game than you might expect it to be. Take marketing campaigns, for example. Whether you opt for traditional PPC or a more nuanced approach, digital marketing is data orientated. Calculating where your traffic is coming from, your user demographic, and even how long customers spend on your website is all crucial. Having the ability (or simply the software) to make sense of all this information won’t just make your business more efficient; it will make it more successful too.
Basic programming skills
There is a range of free web developing tools that allow you to design a site from the ground up and have it online in under an hour (Squarespace, GoDaddy, and WordPress, to name but three), but it still pays to have some light coding ability. Drag and drop website builders are fantastic until they go wrong, and then it can be extremely difficult to fix or even diagnose problems. After that, a smattering of HTML and CSS will usually suffice. The former is often decried as a dead programming language, although it, along with Java and C++, remains just as useful today as it always has.
Access to a digitally orientated workforce
There are plenty of services like thinqi.com designed specifically for educating a workforce in the ways of the digital world, but it’s important to hire the right people from the outset. As your business grows, you’ll likely make use of sales managers, copywriters, and in some cases, marketing agencies. Don’t just presume that these people are digital-savvy. You’ll need to be discerning and actively screen candidates for experience within the digital sector.
The digital industry moves fast. Ever-changing social media algorithms, search engine bots, and trending topics make working online feel uniquely hectic. Google changes the rules of the game on a routine basis, and working with social media can be even more erratic. However, the best businesses adapt to and even use these changes to their advantage. Maintaining a regular flow of traffic to your website and keeping your advertising campaigns functioning at their best demands a malleable, flexible mindset.