Running an online business is both rewarding and challenging. You’ll expose your products and services to a broader range of customers, but getting your business noticed by the right people can also be challenging. The competition is stiffer, but the best part is geographical boundaries are no longer limiting as you have a larger pool of potential customers. To ensure continuous growth over time, learn the factors or mistakes that slow the growth of your business. Here are seven of them.
Lack of Online Visibility
Online visibility is your website’s ability to attract organic traffic from search engine result pages (SERPs). To find and purchase your products or services, customers must first locate you. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure visibility and create an effective content marketing strategy. A knowledgeable SEO agency can analyze your online presence and generate a plan to improve visibility. Some of the things they will do are:
- Generate content that is optimized for target keywords
- Improve website speed and performance
- Optimize page titles, metadata, and URLs
- Monitor competitors’ activities and SEO trends in real-time
- Link your website to relevant, authoritative websites
- Implement local SEO to target local customers
Lack of an Actionable Growth Plan
A growth plan goes a long way in creating a clear growth path that guides startups to steady success. As a startup, you need to know how much of your profit should go back into expanding your business and how much growth you should aim for each year.
A well-laid growth plan makes it easier to allocate money to market the business, hire new employees, and invest in new fixed assets to propel business growth. You can have a professional write a strategic, actionable growth plan for your business that will steer you to growth in the next five or more years.
Lack of Brand Recognition
Brand recognition ensures your customers easily relate to your brand. For instance, when people hear your company’s name or see your logo, they quickly identify you as a reliable source of quality products and services.
To increase brand recognition, start by developing a unique logo and colors that will identify you in the online space. Then create content for your website and social media channels, and include brand mentions whenever necessary. Stay consistent in all your branding efforts, as it will help you stand out from the competition and create a loyal customer base.
Poor Customer Experience
Customer experience is defined as how clients perceive their interactions with your business. Offer a positive customer experience for your online business to thrive. To do this, think from the customer’s perspective and create a website that is easy to navigate and provides valuable information.
Have a customer service team that offers personalized support whenever required. Remember to provide an enjoyable buying experience by offering payment options like credit cards or PayPal and fast shipping times. When there’s an issue such as a delayed order, apologize and provide appropriate compensation. Be sure to address all inquiries quickly and professionally.
No Marketing Strategy
Not having a marketing strategy or a poor one will lead to slowed online business growth. Develop a strategic marketing plan outlining your goals and tactics to reach your target audience. Start by creating buyer personas, then determine which channels are more suitable for your business and how to leverage them.
For example, if you’re running a social media campaign on Instagram, create appealing visuals that will capture the attention of potential customers. Additionally, ensure your marketing plan aligns with your budget and use analytics to measure the success of each channel or strategy employed.
Slow Adoption of Technology
The impact of technology on business growth can’t be overstated, especially in this age of automation. Businesses quickly turn to the latest technological solutions to leverage operations and outdo the competition.
Whether it’s artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or the Internet of Things, you can’t afford to lag behind on any of these when building a competitive business. You should also keep tabs on technology trends so you don’t end up with outdated options that will derail your business growth. The faster you adapt to a new technology trend, the better your chances are to optimize its benefits and outdo your competitors.
Minimal or Lack of Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is not a specialty for big and established companies alone. Small and growing businesses can participate in social responsibility even in the smallest ways possible, like organizing community cleaning exercises.
These small efforts will create a positive image for your business and impact customers’ business decisions. Your company will also establish itself as a reputable organization where quality employees want to work.
The success of any online business depends on getting the fundamentals right. Failure to do this will lead to slowed growth over time. It pays to consult or hire experts to guide you to stay ahead of the competition and achieve faster growth. Keep adjusting the various strategies you’ve put in place and stay consistent to ensure your business succeeds.
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