EP29: [Marketing 101] What is an Online Business!?
Your back, good to have you here.
Let's talk business.
We all understand what an offline business looks and feels like.
They are all around us.
Starbucks, Lowes, Home Depot, Chipotle, McDonald's, Wendy's, and the list could just keep on going.
We grew up with them and we're comfortable using them to get what we want.
However, the cost of doing business offline is vastly different than doing business online.
Renting a storefront is a major expense.
You need electrical and internet services as well.
Another huge expense is advertising.
Then there are office expenses and those pesky employees like getting paid as well.
And don't forget about your business license and insurance.
Those are just some of the offline business expenses.
Now, on the other hand, you could be online within a few days with a simple domain and website, an autoresponder (email service provider), and a product or service you developed yourself or one you sell as an affiliate.
As a simple and lean online business, you should easily see that there is a huge difference between that and any offline business with its costs.
And besides, going online to start any business is perfect right now because…
The World is Changing
Very quickly too.
Now, more people, though not all, are beginning to become comfortable purchasing things online. Especially in these last few years, where going out to buy things was very much limited because of all the quarantines.
Coronavirus Afflicts Damage
We all know how it went down.
Offline brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to close, employees were laid off, and times were very difficult for the small mom-and-pop establishments.
Many establishments went out of business through no fault off their own.
Other businesses took the opportunity to shut down their entire business. Sweet Tomatoes completely folded its business.
They are sorely missed.
We Had No Choice
During this time online purchases just made sense. This has sped up the online buying trend. People who normally would not buy online were now forced to become online customers.
They were just added to the fold.
It has become the largest online retailer in the world.
No small feat.
They made huge profits during the pandemic while offline, businesses suffered.
A lot of online businesses had their best year ever.
Restaurants closed and when able to open months later, it was at 25% capacity and they slowly increased to 50%, 75%, and now 100% capacity.
A Problem Shows Up
But with government-subsidized unemployment benefits, many unemployed workers soon decided it was in their best interest to make more money on unemployment than to go back to work. And, some were forced to stay home to care for their children with the rising costs of childcare.
This increased the financial burden on businesses offline. Restaurants and other small businesses with limited resources were hit hard. To get employees to come back, they needed to pay them more and many even offered more benefits. Too many small businesses, the "American Dream" was crumbling away.
Some mom-and-pop businesses just could not compete.
Offline Bad - Online Good
Which is why having your business online just makes sense, right?
Sure it does. (If done right)
So you're probably wondering how do WE get a piece of the online pie?
That's what you want, right?
You want to be the go-to online business anytime someone wants what you have.
Customers go online and enter their want or their problem into the search engine and up pops your advertising or organic content related to that want.
That's the dream, right?
You want this online game of marketing to be super simple.
You want people to just find you, without much effort on your part, right?!
That would be really great if it were a real thing.
But it isn't!
Online business owners have to do the hard work of making themselves (their business, their service, their product) show up for particular searches and when they do, the potential customers, then get to decide if what they see is what they want.
So how do we do that?
First, we need to know what it means to have an online business.
You need to understand, with an online business, you are in business to help people by satisfying their wants.
You may be asking, but what about what they need?
Of course, you get to take care of their needs as well, once they become a customer. But initially, you want to think about how you can take care of their emotionally driven wants.
An online business needs to find a way to communicate with people online. I mean, no one is going to walk or drive by and notice you.
To be noticed online you have a couple of choices.
#1 Create Content
You can choose to create content that can be found through search engines. You know, blogs, webpages, landing pages, and other content-related assets.
Think Google search or YouTube search.
Those are the two largest search engines online.
Google search, searches the entire web for content related to a user's query (question typed into the search box).
YouTube search, searches only through the indexed YouTube channels to find content relevant to the search.
Social media is another way, for free, to get in front of an audience.
Creating content on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and a slew of other social media will draw interest.
#2 Paid Advertising
You can use paid advertising to get in front of a targeted audience. [You know the people you researched]
While this does cost money to do, it will not break the bank if you limit your Ad spend to 3 to 5 dollars a day.
This will allow you to test your ads as well. You should always be testing.
Then once you start getting people to be interested and interacting with your Call to Action [CTA], you can up your advertising budget to increase your reach, sales, and conversions.
So, no matter which route you take, depending on whether you have more money than time (Ads), or more time than money (content), you definitely can reach an audience this way.
Going the organic route will not be quick. And it will take a lot longer to test the different aspects of your content to tweak it to draw more attention. But if you’re limited by how much money you can invest in marketing, it is a great option.
Going with Ads you have the advantage of being able to iterate your marketing material quickly and efficiently. Once you found a good ad that converts well, it is like printing money. Buy more ads, make more money. [That is after doing all the hard work first :)]
So, I hope you have a better understanding of what needs to be thought about before starting a business online.
It is much more than just wanting to make some extra money.
It takes a lot of thought and a lot of work in the background while no one is looking, before you'll even start making any significant money, and people start saying you became an overnight success.
I can only wish building a business could be an overnight achievement.
But it just isn't.
Not saying it to discourage you.
On the contrary.
I say it to encourage you.
Because it is hard, many will give up and quit when they should have stuck with it. Success was just around the corner.
But, because you are not being fed Guru nonsense, and instead you're being encouraged to do the work, and make the success of your dreams, I hope you do just that.
Until next week, be safe out there. Stay clear of bright shiny objects, and keep dreaming. We need you.
If you think you know of some improvements that could be made, let me know. Click on the link here.
Keep coming back for more great content next week.
Take care and be well.
P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.