The rapid shift of millions of people to work from home is going to shift the paradigm of competition online. If more and more people start online businesses, freelance work, and e-commerce companies, you are going to see a lot of fierce competition for revenue.
If you thought it was a competitive world before online, things are going to increase in the complexity of that competition. This is due to the fact that money is going to become scarce in many millions of households, and disposable income will drop dramatically.
What can you do to help expand your online business without spending loads of cash on internet advertising? After all, you don’t want to spend weeks and months spending money on digital advertisements when that cash could be better spent elsewhere.
Here are my suggestions:
- Creative and memorable name. If you are just starting out and want a name for your home-based business or freelance job, make sure you take the time to come up with a unique, special company name that is distinct enough so that internet search engines can find it easily. A name like Website Design Services is probably not going to be very helpful, but something like Dave’s Dominating Deli Delivery in Dayton might be all right. You might also want to see if anybody else is using your preferred name, so do your due diligence on that part.
- Helpful product or service. Is your idea for a business a helpful one, or something that millions of others are already doing? If you can tap into a legitimate need in your company, and you’ve done your homework about what it’s going to take to succeed, then this product or service will almost promote itself once you get started.
- Friends and family. If you are a sociable person and people tend to like you, then that helps a lot in regards to getting promoted online. This doesn’t mean that you have to sell your product or service to them, not at all. You don’t want to bombard your allies with daily reminders about that you are doing. But you can mention it every once in a while and just enough to pique their curiosity. You never know who will decide to mention it their friends, post it on Twitter, or build up other digital connections online.
- Good editorial content. If you have heard the expression that content is king, well there is a lot of truth to that. I would go an extra step to say that good or great content is even better than any old content. Regardless of what your business days, it is still a great idea to have interesting, original content to make your company a destination. One way to do this is to have a section of your online presence dedicated to your community involvement with other local companies, with their permission if needed, and to post photos of events and happenings.
- Quality customer service. Some of the biggest e-commerce companies started out with a huge commitment to exceptionally good and reliable customer service. You definitely want to make sure you are responding to your clients and customers and that you are responsive to their needs, or you may lose them as regular or repeat visitors who open their wallets.
- Upbeat tone. Does your company or home-based business seem cold and unoriginal? Or does it seem upbeat and dynamic? It is really important to have the zest and passion of a youthful endeavor. You can still be professional while being energetic and vibrant.
- Count yourself as a customer. Remember that you, individually, should be a customer of your business. That is, consider if you would pay for the product or services you provide and what impacts your decision to do so. It is one thing if you opened an apple stand and you bought apples from yourself regularly because you liked eating the apples. But if you are selling a service that helps promote a small online business for a fee, consider if you would have been your own first customer or most recent customer.
You will have to work even harder than before to get noticed online. With hundreds of millions of people working from home or starting new home-based businesses, you are going to have to up your game and do it for the long-term future.
It is not going to be enough to set up a website and cross your fingers. It’s going to be hard, really hard, to get the ball rolling if you don’t have much of a budget and you don’t want to spend big on advertising.
If you really believe that you have a business of something useful and valuable, then set your goal today to succeed. Then take the steps you need to take to achieve your short-term goals, lock in customers and accounts, and succeed in your home-based business online.