Today, a lot of you, especially my fellow entrepreneurs are facing the challenge of doing business online. In 2011, I had to transition my business online after I returned to the US from Canada. I built and grew my business in Canada so when we moved back, I left all of my clients. I managed to hold onto some clients, and get new clients in the US, but it was a struggle and not very lucrative.
So I took the leap to do business online so that my work could be more mobile and more sustainable. As a result, my move to Ireland and the reality of life today has not had a significant impact on how I do business. To help you transition to doing business online, I am sharing my Top 5 Tips for how to do business online:
1. Use the best tools for you and your client! There are so many tools available today it can be hard to choose so focus on what is most important you and your clients. It should be easy to use on both the front and back end so it is easily accessible for your client and manageable for you. There are a lot of amazing tools available for free, but don’t be afraid to invest a little money to maximize its features. A small investment can yield big returns in quality, time, and delivery. Last week, I shared my favorite tools for doing business here.
2. Engage your clients, it is critical! So many of us grew up believing “if you build it they will come”; this may be too true for some things, but it isn’t true websites and social media profiles. People will not find you unless you engage them, and people will not come back unless you engage them. To succeed doing business online you have to provide consistent quality engagement which may include regular emails or a monthly newsletter, a blog, videos, webinars or all of the above. It is very noisy out there online and if you don’t get their attention and give them what they need, they will find someone else who will.
3. Rely on experts, because it is impossible to know everything. When I decided to do business online I dedicated a year to developing my technological skills by taking classes and getting coaching from people who knew more than me. There were certainly some things I was able to master on my own, but for others it was incredibly valuable to have experts help me. You have to decide is it worth the time and money to get the training or to work it out on your own.
4. Partner and collaborate with others who are doing business online. It is impossible to do it alone and partnering can be both powerful and profitable. Over the years, I’ve partnered and collaborated with other entrepreneurs to develop online courses, summits, and webinars that have resulted in both of us getting work. It’s an opportunity to share what you know with a larger audience, increase your exposure and grow your network. It’s a win win.
5. Focus on what is possible, because anything else is a waste of time. If you are used to doing all of your work in-person, it is only natural to think about what will be lost or not possible by doing business online. But it isn’t helpful. In order to move forward focus on what is possible. Right now most of us have no other option so don’t waste time thinking about what you can’t do, and focus on what you can do.
For most of you, doing business online may be temporary; however, many organizations and entrepreneurs have had to pivot so that their business can sustain this pandemic. And in some cases, these pivots may be more profitable and make their business more sustainable in the long run. I wish you the best of luck and hope that these tips help you in your transition.