Connect with us

Business Ideas

7 Winter Business Ideas for 2021

Published

on

There’s no point in resisting the winter season—it comes every year like clockwork and along with it can sometimes come a lull in business, especially if your business is one far more conducive to the spring or summer months.

If you’re looking for a way to revamp your business for winter or want to start a business geared toward the winter season, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to go over seven winter business ideas, as well as how you can prepare your business for the cold months to come and tips any seasonal business owner should know. Let’s get started.

Winter business ideas 

Before choosing one of these winter business ideas, make sure you do some research into what’s needed in your area and what the competition is like so you know there’s actual demand for what you’re going to be offering.

After all, the most common reason businesses fail is that there’s no market need for the products or services they’re offering. Before starting your winter business, make sure there’s demand for what you’ll be offering.

1. Sell Christmas trees

If you have the extra outdoor space, consider selling Christmas trees around the holidays as a winter seasonal business.

Stocking this specific and in-demand item can lead to some extra income. This winter business idea is especially good for those who already own hardware stores or garden centers, and it can help replace the lost income your business may typically experience during the winter season when people are doing fewer home or landscaping projects.

See if there are any farms near you with trees they’re willing to sell you. Consider starting this winter business idea fairly small with a few dozen trees and see how they sell, then get more if you can or keep it in mind for next year. You can also sell other Christmas greenery like wreaths or garland for those who are looking to add some extra holiday cheer to their homes.

2. Make winter gift baskets

Our next winter business idea can be done by a variety of different businesses. Whether you’re a bakery or a boutique retailer, you can put together festive gift baskets and offer them for sale as great gifts for coworkers, friends, or family. You can include your own products in the gift basket, as well as some weather-oriented or other seasonal items people might enjoy.

If you don’t want to premake each basket ahead of time and instead offer more customization, you can also offer different packages and allow customers to choose what they’d like in the basket before putting it all together and wrapping it nicely. For an added bump in income, offer to deliver the baskets within a certain radius of your business, or ship them to farther destinations.

3. Snow removal

Businesses like contractors and landscapers might find that they have less work in the winter when it’s difficult to do any work outside. However, a related winter business idea is to offer snow removal services to fill this gap.

If you already run a contracting or landscaping business, you likely already have trucks necessary for such work but might need to invest a bit more for plowing equipment or a snowblower in order to be successful in this winter business. If those additional pieces of equipment are too expensive to buy outright, equipment financing could be a solution.

Snow removal is an in-demand winter business—as long as you live someplace where it snows—and contractors or builders likely already have a client list of people who might need some digging out when the time comes. However, you don’t need to be in one of these careers to leverage this winter business idea for yourself. As long as you have the equipment and enough potential customers, this can be a lucrative winter business for just about anyone.

4. Host corporate events

If you own a wedding venue, restaurant, or other event space, you might find it lucrative to offer packages to companies looking to host their annual holiday parties. These parties are often scheduled for the early evening and usually during weekdays when you may not be as bust as you are on the weekend, for example.

The nice thing about hosting these parties is that they likely don’t vary much from one another: You can offer each company set menu options to choose from and standard decoration options. Hosting such parties can be an added boost and bring in more revenue than a regular weeknight might.

5. Home winter weatherproofing

Making the winter weatherproofing process quick and easy is another one of our winter business ideas. This is another idea that might be best suited to the handymen and contractors out there, but wouldn’t be off-limits for a hardware store to take on. During the wintertime, people are always looking for better ways to weatherize their homes and keep the heat in and the cold out without having to do too much work.

You could offer a premade kit someone can buy and use themselves, or your own services in the form of house calls, for weatherizing windows and doors to keep the drafts from getting in and driving up your customers’ electric bills. Consolidating all of the items customers will need for them makes the process simpler, and if you want to take it a step further you could offer services to complete the process for them.

6. Home cleaning business

No matter the time of year, no one enjoys cleaning. However, during the winter months, people are not only extra busy, but they are also likely expecting family to visit or to host a party of their own. So offering a cleaning service to people in your area could be a lucrative winter business idea to help people prep for their home-based winter events.

A big perk about this winter business idea is that, for the most part, you’ll have reasonable daytime hours, as many people will have their parties at night.

Consider offering a special package to help your customers prepare for visiting in-laws or a family party like a package with a deep kitchen cleaning, or offer to set up their decorations in addition to cleaning.

7. Fitness instructor/personal trainer

With the new year comes resolutions, and there is no shortage of people looking to get in better shape and be healthier in the coming year. You can be a personal trainer or fitness instructor at any time of the year, but you might see more of a demand as the year starts out.

In order to become a personal trainer, you’ll need some specific training and certifications; so this might be a better business for those looking to start a more long-term business. However, becoming a fitness instructor who teaches specific classes often has fewer requirements and could be easier to break into, especially part-time. Check with your local gym and boutique fitness studios about openings, as well as what qualifications you’ll need to become an instructor.

Tips to run an effective seasonal business

No matter when your business high season is, any seasonal business has a specific set of challenges to keep their business profitable year-round. Whether you opt for one of these winter business ideas above or are trying to pivot your own seasonal business to another market, keep these tips in mind.

1. Think outside of the box.

As the weather changes, it’s easy to let yourself slip into a bout of seasonal, business-related depression. But, now’s your time to think creatively. Your market is still there—they’re just focusing on other products and pursuits. Find what they’re interested in, and figure out how your core strength can adapt to be included in the conversation.

For instance, you can discover how to repurpose your product for a new time of year. Maybe that means expanding your product line or recreating something on your menu. Perhaps your ice cream shop turns to lattes for the cooler weather, or you switch from lavender to pine scents for your candle company. Let yourself explore outside of your default season.

2. Look deeper into your niche.

If you have a hyperspecific product, figure out what other products your niche would respond to, as well. There’s a good possibility that if your market is a devotee to your product, you’ve caught onto something special about your group of consumers.

Step back and understand not only what’s special about your product—but what’s special about your customers. You may find it useful to send your customers a survey to find out more about what they’d like to see your business offer. Not only will your customers appreciate that you want their input, but you’ll also likely walk away with some new ideas.

3. Be flexible.

Does anyone actually love to be adaptable? Every business owner works incredibly hard on their business plan, and among the most difficult things is to have to scrap hard work. But the hard truth is that just like seasons, markets change. Tastes change. And your business needs to change, too.

The more flexible and ready to adapt you can be as a business owner—whether that means turning your summer getaway into a winter resort, expanding your product line, or changing your model entirely—the better positioned you’ll be for success.

How to prepare your business for winter

All of the business ideas we discussed thrive in the wintertime, but along with that comes the threat of winter weather and storms, which might not be so conducive to running your business smoothly. If you’re considering launching one of the above winter businesses, or just want to prepare your year-round business for inclement weather, here are some tips.

Be prepared

Monitor local news and check weather forecasts at the National Weather Service website. Here are some terms you might hear and what they mean.

  • Winter storm: Winter storms involve snow, sleet, or freezing rain.

  • Ice storm: When 1/4 inch of ice or more builds up, driving and walking are hazardous, and power lines can break because of the weight of the ice.

  • Blizzard: A blizzard involves snow, gusty winds up to 35 mph or more, near-zero-visibility conditions, and a wind-chill factor that can be life-threatening.

  • Winter storm watch: Severe winter conditions might occur in the next 12 to 36 hours.

  • Winter storm warning: Severe winter conditions are expected in the next 12 to 24 hours. This is defined as four to six inches of snow or sleet, or at least 1/4 inch of ice.

  • Blizzard warning: A blizzard is expected in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Find and fix your business’s vulnerabilities

When severe weather strikes, you need to protect your building or store, your employees, and any customers in the building, and your equipment.

Start by inspecting your building for any weaknesses that might lead to structural damage in case of a storm—leaks in the roof, cracks near doors and windows, and loose trim that could blow off and injure someone. Ask your landlord to repair any problems.

If your building maintenance doesn’t already handle this, make sure snow and ice are regularly removed from entryways, sidewalks, and roofs. If a customer slips on ice outside your doors, you could face a lawsuit.

Check your small business insurance coverage to make sure it’s adequate for any damages that might occur from a storm, and upgrade it if necessary.

Compile the phone numbers you might need in an emergency, such as the fire department, insurance company, landlord, electrician, plumber, snow removal service, and local utility companies. Store it in the cloud, and print out several copies in case you can’t get online or use your computer in an emergency.

Review the equipment and systems that keep your business running, such as computers and manufacturing equipment. What would happen if the power went out or the building didn’t have heat? A backup generator can help keep things running during a power outage.

Make a plan and stick to it

Even if a storm doesn’t damage your building, it could lead to local power outages, downed trees, highway closures, or other obstacles to business as usual. Think through what might happen to your business in various scenarios—such as public transportation shutting down and preventing your employees from getting to work—and plan how to deal with each situation.

You, your employees, and even customers may need to shelter in place at your business if you get snowed in. Stockpile enough food and water for three days (you can ask employees to bring their own “emergency kits” with food and blankets). Have plenty of flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio, batteries, and a first-aid kit.

Plan how you will communicate with employees, vendors, and suppliers in case of an emergency. Create a list of contact information that includes alternative ways to communicate. For example, if phone lines are down, you might need to text employees. If you must close for a few days (or weeks), let customers know via your business website and social media accounts.

Decide at what point in a storm watch or warning you will let employees go home, close the business, or tell employees not to come into work. Create a chain of command so that if you aren’t available to make these decisions, someone else can.

Create a continuity plan

To keep your business running during or after a severe storm, set up the capability for people to work from home (if your type of business supports this). Having employees access your business network from home can expose it to vulnerabilities, so use cloud-based file-sharing and storage systems instead.

What if your building is uninhabitable after the storm or half your employees can’t get to work for a week? Figure out how you will keep the business running for an extended time if necessary. Business interruption insurance can help replace income lost if your business can’t operate after a disaster.

Talk to vendors and suppliers about their emergency preparedness, too. If you rely on steady delivery of inventory from a certain vendor, what will you do if the storm shuts them down? Do you have a backup vendor in place?

Be ready, be set, be safe

Clearly, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to winter weather—so prepare a plan before the wind starts to howl. Rate your business’s emergency preparedness at ReadyRating.org; then visit PrepareMyBusiness.org to get a checklist you can use to prepare your business for winter weather.

The bottom line

Generally, the biggest concern you should have about your business when it comes to the wintertime is whether or not it can survive the winter months. We mean both financially and physically.

If your business is seasonal or has a slow period during the winter months, but you still need income, consider one of the winter business ideas we listed above. They can either be added to your existing business or started independently and can help you make it through the winter and holiday seasons without losing much in the way of cash flow.

Keep in mind the weather risks that come with winter weather and potential storms and have a plan to take action if there is such a storm, even for your side hustle winter business.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Advertisement

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Business Ideas

15 Tips and Tricks For A Successful Business

Published

on

Doing business is not a cakewalk. You need to understand, learn, and manage several things before you actually do it. It is a task that requires continuous efforts. Therefore, it might take days, months, or even years to become successful.

It does not matter how small or big your business plan is. What is more important is how determined and dedicated you are to make it work. As a businessman or a businesswoman, you need to be spontaneous, informed, smart, analytical, and before that a good leader. 

Thereafter, you need to keep an eye on your business infrastructure including the building, factory, machines, control valves, security, etc. 

Making a business successful and keep it running is not a one-day affair. That is why you must take every step carefully.

Want to make your business successful? But you don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry and follow these 15 tips and tricks to make your business successful- 

1. Time And Effort Is Everything

Your business idea is your brainchild. Just like you take time to understand your child’s needs and make efforts to give them the best upbringing. You need to treat your business in the same manner in order to make it successful.

2. Focus Is Your Key To Success

For anything you want to do and make it reach great heights, you need to be focused. Getting distracted by other things can cost you a lot in your business. You need to focus on your goals and work hard every day to achieve them.

3. Have A Fool-Proof Business Plan

The first step towards a successful business is a business plan. Before anything else, prepare a fool-proof plan. This means that it must have all the pros and cons involved in your business. 

Nothing works without a plan. So, for instance, if you are trying to set up a business for valves and plumping supplies, you need to consider the best and the most trusted manufacturers like DomBor for your supply needs.

4. Be Prepared to Take Calculated Risks

A great business owner is one, who is not afraid of taking risks. To make your business successful and to make it sustainable in the longer run, you must be ready to take some calculated risks. You must know how your decision will affect your business and how much loss you will incur. Only after analyzing everything make your final decision.

5. Know The A to Z Of The Industry

If you are an amateur in the business industry, then first you must start with the basics. For that learn about every minute detail about how your industry works. You must be aware of the latest trends in your industry.  Also, what works and whatnot, and how to enter the industry initially.

6. Connect And Communicate

Another trick for making your business successful is to connect and communicate with people from the industry. Get to know about the industry leaders and upcoming talent personally or through social media. Exchange your ideas with them and try to expand and publicize your business. 

7. Keep A Check On Your Growth

Being a business owner you must keep a sharp eye on the growth of your business. Analyze the data, read it thoroughly, see where you are lacking, and what you can do to improve it.

8. Failures Are A Part Of The Process

If you ever face failures in your business, then don’t get disheartened. Because failures play an important part in the process of your success. Out of all the other things, they tell you about what not to do in a business.

9. Learn From Your Competitors

Your biggest learnings will come from your competitors. No one can teach you business better than them. Learn from them whenever and however you can. Use your creativity and intelligence and do what seems best for the success of your business.

10. Be Flexible In Your Approach

Never become too rigid with your approach to doing business. Be flexible with it and be open to changes. Sometimes what you feel is right may not be the best for your business. In that scenario, changing your approach might help.

11. Ensure Your Best Services

Always ensure the best services to your customers. Whether you are a small-scale business or a large-scale one, never compromise with the quality of your services. This builds your customer’s trust in you and ensures a long-term association. 

12. Market Your Business

It is important to prepare a market strategy for your business to make it successful. It helps you to introduce your business to a large number of people at the same time. 

13. Take Feedback To Know Your Customers Better

To make a business successful customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. You cannot meet all your customers in person. Thus, taking feedback from them online or offline is helpful to know your areas of improvement.  

14. Stick to your Core Values

Early success is a myth. It lasts for a short period of time and there is no guarantee that it will sustain itself. That is why instead of using shortcuts, stick to your core values and take your business to great heights.

15. Research And Repeat

Last and the most important tip is to keep researching about the new prospects in your business area. It is crucial to make your business successful.

Conclusion

Every business owner wants their business to reach great heights. But only a few of them know how to actually do it. Running a business is not an easy task. It requires years of hard work and continuous efforts. Also, you need to learn and unlearn facts.

Therefore, to make your business successful and to make it sustain that success, you need to be well informed. Also, you must be aware of the current business scenario of your respective sector. Just follow these steps and see your business become successful.

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Business Ideas

How to start an online store in 3 steps

Published

on

Get up to 30%* off! Get going with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on May 23, 2019, and was updated on Sept. 17, 2021.

Why is it important to understand how to start an online store if commerce is your game? Where should we start?

We are living in the midst of a digital age. In today’s world, consumers are no longer bound by one particular geographical location — and this trend has only been accelerated by COVID-19.

Nowadays people have the power to connect with their peers, conduct research, consume content, and most importantly shop wherever they are in the world with a few swipes of a screen. And that means that in the current climate, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, building an online store might be the best thing you ever do.

Why consider building an online store?

At present, over 2.14 billion active people shop online — and that’s on a global scale. Even earning a small slice of the ecommerce pie will see you in excellent commercial stead.

  • On average, men spend $220 per online transaction and women spend $151 per transaction. That’s a high-value average spend per customer.
  • The main reason people shop online is that they’re able to buy items or products 24/7, literally.
  • The market size of ecommerce online shopping is expected to reach 4 trillion by the end of 2021.
  • Globally, 49% of consumers shop for goods or services online more now than they did pre-COVID-19.
If you know how start an online store the right way, you’ll be able to boost your profits significantly and grow your business year after year.

 

With a little know-how, an excellent idea and a powerful ecommerce solution for building and maintaining your online store, you will reap great rewards.

Inspired? Great, let’s continue.

Related: Tips to boost sales in 2021 with Websites + Marketing

How to start an online store in 3 steps

It’s clear that if you’re a modern business, entering the ecommerce arena is a wise move. To help you start your digital journey, here’s our how-to guide to create an online store, broken down into three simple steps:

  1. Fine-tune your idea.
  2. Start your free trial and create your own online store.
  3. Promote your online store.

Let’s get started.

1. Fine-tune your idea

At this point, it’s likely that you know what you want to sell. Start fine-tuning your idea by deciding on a business name, conducting market research, and finding your audience.

Consider these questions: What makes your brand stand out from others in your niche? What particular pain points do you solve?

Choosing your business name and domain name

When it comes to naming your ecommerce business, choosing a name that is digestible, memorable, relevant, good for digital marketing purposes and will work well as a domain name is a must.

This comprehensive guide to naming a business will walk you through everything you need to know.

When choosing a domain, think .shop or .store for general ecommerce, or get more specific with .jewelry, .clothing, .coffee and more.

Go ahead, give it a try:

Market research for your product

The ecommerce game is competitive. What will make your venture stand apart?

There are a host of ways to assess how your idea compares to other similar businesses online. Here are the most important:

Do your friends and family think it’s worthwhile?

Group of friends on a mountain

Offer your products for free — or for a sizable discount — to friends and family. Monitor how they respond to your product.

  • Do they love it? If so, find out what features are most appealing to them.
  • Is there anything about your product they would change? Get details.
  • Did they enjoy their customer experience? What about your service made it shine?
  • Would they be willing to pay full price? What do they think your product is actually worth?
  • Would they be willing to recommend your product to others in their networks and become brand advocates?

Gathering this level of feedback and data is a brilliant way to refine your product idea before unleashing it on the public.

Another key aspect of market research is looking at your competitors. Signing to email subscriber lists and monitoring brand conversations via social media are effective ways to analyze the way your competitors are talking to your target audience as well as gaining an understanding of what they’re offering.

By gathering this market intelligence, you can find ways to offer more value to your target audience while filling in any product, service or content-based gaps your direct competitors have overlooked.

Find and define your target audience

In digital marketing, there’s a well-known saying: “If you’re talking to everybody, you’re not talking to anybody.”

Basically, if you don’t understand your target audience — or how to connect with them — your broad, generic content or brand messaging is likely to offer little value and as such, become overlooked.

When it comes to knowing how to start an online store the right way, understanding where to aim your efforts is essential.

Yet, despite the vital importance of identifying and focusing on a specific target audience, many ecommerce businesses struggle with this notion. When asked to describe their audience, a host of brands often answer in broad, vague, almost meaningless terms.

When you fail to define your target audience, your promotional efforts will suffer in the following ways:

  • You won’t be able to craft strong, authentic branding that resonates with potential customers.
  • Your marketing communications will be flat and uninspired.
  • You won’t be able to encourage customer loyalty, one of the cornerstones of any successful eCommerce business.
  • You will fail to stand out from the competition.
  • You won’t be able to improve your offerings as you won’t have an idea of how your products can address your customers’ specific pain points.

Related: Why a target audience matters and how to find yours

How to define your target audience

Woman kneeling in front of row of archery targets

To help you avoid such calamities, defining your target audience is essential. That said, here’s a practical outline of how to classify your target audience in a specific, value-driven way that gets results, based on certain characteristics you should focus on:

  • Demographics: Statistical data relating to your audience
  • Professional details: Information concerning jobs, competencies and places of work
  • Psychographics: Metrics and details based on personality traits and innate qualities
  • Goals: Descriptions of what your audience is looking to accomplish
  • Challenges: Pain points and problems your audience faces on a regular basis
  • Influences: Media and impressions your audience typically encounters
  • Buying process: How your target audience makes purchasing decisions
  • Behaviors: An extension of ‘Buying Process’ with a wider scope, looking at how your target consumers interact across all channels and touchpoints including mobile apps and social media.

The more you drill down into these facets of information, the better and more targeted your marketing will be. Plus, if you’d like to know your audience on an even deeper level, here’s a practical guide to defining buyer personas for your reading pleasure.

2. Start your free trial and create your own online store

Once you’ve considered all of the key ingredients of a successful web-based ecommerce business, it’s time to start thinking about making it happen, in a practical sense.

The simplest and fastest way to get your online shop up and running is by using a templated ecommerce store.

With this option, you get it all in one quick install. An ecommerce website package includes an online shop website template (aka website theme), product pages, shopping cart, payment processing feature and hosting for the site.

Instead of building your store piece by piece, you can install the whole store at once.

GoDaddy’s Online Store includes all of these essentials plus award-winning customer support, tools for integrating with online marketplaces, Facebook and Google Analytics, and more. Bonus: You can start for free.

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step blueprint to help you create an online store using GoDaddy’s intuitive ecommerce website builder.

Start your free trial

To take that first small but essential step in making your online store a reality, sign up for your free trial.

GoDaddy Online Store landing page with free trial button

Set up your account and define your settings

Once you click on the Start for Free button, you’ll enter your business category to get the ball rolling and shape the direction of your brand new easy ecommerce website.

Pop up window to choose a category during GoDaddy Online Store setup

To help you get started, refer to:

Choose your template

With your framework (the foundations and fundamentals of your online store) firmly in place, the next step is choosing your website’s overall appearance by selecting a template from a range of eye-catching options. Once you’ve selected your theme, you can change the font and color of your page and customize it to your satisfaction.

Theme selection page in GoDaddy Online Store

Build online store pages: product pages and more

Here’s where you start building your site out beyond the home page. You can start with the home page and reorder or remove any of the elements. Then, go through and do the same to the other default pages: About Us, Shop and Contact Us.

With Online Store the Home, Shop and About Us pages are automatically listed with suggested fields, but you can easily customize each page to your liking and add new pages.

Options for adding new pages in GoDaddy Online Store

Fundamentally, a compelling ecommerce product page offers an intuitive, navigable and satisfying user experience (UX), so be sure to keep it simple and test your pages with people you trust.

You don’t want to launch your site, only to find that no one can figure out how to find your products.

Update ecommerce website settings

Once your easy ecommerce site has materialized — filled with dazzling product pages, images, colors, fonts and user-friendly functionality — you’ll need to update your site settings to make those all-important final touches prior to going live.

GoDaddy Online Store settings page

Once you’ve entered the settings section of your account, you’ll need to consider the following elements and update them to your particular preferences:

  1. Update all of your business contact information so that it’s present and correct.
  2. Settle on your domain name by using your existing one, buying a domain name or using the free domain name.
  3. Optimize all of your pages for SEO purposes by using the platform’s in-built SEO tools.
  4. Link all of your active social media accounts to your online store.
  5. If necessary, set up site cookies and traffic notifications, in addition to Favicon, Facebook Pixel and Pinterest meta tags. You can do this according to your own personal preference.

If you need extra help with any of these elements, be sure to check out GoDaddy’s dedicated help page for Online Store.

Manage your store: shipping, payment options, etc

Now, before the big launch, there’s one final thing you need to do — and it’s critical — if you want to make any money, that is. Yes, you might have guessed it. You need to add products and set up your payment methods.

To get to these settings, click on the Store icon under the Website settings tab. This will take you to a new screen.

GoDaddy Online Store options screen

From there, you’ll find a new page that has all your product-related options, like adding a product, adding payment options, shipping and more.

GoDaddy Online Store setup options

Products

Adding a product is simple. Upload an image, and include the name, description, price, tax category and other basic information. Once you save it, your product will be in the Shop section (under Pages) of the Online Store.

Adding a new product on GoDaddy Online Store

Related: How to create a compelling ecommerce product page

Payments

Next, you’ll want to be sure to set up your payment options. With GoDaddy Online Store, you have the option to use GoDaddy Payments, PayPal, Square, Stripe and offline payments.

Online Store payment options

Once you’ve set up your preferred payment offerings, select your shipping options to fulfill your orders. Click on the payment type you want to add and you’ll be redirected to a form that will take all of the information.

To help you do so, here are a couple of essential resources to reference as you set up your online store:

Pro tip: Feeling a bit lost? Click on the Next Steps button at the top right of the dashboard and you’ll receive a tailored list of steps you’ll want to take to make your ecommerce website a success.

Shipping

GoDaddy Online Store shipping options

Calculate the cost of shipping your products, and select a shipping method (free, flat rate or weight-based) that will best serve your customers and business.

Related: Top-notch shipping tips for your online store

Taxes

Don’t forget about taxes when you sell online. Talk to an accountant to determine whether or not you need to charge tax on your online sales.

Related: When are business taxes due and how can you prepare now?

Term of service and conditions

Clearly post a refunds and terms of service policy on your website and prompt users to agree to it before they make a purchase. This is essential as it will showcase your brand’s transparency while helping you avoid any costly consumer conflicts of interests later down the line.

Related: Returns and refunds policy templates for online shopping sites

Coupon codes

Within your store, you have options for creating coupons for discounted rates or on individual products. Explore how you can use coupons to reward new or loyal customers.

Customer reviews

GoDaddy’s Online Store includes a review feature. More than half of customers read reviews before making a purchase, so encourage your happy customers to leave reviews after their purchases.

Related: Generate reviews — 8 ways to get more product reviews

Tips: Important elements of an ecommerce website

While there are only a few essential elements that you must have to create an online store, there are many other components that will help you get the most out of your ecommerce shop.

Product details and photos

Don’t just post product pages and hope your items will sell. Instead, create interesting and useful product detail pages with sales copy that lists benefits, features and specifications. And be sure to include photos that show the product in detail.

The best product descriptions inspire, engage, address specific pain points and, most importantly, tell a story.

Related: How to write product descriptions to increase sales

CTA on every page

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are critical elements for ecommerce websites.

There are a variety of CTAs, but the ultimate goal is to move a prospect down the sales funnel. This can be anything from getting a lead (newsletter signup CTAs are great for that) to turning a lead into a customer (buy-one-get-one CTAs can do the trick).

Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

Publish your store

If you’ve added everything we’ve mentioned here, then it’s time to take your site live. GoDaddy’s Online Store makes this simple, with a simple click of a button.

Publish button for GoDaddy Online Store

Ready to get started with your own online store? Sign up for your free ecommerce site builder today!

3. Promote your online store

Black and white letterboard with the word “Sale”

The third and final element of our how to start an online store guide comes in the form of promotion or marketing.

Once you’ve fine-tuned your idea and actually created your online store, it’s time to shout about it to your target audience.

Here we’re going to explain how to promote an online store, expand your reach, and enjoy the profit-boosting success you no doubt deserve.

There are a host of avenues you can take when marketing your online store to prospective buyers, from connecting your website to popular third-party vendors to social media, email marketing and more.

But, before we delve into these all-important areas, it’s important to reiterate the importance of spreading the word about your online store.

Why you need to promote your online store

Many small business owners think that once they have created an online store their job is done.

In fact, that’s where the fun begins. Not everyone who creates an online store is successful in making it their primary source of income. But those who are successful have a few common characteristics:

They love their customers

Ask any successful online seller what they like about their business and they will have a ton of heart-warming customer stories on the tips of their tongues. They live to make  their customers’ lives better.

They are scrappy and savvy marketers

The most successful online sellers have figured out a way to spread the word in their customer community. Some do it through social media marketing. Others identify influencers in their community and have them promote their product. Some business owners come up with clever viral marketing campaigns by promoting their products with special discounts.

It’s all about trying various marketing tactics and adapting to what works.

 

Related: 5 marketing lessons from businesses thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic

This last step in the journey to becoming a successful online seller is an iterative process — an ongoing effort to keep on improving your product and the lives of your customers. And here we’re going to give you more essential advice on how to promote an online store.

Connect with online marketplaces

As mentioned earlier, connecting your online store to renowned ecommerce marketplaces is an excellent way of enhancing your profit-making potential while expanding your promotional reach.

If you appear in more online shopping spaces, more consumers will be able to interact with your brand messaging, explore your products, and buy stuff from you.

GoDaddy Online Store makes it easy to integrate your website with popular marketplaces including Amazon, Walmart, Google, eBay, Walmart and Etsy.

Related: Sell your products on Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Google using Websites + Marketing Marketplaces

Build an email marketing list

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still one of the most effective promotional methods available to today’s ecommerce brands. If you’re just starting your journey into ecommerce entrepreneurship, you might not have the capital to spend on a host of pricey promotions. But, as you’ll no doubt know by now, promoting your online store is essential if you want to be a success.

To ensure your emails get read and help to boost your store’s bottom line, you will need to build a targeted email list of willing recipients that are open to receiving your communications. While this can prove tricky at first, once you’ve learned the fundamentals and found a little momentum, you will be cooking with gas.

To help you do just that, GoDaddy’s Online Store includes email marketing functionality built-in for free. To get started, take a look at this walkthrough.

Related: Websites + Marketing — Enhanced email marketing features for your business

Embrace social media marketing

Person holding phone with various social media icons displayed

As one of the world’s most influential communication-based mediums, social media marketing is key to getting eyes on your online store.

Getting it right is essential if you want to promote your ecommerce business effectively.

Social media has become a staple of our daily lives — a way to connect (or reconnect) with friends and family, share pieces of our lives with our followers, and “spy” on others. Social sites like Twitter and Facebook help us stay abreast of the latest trends. LinkedIn has become a go-to source for job hunters and recruiters alike. And image-based sites such as Pinterest and Instagram feed us with visual inspiration 24/7. But, until fairly recently, social media wasn’t a must-have marketing tool for business.

That changed.

Social networking can make companies more accessible for customers, give them viral exposure, and revolutionize the way businesses market their products.

For businesses that sell products online, getting social offers additional perks — from a free way to offer incentives to an organic means for building buzz about specific products.

With a little bit of know-how, online sellers can use social media to take ecommerce sales to new heights.

Related: How to create a social media strategy for the new normal

Offer incentives

Customers love a good deal, and word-of-mouth (or social sharing) helps promote your products/services more effectively than paid ads. How? Because people trust and want what their friends are talking about.

A simple and affordable way to increase your social following and draw new visitors to your online store is through giveaways and discounts.

By offering new followers a 15% discount for liking your page, for example, or by hosting a giveaway where contestants share a picture/post from your site to get entered to win a prize, you can quickly develop loyal customers and viral success.

Related: Email marketing coupons — Best practices for driving sales with discounts

Engage with your customers

People love talking about products and services they’ve used. Whether a customer’s experiences are good or bad, your business’s social profile is a place where they can go to engage and share their feedback about the products they use.

The one-on-one interaction can give incredible insight into what you’re doing right, and what needs improvement.

 

Remember, it’s important to keep the social in social media! Don’t be THAT business that’s constantly pushing products. Take the opportunity to connect with your customers and find ways to promote through conversation.

Related: The best tips for responding to reviews online

Use share buttons

A great way to promote your products online is by adding share buttons to your product pages and home page. The buttons allow customers and social visitors to showcase their interest in your products on their own social profiles.

Whether they’re sharing their recent purchases, sending a gift idea to their mom through Facebook messenger, or adding a product to their Pinterest pinboard — they are marketing for you.

Now that you have three easy ways to leverage social media to boost eCommerce sales, it’s time you get socializing! It’s a commonly known fact that social networking sites are where people spend a large chunk of their time — and so should your business.

Related: A beginner’s guide to social media for small business

Share customer testimonials and positive reviews

Person showing a thumbs-up sign

In today’s world, consumers trust the thoughts, feelings and opinions of their peers over adverts or promotional messaging. That said, customer testimonials and genuine positive reviews are like promotional golddust for your eCommerce business.

Customer testimonials are priceless quotes or snippets that are generally short, snappy and to the point.

 

As they take up little physical space, it’s easy to add testimonials to your website or use them in print collateral and email outreach.

To unlock the full potential of using positive reviews and testimonials for your business, check out our dedicated guide, complete with case studies.

Explore discounts and coupons

The final recommendation for promoting an online store is offering deals and discounts. We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it’s especially important when spreading the word about products or services.

By offering coupons, deals and discounts, you’ll be able to boost your levels of engagement and attract prospects to your brand.

You can get incredibly creative with discounts and coupons, using them in your various marketing communications. The sky really is the limit!

Manage online business listings

If your business is locally based, be sure to keep your business listings updated. To get people to your site (and in your store if you have a physical location), you’ll need to ensure people can find you in a local search.

Make sure your contact information is accurate on all platforms, including your website, social media pages, Yelp, Google and wherever else visitors will search for your store.

Tip: It’s never a bad idea to add a map to the Contact page on your ecommerce website. This will make your user experience (UX) offerings all the more seamless while incentivizing your prospects to check you out!

Conclusion and next steps

“eCommerce is not an industry; eCommerce is a tactic.” ~Tobias Lutke

An ecommerce website can open a large, new frontier for your business. You will be able to sell to millions around the world instead of the thousands in your neighborhood. You will be able to tap into a billion-dollar market. And, you will be able to give your business an opportunity to expand and grow with minimal risk and low investment costs. And, now is the time to strike.

Once you’ve fine-tuned your idea with a great name and thorough market testing, an easy ecommerce website is just a few steps away.

Start with a free trial of GoDaddy Online Store.

Begin with a few products that you showcase on your ecommerce site with stellar photos and product descriptions. Prompt store visitors to take action with compelling CTAs and authentic customer testimonials and reviews. Make it easy for customers to pay via various methods. Offer multiple shipping options — including free shipping.

These are the basics that will get your online store up and running.

Then you can focus on expanding your product line and growing your business through digital marketing techniques such as email marketing, social media and online business listings.

Now that you know how to create an online store, get going and make those dreams a reality.

The post How to start an online store in 3 steps appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



Get Hosting for $1.00*/mo with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Business Ideas

Some Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor stores will become WeWork coworking spaces for $300 a month – see inside SaksWorks

Published

on

The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

  • Hudson's Bay Company has partnered with WeWork to create co-working spaces.
  • The SaksWorks will be built within existing or past Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor stores.
  • The coworking spaces will have amenities like gyms, cafes, and restaurants.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) – the mastermind behind Saks Fifth Avenue and formerly Lord and Taylor – has partnered with WeWork to create “SaksWorks.”

SaksWorks' armchairs and coffee tables
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: BusinessWire

That’s right. Your local Saks Fifth Avenue could become the next hotspot for freelancers, startups, and remote workers.

SaksWorks' large coworking desk with a presentation screen and shelves in the back
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

To tap into the ongoing coworking craze, HBC will be turning part of its real estate collection into WeWork-run SaksWorks.

SaksWorks' tall shelves with plants and books hiding desks
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

This includes both existing or past Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor stores, Konrad Putzier reported for the Wall Street Journal.

SaksWorks' couch in front of a coffee table surrounded by bookshelves and plants
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Several SaksWorks will also be located outside of the city for suburbanites who need a break from working from home.

SaksWorks' couch in front of a coffee table surrounded by bookshelves and plants
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

All of the images shown below are from the partnership’s Brookfield Place location in New York City, but there will also be three additional New York locations – in Manhasset, Scarsdale, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship in the city – and one in Greenwich, Connecticut.

SaksWorks with a bookshelf in front of a couch, coffee table, and more shelving
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

The Brookfield Place location is replacing a former Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s store, while the SaksWorks in Saks Fifth Avenue is taking the place of a 10th floor children’s section.

SaksWorks' coworking space with armchairs, bookshelves, plants
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The three other SaksWorks will take the place of Lord and Taylor stores, Steff Yotka reported for Vogue.

a couch with colorful pillows and shelves in the back
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source:  Vogue

The first few SaksWorks will open its doors in September, but looking ahead, the team has plans to open more locations across North America.

SaksWorks' coworking space with armchairs, bookshelves, plants, coffee table
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

In the future, this could include Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Boston, Amy Nelson, SaksWorks president, told the Wall Street Journal.

SaksWorks' coworking space with a long line of tables and chairs
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: Wall Street Journal

HBC’s reputation for luxury goods seeps into the SaksWorks spaces …

SaksWorks' armchair and couches and shelves
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

… which will include plush amenities like on-site gyms, retail and restaurant spaces, cafes, and in-house events.

SaksWorks' squat rack in front of a mirror
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Like any other WeWork, SaksWorks will also have the prerequisite meeting spaces and open concept coworking spots.

SaksWorks' large coworking desk with a presentation screen and shelves in the back
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

As part of the collaboration, the SaksWorks locations will use WeWork’s “workplace management technology,” such as its booking app, according to a press release.

a couch with colorful pillows and shelves in the back
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: BusinessWire

“With HBC, we take the first step toward expanding our technology platform product offering and providing a differentiated approach to how landlords can incorporate flexible space across their portfolio,” Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork’s CEO, said in the press release.

SaksWorks' coworking space with armchairs, bookshelves, plants, coffee table
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source: BusinessWire

Prices will start at $299 a month, and the waitlist is already a few hundred people deep.

SaksWorks' tall shelves with plants and books hiding desks
The SaksWorks inside Brookfield Place in New York City.

Source:  Vogue

Read the original article on Business Insider

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Trending

SmallBiz Newsletter

Join our newsletter for the latest information, news and products that are vital to running a successful SmallBiz.