Where Your On-line Business Budget Needs to Go
Do you have an on-line business budget? Monies specifically set aside for your on-line business needs?
One of the most attractive reasons to start a business mainly online is because you will always hear of how cost-effective it is. You don’t have to spend on a big, fancy storefront. Sometimes you don’t even need to spend money on an office. But you do need to make some investments. The question is, where do you make them?
On-line Business Budget: Your Website
This is a point that comes in different gradients. If you can learn your own website development and/or use templated visual design and branding then you don’t need to pay for it. You DO need to pay for web hosting, however, if you want to have any control over your own site. Free web hosts often have very slow access speeds to your site, made worse by the fact the host will clog them up with ads completely irrelevant to your business. And you need to be particular in how much you spend. You don’t want to buy a lot of space you don’t use, but you want to have enough. You also want to make sure your choice of web host allows you to use whatever file types and sizes the business site needs. Otherwise, you’re paying for a host that limits your ability to design your business’s online presence as you would like.
On-line Business Budget: Your Support
If you want people to not abandon the process of buying your services, then you do need to offer more than an email address or a phone number in terms of customer support. Today, many of your competitors will be offering online support methods. It might just be an FAQ that solves the vast majority of problems. In technical areas, it can be a forum where the community can build and help one another out. It might very well be a live chat app that allows you to help customers as soon as they land. The fact is that if you don’t remove barriers to customer support, then they might not be willing to take the step further to seek it, and thus unwilling to go on with spending money on your business.
On-line Business Budget: Your Security
This is a non-issue. If you want anyone to spend money through your site, it had better be secure from the risk of hackers, of data loss, and of being spammed with links to dubious sites. Many web hosts offer some security options with their hosting packages but if not, you need to make sure you find others who can provide it. People need to be able to see that a site has the secure logo in their browser when they’re about to put in their credit card details.
On-line Business Budget: Your Marketing?
Why the question mark? Because, while it’s true that paying for ads and targeted social media is a good idea, it’s not exactly the most cost-effective way to start with your marketing push. Using inbound methods like search engine optimisation, good social media presence, and creating content that your target market has an interest in can be done for free with only a little learning. Many would argue they are a much longer term solution, too. Paying can get you a much broader reach, but it’s something that can wait until you have more money to put toward the budget.
Obviously, if your business has other needs, like manufacturing, sourcing, or delivering goods, they come with their own financial needs. But beyond the particulars of your industry, hopefully, we’ve shone a light on where to focus the investment of your on-line business budget.