Many think of the task of moving their business from offline to online as a hard one. But contrary to popular beliefs, this is actually the opposite.
While it does have its moments, moving offline business in the online world is actually pretty fun and interesting. Since digitalization is something that everyone has to get on board with, it makes it a no-brainer decision.
As to how exactly to do that, well we have a list of 6 ways that will give you the best chance. So, with all that said, let’s start.
1. Create a Website
Regardless of what your business is, the only way to move it online is to create a website and host it on the internet. The internet is this amazing place where anyone can find anyone. But to find them, we need a website.
Creating a website is the first step towards the road to globalization. By doing this, you are making yourself available to every user on the planet. The more people know about your services and products, the bigger the chances to do business with them.
And the only way to do that is to have a website.
While this wasn’t the case a few years back, it is most certainly now. Previously, a business could fulfill all of their online needs by simply utilizing social media. Now, it’s not enough.
2. Utilizing Social Media
While social media is not enough on its own, you will certainly need it when going online.
Social media platforms give you the best chance to market your business to a huge audience. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three main ones, while you can also use YouTube and Vimeo if your business has video-heavy content needs.
But it’s safe to say that people use social media every single day. And they can also find you there before going to your website to finish the transaction.
Thus, utilizing social media should also be a top priority.
3. Create a Digital Marketing Plan
Much like a marketing plan, a digital one will help bring in revenue to your website. This is the only way to help bring in new customers and to hopefully gain the attention of existing ones.
A digital marketing strategy is very much different than an offline one. For instance, you might need to invest heavily in search engine optimization, mailing lists, paid ads through social media, etc.
When transitioning your company from offline to online, it’s important to note that most of the work will be done through a computer.
So, you might need to get skilled in certain IT stuff. For example, you might want to learn how to post on social media or how to manage your website. While both are equally hard to learn and master, it is something that you either do yourself or pay someone else to do.
In addition, there are plenty of online tools that will help you when the time for posting content comes. For example, website URLs can sometimes be very long and painful to post. So there is a tool that helps shorten the URL. To know more about that, make sure to visit bityli.com. We use these tools to give us that extra edge when doing stuff online. That extra edge is exactly what you need to stand out from the rest.
4. Decide What You’re Going To Sell
This is a very important question to ask as it will define your source of revenue.
Your offline business might have hundreds of products, but can you fit them all on your website? One thing to understand is that an online business that deals with physical products has to take into account the various shipping fees and costs.
Not only that, but you will also have to find a place to store inventory. This will most likely be a warehouse of some sorts, but these are questions that have to ask and answered before moving forward.
Naturally, some products might not be best suited for selling online. A lot of businesses that transition from offline to online have to either scale back or up.
5. Sort Out the Legal Stuff
Now we come to the part of the article where it’s every man for themselves. Namely, an online business doesn’t make you impervious to the law.
You still have legal responsibilities that you have to sort out before you actually start doing business.
For example, some countries require you to have a business license. This is certainly the case for the United States, but there is a catch. Namely, there is no specific license for running an online business. This means you can use your existing license as it will serve the same purpose.
However, if your online business has a different name then you will need to grab what is called a DBA License. This license makes sure that you can do business under a different name.
Lastly, although not the least of your problems, you will have to sort out the tax stuff. An EIN is a must so that the IRS can effectively keep track of your transactions. This makes sure you have nothing to hide from the IRS, which is a blessing. Different states have different laws and tax requirements for online business, so make sure to look into that.
6. Be Active And Add Lots of Content
The only way for an online business to succeed is to be active and constantly produce new content for their followers. Ideally, you’d want your website to have a few basic pages and a blog page to go along with it.
The pages that your website must have are the home page, about us page, the product or services page, returns and refunds (optional) page, and the contact page. As we said earlier, you can also have a blog page where you can create content for your readers to keep them entertained.
The content has to have some connection to what you’re doing. So if your online business is about selling clothing, maybe create blog posts about fashion and trends.