Every year, thousands of online businesses are launched throughout the UK. From tech start-ups to virtual media, the majority of new companies are digitally native – otherwise known as ‘born in the cloud’. This means it’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to start a business. Gone are the days of needing a functioning office, local workforce, and network of investors – the only thing which is indispensable for tomorrow’s CEOs is a reliable internet connection.
With so many new companies battling to get off the ground, it’s more important than ever to distinguish yourself from the competition. It may be easier to start a business, but it’s harder to keep your business running. In fact, studies have estimated that 90% of start-ups fail! So, what exactly is the key to starting an online business? And how can you give your start-up the best shot at success? Read on – this post will explain all.
Distinguish Yourself with a Strong USP
Every online business needs a Unique Selling Point (USP) that will carve it out from the competition. Ask yourself what gap in the market your company fills. Perhaps it utilises technology to make something exclusive more accessible, or digitises a service to make it more sustainable?
Think about online casinos. The growth of iGaming has revolutionised the gambling industry, with the market for online gambling forecast to double between 2017 and 2024! The sensational success of these businesses is thanks to their accessibility. Why would people go to the trouble of travelling to a physical casino when they can access the best online casino bonuses in the UK for a quick game in the comfort of their own home?
Your own business should have an equally straightforward, but strong, USP. Familiarise yourself with the competition and make sure you know why your offering is better.
Always Be Ready to Pitch
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to explain what your business does a lot – and you never want to be caught off-guard when someone asks. Prepare a 20-30 second elevator pitch that outlines your business offering succinctly, effectively, and memorably. You never know when a quick conversation with a stranger at a party (or between the floors in an elevator) will lead to something more. Think of everyone you meet as a potential client, ambassador or even investor. A killer business pitch that you know inside out will mean you’re always ready to make a great impression, whenever someone asks what you do.
Safeguard Your Reputation
For businesses who are active online, it takes years to build up a good reputation – and it’s possible to bring this tumbling down in a matter of moments. Set up some crystal-clear brand guidelines and a house style for when you, or any of your employees, are representing your business on social media. Create a Google Alert so that you’ll receive a notification every time your brand is mentioned online, so you can safeguard your reputation and respond as quickly as possible if anything goes awry.
Know When to Change Your Course
As we said earlier, 90% of start-ups fail. Statistically, this means your business is far more likely to fold than it is to thrive. This might be disheartening, but there’s no point being defeatist – set out a clear brand strategy and know when to call it a day if things simply aren’t working out. After all, Vera Wang, James Dyson, and Jeff Bezos all found (huge) success after a number of false starts – and if they can become a household name, believe that you might one day too!