The Online Adventure of a Stay at Home Mommy

Business Challenges Faced By Online Businesses


It required a large amount of capital to start your own retail business. Most of these costs were associated with building, renovating, or renting a store. Today, anyone with a modest amount of capital can build an e-commerce website that can compete with established brick-and-mortar retailers.

E-commerce has changed how business works. It’s more than a trend; it’s a global business model. Still despite how easy it easy to set up shop as an entrepreneur, you face many challenges before you can create a successful business.

Here are 4 common challenges and the steps to take to meet them:

1. Unexpected technical issues:

If you have your own server and a local area network, you will find that for the most part, your computer system will be stable and reliable. However, what do you do if things go wrong? For instance, what do you do if your server crashes and you didn’t have enough time to backup some critical information? In a case like this, you can use data recovery services to get your crucial information back.

Handle unexpected technical problems by taking following 2 steps:

  1. Make sure you do everything you can to prevent problems. Do regular maintenance of your hardware. Keep your software up-to-date with the latest upgrades. And use best practices and anti-virus software to protect your computer system from problems, which can include someone trying to hack into your machines.
  2. Outsource what you can’t do yourself. This includes getting IT help and having a list of services to call in an emergency when you do happen to have a problem.

2. Reputation management.

While you may do your best to run your business with integrity, you can still have reputation management problems.

For instance, a customer might complain on a consumer website about your company because they didn’t get a refund to or that their shipment was lost.

These may not actually be your fault. The product may have passed its warranty; your fulfillment company may have made an error in the shipment.

Small things can quickly spiral out of control. Other customers may decide to join the chorus; business partners may begin to suspect you of chicanery; and potential customers may decide to buy from another vendor.

Manage your reputation by taking the following 2 steps:

  1. Be scrupulously honest. Don’t cut corners, take shortcuts, or omit information. Don’t become an affiliate for a merchant who has questionable products even if the commission is high. Also, make sure all your employees do the same. Do your best to deliver on all your promises.
  2. Hire a reputation management company to keep on top of bad press and to refute allegations made against your company and present the reasons why things went awry.

 3. Keep positive cash flow.

Business is based on a simple equation: you must have more money coming in then going out.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to spend more than you earn when you run an e-commerce business.

You have to pay for numerous services to run your business. You have to pay for web design, IT, electronic payment processing, landing pages, email marketing services, advertising, and so on.

If you are not careful, you can end up spending more money than you make. Even if you start out with sufficient capital, it can be quickly drained if you consistently spend more money than you make.

Once you hit a point of negative cash flow, you can quickly lose control of your entire business because you will have your essential services cut off.

Maintain positive cash flow problems by taking the following 4 steps:

  1. Don’t just rely on your financial statements to see if you are profitable. Instead, make sure that you have more than enough cash flow generation.
  2. Shore up extra cash that you make for unexpected expenses rather than immediately reinvesting it all in growing your business. This way if there is an emergency, you can meet it.
  3. Don’t borrow more than you can pay back.
  4. Hire a professional accountant to help you keep track of all your business accounting rather than trying to do it all yourself. This way, you won’t fall behind because you’re busy with other aspects of your business.

4. Stay abreast of the latest marketing techniques.

Things change fast online. One month a favorite method of advertising may work wonders and the next month it is so saturated that you spend more money on advertising than you make from sales.

Stay abreast of the latest marketing techniques by taking the following 3 steps:

Constantly measure the metrics of all your advertising to be able to quickly sort out changes in revenue generation.

  1. Attend industry conferences and get the latest courses on the best way to promote your business.
  2. Have a mix of different advertising methods so that if one unexpectedly dries up, you will still be making money from your other ads.

Business As Usual

Starting an e-commerce business may be easier to get into than opening up a brick-and-mortar company, and you may have huge advantages like global exposure and a business that runs 24/7, but you are still running a business that follows all the usual rules—taking care of problems before they happen, maintaining a good reputation, managing your money wisely, and advertising your goods effectively.

Social Media Psychology 101

social media

There’s no doubt that having a great product or service is just the first step in having a successful business. A more important element is marketing your wares in such a way that it creates value in the eyes of a customer. Having a lucrative business that’s supported by loyal customers is about solving a problem; when you can fulfill a consumer need, you become valuable to them.

Social media optimization has become a big part of the customer engagement and retention aspect of web marketing. Although it has proved to be less successful as a marketing tool in the traditional sense, it has become essential to fostering customer interaction and satisfaction, creating added value by extension. Effective marketing is psychological at its foundation, but there are very specific ways that you can use the principles of psychology to attract and engage consumers via social media. Here are a few that you can put into practice today.

What’s In It For Me?

The most basic question that everyone asks is “Why?” Why should they choose your business? What will your product or service do for them that another, similar product or service can’t?

Social media is a great platform for asking – and answering – those questions in a way that’s up close and personal. The days of the big, faceless corporation are ending. People want to know that you will interact with them on a personal level, and that’s what effective social media engagement does.

Nobody Has Time For That

Another benefit of social media engagement that fills a psychological need is the instant gratification angle. People are busy, and you have very little time to engage them before they lose interest and move on. The truncated nature of a post on Facebook or the data limits of Twitter force companies to distill their message, separating the essential elements into bite-sized pieces for immediate consumption. With social media, your market can ask a question and get an answer almost immediately, in real time, if not from you, then from your other followers. That leads us to the next point.

Creating a Sense of Community

The nature of society today leaves people feeling isolated and disconnected from each other, and as much as we see people tethered to their various devices, they also find a sense of community – of belonging – online. Social media fills that meed for community in a big way, and a smart business owner will tap into that by using social media platforms to create a corporate family by extension. When your customers feel that they have a personal stake in the success of your business, when they are personally invested in it, they will support it and bring others into the fold.

Effective marketing is all about learning why consumers respond to stimuli in a particular way, and then using that information to your advantage. When you learn to satisfy basic psychological needs via social media engagement, you create value for your customers. When your customers feel valued, they’ll follow you anywhere.

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Vacation: A Treat after a Hard Day’s Work

relaxing businessman, businessman on vacation

They say that you should travel while you’re still young enough to enjoy it. If you’ve never put an emphasis on taking a trip and seeing the world, then it’s time to broaden your horizons. When you explore new areas, you’ll change the way you relate to other people and the world around you. It gives you a great appreciation for the big picture of our global community, and you’ll feel empowered to tackle new challenges. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate an upcoming special event, consider leaving the baubles at the store and take a trip instead. Here are just a few places that you may enjoy.

Step Back to the 17th Century
Travel to Fez, Morocco to tour a medieval city that’s grand and enchanting. You can find lovely retreats where you’ll get to enjoy mosaic floors and antique furnishings when you’re ready to relax after a day of exploring. Take the time to look at the different wares offered by local artists, and pick up some native argan oil while you’re there to sooth your skin.

The Big Apple
Some people go their entire lives without ever stepping foot in New York City, but this doesn’t have to be you. Make a reservation at a fine hotel and enjoy all the city has to offer from its famous China Town to the Statue of Liberty.

National Parks
The United States is well known for having national parks, but France also has its own natural treasures. Chassignolles is the largest national park in the country. You can take in the beautiful scenery for a weekend, and then head over to Paris for a few days before you return home.

Rest and Relaxation
If some rest and relaxation is your top priority, then consider Grand Cayman condo rentals. With your own private living space, you can retreat to your room for meals while still enjoying the incredible scenery and beaches during the day.

Companies like Rem Services make it easy to find vacation rentals around the globe. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or a new business milestone, you can celebrate the moment by taking a little vacation. Whether you travel for the weekend or for several days, you’ll be able to mark the moment while also learning more about another culture and building some fantastic memories.

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