Top tips for internet entrepreneurs

1. Know your customers and interact with them
Small businesses should always keep in touch with their customers; find out what they want, what they don’t want, what they like and importantly, what they don’t like. You can do this through quick online surveys or speaking to them when they place an order with you. Before going into a different business direction, devote some time to understand your customers’ needs and how your actions can meet, and exceed, their expectations.

2. Take advantage of expert advice and continue to learn
It’s not just your customers that can help steer you and your business. Chat to your suppliers, peers and staff to get invaluable insights. Equally, independent expert advice can be just as helpful to your business – speak to your bank, to Business Link or to the FSB. Just like when you start a new job and are still learning the ropes, it is better to ask someone when you’re in doubt.

3. Open up your own ‘shop’ – create your own website
If people don’t know your business exists, they won’t be able to buy from you. Creating a website to sell your products is like opening up a shop – just online and a lot cheaper. If you don’t want to open your own online ‘shop’, you could use online platforms, such as Ebay or Amazon, to sell your products. Think of them like a department store – just online.

4. Finding the right suppliers
Do your research, read online reviews, choose your supplier based on yours and your customers’ needs. Are they going to give you the best price? Are they going to deliver when they say they will? If your suppliers do not work efficiently, your business reputation may be negatively impacted through their behaviour.

5. Use a direct delivery service
If your business focuses on selling products, using a third party supplier that delivers direct to your customers can drive down your costs, therefore increasing your profit. Using specialist suppliers like PIXmania-PRO means that you avoid the costs of logistics, inventory management, investment in large numbers of stock and monitoring the delivery of your products in good conditions – essentially taking away a lot of the potential headaches and freeing up your time to focus on expanding your business.

6. Develop an adaptable pricing policy
Knowing what is the “right” price for products requires a thorough study of the market, of competitors, and an analysis of how your company can stand out. It is not enough to ensure profits from your sales, you must also be competitive to get the sales in the first place.

7. Add a personal touch
Sometimes it is neither the traffic nor the product, or even the price or the customer that makes the difference in sales. The originality of the business and the web space created is what drives someone to buy products from a particular site. Creativity and details that reflect your personality may be key points in your business success.

9. Enjoy what you’re doing!
Do something that you like – that way you’ll stay motivated. Think about your hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time. You may be a good photographer and want to spend your free time selling photographic equipment. If your business focuses on selling products, has over 35,000 different products to choose from that you could sell direct to your customers.