In this day and age, the internet as a marketing tool is inescapable. The online world continues to grow and diversify every year and if you’re looking to make your mark in the competitive world of online business, you might need to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve! CAE tutor Bernadette Schwerdt shares some advice from Australia’s top online entrepreneurs about the strategies they used to get their businesses up and running.
1. Just start
One of the biggest reasons people fail in their quest to set up an online business is simply because they don’t get started. You can have the best idea in the world but if you can’t execute it quickly, efficiently and strategically, you’ll be sideswiped by someone who can.
All great entrepreneurs know that success is about having the courage to start. The best way to do that is to create a prototype; something that people can look at, feel, or buy. Once something is set up, people can test it and provide you with feedback. Even if what you have is not the best or final version, it’s worth putting it out there. After all, the best entrepreneurs say: failure isn’t failure – it’s feedback.
Simon Griffiths is the founder of the social enterprise Who Gives A Crap, a toilet paper company that gives 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world. Before Simon invested in setting up a factory, he needed to know if people would buy toilet paper online. So he set up a Shopify store for forty dollars, bought a bunch of toilet paper from the supermarket, packed it up and started mailing it to people. His strategy allowed him to test whether people would actually buy toilet paper online. It worked, and now Who Gives a Crap has been called ‘the world’s most impactful toilet paper’.
2. Do what others don’t, won’t or can’t
Disrupt or be disrupted! When it comes to online business, you don’t necessarily have to build something new. Disrupters take what is already there and add a twist, enabling their business, products or services to be delivered less expensively or more creatively than their competitors.
Take Matt Barrie. An Aussie with big ideas, Matt saw the potential to supply outsourced creative services to a global market. He bought up a slew of smaller websites to create Freelancer.com, allegedly the world’s biggest outsourced marketplace for creative providers, including copywriters, graphic designers and web developers.
Has he been a disruptor? Yes, he’s helped providers around the globe access paid work that previously would have been impossible for them to attain. In the process, he disrupted a range of established industries right here in Australia. The ripple effects have been enormous.
3. Outsource the technical side
One of the main reasons why people fail to manifest their business dreams is because they get overwhelmed when they think they’ll have to do it all themselves, especially the technical bit. Luckily, that’s not the case!
James Tuckerman is the founder of online entrepreneur magazine Anthill Australia. He recommends that if you don’t know how to build a website or set up a shopping cart, get a buddy or an expert to help you. It’s very easy to source experts online and they cost less than you may think! Save yourself the stress, focus on what you do well, and find experts to help you with the rest.
It’s never been quicker, easier or cheaper to set up an online business, but you need to have strategies in place that will help you execute your idea. Creating momentum is the secret to getting started. Get a head start with one of Bernadette’s Learn How to Make Money by Building a Successful Online Business courses, or try out one of CAE’s Small Business classes for inspiration.
Bernadette Schwerdt is the founder of the Australian School of Copywriting, an online marketing strategist, keynote speaker and the author of the new book, ‘Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs (How Australia’s Online Mavericks, Innovators and Disruptors Built Their Businesses…And How You Can Too.)