Saturday, March 2, 2013

Taking Your Business Online

NOTE: This is a repost topic from the OJP Forum, you can find more useful topics such as this and also online job recommendations, newbie guides, as well as mentors, at the forum.  JOIN OJP FORUM now!

Hello OJP members and visitors, below is a very useful information for business owners who wants to take their business online or market their products/services over the internet AND also to individuals who wanted to put up an online business. (Info Source:Department of Trade & Industry)

Practical E-Commerce Tips for MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises)

It's exciting to know that the number of internet users are expected to grow tremendously in the coming years (worldwide internet users are forecasted to reach 2.89  billion by 2015.)

As internet  infrastructures continuously improve; internet becomes even more readily available , accessible and affordable; and the use of wireless technologies become widespread.

You can just imagine the vast opportunities and immense possibilities for your business to grow and expand by going online!

NOW is a great time to take your business online.  But before taking the plunge online,  ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your products and services  competitive for the global e-marketplace?
  • Is your business ready to go online? and
  • Are you committed to take your business to the next level?

If you answered  yes  to  these  questions, then you are on your way  to having your business out there in the online environment.     

The following are some general  tips to guide you along the way:

1.  Do your research.  Know your business and your customer. Identify gaps. Scour the market. Look at websites you like. Look at competitors’ websites.

Understand e-commerce terminologies and technologies; domain name registration;  security standards;  payment options;  and logistics,  laws, regulations and policies; among others.

Have a business plan.

2.  Get  reliable and trustworthy partners, e.g., Internet Service Provider (ISP),  web host,  payment  service/solutions provider, logistics  service/support provider.

Determine which aspects/functionalities of your online business/website are DIY (Do It Yourself) or which require professional help. Weigh the pros and cons.

Your partners/providers should support you and help you run a well-oiled, efficiently functioning online business.

After all, it is not only about running your business, but being connected to the supply chain. If one link weakens or goes down, then the entire chain is affected. It is, therefore, a must that partners are reliable  and trustworthy to have a strong supply chain.

3. Optimize your website. Do not overload or overkill it.  Keep it up-to-date.

Remember that first impressions count. Your website should be:

- Dynamic
- Appealing and engaging.
- Simple, straightforward and uncomplicated.
- Informative  (fresh and accurate information) and understandable (to know the message you
   want to convey).
- Professional (for your business to be taken seriously).
- Easy to navigate and quick to load (customers easily lose interest especially when it takes too
   long for the website to load; they move on to another website).
- Up-to-date to keep up with new trends/developments.

Your website should contain the following information:

- About Us
- Contact Us (also list your physical address)/Feedback
- Privacy Policy
- Shipping Policy
- Customer Service/After Sales Service
- Terms and Conditions
- Guarantees
- Dispute Resolution/Complaints Handling
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)/Help

Look after  your  customers. Make their online shopping experience a pleasant one. To retain your customers and gain new ones:  Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What is it like transacting with your website?  Make your customers feel safe and comfortable when transacting on your website. Use internet security tools.

Practice what you preach. Adhere to your policies (privacy, shipping, customer service, terms and conditions, etc.).  Fulfill your commitment. Listen to your customers.  Take  their  comments/suggestions/feedback to heart. Properly and promptly resolve complaints and disputes.

When you treat your customers well, they remain loyal and help you gain new customers. Positive feedback and word-of-mouth advertising bring increased sales, higher profit margins, and a wider customer base.

NOTE: View and download the complete guide HERE.

Thanks for visiting and Have a nice day!

NOTE: Again, this is a repost topic from the OJP Forum, you can find more useful topics such as this, links to freebies, >> also online job recommendations, newbie guides, as well as mentors, at the forum.  Click here to JOIN OJP FORUM now!

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