Three tips for upgrading your online business

Ready to take your online business to the next stage? Here are three tips to help you.

You started your online business, you’ve become mildly successful, you even have some regular customers. The hard part should be over, but growth is slow, and you can’t seem to speed it up. What now?

This plateau happens to all businesses in their early years, and it’s fixable. Here’s how you can take your online business to the next level.

1) Upgrade your server speeds

If you’re running an online business, chances are you’re hosting a website, or paying someone to host it for you. The more customers you have, the more space and speed you’ll need for your website server. Nothing is worse for business than the only point of sale being inaccessible.

Once your business has grown beyond a couple of visitors a month, you should invest in an upgrade. Unmetered 10gbps servers are becoming more popular with growing businesses, since they provide extra flexibility and bandwidth for whatever you need.

It’s also important to upgrade your server and any software you use when the security is outdated, and new features are no longer being developed or offered. Cybersecurity is a vital aspect of any online business, and needs to be kept up to date to still be effective.

2) Ask for customer feedback

To really know how you can improve, ask your customers. Find out the following: 

  • What they like
  • What they don’t like
  • What they want to see in the future
  • Whether they’ll recommend your products and services to other people

After all, the cheapest advertising is by word of mouth.

There are several ways you can ask for customer feedback on your website. Consider linking a survey site or embedding the feedback form directly on the page. Pay attention to what pages on your website get the most traffic, such as your landing page, product descriptions, ‘About’ or ‘Contact Us’, and place surveys here. In addition, you can create a separate page for feedback and link back to it from wherever you want. 

The separate page is especially useful for customers that are very happy or very dissatisfied, which are your most important reviews for potential growth. As a bonus, you can use the glowing reviews for marketing.

Be wary of calling customers on the phone to conduct a survey. It can be seen as obtrusive or annoying, and in the worst-case scenario, you may even lose a customer. Emails are better for direct contact, but still come with a certain amount of risk. If possible, don’t send an email only to obtain feedback; consider attaching a survey to the end of a digital receipt. 

3) Automate what you can

Doing everything manually, especially if you’re on your own, is costly and takes up valuable time. Fortunately, there is plenty of free, open-source software on the Internet built for automating small tasks.

Start simply, and go incrementally to see what works for you. Set up bills to be paid automatically. Find a program for sending out invoices and notifying customers.

If you have the time, you can even write your own scripts. There are numerous programming courses online, both free and paid, at all levels of comprehension. The benefit of writing your own program is that it only does what you need it to, and you can tailor it to fit your website perfectly.

What happens next?

Luck is part of any business venture, but following these tips can boost your chances for success tremendously. Listen to your customers, make sure your hardware can support the growth, and don’t try to do it all alone. 

This is your business, and its success is in your hands.