And Why You Should Update Your Business Insurance Policies If You Can?

Have you thought about selling your products or services online?

Selling online opens up a world of opportunities for small and medium businesses, but it is crucial to be prepared.

Let’s look at some key steps that can help you to succeed online, and avoid some of the dangers inherent with online marketing.

Step 1 – Create a Solid Business Plan

You probably already have a business plan in place for your business, but it will need upgrading to take in online sales.

More than ever you need to know your target market and how your competition operates in the same area. This will guide your online business operations and help you stay focused on your goals. 

There are several options available when it comes to selling online. Let’s start with a website

Step 2 – Build or Update Your Website

Simply put, every small to medium business should have at least a basic, but professional, website. There are many reasons for this which include:

  • Credibility – People will have more faith in your company if they can find your website
  • Google – It is the first place that new customers will search for you
  • Service – An up-to-date and well-presented website suggests a company that cares
  • Testimonials – Your website offers a great vehicle for positive testimonials about your products or services
  • Business Card – You can use your website as your online business card to promote what you are offering to your clients in a simple, easy-to-find location.

Your website should have a professional look and be clean and simple in presentation. It should relate to your customers. It should be excellent on mobile devices because more than half the searches online now are via a mobile device. And it should load REALLY quickly with no glitches. anything over a couple of seconds will not be appreciated by your potential customers.

Step 3 – Optimise Your Website

Ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-optimised, and contains high-quality images and content. This will enhance the user experience and improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.

You should also make use of some simple methods designed to please Google. If Google likes you, it will make it easier for your potential customers to find you.

Step 4 – Utilise Social Media

Social Media is a powerful tool for promoting your products and services online. Use platforms like Facebook (Now known as Meta), Instagram, and Twitter (Now known as X) to create online networks, promote your products, and engage with your customers.

It does however require regular attention and the ability to respond to your potential customers – so it can become very time-consuming for a sole trader.

Step 5 – Provide Excellent Customer Service

Excellent customer service is key to building trust and loyalty with your online customers. If they are happy they will come back. Make sure to provide clear information about your products, easy-to-use payment options, and prompt customer support.

Step 6 – Payment Gateways

This is essential to keep customers happy. There are a number of inexpensive and expensive ways to achieve this. To start with, PayPal and Stripe are two of the easiest solutions. You can worry about more advanced stuff later.

Step 7 – Manage Your Online Reputation

Monitor customer feedback and address any comments promptly and professionally. This will help maintain a positive online image for your business.

If you do not answer negative comments quickly and effectively, people reading them will assume you do not care about your customers.

5-star ratings are a godsend but a few 1-and-2-star listings can really hurt you.

Step 8 – Understand Legal and Tax Obligations

Be aware of the legal and tax obligations associated with selling online, including privacy policies, terms and conditions, and GST.

You need an accountant’s advice for this.

If you try to wing it because the accountant is too expensive, and it goes wrong, the penalties will be FAR higher than the accountant’s fees would have been.

Step 9 – Review Your Business Insurance

Selling online carries risks. These can include things like:

  • Cyber Attacks: With the increase in online transactions, there is a higher risk of cyber-attacks, such as hacking or phishing. This could lead to financial loss, data breaches, and damage to your business reputation.
  • Data Breaches: Handling customer data online exposes your business to the risk of data breaches. This could result in legal actions, fines, and loss of customer trust.
  • Product Liability: Selling products online exposes your business to product liability risks. If a customer is harmed by your product, you could face legal actions and significant financial losses.
  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Online businesses often rely on third-party suppliers and logistics providers. Disruptions in the supply chain could lead to delays, financial losses, and damage to your business reputation.

It is crucial to consult your insurance provider to ensure that your business insurance policy covers these risks. You may need to purchase additional coverage or a specialized online business insurance policy.

 

Talk to Roger Hosie from #RSMTasmania today.
Call Now! (03) 6244 7854, or email roger@rsmtasmania.com.au

If you would like some additional FREE advice on marketing your business online,
we can recommend an ebook called

“Marketing For Local Business Owners – 2023”
Simply click the link and download  

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