Online trading is a booming industry that has been around for over 20 years. The internet and the introduction of online brokers have made it easier than ever to invest in stocks, forex, and commodities. But there are things no one tells you about the world of online trading before you get started:
You Should Avoid Penny Stocks
It would help if you avoided penny stocks over the long term. Some of these stocks can exponentially increase in value. However, on rare occasions, penny stocks may become lucrative investments and yield high returns over a short period.
However, many investors lose money because they are not aware that most penny stock investments are speculative. The significant risk involved with trading penny stocks is that it is easy to lose money. The penny stocks listed on the OTC Bulletin Board or Pink Sheets can be hazardous and volatile, and you should avoid them altogether if possible.
You should not invest in penny stocks if you are going through a rough financial patch because they will only stress your situation. It is not a brilliant idea to invest in penny stocks when your main priority is paying the bills and taking care of yourself, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. When it comes to making investments, sometimes all you can think about is how much money you have lost or what amount you might be able to make instead.
You Should Stick to One Trading Platform
Sticking to one platform like MetaTrader 4 is good because it allows you to develop the skills and strategies needed for trading. You should try out different platforms, but if one works well with your needs, then stick to that one. There is also a lot of community support on many of these sites, which can also help. It's important not to get distracted by other platforms because you might get confused or trade poorly.
You Should Have Enough Funds When Starting
You should have enough funds when starting online trading. That means you don't need to borrow money or pay with your credit card because it can be easy to get into this situation if you are not careful and end up losing more than what you started with.
If the market is doing well, that might work in your favour, but there's no guarantee that it will, and you could lose a lot of money. So you should set aside some money for this purpose before even starting online trading so that if something does go wrong, you have the funds to cover your losses.
You Should Be Realistic About Profits To Avoid Losses
It would help if you were realistic about the potential profits that you might make. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Do not expect huge returns because someone gave you a tip, or there are rumors online of quick success stories. With anything in life, if something seems like easy money – it usually isn't and will end up costing you.
Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to be an online trader, you might want to give it a try. There are many benefits associated with this type of trading, and having the correct information can help even beginners get started on their journey without any hiccups along the way. So don't think about it any longer, and get started today!
Deciding to take the plunge and start a new business is a big move to take and a very exciting one at that. However, you do need to carefully plan your route to the top. Success does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and that is why you need to navigate the murky waters in the early day. For start-ups, it is often about survival first, and then you can look at growth and profit maximization next. So, in this blog post, we will provide you with some tips and advice on how you can navigate the early days as a new business owner.
Choose a business that you are passionate about
Before you can start to look at the financial side of things and consider all of the different elements such as marketing, branding, physical premises, and so on, you need to think about the type of business that is going to be right for you. You can take a look at our categories section on this site to see some of the different options. This will give you an idea of the sheer scope of business opportunities available today. And, of course, you do not need to start a business from scratch if you do not want to. There is always the option to purchase a company so that you have a readymade company. It is all about figuring out what is going to be right for you and what will be the most suitable solution for your current situation.
Make sure you have a quality team behind you
There is nothing more important than the team you have behind you. You need a good team, so take the time to make sure that you hire skilled workers who are passionate and enthusiastic as well. After all, your team will determine whether your business is a success or not ultimately.
Take the time to work out your finances properly
One of the biggest mistakes that we see a lot of new business owners make is underestimate the costs that are going to be involved when it comes to starting a business. This is why you need to sit down and work out all of the expenses that will be entailed. Think about both variable and fixed costs, and make sure that you give yourself a bit of breathing room. After all, things can often end up being more expensive than planned, and it is not unusual to run into some costs that you did not account for. Therefore, we definitely recommend that you put together a careful financial plan and that you include all costs, no matter how big or small they may be! The last thing you want to do is find yourself running out of money.
Put together a marketing plan
You also need to put together an effective marketing plan. After all, you may have an incredible business, but it is important that people know about it! You are not going to get anywhere if you do not get the word out about your brand, so you need to perfect your marketing efforts. There are a lot of cost-effective strategies that you can use in order to make an impression. This includes everything from social media marketing to search engine optimization.
Research the competition
In addition to the tips that we have mentioned so far, it is also important to think about your competition. Are there any businesses in the market that are already doing what you are doing or something similar? If so, you need to assess their efforts in full. What are they doing right? Where can you offer something better compared to their service? What are your opportunities to differentiate yourself from the businesses that are in the market at the moment? These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself when you are evaluating the competition.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to navigating the early days as a business owner. There is a lot that you need to factor in and keep in mind. However, we hope that the advice and suggestions that we have provided above will help you to unlock success. From getting the finances right to making sure that you do not try to walk before you can run, there are lots of great pieces of advice, and you will find some great books and guides online to assist you with this.
As a business, it is important to have specific strategies in place to increase the number of customers you reach. The more customers you reach, the more likely you can increase your sales. If you think that reaching more customers is near impossible due to your current outlook on marketing, then you are incorrect. It is possible for any business to increase its reach, and here’s how.
Mailing is a traditional form of marketing that many people assume is old news. However, it is still very prevalent and useful. There are many customers that you can reach through a mailing that may not use digital media. Thus, they will not see your promotions.
Using a direct mail agency can help you improve your mailing strategy and reach more customers. You will be able to rely on them to ensure that your mail is consistent, regular, and on time, so that you can maximize your business’s reach and reputation.
Specify your audience for social media promotions
When you are using social media to promote your business, you will want to think about specifying your audience to ensure that you reach your target niche. Every business has a niche audience. These are the people that will use your business the most and get the most out of it.
For instance, if you are a clothing brand that makes female gym wear, then your target audience will likely be women from 18-50. You can specify that target audience on the social platforms when you are creating your content and ensure that your target audience is reached.
Furthermore, you can specify new audiences to try and broaden your customer base. You could target audiences that do not often use your brand. Yet, your social posts that reach them might encourage them to try your brand.
Ask for reviews
Reviews are great for your business. With good reviews, new customers will feel encouraged to use your business if they haven’t before. If a new customer sees that others feel that you offer good customer service and the products are worth the money, then they will trust those opinions and purchase from your business.
To attain the most reviews, you could ask your customers. There is no shame in asking for reviews. Your current customers are the best people to ask. Asking them for feedback will allow you to share more reviews, which can entice new customers in. Plus, it will offer you constructive criticism so that you can improve your business.
Every customer will appreciate a discount. Discounts encourage people to purchase from your business. If they can attain a good deal, they will more willingly make a purchase.
You could offer discounts to current customers to show them that you appreciate their business. It will encourage them to keep using your business if you offer them regular savings.
Likewise, you can entice new customers with discounts. They can use it to trial your brand and save money.
If you are passionate about something, then you are more likely to contribute more effort to it. If you often find yourself losing interest or motivation at work, then you might want to consider utilizing your passion for your career.
If your current career doesn’t spark motivation or efficiency, then here are some careers where your passions can translate.
If you are great with social media and know-how to take advantage of the trends to boost a following, then you might want to consider a digital marketing career. If you are passionate about social media platforms and want to use your passion to strengthen your career success, then marketing will be a great career for you.
The more passion you can bring to a role, the more efficient you will be. If you lack interest in your everyday tasks, then you will likely lose interest and fall off the bandwagon with your productivity.
Alone time for managerial roles
If you are someone who enjoys alone time and likes to work as a one-man band, then you might want to consider fulfilling a managerial role. A manager often works alone and hands down responsibilities to their employees.
You can use your passion for spending time alone to think of great ideas at work and be more efficient. Instead of working in a team, you can work alone and be more successful and efficient in your day-to-day tasks.
Sports for team-projects
Opposingly, if you are someone who enjoys sports, then you most likely enjoy working as a team. You could use this passion for team projects at work.
If a team-project opportunity arises, then you should put yourself forward as you will have the motivation and willingness to ensure that the project is a success.
Caring for being a great helper
If you enjoy caring for others and helping others with tasks, then you might be better off fulfilling a helper role at your job. Instead of being helped, you could turn your everyday task list into one that involves helping other people.
You can spend your time caring for others and helping them achieve their goals. Thus, you will enjoy your time and be more efficient at work.
Public speaking for presentations
Not many enjoy public speaking but if you do, then you will be ideal for the presentations at work. You could spend your time creating presentations to present to your business, other clients, and customers.
You can use your skills wisely and help your company look better in their presentations. A great presentation will go a long way and might even win over new clients, which will be great for the success of your company.
The more time you spend at work utilizing your skills and passions, the more efficient you will be. If you are passionate about a certain area of your company, then let your boss know so that you fulfill the role and help you and them achieve more efficiency and greater success.
Over two billion people purchased their goods and services online in 2020 alone. While this makes e-commerce an excellent business opportunity, it also means you’re facing a lot of competition for those customers and challenges unique to online operations. With the likes of Amazon and Alibaba dominating the market and the e-commerce industry expanding at a rapid pace, growing an e-commerce business is no easy feat.
Like any business, the main objective is growth. But even if you’ve taken advantage of the move from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce to capitalize on a new revenue stream, steady growth isn’t guaranteed. You’ll not only need to figure out how to carve out a portion of that market for yourself but also learn how to overcome common e-commerce challenges.
Keep reading or use the links below to go directly to a specific section that addresses a problem you’re currently experiencing.
Choosing the right product mix is critical to long-term success. But in a highly competitive market, it’s virtually impossible to have a completely exclusive offering unless you manufacture and sell products directly to the consumer.
It’s common for businesses to invest in a product range they think customers will want but that doesn’t actually align with their target buyers’ needs or preferences. Likewise, many businesses put their faith in certain products only to find out that the same or very similar items are available elsewhere, cheaper.
If you find yourself with products that aren’t selling, rest assured that the majority of businesses go through a period of trial and error before settling on a product range that’s right for their customers. To mitigate the risk of costly missteps, however, make sure to:
Do a thorough market and competitor analysis, so you know what products are already out there before making an investment.
Define your target customer’s needs and preferences, so you can accurately evaluate if a product serves the right purpose.
Consider how you can differentiate your product mix to offer an alternative that’s a better value, better quality, or a more innovative solution to their problem.
2. Not understanding your customers
In a perfect world, your customer base would be a distinct group of people who share the same behaviors, preferences, and interests. However, in reality, most customers will readily switch from brand to brand as their needs change, your offerings change, and as competitors’ offerings change. This can make forming a reliable picture of your customer base a challenge.
Reporting and analytics are invaluable for tracking your customers’ behaviors, demographics, and actions on an ongoing basis. These reports and insights are often provided by tools such as your customer relationship management (CRM) software, inventory management software, or e-commerce platform.
You should analyze this data regularly. With the most up-to-date information, you can ensure you have the best understanding of current customer behavior and tailor your sales efforts accordingly.
3. Inability to handle multiple sales channels
Expanding your e-commerce business to multiple sales channels is one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce, no matter what you’re selling. This is especially true if you don’t have the right setup in place to properly manage all your inventory and orders. Having your own e-commerce store, plus other sales channels—Shopify, eBay, etc.—can be a lot to keep track of.
Before you make any major business decision regarding multi-channel selling, it’s imperative to ensure you have the right workflows in place. Streamlined operations enable a better customer experience and increased customer satisfaction, and also provide a solid platform for growth.
A cloud-based order management system like QuickBooks Commerce acts as a single source of truth (SSOT) for all your data, which is critical as your business expands to include more working parts. By having everything organized in one place, you can keep track of e-commerce sales across platforms and efficiently manage each channel.
4. Inventory management problems
Overstocking and understocking your products might seem like an unavoidable aspect of selling goods. However, if it’s a regular occurrence, it’s cutting into your bottom line. Having too much stock sitting around keeps your money tied up, meaning your cash flow is restricted. When that inventory becomes dead stock, you may end up taking a complete loss on remaining goods.
Not only are overstock and out-of-stock problems costly for growing businesses, but they also provide a poor customer experience and contribute to a negative brand reputation. Online shoppers want to buy from businesses who have what they need when they need it. If you’re constantly running out of popular items on your e-commerce site, your customers are likely going to look elsewhere.
Utilizing a robust inventory management system is the key to maintaining ideal stock levels. With an automated solution, your inventory levels are constantly updated as sales are made, allowing you to keep track of stock. With automated inventory tracking, you no longer have to worry about manual data entry, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Before dedicating to one system make sure you’re asking the right inventory management questions for your business.
5. Setting prices
Pricing is a key aspect of launching e-commerce business and making sales. If your pricing is too high, online shoppers will simply turn to a competitor if there are other products similar to yours on the market. On the other hand, if your pricing is set too low, you’re losing out on revenue, which can be detrimental to your bottom line. This is why pricing is notoriously one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce.
So, how do you find the ideal price points for your goods and services? It starts with market research and ends with establishing a well-thought-out pricing strategy.
In addition to pricing your products in a way that helps you turn the most profit, you also need to consider other factors, such as shipping costs.
6. Marketing and driving traffic
You can take advantage of online marketplaces like Amazon to get your products in front of customers who are specifically looking for goods like yours. However, that shouldn’t be your only strategy. If you’re selling on several different sales channels, you need to be driving traffic to them, especially if you have your own e-commerce site.
The problem is that many small businesses struggle with marketing efforts. You’ll either need to invest the time to learn about marketing strategies or work with a professional marketer, but either way, it’s essential for e-commerce success. Some of the key digital marketing initiatives you should consider include:
SEO (search engine optimization) to help you get your business to the top of the search results.
Social media marketing to expose your brand to new customers and let current customers know about updates to your offerings.
Email marketing to retarget previous visitors, send reminders about online shopping carts, and send coupons to reward customer loyalty.
Another tactic e-commerce companies have had success with is influencer marketing. Look into your options and see what will realistically fit your budget, to figure out where to get started.
7. Failing to establish your own e-commerce website
Relying on online marketplaces to make all your retail sales for you puts you at a disadvantage. These e-commerce marketplaces and stores have countless products just like yours, meaning your brand can get lost in the sea of offerings. In this case, so much of the process is out of your control.
While you should keep selling on these marketplaces, you should also create your own site. Having your own e-commerce website gives you freedom and the opportunity to establish your brand.
With your own e-commerce site, you can:
Optimize the shopping experience for your core customers.
Emphasize what makes your brand different.
Have complete control over how your brand is presented.
Establish your own return and refund policies.
Choose which payment methods you want to accept and how payment is processed.
When you set up your business for online sales, invest in a high-quality design upfront, complete with user-friendly navigation and mobile-friendly functionality. Doing so will not only help set you apart from other online retailers, but it will also help you cater to the Google algorithm.
If you want to reach out to today’s customers, your marketing campaigns need to be more targeted than ever. In order to get the attention of your target niche, it’s not only essential to appeal to their specific needs but also to offer a personalized service. If you’re just starting out with minimal resources, fortunately, there are several effective ways you can reach out to your target niche, without necessarily breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Make advertising as targeted as possible
Today’s consumers see a lot of advertising, so if you want them to take notice you need to ensure your ads are as targeted as possible. The good thing is with advances in data analytics on many marketing platforms and social media, you can now let technology do the work for you. For example, Facebook has exemplary targeting and retargeting capabilities. You can advertise your products or services to the right people at the right time. Here is a complete guide on how to advertise on Facebook.
Go old school with direct mailing
You could also send your target customers physical correspondence. This may sound a bit old school, but it’s actually pretty effective, especially for local businesses. If you use state-of-the-art tools such asprint workflow software, you can really make a great impression on your target niche as well. You could use direct mailing to send targeted offers, coupons, invites to opening events, and more.
Set up a robust email marketing campaign
If you’d rather keep it online you could set up a robust email marketing campaign. Email marketing is one of the most effective low-budget marketing ideas. The best thing about it is how versatile it is. You can use email marketing for referral campaigns, retargeting, personalized after-sales support, reviews, and more.
Boost your social media presence
It’s a good idea to build your social media presence as many of today’s consumers will look up a brand on social media before investing. Regularly update your accounts and include plenty of engaging content. You can also use social media for referral campaigns and targeted advertising. You may also want to consider collaborating with other businesses on social media. This way you can share resources and followers and increase exposure for each other. You can also reach out to your target niche via other channels without directly advertising to them.
Leverage user-generated content
If you boost your social media presence you could also incentivize your followers or employees to create their own content about your business. This is just one of the manysmart ways to leverage user-generated content. User-generated content, rather than promotional content created by your brand is seen as much more trustworthy. For example, if a member of your target niche sees a recommendation from someone from a similar demographic, this could persuade them to invest in your brand. The more channels you use to reach out to your target niche, the better, and you’ll boost exposure.