Running a business online will present many challenges, some of which you likely won’t be prepared for. Never fear, we're here to discuss some of the greatest dangers to your online business and give some advice on how to handle them.
Bad Customer Reviews
When you have an online business, you might want to think about the problem of bad customer reviews.
Did you know that more than 89% of users only are going to explore reviews before committing to purchasing a product or a service from an online company? This is why reviews are crucial for your business. You need to make sure that your customers are sending the right messages to future users of your business.
A lot of business owners assume that a few positive reviews are all you need; however, this is not the case. Numbers do matter here. You will be better off if you have 50 mixed reviews rather than just three reviews that are five stars. A low number of reviews suggests that your brand is untrustworthy, leading potential customers to question whether they should purchase from your business.
If you have a negative review, then your problems are only going to grow. A negative review could spread like wildfire and cause significant issues. Multiple negative reviews could cripple your business potential. Negative reviews are one of the biggest dangers to your online business.
So, how should you handle a negative review?
You need to respond to it publically. There are a few ways to do this, but the best policy is to be direct. Make sure you respond to or comment on the review encouraging the user to contact you so that you can resolve the issue.
When you respond to a bad review, you're not only helping the customer who had a negative experience, but you're also sending a clear message that you care about your clients. It demonstrates you are willing to go the extra mile to help and that you want to make their experience better.
You definitely need to be prepared for the potential danger of your business being hacked. Many business owners assume that you only need to worry about a potential cyberattack if you are running a large company with an established brand. However, this is not the case. The reality is that there can be numerous hacks on smaller businesses that can easily cripple your company.
Hackers are especially a problem if they hit your customers rather than your business directly. Phishers can go after sensitive information or private information from your customers, damaging your relationship with them. Customers will be able to source the hack back to your business and question why you didn’t have protective measures in place.
The first thing you need to do to ensure that your business is prepared here is to make sure that you do have an insurance plan in place. The right insurance solution will guarantee that if you are hacked, you can claim back the money that you might lose. This is always going to be beneficial because it means that the impact of a hack won’t leave you without the funds you could desperately need to rebuild.
You should also ensure that you have the right security systems in place. If you are hacked, you need to show that you did everything in your power to prevent it. Customers are likely to be far more forgiving if this is the case.
You might want to consider migrating your data to a server that is more secure. If you migrate to Azure or a similar option, you will be able to guarantee that you don’t have to worry about your data being left vulnerable. Azure has some of the best security features available on the market today. Antivirus software is also a smart choice, and there are various different options on the market for you to consider.
You will also need to think about ensuring that you aren’t making any mistakes with your website and your general presence online.
Let’s start with SEO. It’s important to understand that SEO tactics tend to change quite rapidly. Practices that were beneficial or even acceptable last month may not be today. If you don’t keep up with the changes, then you could end up with a promotional campaign that doesn’t work, or worse, penalizes you.
A Google penalty will hit your business card. There are numerous reasons why this might occur. That’s why it’s important to utilize an expert service when you are setting up the SEO for your business. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your marketing strategy falls apart.
Speaking of falling apart, it’s important that you work to ensure that the web design for your business is solid. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are struggling to get the traffic levels or conversion rates that you need to keep your business afloat. This can happen if your website is not structured correctly.
For instance, you need to work to ensure that load times remain low and that can be quite tricky. If load times are more than a couple of seconds then most customers are going to get bored and leave. Ultimately, this could cut down the profit potential of your business.
You also need to think about how to ensure that your website does capture the interest of your target audience. The best way to do this is by utilizing the right content. Content will ensure that you are able to provide your audience with compelling information that is either entertaining or useful. Either is going to work in your favor and ensure that customers want to return to the site again and again.
If you want to start off on the right foot with your online business, you need to select a good host for your website. HostGator is a great place to start. They can take care of your web needs, and they even have different tiers of their service so you can decide what features you want and how much you want to pay for it! Learn more about HostGator here.
Don't forget one of the most obvious dangers of online business: the competition. Regardless of what you are selling online, you could find yourself facing competition. Indeed, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of businesses offering similar services or products. That’s why you need to make sure that you stand out online and give customers have a reason to favor your company.
One of the ways that you can do this is to explore what other businesses offer and fill the gaps that they have left. The gaps in question could be anything from slower delivery times to a particular product that no one else is selling.
Market research is going to help a lot here and will be well worth the investment. Of course, there are other areas to think about as well. You need to check that a competitor is not dramatically undercutting your price point. If they do then they could easily win a fair share of the market over your business and that’s always going to spell trouble.
You also need to make sure that your price points aren’t too low. If they are then you could accidentally trigger a price war. This is the type of situation that isn’t going to benefit anyone.
We hope this helps you understand some of the dangers to an online business that you need to be aware of. When you are working on your business model, it’s crucial to take the time to ensure you're putting the right protective measures in place.