While some of the heavyweights of business will quite readily advise anyone seeking to get into business in this day and age to perhaps pursue it via the online business route, an online business is really just an extension of existing business practices. That’s the first thing you need to know about operating a business online and keeping this in mind will save you a lot of the trouble and disappointment that otherwise comes with the relentless pursuit of “nothingness” online business concepts. Your online business has to give your customers that same security as your physical business, they need to be assured that quality is not dropping and they can rely on your services. One way of making this happen is by using a subscription system (https://fastspring.com/subscription-management/) this can keep your customer’s in the loop and ease the online business side. It is important that there is not a divide and the connection from the online to the offline, flows.

Besides this, while you are operating your business online, you need to maintain the same reputation that your land-based store might have. The long-term value and potential of your business can increase, decrease, or even stabilize based on the online reputation of your business. You can boost customer retention rates, hire better employees and job candidates, increase profitability and stock value, enhance CLR (customer lifetime revenue), and more by improving your business reputation online. That is why it becomes prudent for business owners to take the help of reputation management companies that can spot threats to the brand before they become major crises.

Everything else you need to know about operating an online business sort of follows on from the acknowledgement that an online business is an extension of business processes which take place in the “physical” world…

Working out business expenses

Now if you perhaps operate something like a drop-shipping business through which you source products from somewhere and then sell them at their retail price elsewhere, like perhaps on an e-commerce website, you need to know how to work out the operational expenses from the point of view of their origins. For example, you may not ever have to operate and maintain something like a Clover Flex POS unit because you don’t physically handle any of the inventory you’re selling, but the drop-shipping company to whom you’re paying a monthly fee for the use of their sourcing and distribution channels prices that unit and all other operational costs into that monthly fee you pay. Besides that, you will also need a robust and secure e-commerce platform where your customers actually come and buy the products from, so hiring a website development team or company also could be a priority, and obviously that means calculating the expenses for that as well. So when planning for the future, such as perhaps leaving some leeway for unexpected operational cost hikes, these are the types of things you need to keep in mind.

Okay, so maybe something like the mentioned POS unit or other point of sale equipment like the Clover Mini POS used by the drop-shipping company aren’t expenses which are likely to spike anytime soon, but I’m merely pointing you in the direction of the place you need to look for possible operational expense hikes. Perhaps a better example would be a rise in fuel costs or even jet fuel costs, in which case your drop-shipping or other online business will inevitably be hit with the collateral price-hike effect because someone, somewhere has to deliver the goods you’re selling, even if you never have to handle or see them yourself.

It’s all about offering value

Now this lesson completes the puzzle and unlocks the secret to success in any online business endeavour. The ultimate goal is to sell, right, even if you’re selling something you may not have created yourself or something for which you will earn commission? So in the same way that you paid special attention to identifying those areas forming part of your online business which could dynamically spike your operational costs, you’ll now also focus on identifying those areas forming part of your online business which could add even just a little bit of value to your end clients. To use the drop-shipping example again, a drop-shipping company which uses MerchantAccountSolutions.com systems and solutions naturally extracts the type of value which they can pass on to you as the drop-shipper, value which you in-turn can pass on to your clients, such as marginally lower retail prices.