Starting an LLC can feel somewhat intimidating, as there never seems to be enough time, money or energy to do everything you want. And in today's digital world, you must know how to effectively meet customers where they are — online.
Fortunately, whether your company will be brick-and-mortar, completely online or partially online, there are ways you can ensure your business will be able to effectively compete. Here are five factors that help LLCs thrive in the digital world.
1. A User-Friendly Website
One of the first things a business needs in the digital world is a website. That said, not just any website will do. You're going to need a website that can load quickly, is reliable without downtime and is visually appealing.
You can use hosting companies like HostGator as they also allow you to build your website directly from their platform. If you have physical products or services that you want people to have the ability to purchase from your website, you can use plug-ins and add-ons, or you can use ecommerce platforms like Wix and Shopify.
According to Neil Patel, 47 percent of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Additionally, 40 percent of people will exit a website if it does not load within three seconds. Therefore, your website's speed and load time are crucial to keeping people on your site and helping to build sales. It's all about the user experience.
With many of the platforms mentioned, they allow you to build your website without needing to know how to code. This is a great way to go about building your website however you've envisioned. However, if you wish to be hands-off, you can have someone build out your website for you. There are many options of where to find web developers and website designers. Two resources for hiring are Fiverr and Upwork.
2. A Strong Network
Business owners need to be relentless, effective networkers. Everyone you know, everyone you meet and everyone they know could all potentially be helpful to your business and its growth. You will not be an expert at everything you need to do for your business to thrive online. Networking can connect you people who have been there, done that. You can connect with people who can recommend the right services and help you need to get your business connected online.
There are in-person networking events, industry conferences, monthly association meetings and ways to connect online with people in almost every industry you can think of. LinkedIn Groups are often a great way to exchange high-impact advice and quickly get to know lots of talented people in your industry or area of expertise. Not only that, but utilizing something like LinkedIn Groups allows you to connect with people from all over the world, not just in your locality or state.
Networking will help you realize you aren’t alone in your struggles, and it can often introduce you to people who can inspire you and help you start your business or take your business further, faster.
3. Leveraging Social Media (and Ads)
Social media is one of the best ways to target and market to your demographic and potential customers and clients.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are out there for you to use for FREE. While you could use paid ads in each of these social media platforms, leveraging social media is easily one of the best tips for starting a business in the digital age. Get set up on the platforms that your ideal customers use the most. Social media sites will be a way for potentials clients to get more info about your business, connect with you directly and find your website.
The ability to get your brand in front of millions of eyeballs gives you a considerable advantage when compared to the days before social media, where businesses were putting together massive budgets to pay for radio ads, tv ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads and even direct mailers.
Through the help of social media, not only can you advertise on your page for free, but once you build a brand and have a following, your followers will help spread the word about your business and funnel new customers and clients to you.
4. Easy Customer Service Across All Platforms
When it comes to customer service, people no longer want to pick up the phone. They would much rather communicate through messaging or email. In order to keep up with this new customer demand, you can utilize the messaging platforms on your business's social media channels. You can also use a plug-in on your website that allows people to communicate and ask questions directly from your website while they are browsing. Many of the plug-ins for your website also integrate with your social media messaging platform, such as Facebook Messenger.
All of that being said, make sure your website clearly states how people can contact you. Post your social media handles, email or contact form that goes to a dedicated email address, as well as a phone number if someone still prefers to speak to a real person on the phone.
5. Constant Research and Education
It’s time to grab your books and stick your nose in them to keep learning — no school pictures required or signing of yearbooks. One of the best tips for starting an online business is continuing education. In the digital world, it is all about change. The market changes, consumer/customer needs change, marketing strategies change — you get the picture. When you stop learning is when you stop growing.
Consider how much time you spend each week reading up on your industry’s biggest trends or taking a look at what your competitors are doing. You should make a list of your top five to ten competitors and check on their websites and social media every month. Look at what new products, services or initiatives they are announcing. Are they using any new technologies or social platforms? Take note of how they engage their customers or create sales funnels. How well does your business stack up to your closest rivals?
You can’t spend your time copying their every move, but you may get inspired in ways you weren’t expecting. Sometimes, you can take advantage of your competitors’ mistakes and seize opportunities to attract their customers. And sometimes, by paying attention to what your competitors are doing, you’ll get inspired to find a way to do it better — or do something totally new and different.
Forming Your Business with Incfile
If you're ready to officially form your business and thrive in the digital world, Incfile can help. Incfile offers affordable packages that include necessary filings and covers regulatory requirements related to all 50 U.S. states. Whether you live in the state where you want to operate your business or not, we can help you take the next steps without worry. Good luck as you set up your small business for success!
Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. You can contact Matt via www.weikfitness.com or on his social channels found on his website.