Online business is more or less like real businesses (obviously); a real business ought to be properly treated, likewise an online one. Here are the tools for online business.
Many of us are of the perception that online businesses are like minor endeavours that are to compliment any “major” physical business, but that’s not always true.
Online businesses are a major deal and to be successful in it, one mustn’t think otherwise.
As with real businesses, there are “business tools” that have to be in place for an online business to be on the right path:
in this piece, we’ll be highlighting these tools and explain why they’re essential for the online business.
This is first on the list, because, you obviously have to be online in order to carry out an online business, and what keeps you online is data connection (or “data” for short).
The data connection is the most important tools of online business yet most underrated tool in online business;
people do trivialise it a lot and it’s something that could come back and haunt.
As a professional (yes, your online business has to have some level of professionalism, no matter what)
you’ve got to give thought to how to constantly stay online in order to tend to business, and putting in conscious effort in making sure that is achieved.
Determine which network provider would suit your data needs and give the best value for money (there are a handful of options to choose from here in Nigeria) and,
depending on how much you can afford, plan how you’ll be buying data plans – whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly –
also, give considerations to whether you’ll be needing capped data or uncapped data.
For a freelancer, for example, capped data (that is, data with a specified limit) would do,
while a blogger (or a vlogger) would definitely be needing uncapped data (that is, data without a specified limit, but bound by the duration of use).
It is important to prioritise data connection when planning for an online business,
as it’s one of the things that ensure your presence online;
once you have a regular data connection, you have a regular online presence, and that in turn, boosts your credibility of you and your business.
Next, on the list are the devices necessary.
You’ve got to have a device that takes you online and do the other works your online business might need;
it is obviously important to pay attention to the right kind of device for the job.
For a freelancer or a blogger, a laptop PC is very essential, as a lot of typing and editing is done; for a vlogger,
digital cameras and microphones are needed in addition to a laptop PC, because video editing is done majorly; for some other businesses,
all that could be necessary is a mobile phone!
Basically, one has to realise that some kind of gadget is necessary in order to be online,
and take out time to determine which of them would make the task of running an online business run more smoothly.
After figuring out how to keep a regular online presence,
the next logical step is to figure out how to manage the accounts of the online business.
A payment system should work both ways,
to reflect funds that are coming in and going out; and the right type of system should be used.
Typically, the major payment platforms (such as Western Union and PayPal) don’t always play nicely with Nigerian bound transactions,
but alternatives such as Payoneer are less restrictive and can be used to organise the receipt and payment of (international) funds.
Also, a payment system has to be in place to cater for salaries and payments within the administrative circle of the business;
typically this comes in special utility software that can help to organise (or even automate) the payments of salaries and other expenditure in the business.
For smaller entrepreneurial businesses,
a separate software may not be needed to sort payments, since there might not be more than one person “manning the wheel”;
but in all, there has to be a platform or software that helps organise the inflow and outflow of cash.
The single most powerful tool in 21st-century media and publicity.
It could determine how far your business outfit can go
(if it affects offline businesses, how much more would it affect online businesses? Do the math),
and do not ever underestimate its influence.
Basically, you need to get the word out there about your business; be it a blog, or a
Dropshipping outfit or anything else,
and social media is your best bet if you want a wider range of customers (since it’s not practical to do door-to-door advertisements)
Create a social media profile for your business (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you know, the popular ones);
however small you may think it is.
Do not be casual about it (although creativity is a plus any day!),
and consciously use these media to push your business to more people.
Join in on Hashtag trends and gain followers,
engage them and sell your products and services to them.
Productivity Apps – Tools for Online Business
You need these, as they would really help in making the business grow.
You may be forgiven if you neglect (or underestimate) productivity tools.
They are the little things like the Calendar app, To-do list App, specific productivity Apps for writers, and bloggers:
and people often think they’re unnecessary.
If you wish to see your online business become the organised success everyone’s talking about,
you need to pay attention to the little things.
You’ll need an Application that would arrange your contents (or take inventory of the goods you have for sale)
to you are really on top of things and nothing catches you unaware.
You’ll also need an application that would allow you to keep track of things like Due Delivery Date and Goods Tracking.
If anything, this application brings the formality into your business and that,
in turn, would bring in serious customers.
Conclusion on Tools for Online Business
These are some of the 5 most fundamental tools needed for someone who is just starting to get into the online business game;
and while they might be subjective, they are pretty much necessary,
if not compulsory.
Some tools weren’t mentioned for a reason; like a website,
which is really good to have and brings a ton of benefits.
But the thing about a website is that it’s not something you set up and leave,
you’ve got to update (fairly constantly, at least)
it with contents in order to attract your potential customers (and keep them coming).
However, owning a website should be considered along the line,
even if it’s not a must to bother about it when you begin.