7 Ways to Effectively Scale and Grow Your Online Business
A common trait that you’ll find among many online business owners is that they’re never quite satisfied with the status quo, no matter what level of success they’ve achieved. Whether it’s called ambition or the entrepreneurial spirit, these business owners are constantly looking for ways to take their businesses to the next level. But doing so is dependent on whether or not their business model can scale.
The good news is that scaling an online business is much easier than trying to grow a more traditional brick-and-mortar operation; you don’t need to scout additional storefronts or worry about finding more physical space. The business is mostly virtual, so there is, quite literally, an infinite level of potential. So what are ways to achieve this kind of growth?
1. Expand your global options
When many entrepreneurs first start out, they only focus their efforts on one geographic region for the sake of simplicity. Some may only sell their products in the U.S. so they don’t have to deal with accepting different currencies, or having to figure out how to handle shipping and taxes.
Selling to the global market is actually a lot easier than you might think when you leverage e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce. The platform currently supports e-commerce shops in over 150 countries, and allows your store to display in almost any language and accept payments in almost every currency.
Your online store can integrate with PayPal, Stripe, and other gateways, with no transaction fees. You can ship internationally through integrations with many providers around the world, and the built-in calculator helps you make sure your pricing structures take territory-specific taxes and shipping fees into account.
2. Automate your manual processes
You can scale your production and you can scale your campaigns, but the one thing that you cannot scale is your time. No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day, and only seven days in a week. There’s no sense in wasting your time doing tasks that can be done automatically.
Utilize tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to automate much of your social media management. The RSS feed on your blog can be automatically syndicated to Facebook and Twitter with ease, and similar tools exist to invoice reminders to your customers, for example. Look at where you are wasting time, and then figure out how an automated tool can give you more time that you can devote to growing your business instead.
3. Grow your content team
When you first start a blog, chances are you’ll be the only one doing the writing. And that’s fine in the beginning when you’re working to establish your brand or to solidify your reputation as an expert in your niche or industry. But as time goes on, you may want to ramp up your content production, and won’t be able to because you simply don’t have the time.
This is when you should think about outsourcing. Marketplaces like Freelancer.com and Fiverr are accessible and convenient, but they may not provide you with the long-term solution that you really need. Take the time to seek out people who you are eager to see their writing on your site for years to come.
4. Upgrade your hosting plan
Good news! Your online business is growing at a rapid rate. Bad news! Your hosting plan can no longer handle the kind of bandwidth and control that you need to keep moving forward. As affordable and as easy shared hosting plans may be, they may not be adequate as your needs continue to grow and your business continues to scale.