Common Challenges That Online Businesses Face and Their Solutions

No businesses are without challenges, and online companies still face obstacles even without having to manage a storefront. The digital age has brought new problems that small businesses must tackle that they may not have considered before, and it is of vital importance that you know how to face these when they appear so that they can be resolved quickly.


Although the internet often makes conducting business easier for small firms, it can also leave companies vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and crime such as theft, fraud, and hacking. The damages online businesses face after these crimes can be extensive, leading to monetary loss and a lack of productivity. However, there are a few simple ways that you can upgrade the security of your business, such as through installing firewalls and threat detection software, maintaining password protection, using laptop security settings, knowing how to detect threats, and by updating your software and applications regularly. For those looking forexpert security solutions that will be able to keep your business safe, can provide you with the highest performing firewalls and multi-factor authentication.

Website Traffic

Having constant traffic to your website can be difficult to achieve, especially when you are first starting your business. However, this is important as getting traffic to your site will increase your sales and brand visibility. To ensure that you are able to get constant traffic to your website, there are a number of things that you can do, such as improving your SEO to make sure that you are on the first page of search results, increasing your marketing efforts and expanding onto different platforms such as social media for increased visibility. Additionally, you can write guest posts, and get sponsored and pay for adverts to ensure that you can be found through different platforms. Not only this, but you should also make sure that your website has quick loading times and easy navigation to increase the sales conversion rates.

IT and Server Issues

If the IT on your end of the business fails, this can lead to you being unable to take payments, stop people from accessing your website, leave you unable to update your business, and stop you from running the business efficiently. To solve the issues that IT problems can cause, you should consider employing an IT technician or installing specialist software which can help to boost your IT systems if there is a problem, ensuring that this is resolved as quickly as possible.

Creating and Updating Your Website

Creating a website and keeping it updated can be extremely difficult. However, you can make simple professional websites for free on website builders such as WordPress and Blogspot, where you can use templates to create smart websites which you can then customize to suit your needs. You should also consider starting a blog in order to keep your website updated, as well as ensuring that your site has a fast loading time by keeping graphics simple and making it mobile-friendly.

What Does it Take to Make Your E-commerce Business a Success?

Whether you’ve already launched an e-commerce business in the past or you’re still thinking about getting started, now is a better time than ever to get into this lucrative industry. The online retail market is booming and many entrepreneurs have found great success using the power of the internet to establish and grow their business. 

Depending on your approach, running an online store can get complicated very quickly, especially if you’re dealing with more than one product line. But with a unique idea, a bit of research and determination, you can reach your goals and run a successful e-commerce store. Here’s what it takes. 

Knowing What Not to do

There are many common reasons why around 80% of e-commerce businesses fail. Knowing what to avoid goes a long way in ensuring that you’re taking the right steps from the get-go. For example, the substantial convenience of online shopping has increased customer expectations when it comes to how quickly and easily they can buy your products. 

If your website is slow, navigation isn’t clear, shipping takes too long or is expensive, it can deter a lot of customers. Take these baling wire suppliers. Their customers need to receive orders quickly as many of them are business owners, so they offer quick and simple navigation and the fastest possible shipping with order and delivery tracking. 

Taking Your Time

Until you have something tangible to present to a large enough audience, take your time to ensure you’ve laid the proper groundwork before launching. Run through what you’ve already done and determine what still needs to be sorted out, such as SEO, marketing, social media, etc. You only get one shot, so messing up is not an option. 

Nailing That SEO

If your business is based solely on the internet, your SEO should naturally be rock-solid. This applies to everything from your landing page to your blog posts to the code that powers your website. Having a bunch of keywords stuffed into every page is no way to go in this era of SEO. Quality is key and offering value to your customers is the only way forward.

Having a Strong Social Media Presence

It’s no secret that social media is an incredibly powerful tool for marketing a business. Ensure that you have a strong presence on all major social media hubs that are relevant to your business. This will open up a plethora of opportunities, from being able to see what your competitors are doing to keeping your audience engaged while also growing it. 

You should also establish your business on review websites such as Yelp and Google My Business. This will allow you to obtain valuable feedback from your customers and learn what people don’t like about your product or website, which is just as valuable as receiving praise. 


There’s no exact playbook when it comes to running a successful e-commerce business but following these established steps will go a long way in leading you towards the right direction. That said, don’t be afraid to experiment and explore where nobody else does. It’s the only way to truly stand out among the sea of online competition.

2 Steps to Better Website Performance

In a world where updates are instant, delivery takes place on the same day, and customer service is only ever a few clicks away, visitors to your website will not stand for it being slow. If your pages take more than a few seconds to load or if your media takes too long to buffer, they’ll leave your site without a second thought.

If your site’s visitors are looking for a service specifically in your market, when they leave your website, they’ll head straight to your competitors. Not only could you miss out on clicks in this instance, but you could also miss out on potential customers.

To ensure that your business’s days of missing out are behind it, you have to resolve to better your website performance. To see how this can be achieved, read on.

Train your employees

The internet moves forward at a frantic pace, and if your employees can’t keep up with it, neither can your company website. It’s essential then that you invest in staff training regularly. By doing so, tech fluency around your office will become the norm, the day’s top trends will continuously be adhered to, and most importantly, your website’s performance will remain optimized no matter who is tasked with working on it and fixing its faults.

One specific type of training that you should certainly consider investing in is a graduate scheme. By offering internships to the tech workers of tomorrow, you’ll ready your business’s website for the future in the best way possible. This is because this type of employee will have grown up with internet technology at the forefront of everything they’ve been exposed to. This kind of knowledge will prove unrivaled as you seek to better your website performance going forward.

Align yourself with external experts

In addition to ensuring your internal team has the tools they need to better your website performance, you’re going to need a number of external experts by your side as well. Without this kind of assistance, you’ll find it hard to devote the necessary time, effort, and resources to your website optimization, especially when you have so many other areas of your business to be focusing on.

In this instance, there are two experts in particular that you should consider turning to:1. A website auditing service, such as DMG—by having an audit conducted for your website, you will be able to see where it’s failing, why it’s so unpopular, and why it’s languishing so far down in Google’s search rankings2. A website monitoring service, such as Pingmeter—this kind of service will keep a constant eye on your website to ensure that it remains live at all times, notifying you instantly should it deem something to have gone wrong with your site’s performance

If you want to better your website performance, then your employees need to become well-versed in fixing faults as and when they happen, and you need strong external forces backing you up. Taking the above advice and putting it into practice, then, is essential.

Two Ways You Can Make Your Online Business More Efficient

Ecommerce is booming. As the fastest growing global retail channel, no business should be without online selling options. If you want to increase your sales and create a larger and more loyal audience, then your website, social pages, and back-office operations all need to be focused on e-selling and digital customer service. Whether you’ve been running a business for a while and are looking for areas to improve on, or you’re a new startup that wants to hit the ground running, here are the two most effective methods to ensure maximum efficiency for your growing online business. Failing to optimize for efficiency means that you will be losing out on both opportunities and profits.


1: Website Development

It’s no longer enough to simply have a website, although there are still too many businesses that are missing this fundamental requirement. Your website isn’t just there to let people know that you exist: it should exist as a one-stop location for a consumer to find out answers and, ultimately, spend their money. If your website is not able to be a complete journey for a customer, then it needs to be given a shake-up. Focus on developing a stronger SEO foundation for your website, and that means everything from your content to your sitemap.


2: Promote Communication

All business is about communication. It’s more than simply communicating your prices and your products. You need to communicate with your customers, those interested in your sector, your team, and your suppliers. Each of these can be improved through digital means, and for ecommerce success, they need to be prioritized.


Customers: Consider email marketing, social media promotions, and livestreams. The more that you understand your audience, the more likely that you will be able able to communicate with them effectively.


Sector Interest: One of the best ways to build a more secure business is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Networking in the digital age has never been easier, and can vastly improve both your sector standing and your customer loyalty.


Team: Your employees have to be able to touch base with you as and when they need it. The more open your communication channels in-house, the easier it will be to encourage valuable idea gathering and more productive collaboration.


Suppliers: The best way to ensure that you have a reliable communication channel with your vital suppliers is to make use of supplier portals. Look at the options from and you will benefit from improved efficiency, more accurate planning, and a closer relationship with those that your business relies on.

Communication is one of the biggest positives to the digital world, and any business that mismanages its communications is going to encounter issues when it comes to growth.


Business efficiency is not rocket science. Often, it’s simply a matter of being made aware of the best modern practices and where to adopt them. Not every new trend, innovation, or technology is going to be beneficial for every business model, but the more that you understand which ones will affect your company, the more likely that you will achieve greater efficiency.

7 Reasons To Start Your Own E-commerce Business

Starting a business is something that more and more people are excited about doing, and there is a lot of choices out there when it comes to exactly what you are going to sell and, perhaps more importantly, how you are going to sell it.

Ecommerce is a great choice. You can sell almost anything in this way, and because all you really need is a great website, it is a simple thing to set up. Here are some more reasons why ecommerce is the way to go when you are starting a new business.

It’s Simple To Do

Starting up an ecommerce business is relatively simple to do. You need a website, and that website needs to be absolutely perfect – this is where a lot of your startupfunds will need to go because, by the very nature of this industry, the website is your business. Get that right, and you will make sales; get it wrong, and you’ll miss out.

As well as a great website, you may need stock, although this will depend on whether you’re selling a physical product or you’re drop shipping or selling a service. If you need some money to get started, a loan from Bonsai Finance will help, and you can begin your new business very quickly indeed.

It’s The Future

Ecommerce is certainly the future (and even the present) of shopping. There will always be people who prefer to visit stores and malls, but for most people who have little time to spare to actually go shopping, it’s far more convenient for them to simply click a few links and order something online to be delivered directly to them.

As long as you make your website easy to use, easy to find, and you price your products fairly, you should be able to sell quite easily online. Even if you like the idea of a physical store, having an ecommerce store to back it up will be useful, and you may find that you make more money online than you do from walk-ins.

An Insight Into Business

Setting up a small online store is a great way to learn about business as a whole without having to leave too much to chance. One of the best things about a good ecommerce business is that it can really just run in the background as long as you are marketing it when you can; this means you can stay working at your day job and simply have some extra money coming in through your store.

If you want to go further and set up a larger business or try your hand at becoming completely self-employed, you can learn almost everything you need to know through your ecommerce site, giving you more confidence and much more chance of success if and when you want to take things further.

Make Money

When people set up their own online business, there will be a number of reasons for it. They might want to:

Ease the pressure of a fulltime job
Do something to make themselves happy and proud
Build something for the future

However, whatever the reason, there is something that will underpin everything else; they will want to make money. Making money is one of the very top reasons for starting your own business. If you don’t make money, even if you’re having fun, sooner or later you’ll have to stop.

An online store is a good way to make money, and because you can choose how much you want to make (a little as a ‘side hustle,’ or a lot as your main business), you can be in complete control of every single process.

Reach More People

Having a physical store means that people who live locally will visit. You might have a good reputation that means people from farther afield come too, but unless you are so highly regarded that people from all over the world specifically make it their duty to come to you, you’ll never get as much reach as you can online.

When you have an ecommerce business, you will be able to have customers from all around the world, and you won’t have to open up additional stores (which will cost more and could be a risk) to do it. Just the one website can serve everyone, and as long as you keep it up to date and ensure it is user-friendly (and mobile friendly too) the risk is extremely small, but the rewards can be enormous.

Be Independent

If you like the idea of working for yourself and choosing your own hours, then an online store might be exactly the way to do it. It will be hard work to set it up properly, but in many cases, it can be left running in the background while you do other things, and you can check it once a day to respond to queries and organize parcels to be sent out if need be.

This is the way that you can build a truly wonderful worklife balance. However, don’t quit your day job immediately; you need to know that the online business you are creating can sustain you first. Otherwise, you could find yourself in financial trouble. However, if the idea of eventually not having a boss to answer to is exciting, this could be a great idea for you to try out.

Easy To Market

Marketing for an online store is something that is relatively easy to do – you are already online, speaking to the right audience, so that initial part of the marketing process has already been dealt with.

Using digital advertising to ensure that those who are most likely to use your store and buy your products is a good move to make. You can focus on exactly the right people and create advertising that is going to appeal. This focused approach is how you can make your marketing budget go a lot further, and even though you may well need to spend money in this regard, the better your digital marketing is, the less you will need to spend to get people to visit your website.

How To Take Your Website To The Next Level

Every business needs a great website if they are to attract and retain customers. The company website is how you present your brand to the world, so it needs to paint your organization in a positive light, provide detailed information and make it easy for your target customer to make a purchase from you. 

If you feel that your website is currently not up to the required standard and preventing your business from succeeding, then you need to know a few ways to improve your site and take it to the next level. Read on for a few highly effective improvements to consider:• Switch Host

It is vital that you are using a reliable and experienced web hosting company. This ensures that you have a fast, secure and reliable web site with many hosts making it quick and easy to design an attractive site. Hosts like have a range of hosting plans available and a type to suit every need.• Improve The Navigation

The navigation is one of the most overlooked areas of web design. No visitor will stay on a site which is hard to use with poor navigation so you could look to make improvements here if you are struggling with keeping visitors on the site. You need to break the site down into different sections and then to make sure that each section can be visited from each page.• Re-Write The Content

The content is how you speak to your target audience, so every sentence needs to be engaging and valuable. You can improve the content on the website by:- Using calls to action- Using emotive language- Asking questions- Only including relevant information- Avoiding large blocks of text• Make A Visual Impact

Well-crafted text is important, but no one will stay on a text-heavy website. You need to make sure that you make an immediate visual impact so consider replacing any images you have with interesting, high-quality and relevant photos or video. You can also make a visual impact by adopting an interesting color scheme. Although you will want to make an impact, keep in mind that minimal is better when it comes to web design as otherwise, it creates a cluttered and chaotic feel.• Create A Blog

blog is a highly effective tool to take your website to the next level. Creating regular, relevant and interesting content will help your website and business to succeed in a few different ways:- Brings people back to your website to learn more- Increases your brand authority and reputation- Can be used to optimize your website and improve visibility- Encourages engagement with your target customer• Add Personality

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when designing a website is creating something with no personality which can feel corporate and soulless. You need to add personality through your website which can be done by:- Including brand history- Using images of the team- Including profiles of key figures- Using terms like “I” and “we”

This post should help you to make big improvements to your website which can, in turn, help your company to find greater success and reach the next level.

5 Alternative Ways To Sell Your Products

In today’s e-commerce-driven market, it can be challenging to find ways to sell your products. There is great potential with e-commerce because people do so much of their shopping online, yet with so many online vendors it can be nearly impossible to stand out from the crowd and sell your products especially when you are first starting out. It is for this reason why it is helpful to be aware of a few alternative ways to sell your products. These methods could give you a unique edge which will boost your sales and improve your brand awareness. This can, in turn, increase your sales.

1. Your Own Self-Hosted E-Commerce Store

Having your own e-commerce store is a great way to sell your products online because it puts you in complete control and you do not have to pay to use a hosted store. It can take some time and effort to run and operate an online store, but it can also be highly rewarding to build a store from the ground up. Additionally, you can use dropshipping, which means that you do not have to worry about inventory or storage because the vendor is responsible for shipping to the customer.

2. Across Multiple Marketplaces

When a consumer needs to purchase a product, it is likely that they will visit any of the following popular marketplaces:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Walmart

This means that you will want to sell your products across multiple marketplaces. Creating listings and managing orders can be tricky and time-consuming which is why it is a good idea to use a marketplace integration service. This should include Amazon inventory management along with other marketplaces so that it can be easy to manage your listings from one central source.

3. Google Shopping

People also use Google to search for products so you will want to appear on Google Shopping. This is achieved by setting up a Merchant Centre account and create a Shopping Campaign in Google Ads.

4. Social Media Influencers

Influencers can have a huge impact on the success of a brand and even influence trends and popular culture. If you are able to get a social media influencer to recommend your products on their page (for a price) with a direct link it could help you to tap into an entirely new market and boost sales.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is another excellent platform particularly for those selling art and jewelry. You can sell here by setting up a business account and use Promoted Pins to advertise your products and then encourage people to follow your account.

These are just a few alternative ways to sell your products online. The key to success when it comes to e-commerce is making sure that your products are available and visible everywhere that your target customer shops. This means that you need to identify who your target customer is and where they shop so that you can create and optimize listings to increase the visibility of your product. When you do this across multiple platforms, it should significantly boost sales and brand awareness.

Digital Marketing Tips For Design Agencies

The design industry is one which is incredibly competitive. Digital marketing is essential no matter what industry you work in, but particularly when you operate in a highly competitive one. Digital marketing can help a brand to stand out from the crowd, increase awareness and establish the company as an authoritative source in the industry. So, what are the best marketing techniques and strategies to implement for a design agency? There are a few highly effective methods to use which can work wonders whether you are a new agency, a small company or a much larger business looking to conquer the industry.


In order to attract clients to your agency, it is essential that you can position yourself as an expert in the field. The best way to do this is with a regular blog where you share relevant, helpful and engaging content which could include:

  • Case studies
  • How to guides
  • Interviews
  • Industry news

You need to make sure that this content is engaging, so it is smart to use a variety of media with each post.

Social Media

Social media is also a great tool for showing your expertise, and you can share your blog posts here. You should also use social media to keep people updated with news from your agency, to directly communicate with your target audience and acquire new followers. You can do this by:

  • Encouraging people to like and share posts.
  • Connecting with existing and previous customers.
  • Running promotions.
  • Sharing industry news.

Online Portfolio

Potential clients will also want to see what projects you have worked on to see if you would be a good fit, so an online portfolio is a must. You should also show your process and the impressive tools, technology and software that you use. This means that you need to invest in the latest and best tech – you can find a low-cost professional PCB design tool which will help you to improve your design process and impress any visitors.


As with most industries, people use search engines to find an experienced design agency. Ultimately you will need to appear as close to the top of search engine results lists as possible which can be achieved with SEO. Use an experienced digital marketing agency for the best results.

Client Referrals

Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most effective ways to increase awareness and acquire new customers. You can encourage your existing clients to recommend your services to their network by incentivizing them to do so with deals and discounts. This should mean that you both retain and acquire new customers who could have a significant impact on the success of your brand. You should also use customer testimonials on your company website as social proof.

Design is a highly competitive industry which means that high-quality marketing is essential. Try a few of the above marketing strategies, and you should soon start to see results and increase your authority in this competitive field.

How to Make Your Retail Store More Efficient

Efficiency is one of the best words in business. It means you have mastered the art of the supply chain and are wasting the least amount of materials and products as possible. When your company is efficient, you have less to sell at a discount, can provide excellent service and stock for your stockists, and of course, recoup as much money as possible. Improving the efficiency within your supply chain, however, is not quite so straightforward. Supplier to supplier, or business to business, can become quite convoluted. You might personally only work with one supplier and one stockist, but do you know who supplies that company?

Knowing who you work with and improving the efficiency along the entire chain is how you will save on costs and reduce risk all at the same time. At the same time, implementing the right tools can help increase your sales and reduce the processing time at the core of your operations.

It isn’t easy to work as a middleman in the supply chain, but with these tips, you can make the entire process easier and more efficient.

Carefully Vet Your Suppliers

Transparency is the name of the game, and it is only when you know where every aspect of your product has come from and where it was made can you mitigate risk from the source. In some cases, the risk involved could be in a faulty product that has not passed all safety tests. In others, it could be a risk to the lives of workers along the supply chain, as was the case with the Rana Plaza Disaster in 2013, where suppliers illegally built warehouses to such an unsustainable level they collapsed in less than 90 seconds.

In short, know who your suppliers’ suppliers are, and vet them to ensure the safety of the product and those working there. Customers and businesses alike are becoming more demanding when it comes to where their products came from, and doing this can help you discover inefficiencies in the supply chain that can be easily rectified.

Improve Collaboration with Your Supplier and Buyer

A great way to reduce processing times and improve B2B operations is to operate an easy to use portal where your customers can self-serve information online. The Omnia product suite from offers a range of digital transformation solutions that provide a truly personalised customer experience. In this digital age, both businesses and consumers expect to easily purchase from and communicate with suppliers online. With the power of Omnia, you can customise the experience for every type of customer without any additional integration or hardware. You can also enable real-time communication thanks to instant access with your master data.

Use Data Management in Your Favor

Another great way to improve the efficiency of your company is to use your own numbers in your favor. One of the biggest wastes for any supplier or retailer is buying too much stock that then goes wasted. This stock will either be held up in storage, or it will need to be sold on at a loss. By using your data to find the sweet spot of supply vs. demand, you will be able to provide enough product to your customers without overdoing it.

3 Ways to Expand Your Brands Reach

No matter how appealing your business’s brand may be, it will be of no use whatsoever to you if it doesn’t reach your target audience. You should treat the task of expanding this reach with the seriousness it deserves by devoting as much of your time and as many of resources as you can to it.

To see what you need to do when you set about to expand your brand’s reach, make sure to read on.

Shoot for the stars

If you want your brand to reach far and wide, there’s no time for you to be thinking small; you have to shoot for the stars. More to the point, you have to communicate your brand’s mention on the web’s most significant publications. By doing so, even if you are ultimately unable to have your brand mentioned on the world wide web’s most prominent and authoritative sites, it will still be better off with regards to where it falls in the ranking pages.

In order to reach the sites that are deemed social influencers thanks to the following and pull that they have, first and foremost, you have to align yourself with a company capable of performing an effective SEO technical audit for you. A company that is an expert in this field, such as Click Intelligence, will be able to sort through all of the different factors that are potentially holding your brand back from communicating with social influencers. First of all, they will check all of your website’s elements, from its coding to its content, against their own audit checklist to ensure that nothing about your site is hampering your brand’s potential growth.

Become a content authority

To truly expand your brand’s reach, you need to have the reputation of being a content authority. This is because content is king in the digital work of today. 

To become an authority in this sense, whether it’s written, photographic, infographic, or video content that you opt for, you need to ensure that everything you upload is informative down to the T. This means no mistakes! Nobody is going to believe in your brand or ultimately trust in your business’s capabilities enough to bring you their custom if you cannot provide accurate information on the subjects that you are supposed to be an expert in.

A practical and proven way to become a content authority is to guest blog. If you can becomeprolific in this sense, you will find more and more opportunity to slip your brand into the content that you create. As a result, your brand will be right under the nose of your target audience, which is right where you need it to be.

Use Facebook to promote yourself

Thanks to the fact that it helps businesses reach a highly specific and responsive audience, Facebook is fast becoming one of the Internet’s leading paid search channels. If your brand is going to be seen anywhere in its bid to expand, it should be on this social media platform.

In order to expand your brand’s reach, as stated, there’s no time for thinking small. To create a big brand, everything you do must be BIG.