What tools are needed to grow your online business?
This is one of the most common home business questions.
Why are home-based business so fascinating?
The number of people involved in home business is increasing yearly. The most common type of home business is direct sales…often direct sales tied to network marketing.
Here are a few statistics from the 2015 DSA Fact Sheet about United States citizens involved in direct sales:
- There are 20+ million involved in direct sales.
- Estimated 2015 retail sales were more than $38 billion.
- The direct sales industry has experienced steady growth since 2010 and has out-paced the GDP.
- 58% of those in direct sales report annual income over $50,000.52% of those in direct sales are at least a college graduate as compared to 28% of the full population.
Direct sales is a big industry that continues to grow every year.
More and more people are looking for flexibility, work-life balance, networking opportunities, product discounts and income potentials available in direct sales.
That begs the question…
What tools are needed to grow a business online?
Let’s look at this questions at two different levels: the bare necessities and a solid growth structure.
The Must-Have – Basic Tools Needed To Grow Your Online Business Fast
Growing a business online fast will naturally require access to the internet. In addition to internet service, there are a minimum of 4 tools required to grow an online business:
Tool #1 – Social Media Accounts
If you want to grow online, you probably desire to grow outside your immediate geographical location. The most economical way to start is a social media account.
Choose your platform: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. Any platform will provide a way to meet new people and make new connections.
Tool #2 – Capture Page
A capture page is a place for someone to enter their name and email address to get more information about the products and services you offer. It is possible to start online without a capture page but it will require a lot of manual input. A manual online business is so limited that you are just setting yourself up for a very challenging journey. There are several different capture pages available. I use a capture page called Funnelizer which is easy to use and integrates with all the other tools I use.
Tool # 3 – Email Autoresponder
An email autoresponder works together with the capture page. It records the name and email address entered to send the requested information to the contact.
For example, when someone chooses to download the Social Media Checklist I offer on my website, they will enter their name, email address and phone number in the capture page. The capture page is connected to my email autoresponder account with Aweber. Aweber records the information and immediately sends an email with a link to download the checklist.
Tool #4 – Phone
Taking a business online does not eliminate the need to pick up the phone and call someone that is requesting more information. We live in a world of automation, however, the best way to connect and build relationships still involves one-on-one conversation.
These 4 basic tools will help you grow your small business.
Growing a home-based business online can be scary but let’s face it…
Very few are willing to put in the work to settle for a basic small business.
Let’s take it to the next level.
A Solid Growth Structure – Tools Needed To Grow A Successful Online Business
A desire to grow a thriving online business will require the 4 tools mentioned above plus a few more:
Tool #5 – WordPress Blog/Website
A WordPress blog is the central hub for your online business. Your blog is the “store front” of your business.
Social media accounts are great for finding new contacts but you do not own your social media accounts which can be shut down. If you only have social media and your account gets shut down, you have lost your business if that is the only place you have connected with other people.
Instead, use social media and emails to invite those contacts to your website which tells the full story about your online business.
Tool #6 – CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)
Talking with contacts every day is a must to grow any small business. Most contacts will not buy your product or join your team the first time you talk with them. It requires follow up.
A CRM will help keep track of conversations and follow ups. We have so much going on each day sometimes I forget what I had for lunch yesterday. The CRM stores notes with all the little details you need to remember about the previous conversations and helps you stay on track with follow ups.
Tool #7 – Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are the tools used to attract new contacts to you. A lead magnet may include a free training video, a checklist to shorten the learning curve of a new skill, or an eBook of helpful information.
A lead magnet must be attractive enough to draw attention and entice a new contact to leave their name and email to gain access to the information. Lead magnets can be used independently or built into a full marketing campaign.
Tool #8 – Products
Most top earners in direct sales offer training products to help others duplicate their results. Training products is a way to diversify income streams which is key in any business.
These products may include instructions about ways to use social media in their home business, tips for blogging, prospecting and recruiting training, or any other type of training to help other grow their home-based business.
Tool #9 – Training and Coaching
Everyone needs a little help getting started. An athlete training for the Olympics has a coach to help them fine tune their skills.
Just like training for the Olympics, training and coaching in business offers guidance and a means to shorten the learning curve when learning new skills. A coach can provide accountability to ensure you are taking the daily actions required to grow an online home business. Training and coaching are essential to gain new skills required.
Ready to build YOUR dreams instead of building someone else’s dream?
Now you know the tools needed to grow an online business. Tools that are fully compatible, working together to offer the best home business experience. All the tools needed along with a supportive community to answer questions and provide support.
Do you have “go to” tools that you use? If so,share them with us, I love hearing about tools that you use. If you have more suggestions for “Must-Have” tools, drop a comment below.
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