6 Things You’ll Need to Scale Your Online Business
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Some say there are just three ways to increase online sales.
Whether that’s strictly true or not is beside the point. What matters is your ability to keep your online business on the up and up as its revenue increases.
Before the rocket ship blasts off, you’ll need to get these six things in place.
1. Defensive Domains
As your business’s name recognition grows, so will its clutch of detractors. Get out in front of digital vandalism by purchasing defensive domains — web properties with similar roots and different extensions (especially NSFW extensions, like .sex). Unless you have a very popular or common URL, your defensives shouldn’t cost too much, and they’ll save you a great deal of stress on the back end.
2. Prime Credit
Eventually, you’re going to need a business loan. It’ll cost you a lot less if you have good credit when the time comes. Building credit is a multi-year process, so kick it off today by reviewing the best credit cards for bad credit and choosing the option that best fits your needs.
3. Anti-Malware Software
Data breaches are alarmingly common, and they’ll only become more so in the years ahead. Protect your backend systems with a legitimate anti-malware system that self-updates. Take the opportunity to educate yourself about the latest best practices for commercial data hygiene as well. You probably know the basics of personal online safety already, but the stakes are infinitely higher when you’re dealing with customer data.
4. Onsite and Personal Encryption
Another non-negotiable aspect of cybersecurity: encryption. Even if you don’t sell anything directly through your website or an adjacent e-commerce portal, get an SSL certificate for any public web properties you operate. It’ll cost less than you think and dramatically boost customers’ confidence in your data protection protocols. Meanwhile, you can protect your backend and business systems with a virtual private network that encrypts your traffic, including potentially sensitive client communications.
5. Effective Payment Processing Technology
Just as point-of-sale downtime is inexcusable for brick-and-mortar businesses, unreliable e-commerce payments are no-nos. Poor payment infrastructure saps trust and drives buyers elsewhere. Remember, in a competitive digital economy, there’s always a competitor willing to snap up wayward customers. Thoroughly research your options and don’t be afraid to pay more for superior service.
6. Cloud-Based SaaS Programs
Do you have an accountant on retainer? A lawyer? A full-time human resources specialist?
If you’re a lean online business, the answer is almost certainly no. That’s okay — as long as you have a network of cloud-based providers to pick up the slack. Combine QuickBooks or a competing cloud accounting program with an online tax prep provider to manage your accounting needs. You can use a service like LegalZoom for basic legal functions. And so on.
What Else Does Your Online Business Need?
These probably aren’t the only six items your online business will need as it grows and develops. The exact mix of products and services you’ll need to accrue depends on what your operation does and where you plan to take it in the months and years to come. One thing is certain, though: If you want to be successful in an increasingly crowded digital economy, it’s on you to stay on top of changing practices and adopt the newest technologies and processes as they become available.
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