The 5 Commandments of running an online business

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The 5 Commandments of running an online business

When it comes to running an online business, there are 5 main commandments which aren't actually written on stone tablets, but should still be taken seriously.  If you're serious about your business then you will be serious about everything I'll be covering within this discussion.  Working online isn't always an easy thing because it actually takes a ton of work to be successful.  A lot of us start out on our own, and if we're lucky, we will be able to bring on a partner or some employees and split the profits in order to get everything done quicker and more efficient. 

When I started working online I didn't have a mentor or any path to follow because I didn't know where to find it.  Lucky for you, you've already become a member or a lurker of and you've found your way to the discussion section where there is a massive amount of information at your fingertips The 5 Commandments of running an online business  You can easily ask technical questions where the experts in their fields will come in and answer you hopefully, if they have time of course.  I try to answer as many questions as I can, but I do miss a few here and there then notice someone else swooped in to answer which is amazing because that means I don't have to worry about answering everything The 5 Commandments of running an online business

5 commandments of running an online business

Earn the trust of others
When you're running a business you will obviously want to earn the trust of others so that you can start generating more sales.  This is usually pretty obvious to business owners, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't care about what their clients are doing, they're just interested in the payments coming in.  I can tell you that if you're just looking for a big pay day and not worried about building trust with your clients, you won't be in business for long lol.

When you earn the trust of your clients and lurkers you are creating a team of people who will come in and comment when you're not around.  They will answer questions that are submitted or put out fires that started while you were offline, which is priceless.

Watch and Interact with your audience
Paying attention to your audience is one of the most crucial things you can do when it comes to running a business.  If you're not up to date on what the most recent methods, tricks, hot items, etc. are for your niche then you'll be left behind.  Watch what your audience is enjoying and focus on that in order to keep them coming back to you time and time again The 5 Commandments of running an online business

Interacting with your audience is fairly simple.  You'll need to be answering your emails, chat box notifications and anyone who is trying to talk with you on social media.  This is a great way to turn them into clients and also bring in more traffic because they will see your public conversation with the person asking the question and then be intrigued The 5 Commandments of running an online business

Engage with critics in a positive manner
There will always be critics, it's unavoidable, and if you're seeing them talking about you or your services then you know you're doing something right.  No one will talk about a failing business that has 10 visitors a day, they will only talk about the successful ones.  Your critics will usually post reviews from personal experience with your business and sometimes it's not always rainbows and sunshine.  All you have to do is comment on the post to figure out what you can do to change their mind about the experience they had.  Of course you'll have to stay positive and say something along the lines of "I see you've had a bad time with out website (domain here) and we'd like to correct that.  As you're aware, people aren't always at the top of their game 24 hours a day, so you may have found us at a time when we weren't striving to be the best we could be.  For this I'd like to extend an olive branch in a form of this coupon (or whatever you want to offer) to you and all your members to get XX% off their first or next purchase on our website The 5 Commandments of running an online business  Again, I'm extremely sad to see that you had a bad experience and I want to make it right"

Pay attention to how Google views you
You'll always need to watch and see how Google views you and your website.  You can do this by setting up a SERP (search engine results pages) tracker which will track your rankings of every keyword you enter.  I use SerpFox to do this because it's basic and doesn't have a bunch of random crap I won't use lol. 

Other than a SERP tracker you can set up Google Alerts to watch and see what is being indexed by Google that mentions your business name or domain name.  This will pair well with the engaging critics and interacting with your audience as well.  You will be able to see what kind of content Google prefers to rank when it comes to your website and if it's good, you can mimic it to target more keywords and bring in more traffic The 5 Commandments of running an online business

You can set up Google Analytics to track everything within one dashboard, besides your keyword rankings.  This will give you an idea of what keywords are bringing in the most traffic and that will let you know that Google thinks you're an authority for that keyword.  If it's not your main keyword then maybe you need to alter your marketing campaign a bit so that Google sees you a little differently The 5 Commandments of running an online business

Take action against false claims
You may never fall into this predicament, but legal action will sometimes have to be taken against people or companies that are spreading false information about you or your business.  I never like going down this road because it costs a decent amount of money, but in the end it's good because I get the negative words removed or altered in a way that it doesn't hurt my business name at all.

Sending out seize and desist letters isn't always going to work when it comes to getting something removed about your business, you will sometimes have to bring in a lawyer or law office.  I've had to do this a total of 2 times since 2003 because some websites were claiming to be me and just scamming their clients.  I got backlash for this because they claimed it was me, even though I didn't own the domains that they purchased from.  I couldn't offer refunds because I was never paid, but the websites were still up and running until the owners were tracked down and handed a lawsuit.  They ended up refunding all their "clients" and taking down their website completely which was the easy part.  The difficult part was getting the negative reviews removed online from unhappy clients who thought I was the one selling them the service.  I can tell you this, the people at Yelp and the BBB are a bunch of money hungry (insert expletive here) and they don't care if the review is true or false.  All they want is a hand out to remove the "Real" review from someone.  Now I could just go the route of talking with the person who left the review, but they usually still think it's me refunding them and they leave it up, which is bullsh*t lol.

In Conclusion:
Running a business, online or brick and mortar, isn't easy and you will need to have set rules in place for what you need to be doing.  Following these 5 commandments will put you on the right path of running a great client relations department and keeping people coming back for a second, third and fourth purchase from your website The 5 Commandments of running an online business

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I am trying to run an online business since a long time. I think all five commandments mentioned above are time tested and will work on every one. However, I want to add something more.
Find a niche and work on your niche: It is quite impossible to run various kinds of business at once, for example, you cannot run a shoe shop and computer shot at the same time, likewise, you cannot run online lingerie store and website flipping business at the same time. Find a niche that best suits you.

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I also disagree with the idea to put up multiple websites with different niche just for earning purposes. The best is to have 1 website and 1 niche that you can work on with focus and utmost concentration. I remember a line that says a website is like a pet that you have to nurture relentlessly which means you need to be working on your site as long as you can.

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When I decided to launch my website I did a research. Most of the experienced webmasters said that one niche per one website. I followed their advice and launched a handful of websites with various niches. I lunched a travel website, health website, fashion website etc. A couple of years later, I ended up having 10 different websites on 10 different niches. The result was a disaster because I could not give time to each of these website. My advice is work only with a couple of niche and work hard on these niches.

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I don't know why people view online business as a whole new concept. It's a business in a different marketplace. A lot of your points apply to brick and mortar business as well. With that said your thread brings great value. Thanks for sharing.

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Running an online business is not at all easy. It requires a lot of efforts that need to made and that too without any person to person interaction. Maintaining the sales as well as positive customer feedback is a very tough task.

The point is in developing long term relationships with the customers without any personal contact. Maintaining trust and getting into personal touch with them adds to the product success. Any complaint must be personally attended and decision must always be made in favor and benefit of the beholder.

Your post is really very informative and a complete guide for online business owners.

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Great list, especially number one is very essential, getting the trust of others is one ingredients that working online must have because people are not seeing you, its just your words against theirs and you will have to do a lot of convincing to get your business running.

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In any business, you have to earn the trust of people, be they your clients, prospects or even competitors. That’s why honesty pays in business because you have nothing to hide and no one can suspect you of an unfair deal. What more, the trust will give you the sales that you are wishing for clients will continue their patronage simply because you are trusted. And when there are issues like cost differences, it is easier to reason out or maybe give an extra discount just to put a closure to the cost issue.

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When I want to buy something, I do not go to xyz website, I only go to the marketplaces like Amazon and ebay. The reason is clear, I want to buy only from the marketplace that is trusted by millions. This does not mean you do not have any rooms to make money from online business. What I mean is your business should establish credibility. You need a unique selling proposition to generate sales.

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