Starting a small business down under is a highly lucrative venture. Not only will you be able to make a fortune selling across state lines on the smallest continent on the planet, you can also easily sell internationally to New Zealand. That is, however, only if your small business has a retail website. Many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses down under are sceptical, or deeply concerned, about moving their business online. Most owners think running a retail website is expensive, and some even believe that they will be not up to the technical challenge. However, these are fears rather than actual concerns. Moving your small Aussie business online is easy, affordable, and convenient. Here is how you should do it:
Apply for .au Domain Name
First, you need a location specific domain name to be highly visible to your target local customer base. The domain name is your web address. Most online businesses choose the generic .com domain extension. However, as you are mainly selling locally, your chances of appealing to Aussie customers will be enhanced by choosing the .com.au domain extension. You can purchase a domain name with this extension from Hosting Australia, a local web server provider at affordable rates.
Invest in an Attractive Website
The next big step in moving a small business online is designing a great website. Just about anyone nowadays can design a website for free online in a matter of hours. No expertise whatsoever is needed when you can use free themes offered by platforms such as WordPress. However, free doesn’t necessarily mean good. You will need to spend some money and effort to make a free theme look unique and attractive to your customer base. The best thing to do is to create a basic layout using a free theme, and then hire a professional web designer to polish it up. If you are selling online, you will also need a secure payment portal and a functioning shopping cart. You might have to purchase these as extra extensions.
Once you have the final web design, test it with a small segment of your customer base (like friends and family). Make sure the website loads fast on their computers. If it doesn’t, compress graphics, remove plugins and widgets, and make the overall design more minimalistic to reduce load-timeconsuming bulk. Your website must load in less than 2 seconds to attract and retain users. Use the feedback from your test pilot to improve the website if needed. Pay particular attention to ease of use.
Get a Special Email Server
You will need an exclusive company email account to receive online customer inquiries. For example, if your company name is Orange, a customer service email address like firstname.lastname@example.org is not sufficient. Your customers should be able to trust your site, and legitimate businesses have company servers for their email. Therefore, purchase a private email server such as email@example.com. Customers will be more likely to perceive your business as legitimate this way.Most servers offer this service for free but the features are usually crippled so opt for a more comprehensive solution.
Market Shamelessly on Social Media
The last, but the most important step is to promote your online business strategically, yet vigorously, on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Try tactics like offering discounts or giving away free samples to attract attention and increase sales. You should ideally consult with a social media marketing specialist.
Once you have accomplished all the steps, you would have become a legitimate online Aussie business.