Online Services & Products Business

How do you know whom you can trust online? Which businesses are legit, and which ones are primed to rip you off? It can be tough these days determining which is which. With the advent of phishing and other online threats, some days you just want to shut down your email program and Internet browser and wish for a face-to-face interaction with someone that you know, like it was in the “good ole’ days” before the Internet took over our lives.

The ability to do business online is both a blessing and a curse, to paraphrase Tony Shalhoub’s TV character, Adrian Monk, from the series “Monk”. As a business owner, the Internet lets you expand your business to more potential customers than ever before. However, as a small service business owner, you can’t be everywhere at once, nor can you possibly have time for personal interactions with all of your potential clients. So, what’s an online business owner to do?

Here are 7 strategies you can use to create your online business clone and increase customer confidence:

  1. Make contact easy. Ensure your contact info clearly displayed on your website. Make it easy for your visitors to find your mailing address, phone number, or email address. Nothing is more frustrating to me when I’m searching for info on a website than to find only an 800 number. I want to know with whom I’m about to do business (a name) and where this business is located.
  2. Be responsive. Respond to all email inquiries and phone calls in a timely fashion. Or, install a live chat feature on your site. I’ve dropped an email to several well-known consultant-types after reading their new book or hearing about a project in which they’re involved, and have been happily surprised to receive an email response from them, and even a phone call, in some cases. Nothing satisfies that human need for connection than some personal attention, and promptly returning your phone calls and emails will provide that for your visitors.
  3. Become a real person. Use audio and video on your website and your photo. No one likes to do business with a faceless corporate entity. Come out of hiding and display your photo on your website, or photos of you in action in your business. Create a visual image in the mind of your visitor. Better yet, with the increasing popularity of online video and audio, let them hear and witness you in action.
  4. Provide client testimonials. “Can she do what she says she can do?” is a common question asked of service business owners, and they want to read about others who’ve been happy consumers of your service. Ask current and former clients for powerful testimonials and sprinkle them across your website. Keep in mind that the best testimonials give a synopsis of the client’s problem prior to hiring you, and the happy outcome as a result of hiring you.

A second powerful way to demonstrate your results is by providing case studies, or a synopsis of a problem that a client faced and your strategy that helped that client solve that problem. People want to do business with people who have a proven track record, and testimonials and case studies provide that track record for you.

  1. Demonstrate your expertise. One of the easiest ways to tell the world what you know is by writing articles. Article writing is an extremely personal experience for me, as I’m typically writing about a problem that a client has had, an issue that came up in conversation recently with a potential client, or something with which I’m struggling in my business or something I want to research and know more about. The greatest compliment that I ever got about my articles (other than the fact that they contain useful info) is that each article really sounds like me. Don’t worry about giving away your info — those who may be able to implement your information without hiring you can also become your biggest champion and referral source because they know that you know what you’re talking about.
  2. Provide freebies. Add value to your website visitors by giving something away — an ebook, a report, an ecourse, an audio recording, or a a free teleclass. The more you can demonstrate your expertise and the more ways that a visitor can begin to know, like, and respect you, the greater chance you have of building trust with that person and converting that person into a paying client.
  3. Stay in touch. Once you’ve obtained someone’s contact info, stay in touch with him on a regular basis, as the more someone sees and talks to you, the quicker the trust develops. Regular communication is key, and you can stay in touch on a regular basis through the publication of an email newsletter, a free teleclass series that is open to all of your contacts, or by updating your website regularly with new content, like articles for your target market.

Offer Online Services & Products Via Mobile Apps

Why you should not be content with your website’s online service.

With the ever-increasing demand for smart phones and tablets, most people nowadays want the ability to conveniently access their favorite online services anytime, anywhere – and mobile apps are currently the best way to give them what they want.

Sure, you may already have a website that’s doing quite good and earning you great profit but neglecting the opportunity to adapt with the times could spell financial disaster in the near future. And while mobile app web browsers do a good job of displaying web pages (including yours), some still are not able to render sites correctly. Mobile web browser technology undoubtedly still needs a lot of growing up to do. This is probably the reason why businesses that have a good online presence offer their services to the public through mobile applications that in effect mimic the functionality found on their websites. Companies are thus able to maintain and even increase their profits if they both have a good website and a mobile app that goes along with it.

In addition, having a mobile app on a phone or tablet lets your customers use your online services quicker. They don’t have to worry about looking for a place to put down their things, fire up their laptop, connecting with their ISP, opening up a browser and navigating to your website.

If you are a business who wants to compete in today’s market and already have a website but do not have a corresponding mobile app, then it is imperative that you either have your IT department or mobile application development consultants create one for you.

Choosing the initial mobile OS

Like anything else, you will have to take into account which mobile operating system you want to have your mobile app initially developed. Obviously, you would like to have your business accessible on all mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, phablets); the cost of having your mobile app developed at once for all the leading mobile operating systems might be very costly and impractical for those just starting out. The best way is to choose from one of the leading popular mobile operating systems (e.g. Android, Apple iOS, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Bada) and later expand to others. While Apple’s iOS is truly a popular choice, Gartner predicts that Android will dominate the mobile OS industry in 2012 so opting to have your mobile app developed for Android devices is most likely a good business decision.

Choosing the right people

Hiring the best people to do the job is also crucial. Many mobile application development companies abound but the best ones are the ones who obviously have a good record for delivering what the customer wants on time, all the time. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for a mobile app development company:

  1. Professionalism. Choose experts who are known for having the right values and really embody it. They must have your interests in mind and consider that both your time, finances, and other resources are valuable.
  2. Punctuality. Do they keep and observe deadlines? Given that there are almost always some unpredictable technical issues that could push the project to be delayed by a couple of days or so, these professionals should already have included buffers in the timeline they have committed.
  3. Portfolio. Ask for samples of their work. A demonstration or two would definitely not hurt. These should help you see what they can really do and if what they have done really works or not.

While it may seem redundant to have your services offered on a mobile app when you already have a great website, giving your loyal customers a chance to use your service on their preferred mobile device is definitely a plus to any to any business.

Importance Of Online Services & Products

Internet has simplified our lives more than anything else. It is an endless source of knowledge and has reduced the physical distance between people living on extreme ends of this planet. Apart from these, many other big credits can be accredited to internet. It has a handy solution for every problem of ours. Be it paying tax or bills, booking flights or cabs, filling admission forms or applications, transferring money or banking, shopping for grocery, gifts or clothes etc; everything can be easily done with an internet connection. Bring all your problems to it and get an instant solution for everything and anything; it is full of best of best things!

Online shopping websites are a virtue of internet. These have given our extremely busy lives, a good massage of comfort and relaxation. Be it garments, gifts, grocery, decor accessories, furniture, food etc.; whatever you need, now comes to your home directly. You don’t have to wander from place to place leaving your important commitments. Just sit back and relax in your place and save time for other things. And in the same way online services have also eased lives today. What do you do, when you suddenly feel the need of a carpenter, plumber, electrician, tutor or cleaning services? You will surf the internet and find numbers for these services in your locality. You will get the results, but somewhere you will just get the phone numbers and not the locality and somewhere you will not get the price for their services. In short you generally get half, incomplete and unorganized information for your search. This is what has led to the birth of websites that offer online services, where on a single platform you can see all the service providers of your locality. These websites shows you the address, phone number, timings of operating and fees that a person charges. Nothing can be as easy as finding a service provider online.

Availability of online services reduces the indulgence of middleman in between the vendor and the user. Now, a customer can directly talk to the service provider and explain what he/she needs from him/her. And you don’t even have to pay a commission to the agent involved in the whole transaction. For eg. the consultancies that provide tutors for home tuitions, charge a commission from you when you hire a tutor. With online services you can directly find a tutor of your choice by directly talking to him/her. When you go out to search for a carpenter or plumber, he charges you more seeing your urgency. But, in case of surfing an online website you can compare the price of the two vendors and decide which one will best suit your budget. Also the timings can be compared to check out, which person can best match with your timings.