Thinking of creating your first marketplace but don’t know where to start? Working a 9 to 5 is not for everyone. For those of you with dreams of running your own business and making your own schedule, it is now time to dig deeper and set things in motion. Follow these 5 easy steps to have a clearer vision of what it takes to run your own business.
Step 1: Create a mission statement that reflects your company’s values
After interviewing many marketplace owners over the last year, I know realize how important it is to have a clear vision of who you are as a company and what your values are. Did you come up with an idea for a business out of a personal experience? Why are you passionate about your product? Reveal your motivations to your customers in your About Us page or find out if you can be featured in a business blog or newsletter. The more your customers get to know you, the more likely they are to do business with you.
Step 2: Acquire new customers and maintain existing ones
Wherever you are in your marketplace building, it is key to connect with customers and vendors who will eventually use your site. Social media is a great marketing tool with high return and relatively low costs. Jumpstart your SEO and create a presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Experiment with different forms of advertisements (banner ads, Facebook ads, advertorials) to see which ones bring in the most ROI.
Step 3: Be your product’s spokesperson
Having a valuable product or service is just the beginning. Showing consumers how and why they should stick with you will secure a foundation on which to build long-term relationships. A big part of peer-to-peer is trust, so being open and personable on your social media channels with help people feel like they know you. Showcase your product when different opportunities arise, whether online or while networking.
Step 4: Analyze the numbers
In addition to the Analytics Reporting Near Me provides, a range of tools are available to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts for different channels. Hootsuite can help you manage social media, while Mailchimp is a free email tool that is easy to use. Email can be a more personal way to interact with customers, so you should consider weekly or bi-weekly updates to connect on a regular basis with your customers.
Step 5: Envision what happens next
Another key element for building a successful marketplace is having a vision of the future. Unlike a day job, running a marketplace involves lots of time, planning and developing business relationships. No matter how certain you are about your idea now, think about it in a long-term lens. How will you build a constant supply and demand over time? How much time do you have to dedicate to running a business? Where do you see yourself in one, two and five years? These are all important questions to consider as you develop your business plan.
“Rome wasn’t built in one day” goes the saying, and neither is a marketplace. But with the right idea, passion for your product and a connection to customers, the prospect of creating a viable and profitable business is right at your fingertips.