The idea of launching your own online business is undoubtedly exciting, but a lot of entrepreneurs miss a few things along the way. After coming up with a great idea and planning out your next steps, it is easy to get swept away by the eagerness of bringing your business to life. However, patience, planning, and thorough preparation will help ensure that your business is successful but most importantly – secure.
One of the most common things entrepreneurs forget when starting an online business is to protect themselves when selling online. To protect yourself when you sell online requires a robust cybersecurity strategy, well beyond a strong password. Along with making sure your online business has top-notch digital security, this post will break down a few other things you might forget when starting an online business.
How to protect yourself when you sell online
Cybersecurity, although not as glamorous as other tech buzzwords like artificial intelligence and blockchain, is something that every online business needs to nail. When handling sensitive data such as your customers’ financial information, you need to make sure your website is secure from any bad actors looking to hit your weak spots.
So, what are some tips you can implement? Perhaps the first step of cybersecurity is actually offline. Conducting background checks on employees or any other personnel who have administrative access to your business website is a good first step in your cybersecurity journey. Online background check services can help you discover a wealth of personal and professional information about almost any individual. From contact information to criminal history to even sometimes their work history, background checks can paint you a more comprehensive picture of someone.
Doing a background check on every individual who has administrative access to your website is one of the first vetting processes you can do to protect yourself when selling online.
Some other fundamental cybersecurity tips include constantly updating your operating system and backing up your website data frequently. Operating systems, whether it be Apple or Microsoft, are continually improving their security, fixing bugs and patching any weak areas of their system where hackers can attack.
In the instance that your website is compromised from a cyber attack, having backups of your website data and code will help you recover much more quickly.
What else do entrepreneurs forget when selling online?
Prioritizing customer service
Customer service is not a concept exclusive to businesses you interact with face-to-face. Every transaction your business facilitates may lead to an issue, whether it be with payment or with the product. In some ways, the quality of customer service may even be more important for online businesses compared to physical businesses. Imagine you ordered something from a website and it arrives at your doorstep damaged. You try to email a customer service representative, who is unresponsive. You try calling their customer support number, but you’re left on hold for hours. No matter how great your product or service is, poor customer service will reflect terribly on your online business.
Invest in customer service, whether that entails hiring specific staff members to take on that role or looking at different software or plug-ins to your website that will streamline these interactions.
Establishing a strong social media presence
Everyone knows that social media is the bread and butter of an online business. But, using social media to your advantage involves a lot more commitment than just making an account and uploading your logo. How are you using social media to promote your business, get people to engage with you and convert clicks into customers? Do you have a strategy or schedule? How are you optimizing your social media content for the different platforms you post on? These are some of the questions you should be thinking of before you even launch your business. Familiarizing yourself with the platforms you will be using, or hiring a social media marketer to take care of that for you will go a long way in your business’ overall marketing strategy.
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