Make Your Online Business More Legitimate
This article about registering your online business was contributed to Sery Content Development. Any information has been fact checked to the best of my abilities, but it’s always good to do your own research.
Why it’s Wise to Register Your Online Business
As of 2020, there are more than 1.3 million online businesses in the U.S. That’s a lot of competition if you want your brand to stand out. And this number is expected to increase, considering starting an eCommerce business can be much more profitable than opening a retail store for most sellers. This is why Gyantastic lists the importance of successfully establishing your online brand, as it makes your business well-known and eventually increasing the loyalty of your customers. It’s not enough to simply have an attractive brand to attract customers, you must establish your legitimacy as an online business:
Switch to an LLC or Incorporate your Online Business
Sole proprietorships and partnerships don’t have to register with the state, making them an attractive option for new online businesses. Yet, while it makes the process of starting up a business simpler, it doesn’t have the same official status or protection as an LLC or corporation. When structured as an LLC or corporation, the online company becomes an official company with the state; meaning they must adhere to any applicable regulation changes. For a customer this signals an extra level of quality control. The right business structure will go a long way in legitimizing your online company.
Thankfully, the process of becoming an LLC or corporation is easy enough. To create an LLC here in Montana, business owners must have a registered agent to check the completed articles of organization before submitting them and paying the $70 filing fee; that registered agent can be anyone, including yourself. On the other hand, to create a corporation in Montana, business owners must submit articles of incorporation and pay the filing fee. However, unlike LLCs, corporations must also have a stock structure that should be specified, which offers different rights to shareholders. That seems intimidating, but if you’re the only owner, you only have 1 share of stock – and you own it. It’s important to note that other states may have different requirements, so it’s best to consult with your Secretary of State’s website to ensure you’re meeting all the registration requirements if upgrading your online business.
Develop Excellent Content
Excellent content makes you more established in your business’s chosen niche. Good content includes articles, videos, and podcasts that can grab the consumer’s attention and result in organic engagement. Branded content works better than traditional advertising, as customers believe they are more consumer-focused. Branded content isn’t an outright sales pitch that tells you to buy something; instead, it shows how their product or service fits in your life (think along the lines of Coca-Cola commercials and McDonald’s commercials).
While social media makes for a good place to post these things, having your own website to archive all your content gives customers a place they can visit to learn more about your brand and interact with your content. It also makes your brand more legitimate. It will cost money, but getting a professional to handle your web content and SEO will pay off, as it will help your brand reach a wider audience.
Encourage Reviews and Feedback
Customers no longer just read product or service descriptions. With 91% of people reading online reviews, and 84% of that number trusting them as if they were personal recommendations, Medium says that reviews have the power to influence consumer decisions. Reviews allow businesses and customers to interact with one another. Positive reviews affect 90% of buyers, and will improve your reputation.
However, you will eventually receive negative reviews; too many of them, and 86% of buyers will think twice about buying from your brand. Most of the time, you should never ignore these reviews, as it will make your business seem irresponsible and unable to own up to mistakes. Instead, you should show them courtesy and apologize if applicable. Your apology should show the customer that you understand where they are coming from. This shows that you’re a business that really takes your customers concerns into consideration, making you much more legitimate.
The above tips will help you ensure that your brand will be more than just a logo to consumers, and also let them see you as a legitimate service.