Few years ago I started writing homework tutorials for students in online universities. At first, I was tutoring on a website but I did not have quite a positive relationship with the staff behind that website (partially, it was my fault).
With no coding skills, but with a lot of eagerness to succeed I decided to create my own website. Where to start?
The best thing that happened to me back then was that I wasn’t aware of all the difficulties that I can experience with online payment processing systems, with the ever rising competition, with search engine optimization and all other aspects of doing business on the internet. If I would have known all that from the very beginning, I wouldn’t have been writing this article today.
So, it’s best not to think of all the challenges that you can encounter in your path to reaching your objectives, but only to have the end result in mind.
Long story short, as I started creating more tutorials and have more people on my first website, my life became very busy. Since I am in Europe and most of the people buying tutorials from me are in the United States, I can count on my fingers the nights that I had a decent continuous sleep (in the first year), without having to wake up every 2-3 hours to check if there are any orders.
*It’s night time in Europe when it’s day time in the United States.
The idea is that since I didn’t know how to code and create websites, I searched for tools to build websites. At first I found Yola, which is the online website builder that got my first website up and running. The drawback was that every time someone purchased something from my website, I had to check my email, see what they ordered, and send them the tutorial. It was not an automated process.
After the first few months I was very frustrated because of the sleepless nights and searched for automated systems to do all the work, while still keeping and trying to grow my first website.
I found Tinypay, which was a very good idea in terms of selling digital goods. I had a great experience with them, but they did a very bad strategic move after one year since the company was founded. They lost almost all their customers. They practically switched all their operations to Facebook by trying to integrate their services with a Facebook application.
Since the failure of Tinypay, I lost almost 40% of my business because Tinypay was ranking very well on Google. I had to do something, which is why I searched for other automated systems.
Even though it’s a bit complicated, I managed to get something up and going. It’s a combination of Weebly (another well developed online website builder) and Fetchapp (an automated online payment processing system). With Weebly and Fetchapp I was able to create a better looking new website and reach the goal that was in my head for more than 2 years (have an automated system that can work without me). It took a long time, but the journey was well worth because I have learned a lot with respect to Paypal, SEO, website development, and, most importantly, customer relationship management.
From my experience, I have to say that if you put your customer’s needs and demands in the top of your business priorities, there can be several other businesses much more profitable than yours because it doesn’t matter. Your customers will always come to you.
I have learned that customers:
- like to talk to you as a service or product provider in a less formal way
- they are very loyal if you care about their requests
- you can develop friendships and business relations if you care for your customers
- don’t mind paying more for what they want as long as they trust you
- they recommend you to others if they are satisfied with your work
There are many things that I still need to work on for my business. The competition is now more intense than ever. But even though the competition is high, there are still very few businesses providing services and products (in many niches) of a higher quality. There are still very few that care for their customers.
Probably the most negative aspect (in my case) is SEO. Or maybe it’s just me who is not good enough at SEO (yet). This is because I see that many newcomers are being ranked well in the search engine. I still have to research on that.
I’m far from being considered successful, but I have to say that I never considered getting this far either. The demand is extremely high in this market niche and the prerequisites that you have to have are the willingness to work and learn and keep going until you start seeing the results.
For me, it took several weeks to get an order on my first website. It was something worth $2. You can’t imagine the immense satisfaction that I felt when the transaction took place. And that person was a client of mine for almost one year, until graduation.
Now, two years in the future, I can still feel the same (or even higher) eagerness to help people and feel that I have contributed to their success in school. Since the very beginning I have helped thousands of students and more than 95% of the feedback received from them was positive.
I have decided not to loose any customer that visited my website. I have also decided to turn all the frustrated customers into loyal customers. They were frustrated customers mostly because I wasn’t able to send their tutorials on time (there were times when I was very tired and slept for more than 4 hours without checking the email.
And they opened Paypal disputes with respect to the transactions they made. Most of the disputes were closed in the best way possible because even though I have returned their money, they felt that they can trust me and started to buy tutorials from me when they needed help again.
Always try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes. You’ll start seeing things differently.
There are many aspects of online business management that can be discussed on this subject. However, the article would be too long. I will try to split these aspects in future articles. I just wanted to summarize my personal experience with respect to doing business online.
If there is one thing that you need to keep in mind after reading this article, that is: It all started from an idea in a sleepless night.
Now I know that one of my mentors, Napoleon Hill, was right when he was saying that: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
I would like to help you as much as possible in your endeavor to creating websites, integrating payment systems with websites, and in any other related stuff with respect to online business creation and development. Just leave a comment in either of the sections below and let me know what your thoughts are.