Whether a side hustle gig or a full-time venture, running a small online business can come with its fair share of big challenges. Things like finances, budgets, cash flow, stock, customer support, sales, and marketing all spring to mind. So, as a small business owner, what steps can you take to ensure you’ve got real traction in today’s fast-paced online market? Here are our tips on how to run a small business successfully.

Tip 1. Be clear about your online business

How to start and run a small business online is more than having a website. Many people think that sales will naturally happen without the actual selling part, which can be a problem. A website is not the same thing as an online business. Your business needs to be transparent about its service, digital or physical product, to be relevant and memorable for the consumer.

It helps to be passionate about what you do – that’s the best way to sell and be authentic. Online consumers can smell a dodgy sales pitch a mile away and yet, will be loyal if they feel there is trust between them and you. So, figure out what you love doing and what you’re good at. Then use that as your foundation for your brand and to identify who your audience or consumers are.

Tip 2. Set up your organisation systems early on

Starting a new business is daunting. There will be a steep learning curve, and mistakes will happen. That’s inevitable. However, don’t fall into the trap of putting all your mistakes down to finding your feet. Planning and preparation are crucial to your success and sanity!

Putting some systems and tools in place to help you effectively manage your workflow, your business, and yourself has never been easier. Choose a system that best suits your needs.

Some of the things you may need to organise are

  • Inventory
  • Money management: incoming and outgoing
  • Profit margin calculations
  • Marketing strategy
  • Marketing budget
  • Quarterly and yearly forecasting
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management

Luckily, there is a lot of software available to help. Research different systems to find out what suits you best. And go from there. If you’re still stuck, try Google Drive to keep all your documents in one easy-to-access spot.

Tip 3: Outsource help to handle the things you can’t do

There is no shame in admitting you need help. Research has shown it is a necessary ingredient for success to be clear about where our strengths and weaknesses lie. Imagine if you’re a people person but terrible with finance and numbers. You could probably create relationships, connections, and customers in a fraction of the time it takes you to organise spreadsheets or formulas. 

Hiring someone to do the things you can’t or don’t want to do is an integral piece of the small business puzzle. 

Here are just some of the things your Virtual Assistant can help you with:

  • Marketing research
    and administration
  • Social media management
  • Project management
  • Diary management
  • Email management
  • Office management
  • Bookkeeping
  • HR administration 
  • Customer services
  • Research
  • Implementing systems
  • Lead prospecting 

Tip 4: Get your website up and running

Having a great website up and active means people can find you easily. Your site should be well laid-out, attractive, and give all the correct information that people need. WordPress and Shopify are both great places to start. If you’re not feeling up to the task, think about hiring out to get the job done.

Tip 5: Create engaging content and connect with your online community

If you’re not up to the task, consider taking on someone comfortable with how social media works and who knows about content creation. It’s the bloodline to your business’ beating heart. A successful business needs content online that will drive traffic to the site. Content includes blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and social media. It also lives on your website, which is where your business is showcased to the nines.


One thing is for sure when it comes to how to run a small online business; you can’t be all things at once. Hiring a Virtual Assistant to take on tasks that will help you focus on the aspects of your business that you are talented or qualified for is really at the heart of it. AVirtual assistants are all supported by HR, IT, and Finance, meaning their employee needs are met, and they can focus all their energy on helping you to achieve your business goals. Visit AVirtual UK for more information on award-winning services and more.

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