Whether you’re a screenprinter inspired by Sheldon Cooper’s graphic tees or you want to sell geek-centric board and card games online, geek shops need certain tools at their disposal. Unfortunately, your partners and clients might assume that you know everything about e-Commerce just because you’re a techie in other ways. You know there are countless niches, and the odds of you being skilled in all technology you need to be an e-tailer is slim to none. From web design with mobile readiness to search engine optimization (SEO), you don’t have much of an advantage over your non-geek competition.
If you want to run a successful geek business, whether it’s a comic book store that sells online or you create LARP costumes, you need to prepare. Here are a few of the must-have tools necessary to succeed (MBA completely optional):
1. Responsive design in your website
Responsive design is the “mother ship” of mobile readiness, and it’s not optional. It’s a set of evolving best practices that ensures your website loads quickly and looks great no matter what gadget or platform is being used. While there are some problems with uber fast loading sites according to Social Triggers, the opposite end of the spectrum dishes out more trouble.
2. SEO and LSEO
Both SEO and local SEO (LSEO) may be required of your site. This is what helps your website move to the top of search engine results, and now experts are saying you can also optimize for Amazon. Get tips from Moz on how to rank well with Amazon, but for the most part this is something you should outsource. It takes years of practice and studying to “do” SEO well.
3. Mobile readiness
You might not be ready for this yet (if ever), but it can encompass having a mobile version of a website, an app, or both. If you’re not sure it’s the right fit for you, take an informal poll or get a focus group ready. Let your audience lead you.
4. A blog/social media management
Both blogging and social media for business are tools for building a community and fostering engagement with your audience. However, it’s also a lot of work and can’t be done by a rookie. Expect to pay for what you get, and don’t go down this path unless you’re ready to commit for the long haul.
A geek business has a lot of similarities to a “regular” business, so don’t skip any steps.