Ann Marie Puig


Ann Marie Puig discusses how tips for building an online business

People who decide to change their ‘9 to 5’ job for a new business almost always have good intentions, but sometimes lack in what it means to be successful. Of course, setting big goals and dreaming big are important, but many budding entrepreneurs don’t comprehend what’s truly required to reach those goals. Ann Marie Puig, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist from Costa Rica, provides tips for entrepreneurs looking to build an online business.

The business needs to be an extension of you, regardless of how big or small it is or becomes. It will succeed – or fail – as a result of how consumers perceive the brand and, ultimately, whether or not they have the confidence to work with you. Every aspect of the operations must respect the entrepreneur’s values.

Establish benchmarks for yourself – and then break them. Overachieve, and you’ll definitely create a successful business. Says Puig, “This is particularly important when you first get going, because a strong first impression will lead to lifelong customers. Imagine the delight consumers feel when they see how much better the deal is with your company. This is your reward for having excelled and worked hard at giving consumers more than what they expected.”

Don’t try to sell a product or service as much as serve the consumer. Determine how to identify the target market’s problems and issues in order to develop a better solution, which will lead to a better market position. The better you can relate and speak to your customers, the quicker they’re come to the realization that you are definitely the solution they needed.

Because of social media, there is a shift away from corporate-dominated, and sales-based economy to one that is more based on trust. In the past, leading companies could rely on “blind” loyalty from consumers in order to guarantee a steady stream of profits, even if their product quality diminished and the post-sales customer experience was subpar.

Says Puig, “This isn’t the case anymore. There is now truly global competition for many industries and the smallest weakness is quickly identified and spread by consumers across the Internet, and then exploited by the company’s rivals. The dangers are especially worse for smaller companies who don’t have the resources or money to launch reputation management processes.”

It’s easy to forget those individuals who offered advice, presented the key suppliers to you or who simply served as a sounding board for your ideas. Many of them might not take it personally that you are no longer contacting them (they’ve been where you are and know you have commitments), but part of what makes a business successful is paying attention to the small details. Explains Puig, “Calling those who mentored you to say thanks really goes a long way. They will appreciate the consideration and might also lead to new opportunities for them to use your success as a case study, feature your operations to their audience (free exposure) and possibly drive more traffic to your business, which will lead to more sales.”

Building a business is hard work, but by applying just a little extra effort from the very beginning, that extra effort will pay off three-fold in the long run. Get started on the right foot and see the business grow.