I think it’s fair to say that we as a species had been taking online tools for granted before COVID-19 struck back in 2020. Having had no other choice but to hole up in our homes and still figure out ways to remain productive, we realized just how much of a blessing the online space (and all the tools that come with it) is.
Be it your online classes via Zoom, or that weekly office meeting you find yourself attending from your bedroom via Google Meet, the power of technology during this troublesome time has been undeniable.
This period has been an eye-opener for entrepreneurs and business owners too, as a fair number of them have had to shift existing physical businesses to the online space. And even if they had an online business to start with, they have had to go all-in on that business by making the most of the tools at their disposal.
One such tool that has always been a mainstay for everything from hobbyist blogs to serious businesses is WordPress. If you work for a WordPress business, or are availing the services of one, you know just how much it has helped during this difficult time.
Such has been the impact of the platform on the WordPress community that WPfounders, a platform launched exclusively to let WordPress business owners share their success stories and challenges, managed to receive a remarkable 50 stories from various founders, leaders, and visionaries.
WPfounders has been kind enough to compile one piece of advice from each of these stories, so that one can get as much insight into the power of WordPress within as short a time as possible. Today, we are going to take a deep dive into these pieces of insight and see what we can learn about what WordPress business owners can do to boost their chances of success.
Therefore, without further ado, here are the top ten takeaways from some of the most renowned WordPress founders out there.
10 takeaways from WordPress business owners
1). Always listen to your customers
Pretty much every successful WordPress business owner believes in the power of being in touch woth your customers, especially in terms of paying close attention to their feedback.
“The one piece of advice I would like to give to anyone who wants to start their own business is to always listen to your customers,” says Nicolas Lecocoq, Founder of OceanWP. “They use your product in different ways that you probably don’t know about and when they like it, they give you useful feedback and ideas to improve it.”
2). Find your niche and focus on it
You don’t want to run around like a headless chicken when it comes to working on your WordPress business. The clearer your business goals and target customers, the greater the amount of stability and success you will likely enjoy as a business owner.
“The best advice I can give is to find a niche that you know well and own it,” says Trey Gardner, Founder of GreenGeeks. “You will increase your chances of being successful and enjoy what you do for as long as you’re doing it.”
3). Do your own thing
Just because a particular niche or strategy is working for XYZ, doesn’t mean it will work as well for you. You are a unique human being, and that is a fact that shouldn’t be lost on you as you start your journey into the world of business.
“If you want to start your own business, do it in your own way,” says Istiak Rayhan, Founder of WPLeaders. “Just because someone is doing great at something, there is no guarantee that it will work for you too.”
4). Be innovative
As difficult a time as it is, it is also a unique window of opportunity for anyone wanting to make it big as an entrepreneur or business owner. There are several pain points that can be identified, and there is always an innovative way to solve them through the power of technology. Don’t be afraid to try something unconventional if you think it will have a meaningful impact.
“My advice to startups—and especially WordPress startups—is INNOVATE,” says Tom Fanelli, Founder of Convesio. “It is a great time to be in the WordPress market—probably the best in history, actually—and we are on the eve of some really big things happening.”
5). Start as early as possible
It is never easy to avoid procrastination. And yet, according to several renowned business owners, that is exactly what one must do in order to be successful in the WordPress business world. It is natural to have a bunch of regressive second thoughts and doubts before launching a business, but if you think about, well begun really is half done! Start now, and before you know it, you will be on a roll.
“A cliche… But, if you want to start something, do it now,” says Michael Makijenko, Founder of Visual Composer. “‘Now’ is the best time. Adopt experimentation habits early on. Always draw a line in the sand, benchmark, experiment. Learn from the outcomes of your actions – and from others (there is so much great knowledge online).”
6). Get out of your comfort zone
It appears to be a well-known principle of success, especially in entrepreneurship and business, that real progress can only be experienced if difficult choices are made, risks are taken, and comfort is put to the side. This is also true for making your WordPress business work, because the best way to be confident in your venture is to go out of your way to try new things.
“Confidence tends to come through experience – and the only way to get that is to keep trying new things and pushing yourself to come out of your comfort zone,” says James Rose, Founder of Content Share. “Over time your confidence grows which in turn makes it easier to get clients and charge more.”
7). Passion will take you places
When times get tough, your passion will be the one force that will continue to motivate you. WordPress business owners become successful when their online venture is something that they are deeply passionate about.
“Focus on a niche, Build a community, and Love what you do – One thing that I noticed in all my products/business is that whenever I built something that I was really passionate about, it went on to succeed,” says Gijo Varghese, Founder of WP Speed Matters.
8). Don’t be afraid of the hustle
You don’t become an established online presence without putting in the long hours. Naturally, hard work is a prerequisite for any successful venture, including the WordPress business of your dreams.
“To other young entrepreneurs, don’t be afraid to hustle and do the hard work in the early days! It’s easy to look at Flywheel and not understand all the long nights it took to build the company we are today,” says Dusty Davidson, co-founder of Flywheel.
9). Don’t let your focus waver
Quite a few WordPress business owners have emphasized the importance of focus in order to accelerate online businesses, and it makes sense when you consider how a scattered strategy can be so detrimental over the long term.
“The key to success is Focus, focus, and focus on your product and customers,” says Benjamin Denis, Founder of SEOPress. “Internationalize your product as soon as possible: English first, then add languages as you go. And call on professionals for this important job.”
10). Build your audience ASAP
Your business is only going to be as good as the service it provides to people. Be it motivational content or tangible products, you want to make sure that there is a loyal base of customers who are looking forward to what you have to offer. Lose them, and you lose your business too.
“Build an audience first or if you’ve already started a business and haven’t built an audience, start now. It isn’t too late,” says Alex Panagis, Founder of ScaleMath. “Even if you don’t know what you want to do, build or sell, start building an audience and then mold what product you build or how you serve people through the demographic you’ve attracted as well as what it is that you actually enjoy doing.”
Are you a WordPress business owner? What kind of advice would you give to someone looking forward to going down a similar path?