Digital Entrepreneurship: How to be one
Who is a Digital Entrepreneur and How Can You Become One?
Eric Pearson, the Chief Commercial and Technology Officer of the International Hotel Group (IHG) once said, “It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.” Well, what could be a faster way to become an entrepreneur than going online?
In layman’s terms, digital entrepreneurship involves the creation of business on the internet to achieve sustainable value capture and creation. And one of the first entrepreneurs to adopt this into their business was none other than Jeff Bezos - one of the richest people in the world.
The main advantage of Digital Entrepreneurship is that it is quite cost-friendly. All you need is a computer, an attractive website (or you can host your products on commercial websites like eBay), a few technical skills, and your product.
However there are still several steps you need to take if you want to be successful - so follow our simple guide below to get started.
- Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset:
This is the first and foremost step to becoming a digital entrepreneur. One cannot have a digital business without having a business. Most people have a lot of business ideas but only a few put them into action - so now's the time to make that idea a reality.
- Choose the Right Type of Business:
After creating a rough business model, you need to select the type of business you would like to run - as this will heavily impact how you plan. Here are some common types of business:
- Social: This is a type of business that focuses on improving its customers' social health and lifestyle. For example, a lot of companies offer to donate a dollar to an NGO for every product that their customers buy.
- Innovation: This type of business or entrepreneurship consistently brainstorms ideas to create a product or service that will make people’s lives easier. A good example of this is Ring, which provides home security at a feasible cost.
- Scalable: This type of business focuses on developing into a franchise or global company. Netflix is a great example, as even today they are constantly expanding by buying film productions houses.
- Creating An Online Platform:
Once you have selected what type of business you would like to develop, it is time to digitize it. The first step here is to decide whether you want to work independently or use another platform, such as amazon, to conduct your business. If you are new to the online world, then it is wise to stick to another platform and use it as a stepping stone. However, if you are confident about running your business online, then go for it! You don’t need to have any programming skills to build a website with the tools that are available today. Some great examples of companies who have successfully done this are GoDaddy and wix.com
- Have a Clear Communication Line:
In an online business, there is no physical space to interact with clients. As such it’s important to establish a clear line of communication by selecting a good platform that suits your business model. Also, make sure that you are clear about the hierarchy of communication and that everyone is on the same page.
- Strengthening Your Budget:
A Lot of businesses fail due to poor budget management. Even though digital business models don't require as much money, you still need to make sure that you are managing it properly. And remember, that if you do choose to manage the accounting on your own, then you should use strong accounting software, such as FreshBooks.
- Branding and Advertising
Once you have created a business platform, business plan, and allocated your budget, it is finally time to reveal your product to the world and promote your business. Here are some tips on the best way to launch your new enterprise.
- Create Your Brand Name: This is the most important part of effective promotion. You would need to create a great first impression, so create a good slogan, hire a professional logo designer and ask for feedback from the public through social media.
- Online Presence: With a digital business you need to have a strong online presence. To create a brand account across social media, post regularly, and learn how to use the hashtags effectively to create maximum traffic.
- Advertising Mediums: Today there are countless options for online advertising mediums. So Identify your target customers, and use the right mediums to target your ads as effectively as possible.
- Feedback: One may drive good first-day sales but the tricky part is to retain them in order to sustain your business. And the best way to do this is through feedback. So try to engage with the customers as much as possible, via emails and social media. Learn to read the needs of your existing customers to serve them better and make sure to update them with regular newsletters, coupons, and discounts to keep them happy.
- Analysis and Controlling:
Now that you have your business up and running, you need to analyze the steps that you have taken so far to identify what is and isn’t working:
- All social media platforms have analytical tools. Unfortunately, most of the good ones are hidden behind a paywall but it is certainly worth the price.
- One other way you can gather some insightful analytics is by using analytical customer relationship management software. This software provides a lot of important analytics such as customer engagement, advertisement reception, new customers acquired, target demographic, etc.
By Siddharth Sagar