One of the most striking repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic is the divide between traditional (physical) businesses and businesses focusing on digitizing. As traditional retail was decimated by Covid-19, businesses that focused or pivoted to a digital presence fared much better.
The writing on the wall is clear: Digital and digitizing businesses aiming to lower fixed costs such as employees, premises, and other overhead, prove to be far more resilient than the traditional business model. The question remains how you can make the pivot to a digital business in order to focus on the benefits of the digital business revolution.
Not all businesses may still have a physical location, but they still in a sense own real estate — a website. This is akin to your own piece of real estate on the internet, and it’s a much cheaper cost than renting an office space.
No matter what your product or service is, your website is your digital storefront. With some sites this can be obvious, with a clear storefront format, in other cases it is a bit more subtle. Regardless, you need to treat it as such and make your page as enticing as possible in order to pull in customers from the second they arrive on your page. The average internet user’s attention span is infamously low, so you need to make every second count.
To achieve this, you have two broad options: either have a unique product or a unique site with unique content. You don’t have to be selling something that reinvents the wheel, but the way you portray your product to your customers better make it feel that way!
Today, you don’t need to be a coder or designer to manage a unique site. Many services online provide themes and website hosting allowing you to easily build simple, sleek websites with minimal tech knowledge.
Aside from the product, story, and aesthetics, running a business is all about managing the nuts and bolts—a proper cashflow and balance sheet. Many who are starting their first digital business may not necessarily have all the knowledge to run and manage their business properly. However, thanks to a range of apps and services, running and managing a business these days can be accomplished more efficiently.
Cashflow is the summary of all the money that’s gone in and out of a business in a given time period. In short, cashflow is the lifeblood of your business. A business without cash flow won’t survive—or it’s a hobby. That’s what managing it is so critical to long term success.
One of the best ways to get on top of your cash flow is to open a proper business checking account. These business accounts were made for small business owners in mind and will make tracking finances a breeze. Couple that with allowing access to business tools or services, and future headaches can be eliminated. That way you’ll be able to focus on the next type of management.
We all know that profit is simply revenue minus cost, so to increase profits you either increase revenues or decrease costs. This is where good operational management comes in. It allows you to squeeze every dollar out of everything you do, minimizing your costs.
Businesses choosing to digitize properly can handle data and information more easily. On top of this, there are many optimization tools out there for whatever your business may be. For any business, noticing where the issues are through optimization and analytics is of high importance.
What do Facebook and Google, two of the biggest giants in tech have in common? They both derive most of their revenues from marketing ads. In fact, they have sprouted an entire industry. Online digital marketing is paving unforeseen potential in new and effective channels.
Comparing it to the old-world systems of mass marketing, you had mass mail, billboards, and auto-dialers. These were often costly, cumbersome, and what’s worse—not targeted at all. Digital marketing is all about targeting the right audience. Hone in on the most specific niches and put yourself in the front of the eyes that are most likely to be interested.
The best thing about digital marketing for business owners is that it is scalable to your budget; you set your budget ahead of time and can measure results vs expectations. As your revenues grows as a result, you can invest more into your digital campaign.
With traditional marketing channels this was much more difficult, notwithstanding steep upfront costs. This was often offputtingly costly for many small businesses.
Finally, we have the concept of guerilla marketing. While this may not necessarily be digital, it is marketing tactic that has become a lot more accepted, having once been deeply frowned upon as “unprofessional”. The area of guerrilla marketing is wide and varied, but they all share one thing in common—being unorthodox. The hope is your business will stand out from the crowd which can potentially lead to a huge return on investment. Remember the original GoDaddy Superbowl commercials?
The Way of the Future?
It’s said that in every recession or financial crisis, a new wave of startups and businesses emerge. With all the tech and innovations of today, it is perhaps the single greatest time for businesses to make the pivot to online. The start-up costs are low, and the operations are scalable. Most importantly, a digital business is lockdown resistant!
Hopefully this has kickstarted some idea gears and opened your eyes to the potential the digital side of a business has. What are your ideas to pivot a business strategy amidst the pandemic?
Author: Leo Gutierrez