Online entrepreneurs: Not business as usual
MANILA, Philippines — The advent of the digital age and its offspring, the passionate, tech-savvy millennial generation, has seriously altered the way that we approach business. It’s no longer a dispassionate reaction to the law of supply and demand. Rather, it’s an avenue for young blooded individuals to create products, identities, and information that they believe in, and for the public to find out about.
Millennials have been criticized as being a lot of things: lazy, narcissistic, and entitled. But while these are the qualities making rounds all over the Internet, there is more to this generation than meets the eye. Being the first generation to experience the Internet, they are tech-savvy and innovative, passion-driven and ambitious, and dead set on forging their own path in life. And since they have the Internet edge, it’s no surprise that the YOLO generation has also been declared as the true entrepreneur generation.
The chops for the job
One of the reasons this new uprising of individuals is confident in slugging it out in the highly competitive sphere of small and medium businesses is because it’s easier now than ever to start. All you need is the Internet.
Compared to brick-and-mortar establishments, online businesses are a lot more affordable to put up, since starting out you’ll only really be investing in a graphic designer, website developer, and your very own snappy domain name. Plus, your workplace is anywhere and anytime you have a stable Internet connection with your laptop – no need to invest in an office yet.
And perhaps the best thing about an online business is that it’s not just the business majors who run the show. Anyone with the Internet at their disposal and a gung ho willingness to learn can become an entrepreneur.
Seeing it through
But while it’s easy to start, seeing your business through is a whole different story. As much as the Internet is a black hole of information, it can only take you so far. And the digital realm is so vast, how can you make your digital footprint count amongst the millions who roam it?
Assuming you already have a good business idea, here are some tips to take your business beyond its IP address:
(1) Conquer all platforms
If you have a business, you need to have social media accounts – otherwise, how would people even know you exist? Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are potent and free. Use them not only to make announcements, but also to foster customer engagement and push your brand. Remember to maintain your voice, from graphics to copy, and establish rapport with your virtual audience.
(2) Be graphic
That’s not to say you should push out NSFW content. The online audience is notorious for their short attention span, so instead of checking your word count, say it with a picture. A catchy graphic is hardworking and powerful enough to capture the attention of impatient Internet junkies. Not limited to that, push out content that is relevant to your brand as well as to your audience. This will help you build a community of followers.
(3) Participate, participate, participate
Standing alone in the vastness of the digital sphere is not enough. You need to carve a place for yourself within the community of local SMEs in order to forge connections and get your brand out there. For example, Globe launched the myBusiness Day last October 9th in Cauayan, Isabela province, where it not only gave local SMEs the opportunity to meet and network with one another, but also insights on setting up and growing a business in the Philippines. Business owners were given informative talks on the latest tools and strategies as well as the chance to directly ask seasoned entrepreneurs questions.
(4) Maximize your digital potential
Having online presence is one thing, but if you can make the customer experience better by enabling them to directly avail of your service or purchase your product online then do so. With the cloud-based e-commerce platform Shopify, for example, entrepreneurs can customize and manage their virtual stores across multiple sales channels. You would have to pay for a spot in Shopify, but it's easy to set up and affordable to maintain. The opportunities that come with working within a community serves to get your business out to the public, and greatly aids in building your brand personality and digital footprint among other things.
(5) Invest in tools of the trade
So you’ve conquered all the free social media tools, how do you take your enterprise to the next level? As your company grows, you might want to start looking to expand into other tools, like personalized business newsletters, tons of cloud storage, and even gadgets that could diversify your payment options. Companies like Globe have set up MyBusiness plans that offer these specific tools in one package, including Google App for Work, Canvas, and Globe Charge.
Now that digital enterprises are slowly becoming the norm, it’s not enough to be cut out for the job. Gearing up and learning all there is to know about it will give you that edge. – Rappler.com
To learn more about how to jumpstart your business with Globe myBusiness products and solutions, click here.