Small Business in a Digital World – Tips to Help You Thrive

Starting a small business today in a digital world is more accessible than ever. Each day, more and more people set up to launch a new business and become your own boss. Many are even starting new businesses from home. 

In an increasingly digital world, it’s easy to start a business, no matter where you are. And with all the digital tools available, you can build a website and start promoting.

Whether you’re looking to start a solo business with only yourself at the helm, or you’re planning to create a company that has a management team that you can delegate responsibility to, there’s still a lot of planning that needs to be done.

small business in a digital world
Some inspiring tips to help you with your small business in a digital world.

To ensure that you’ve got a good idea of how to start your business successfully, we’ve put together a list of our best, essential tips.

Create A Business Plan for Your Small Business

The first step you want to take is to create a quality business plan. While it’s possible to start a business and operate it without the guidance of a plan, it’s going to be much more difficult to stay on track. You’ll need to ensure you’re hitting key goals.

Running a successful business requires a strong level of organization, so forgetting or not bothering to create a detailed business plan can increase your risk of failure. There are many reasons why you can benefit from a business plan, such as helping you to hit targets, as well as improving your chances of acquiring funding where required.

A bank or investor is very unlikely to grant you a loan if you’ve got no way to prove the potential success of your business. Even though, no matter how certain you are that you’ve got a winning idea.

So, before you get into all the execution, you’ll want to have a plan in place.

The first step you want to take is to create a quality business plan. #smallbusiness #digitalworld Click To Tweet

Identify Your Strengths And Weaknesses

This can be a part of your business plan and will allow you to identify areas of your business that will need improvement. First, figure out what you bring to your business, and identify exactly what roles you’ll be filling.

Remember that, as your business grows, you’ll have to put more and more focus into the day-to-day running of your business. That includes meeting clients and securing partnerships for example. This can take up a significant amount of time, and so you’ll need to delegate tasks to your employees.

your small business strengths and weaknesses
Know your small business’s strengths and weaknesses.

As well as your own strengths and weaknesses, you’ll also want to identify the weaknesses of your business and team. If you’re lacking a quality designer or marketing expert, then these will be areas that you’ll need to focus on when hiring new employees, for example.

Allocate Your Small Business Budget

Another key aspect of running your business is getting a good handle on your finances. Creating an accurate and in-depth budget will allow you to maximize your profits. It will allow you more of a chance to experience growth.

First, you should list all your revenue streams alongside all your expenses. Comb through these outgoings and remove any that aren’t necessary to patch up any excessive loss of funds. Once you’ve done this, you’ll then have an idea of what you have left as profit and for emergency funds.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to have extra funds set aside in preparation for any unexpected expenses so that you’re not caught short.

Become a Digital Ninja with Your Small Business in a Digital World

The best-laid plans fail if you don’t know how to execute them. Many small business owners know they need to be active on social media, they need a website, and they need to understand the digital world, but often, doing so falls by the wayside.

Take time to train yourself to execute a variety of digital marketing tasks. Start with building out a website. If you don’t have the skills, you can always outsource to a web design agency, but there are ways to create a decent-looking site without breaking your budget.

marketing tasks for small businesses
Small business marketing tasks help to grow your small business faster.

WordPress has tons of excellent themes and templates you can use, and Wix is another great option. Down the road, you’ll want to build out your site more and create a really engaging digital presence, but when you first launch, the key is to have a presence. A place you own online. And this is your website.

Once you have your website up, you’ll want to add content and optimize for search. If you do a lot of local business, you’ll want to optimize your website specifically to be found by people searching nearby.

Once your site is up and live, and you’ve got the copy optimized for search, it’s time to start promoting!

Social media is an excellent tool to get your brand out there. Start by focusing on the right channels. The ones where your audience is most active. Publish links to your products, but also publish links to articles and other valuable content you’ve created.

This will help build relationships that lead to business as you add value to your audience.

Digital marketing isn’t easy, but you can teach yourself a number of useful tricks. And if you need help, the Inspire to Thrive team can get your social media presence moving and generating results.

Work Paid Media Into Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing has become even more competitive today, especially with the advent of digital. The attention span of the public has become much shorter. Competing for their attention in this fast-paced, always-on world has become a full-time job.

This has been greatly influenced by the advent of digital marketing.

To truly get noticed in the digital world, you’ll want to allocate some of your marketing budgets to paid media. Digital advertising can help give a serious boost to your business and cut back on the time it takes for you to be successful.

Social media marketing and other forms of online advertising have taken precedence over other, more traditional avenues. High-quality, well-planned digital marketing is something you must prioritize as a business owner if you’re to find success.

In addition to marketing and advertising via social media, other popular mediums include adverts on video platforms as well as podcast apps.

If you are considering advertising your business via podcasts, you’ll want to have a good idea about podcast advertising rates.  Without proper guidance and knowledge about this area, it’s possible to be spending much more money and time than you need to be.

Companies like Decibel can streamline your audio advertising endeavors to make sure you’re not going way over budget.

Social media marketing and other forms of online advertising have taken precedence over other, more traditional avenues. #onlinemarketing Click To Tweet

Understand The Markets And Your Industry

Research is an essential step, and not understanding your industry or how the markets work can also increase the risk of your business struggling. Market research to identify a genuine need for your products and services within your target demographic is very important.

It’s also very valuable to get a good grasp of how your industry works. The chances are that you have at least some knowledge of your industry.

However, there is always more to learn, whether it’s the constantly changing demand of the public or the new innovations of competitors. Keep an eye on the competition, and don’t let your business fall behind.

Be Patient When Hiring

As a new business owner, it might be tempting to hire everyone and anyone that applies for your advertised positions. However, when it comes to hiring your team, patience really is a virtue.

Hiring the wrong people for your business may end up with you having to get rid of people when it becomes apparent that they’re not the right fit for the role.

This will be a huge waste of time and resources.

So, instead, you should take your time and hire the best you can find. Remember, the best doesn’t even need to be the most qualified either. Passionate individuals who have great potential and the willingness to learn about a role and your industry can become valuable assets.

As you build out your team, you can outsource work to freelancers and contractors to take on certain tasks. This allows you to get things done at a high level of quality without having to bring on a full-time team member – until you’re ready.

Don’t Run Before You Can Walk

While these tips are great for growing your business and seeking new levels of success, it’s still imperative that you take things at your own pace.

Pushing yourself too much could cause you to drop the ball and make critical mistakes. With every decision you make, you should start small and gradually work your way up to new, successful heights.

And don’t forget to prioritize your tasks so that you don’t end up getting overwhelmed.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Even the most experienced business people make mistakes, so as a newcomer to this, you’re almost guaranteed to make some along the way. Don’t let yourself become disheartened here, though.

learn from your mistakes
There is no better way to learn, than to learn from your mistakes along the way.

While some mistakes can be minor or even catastrophic, try to take them as opportunities to learn and improve yourself and your business for the future. Taking advice from other people in your industry and just other business owners, in general, is a great way to learn about avoiding potential mistakes too.

Your Turn

What are you doing to grow your small business in a digital world today? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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  • Beginning your small business with a plan makes all the difference in the world. I rarely do the regrets thing but do wish I had began my blogging small business with a plan some 14 years ago. Diving in and winging it without an idea of where I wanted to head and how I would get there in mind caused much chaos, struggle and failure during my blogging career. I only began to succeed when I set out a basic plan to work from. We need a compass. Plan it out and you will find this journey gets easier and easier.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, Yes, how can you make any goals if you don’t have a plan? Where would you even begin without one? I too started like you without a plan for Inspire To Thrive until about a year into it. I now have written plans and goals 🙂 It’s like a future to-do list 🙂 Thanks for your input and make it a great day Ryan.

    • So true, Ryan. I’ve been guilty of diving in and winging it in the past as well. Definitely slows down the path to success. And a strategy doesn’t have to be some huge undertaking. You just need a plan with justifications and expected results and then you have something to hold you accountable.

  • John Ravi says:

    Hi Anthony,

    It was such a great read! My sister recently started a new business. I helped her set up an eCommerce store, and I have been helping her manage her business as well. I think your article will be a great resource for her. All of these tips will help her establish a strong position in the market and boost her sales. I will definitely share these tips with her, and I really hope it helps her. Thanks for sharing such an amazing article.

  • Hello Anthony & Lisa,

    You have elaborated everything briefly and have discussed some best strategies to run a small business in a digital world. Patience is key to running a successful business. We also need to learn from our mistakes. I also prefer to explore new ideas in a business. Thanks for sharing this detailed post.

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet Kumar

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Vishwajeet, you got that one right. Patience is a must running a small business. You are bound to make mistakes and will have to learn to recover from them and that helps lead you to success. Too many quit before they reach that point without patience. Thanks for your valued input Vishajeet. Have a great day.

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