As so many businesses make the move into the digital world, there has never been a better time to be your own boss. Utilising the tools that are available to you, a digital business can reach new heights that weren’t even possible 10 years ago. Here are five things to remember so that you can be successful as a digital business owner.
Social networking is key
The first thing any new business owner should do, whether in the physical or the digital business world, is create a social media profile over various platforms. Twitter is perfect for delivering punchy, bite-sized messages to a wide audience (made wider by the ‘retweet’ function), while Facebook and Google+ are great places to share longer messages, photographs and event information. It is important to set up your profiles early, to ensure that nobody uses your company’s name as their username and causes any future confusion.
You are your brand
Remember that while you are using social media, everything you say is potentially being monitored by hundreds of thousands of people who have different views and beliefs. Carefully re-read every message you write before pressing send, thinking about the image you want to project on behalf of your company. If you have a personal account, it is often best to ensure it remains locked. Venturing out to conventions and meetings are important for representing your business, too. Always carry business cards, dress smartly and be conscious that when people look at you, they are looking at your business.
Manage your communication system
A great way for companies to communicate and share information internally is by setting up a SharePoint portal. This enables documentation to be passed freely back and forth, allowing versioning, and data such as statistics and reports can be integrated with ease. SharePoints are accessible throughout the company for checking out and checking in documents.
Hire a professional
If you don’t know how to create a website, don’t try and do it yourself – or, worse, use an online template. It is important to be original and look professional at all times. The best way to convey a professional image is to hire a web developer or graphic designer who will be able to help you create your website and may even help with branding, logos and business cards.
Stay up to date
Don’t stick with the software you know to manage your processes; you could be missing out on an essential update that can help make things easier for you. Companies who portray an outwardly “savvy” technological standpoint can often look more professional to potential customers; an organisation that uses the best of the best for themselves is sure to ensure the same treatment for paying customers. This includes your website.
With so many applications and tools on the market, taking your business to the digital world just makes sense. It is high-speed and hi-tech, but the results can be rewarding if you make the most of the technology in front of you.
Claire Wimbledon runs her own small digital agency. She utilises a SharePoint portal and related technology to ensure all her employees are kept up to date with all new developments.