Nobody is privy to the fact that going digital is indeed the way to go these days, especially when it comes to doing business. As trends in recent years indicate, technological advancements have allowed for enhanced and more frequent interactions between businesses, as well as interactions with customers. This is all the more emphasised with the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions on public movement. For some who have to stay put and entertain themselves from home, online shopping and food delivery services have become a refuge to them, making online businesses all the more relevant. It’s time to get with the times – here are three steps to establish your business online.
Firstly, you ought to plan and prepare your business essentials. Ask yourself, what would your business be about? You would need to decide on whether your business will be delivering a product, a service, or delivering both products and services. If so, what kind of product or service? You need to do your market research to determine what the needs and wants are, if there are pre-existing products or services already available, and also potential competitor businesses that do the things you seek to do. You would also need to define your target audience. Part of your market research includes determining your potential customer base. You would also need to make arrangements for how your product or service is going to be delivered to your customer. Once you have those sorted out, define your brand! Also, you might want to look out for any online business laws you need to abide by such as licenses, copyright and trademarks, shipping, restrictions, etc.
This next step is the most crucial – establish an online presence. Essential to an online business is the accessibility to customers and other prospects for contact or more information. You can do this by building a website and creating social media pages for your business. Building a website today has become simplified thanks to website-builder sites such as Wix.com and GoDaddy. Just drag and drop segments and elements, customise them, fill in relevant content and information, and you are good to go! Also, it will be good to add a payment gateway such as PayPal, iPay88, or RAZERPAY to your website so that customers can directly purchase or subscribe to your business. As for social media pages, the most common platforms for businesses to reach out to customers are Facebook and Instagram. Just create a new page on Facebook or account on Instagram, fill in the relevant details of your business, upload content, and you are done.
Finally, it is time to grow your business! For your business to grow, it needs to build up revenue and expand beyond your initial business plans. One way to grow your business is to engage customers and drive up sales. To do so, you could design content for your website and social media pages to either advertise your product or service, host sales and promotions, or even organise a social media competition. Another way to grow your business is to establish connections with other businesses or with the media. For example, another business is hosting an event, and your business is invited to collaborate and provide your services or products for their event, in turn giving your business a platform for it to shine. Another instance is when your product or service is good and deserving of more engagement, media opportunities such as being interviewed on television, radio, podcast, video, online or printed news will help your business gain attention and increase popularity.
In conclusion, there is really no denying that going digital is the way to go when it comes to business. Utilising all means necessary, including cyberspace, has become essential to businesses especially in the context of a post-pandemic society. With internet and media technology’s ease of access, businesses are still able to operate while also benefiting the customers and their various needs.
With the rising need to establish and enhance businesses online, Project DEEP (under the BAC Education Group) is offering FREE courses for jobless fresh graduates, unemployed and retrenched Malaysians, to help them upskill and reskill, to sustain and build a digital economy. Click here to find out more.