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Digital entrepreneur — a person who has built businesses that are mostly or totally based online – are at the forefront of this movement. They’ve fashioned ventures ranging from e-commerce stores to digital advertising agencies, payment platforms and so-called new media. Some of these businesses have grown from startups operating out of a little room to world-beating empires worth billions of dollars. If you’d like to take this path—the road of the digital entrepreneur –here are eight steps to becoming a successful one.
Identify a ProblemDon’t jump on a business idea because it’s the latest fad. Instead, find a problem that a lot of people have, and move to solve it. The top digital companies in today’s world started out on a mission to tackle a clearly defined challenge. And they’ve thrived on the back of providing solutions that segments of the public like. Often, they have even been their founder’s attempt at dealing with a problem that he or she has had.
Proffer a Digitally Driven SolutionThe true mark of a digital enterprise is that it provides digitally driven solutions to the issue it exists to solve. For example, a logistics finance startup could provide financial support to logistics businesses through an online platform that such businesses can access wherever they are. Another example of a digital solution would be an app that connects users with investment opportunities from across the globe.
Understand Your Target MarketIt’s not enough to conjure up a product that’s powered by contemporary technology as a panacea for a problem you’ve spotted. If you’re going to create the best possible remedy for your target market’s woes, you will have to understand that market and the people in it first—their wants, how the problem you’ve identified affects them, their sentiments, and what informs their purchasing decisions. Armed with this sort of information, you should be able to design products or services that address their unique needs.
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Study Your CompetitorsIt’s unlikely that you will be putting out an offering so novel that it has no competitors. When you do find out who your competitors are, try to note their strengths and weaknesses and compare them with those of your business. How can you design, tweak and supply a product to the market that promises and delivers better outcomes for your customers than other players in your space? That’s the big question you should try to answer.
Work with a Comprehensive Business PlanHave a business plan for your digital enterprise that defines what it is, and discusses its services, industry, and target market. It should also provide information about the business’s short and long-term aims and objectives, revenue and expenditure projections, and other financial statements. A proper business plan would serve as a roadmap for your business, as well as a standard against which you can measure your enterprise’s progress over time.
Diligently Manage Your FinancesYour digital business is no different from any brick-and-mortar commercial establishment in this respect. Like these traditional outfits, yours needs to have its finances in good condition if it’s going to survive and thrive in the long run. Whether you opt to hire an accountant to manage your financial records or choose to take charge of this aspect of your operations, you should keep tabs on where the business is financially. Doing this will enable you to detect problems early on, take action to remedy them, keep costs low, and maximize ROI.
Use the Right ToolsAs a digital entrepreneur, you’ll want to work with tools that’ll make it easier for you to run your business. They may include Project Management, communication, data storage and data processing software, as well as applications that are more specialized and relevant to your specific kind of operations. With the right platforms, you’ll achieve great levels of productivity and reach crucial milestones relatively quickly.
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Market Your Product or Service EfficientlyIf you know who your typical customer is, where they hang around online, and their preferred communication style, you’ll be able to market your product or service to them in a manner that they’ll find convincing. Define your prospects clearly, so that your marketing efforts target them with laser focus. This approach will let you win a good number of customers from your chosen market, even with a somewhat limited marketing budget.
Final WordsThe road to becoming a high-flying digital entrepreneur is not the straightest one you’ll ever travel. But it’s filled with promise, and could yield great achievements for anyone who navigates it with a smart plan and the willingness to execute it to its minutest detail. Featured Image Source: Srish Kumar Agrawal
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