Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizational leaders know how crucial embracing digital is to the success of their business. However, even in today’s digitally driven world, they struggle with leveraging technology to achieve digital success. It’s not their fault! They don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources to develop and implement a true digital strategy that aligns with their business. They are constantly juggling the many demands of running their business.
Guided by the right digital strategist, it’s possible to create a comprehensive digital strategy with an easy-to-follow action plan for implementation and management, learn how to use creativity and technology effectively, and determine how to best structure their company and its operations.
Develop an overall digital strategy
One of the common problems small business owners face is a failure to recognize just how deeply digital strategy impacts nearly every aspect of business operations. Let’s take Frankie, for example.
Frankie works a typical 9-5 job in the insurance industry. To create extra income, Frankie started selling on Amazon after watching social media videos of others doing it. She identified products to sell, opened an account with a supplier, purchased inventory, and shipped inventory to Amazon warehouses. Next came the joyous moment when sales started rolling in. It wasn’t too long before her joy was lost. Frankie began to realize the marketplace is highly competitive. She was barely breaking even and in some cases losing money. This created fear and anxiety as she had invested several thousand dollars from her savings to start the business. In an attempt to help the situation, she began implementing numerous digital tools to help run her business while she was working her day job. She had zero experience in actually using these tools and knew she was not leveraging them to her advantage.
By the time Frankie connected with me, she was frustrated and discouraged. While she had revenue with profits, it was nothing like she had seen in those social media videos. In working with Frankie, we identified the top business challenges she needed to overcome to stabilize her business and point it toward success. After our consultation together, Frankie’s overall attitude toward her business changed drastically. She no longer felt like a lost ship drifting at sea.
Frankie was able to push her fear aside and was now encouraged by the possibilities before her. She took the action plan we developed together and began implementing it within her business. Frankie was able to reduce her expenses, increase her competitiveness, automate parts of her business through efficient use of technology, and increase her revenue and profitability.
Today, Frankie continues working her day job but has regained her self-confidence. She is planning to leave her full-time job within the next year so she can fully devote her attention to expanding her online business. Frankie’s dream is to achieve freedom – physically and financially. With her positive attitude and growth mindset, there’s no doubt Frankie will achieve success.
Understand how to use creativity and technology
Another common challenge is understanding how to use creativity and technology within their business. When faced with an unexpected and challenging situation within the business, creativity and effective use of technology are vital in overcoming those challenging situations.
Nicole is an excellent example of using creativity and technology to address the unexpected disruption to her business caused by the notorious COVID-19.
Nicole owns an ecommerce business generating 6-figures in annual revenue. She started her business as a side hustle but the business grew rapidly. This allowed her to leave a full-time job and devote attention to her business. She finds great happiness in connecting consumers with her products. Nicole participates in the Amazon FBA program, which allows her to store inventory at Amazon warehouses across the country and have orders fulfilled by Amazon. She doesn’t have to worry about leasing warehouse space, hiring warehouse employees, purchasing warehouse equipment, etc. Amazon will pick, pack, and ship Nicole’s products to her customers. Overall, Nicole had developed and was running a great business that gave her the time and freedom she desired! The COVID-19 pandemic brought her business to a complete standstill when Amazon stopped allowing non-essential products to be received at its warehouses.
Suddenly, Nicole was paralyzed with fear and panic. She knew her inventory stocked at Amazon warehouses would eventually run out leaving her with no revenue. To further complicate the situation, Nicole had recently ordered several thousand dollars worth of inventory for the upcoming season. Nicole’s anxiety level was at an all-time high. Amazon had blindsided her with their new restriction. Nicole felt utterly helpless. She had no backup plan for sustaining her business as the Amazon marketplace was her only sales channel. She admitted the success of her Amazon business led to tunnel vision. Nicole desperately needed a digital strategy to keep her business going.
Nicole and I sat down and designed a digital strategy to allow her to keep her business going. Nicole was able to implement digital strategies within her business quickly. She launched a website of her own, boosted her social media presence, grew her customer base, and began fulfilling orders herself.
Nicole was pleasantly surprised and relieved to see how adding an additional sales channel and expanding her digital reach were able to propel the growth of her business. While she has lost her confidence in Amazon, she is highly confident and optimistic about the future of her business. She will continue selling on Amazon to position her products in front of millions of shoppers. Nicole plans to invest more time and resources into growing her digital presence and building relationships with her customer base while continuing to delight the world with her products.
Establish organization and management within your business
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizational leaders who don’t have a proper business structure in place, lack understanding of best practices for an online business, operate with limited resources, and have little to no experience with digital will struggle to achieve digital success. A well mapped out digital strategy implemented the right way can lead small teams to big wins and recognized successes. A situation such as this is precisely what Adrian and his team experienced.
Adrian is a well-respected executive for a government agency. Adrian and his team were responsible for overseeing the agency’s website. The organization had just gone through a major change in leadership, which brought with it many new digital initiatives. This created fear and anxiety for Adrian as his relatively small team was tasked with building and implementing these new digital initiatives. One of these new initiatives was to completely redesign and redevelop the agency’s website containing thousands of pages and PDFs. For several years, site visitors often complained the website was difficult to navigate and used too much internal jargon. Previous administrations never made the website a top priority for the organization, so it had been sorely neglected. Adrian knew this digital initiative alone was going to be a massive undertaking for his team and have a significant impact on the public. To further frustrate Adrian, the new leadership team wanted the new website rolled out within six months, along with other numerous digital initiatives. Adrian began feeling overwhelmed and a bit of despair.
When I came on board, I worked with Adrian and his team to create a robust digital strategy along with a comprehensive project plan that included input from internal and external stakeholders to ensure digital success at its highest. As we began working collaboratively to rewrite, redesign, and redevelop the entire website, Adrian no longer felt overwhelmed and regained confidence in his team’s ability to complete this major project on schedule. After successfully launching the new site, Adrian had developed great pride in his team and deep relief in this major accomplishment. As a result of the solid digital strategy and a well-executed project plan, visitors to the website had a more pleasant experience, and the overall success of the project was honored with industry awards and recognition.
Your business doesn’t have to struggle with digital success!
Digital has become such an integral part of our daily lives, including businesses and the way they operate. Don’t let lack of time, knowledge, or resources hold you back from launching an actual digital strategy that aligns with your business. As an entrepreneur myself, I get how busy you are juggling the many demands of running your business. Identifying how digital impacts all aspects of your current business operations, we can develop a comprehensive digital strategy with a very doable action plan. The digital strategy will become integrated into every aspect of your business and point you in the direction of success. However, that’s not enough. Your business must also understand how to use creativity and technology within your business. In challenging times, your business must learn how to use creativity and technology to change the course of a potentially harmful outcome. You will also want to ensure the business is properly structured for success. Just like maps are no good without a well-built ship, your digital strategy is no good without a properly structured business.
As the Digital Success Navigator, my passion is to help you navigate the waters of digital and reach success with your online business. As we work together on this journey, we will identify how digital impacts the many facets of your business and its operations, explore ways to use creativity and technology effectively within your business and establish a business structure poised for success.
If you’re ready to set sail on this exciting journey toward success like Frankie, Nicole, and Adrian, let’s schedule a quick 15-minute call to chat about you, your business, and your dreams. During the call, we can look over what you’re currently doing, and I’d love to share two or three specific tips that you can use, based on where you’re at now to leverage technology better to increase your growth trajectory.