Business

8 Ways to Start and Run a Successful Digital Business

From online shopping and telehealth services to remote working and virtual workout sessions, digital offerings are rapidly growing to meet market demands. Consumers rely on digital platforms for a variety of daily tasks, and there’s no better time to start a digital business than now.

However, with such a wide range of opportunities comes fierce competition. For long-term success, you must set up your company so that it will not only take off but also grow steadily. Here’s how to do it:

1. Strat With a Well-Thought-Out Business Plan

When you run a digital business, you’re bound to be tempted by “bright shiny objects.” These distractions, on the other hand, will not only cost you time and money but will also prevent you from achieving your long-term objectives. A well-written business plan can assist you in staying focused on your goals so that you can devote your time and resources to the things that matter.

Your vision, mission, values, goals, financial plan, operational strategy, target customers, unique selling proposition, and competitive landscape analysis should all be included in your business plan. Consider what digital initiatives and technologies you’d employ to achieve your objectives and set your brand apart from the competition.

2. Create a digital strategy using the business plan as a guide

A strategy explains how you intend to achieve the long-term objectives outlined in your business plan. High-level action items should be included in the document, such as developing a compelling brand story that resonates with your target audience, creating buyer personas to guide your marketing efforts, and mapping the customer journey to inform your marketing channel selection.

Your digital strategy should include details on how you’ll establish an online presence, conduct eCommerce activities, whether you’ll offer digital products or services, and how you’ll save money by leveraging digital workflows and communication technologies.

3. Lay the Digital Groundwork for Your Strategy

After that, you must determine the appropriate IT infrastructure and technologies to carry out your strategy and achieve your objectives. Cloud-based applications provide scalable, flexible, and secure solutions for most digital businesses, allowing for cost-effective long-term growth.

A company website, social media management software, eCommerce platform, mobile app, CRM system, and marketing automation software are all essential tools for a digital business. Keep up with new technologies like the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and augmented or virtual reality.

4. Employ individuals with the appropriate digital skill sets

DevOps, cloud computing, business process automation, data management and analytics, cybersecurity, and digital customer experience are among the most in-demand digital skill sets. Don’t skimp on recruitment and employee retention — building a thriving digital business requires hiring high-quality team members with the right background and expertise.

Finding the right talent, however, is only the beginning. To empower employees to do their jobs effectively and make the best decisions for your company, you need a comprehensive employee onboarding process. Employee satisfaction can be boosted by proper onboarding and training, which is critical for retaining top talent in any digital business.

5. Get the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Business

Even if you have a remote team or don’t sell physical goods, don’t forget to protect your business and employees with the right workers’ compensation insurance policy, regardless of how big or small your team is. This policy pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation or physical therapy. Not to mention that it is required in many states.

Employees in the technology industry are prone to injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of repetitive physical motions. Workers’ compensation insurance can cover the necessary rehabilitation or therapy, as well as pay a portion of the employee’s wages while they recover, so your company doesn’t have to bear the financial burden.

6. Find the Right Vendors and Partners

A digital business has a lot of moving parts and requires a lot of different skills. You can partner with other companies to expand your offerings, lower product development costs, and shorten time-to-market rather than building all of the capabilities in-house.

To ensure that the products or services you purchase can support your digital strategy and help you achieve your goals, look for vendors who include a robust digital consulting component in their service packages. You can consider expanding your digital capabilities through mergers and acquisitions if you have the financial resources (M&A).

7. Monitor the Correct KPIs for Consistent Improvements

“What gets measured gets done,” says the adage. The good news is that digital channels have made it much easier to collect data and track progress. The bad news is that because data collection is so simple, many businesses get sucked into chasing vanity metrics and barking up the wrong trees, wasting resources on metrics that don’t help them achieve their objectives.

Take the time to identify the right key performance metrics (KPIs) that align with your short- and long-term business goals to ensure you’re tracking the right numbers. Then, to help you generate insights for accurate data-driven decision-making, you can implement a KPI management system to collect, process, and analyze the data.

8. Keep Data Security and Compliance in Mind

Whether you’re generating leads or processing online payments, you’ll likely be collecting a lot of personal data from prospects and customers digitally. GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS are just a few of the data security laws that must be followed by all of your platforms, systems, and processes.

Compliance is especially important if you work in a highly regulated industry like healthcare or finance. Not only does your company have to follow all of the rules, but it also has to work with vendors who follow industry regulations.

Conclusion

When you’re building and running a digital business, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Nothing can be left to chance, from writing a business plan to developing a strategy to hiring the right people and collaborating with the right partners. It’s well worth the time and effort to lay a solid foundation for your business by following these guidelines.

Learn more from business and read 7 Strategies to Launch Your Digital Marketing Campaign in 2022.

John Harper

#1 File Information bestselling author John Harper loves to dispel the myth that smart men & women don’t read (or write) romance, and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch him winning the $77,000 jackpot. In 2021, Netflix will premiere Bridgerton, based on his popular series of novels about the Why Files.

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