One of the best aspects of a digital-centric business landscape, is undoubtably the ease of connectivity that it provides many organizations around the globe. Plus, thanks to the rise of SaaS (software as a service) turnkey solutions, plenty of online tools can be utilized by those looking to get ahead no matter where in the world they happen to be situated. At its best, the digital world transcends borders and levels the playing field, enabling even the smallest of budgets to make an impact.
On the other hand, everyone has access to the same digital arena, so navigating it can be extremely difficult, even with some great tools and techniques at your disposal. If you happen to be the proud owner of a small business, it is probably worth thinking about whether or not your company is equipped to face off against some particularly fearsome competition.
In order to help you out and sharpen your edge in a world increasingly obsessed with digital tech and remote work, here are some pointers you may want to take a look at.
Keep it Above Board
In today’s climate, failing to comply with data protection laws can result in some astronomically large fines, potentially ruining your reputation in the process.
This is a good way to fall flat on your virtual face before even taking off the runway, so it is vital to ensure that you carry out your business practices above board.
This is not just confined to the digital realm, however, as failing to register your business with the right governing bodies could also see you land in hot water. In order to compete, you need to first comply and set off on the right foot.
Your requirements will likely change drastically based on where you are in the world. For example, Australian businesses need to take some important steps in complying with the BAS (business activity statements) regulations. Otherwise they risk financial trouble later on down the line.
Leveraging Online Marketplaces
One of the greatest elements of online trade is undoubtedly the convenience that it hands to both buyers and sellers.
Online marketplaces are hubs of global activity in which people can do business, and they can provide an extremely important role in the life of a small business.
In fact, according to a report published in Insider, around 70% of small business owners said online marketplaces helped them out. This was back in 2018, too, long before the mass digital transition even took place.
More recently, a whopping 43% of businesses in the B2B sector are now using e-commerce, a telling statistic that highlights the need for small businesses to leverage marketplaces in the modern age.
For those looking to compete with much larger corporations, online marketplaces might be a necessity, at least for the time being.
SEO and Keyword Searching
No matter how small a company might be, if it is in possession of a website that has been expertly optimized for search engines, it has a good chance of standing out from the competition.
Those who can stand out get seen, and those who get seen make sales, in theory at least. SEO and keyword-rich content creation are still exceptionally valuable techniques for small businesses looking to compete, and it does not even require you to spend too much money to get it right.
If you are able to master the art of link building, keyword research, and some good old-fashioned writing skills, there is every chance you can get your own SEO done with no added costs other than your time.
Video Sharing Platforms
Video content is a powerful tool in the hands of a digital marketing professional or anyone who has an idea, an eye for editing, and a penchant for going viral, for that matter.
Social media once again comes into play by offering small business owners the opportunity to show off their brand and their products to near enough anyone in the entire world.
Plus, platforms like YouTube and Twitch have made video sharing so intensely popular that countless companies regularly turn to video content in order to grow their presence and market their latest wares.
In order to truly compete, small business owners must fully apply themselves and utilize as many relevant channels as they feasibly can – social media included.
Returning the Human Touch to Customer Service
Just because your customer may be appearing as nothing more than some text on a computer screen as of this current moment does not mean you can forget that they are a real person somewhere out there in the physical world.
Many larger corporations are guilty of neglecting their customer, providing the worst possible service imaginable, simply because they can get away with it – they have money to burn and the monopoly to fall back on.
This plays to the advantage of smaller companies, especially in a digital climate. If you can return the human touch to your customer service, a touch that so many people are yearning for in a remote world, then you have a reason for people to turn you and not one of your larger rivals.
Partnership opportunities might be less of a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ kind of affair and more of a mutually beneficial business arrangement that spans the length of the globe and reaches customers everywhere.
This is totally doable in today’s digital climate. All it takes is for you to find the right partnership online, host some virtual pitch meetings and combine your strength with a like-minded business owner!
While this may seem like a tall order, it is far from it – international business partnerships are formed constantly, and technically, you no longer need to leave your bedroom office to do it.
There are plenty of great business analytics tools online, many of them available at no extra cost whatsoever. Leveraging data is important in business, and now, thanks to the ingenuity of some highly innovative online tools, even the smallest of businesses can benefit from it.