Undoubtedly, one of the best aspects of a digitally oriented business landscape is the ease of connectivity it provides to many organizations around the world. And thanks to the emergence of turnkey software as a service (SaaS) solutions, many online tools can be used by people who want to get ahead, wherever they are in the world. At its best, the digital world transcends boundaries and levels the playing field, allowing even the smallest budgets to make an impact.
On the other hand, everyone has access to the same digital arena, so navigating can be extremely difficult, even with some great tools and techniques at your disposal. If you’re the proud owner of a small business, it’s probably worth thinking about whether or not your business is equipped to face some particularly fearsome competition.
To help you and sharpen your edge in a world increasingly obsessed with digital technology and remote working, here are some tips you might want to check out.
Keep it above board
In the current climate, failure to comply with data protection laws can result in astronomically hefty fines, potentially damaging your reputation.
This is a good way to fall flat on your virtual face before even going off the runway, so it’s vital to make sure you run your business practices above board.
This isn’t just limited to the digital realm, though, as failing to register your business with the right governing bodies could also put you in hot water. To compete, you must first obey and leave the right way.
Your requirements will likely change drastically based on where you are in the world. Australian companies, for example, need to important steps when complying with BAS (Business Activity Statements) regulations. Otherwise, they risk financial problems later on.
Using online marketplaces
One of the greatest elements of online trading is undoubtedly the convenience it offers to both buyers and sellers.
Online marketplaces are hubs of global activity where people can do business, and they can play an extremely important role in the life of a small business.
In fact, according to a report published in Insider, about 70% of small business owners said that online marketplaces have helped them. This was also in 2018, long before the massive digital transition even happened.
More recently, at least 43% of companies in the B2B sector now use 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 companies, online marketplaces may be a necessity, at least for now.
SEO and keyword search
No matter how small a business is, if it owns a website that is expertly optimized for search engines, it stands a good chance of standing out from the competition.
The ones that can stand out are seen, and the ones that are seen sell, at least in theory. SEO and keyword-rich content creation are still exceptionally valuable techniques for small businesses looking to compete, and it doesn’t even require you to spend too much money to get it right.
If you’ve mastered the art of link building, keyword research, and some good old-fashioned writing skills, there’s every chance you can have your own SEO done at no extra cost 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 is once again playing a role by giving small business owners the opportunity to showcase their brand and their products to almost everyone around the world.
In addition, platforms like YouTube and Twitch have made video sharing so popular that countless companies regularly use video content to increase their presence and market their latest products.
To truly compete, small business owners need to be fully committed and use as many relevant channels as possible, including social media.
Giving back the human touch to customer service
Just because your customer might appear at this point as nothing more than some text on a computer screen doesn’t mean you can forget that they’re a real person somewhere in the physical world.
Many larger companies are guilty of neglecting their customer by 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 benefits smaller companies, especially in a digital climate. If you can give back the human measure to your customer service, a touch that so many people crave in a remote world, then you have a reason for people to change you and not one of your bigger rivals.
Partnership opportunities may 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 globe and reaches customers everywhere.
In the current digital climate, this is perfectly doable. All you need to do is find the right partnership online, host some virtual pitch meetings, and join forces with a like-minded business owner!
While this may seem like a chore, it’s far from it – international business partnerships are constantly being formed and technically you no longer need to leave your bedroom office to do this.
There are plenty of great business analysis tools online, many of which are available at no extra cost. Harnessing data is important in business and the ingenuity of some highly innovative online tools can now benefit even the smallest of businesses.