Take your business online

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 6/29/2020 10:55:15 AM

Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it. We all have to get used to the new normal, both in our personal and professional lives. Businesses have to reinvent and re-engineer themselves to face the challenges thrown up by the Novel Coronavirus. This is especially true of entrepreneurs who are the fountainheads of innovation and creativity. Now more than ever, entrepreneurs need to think out-of-the box to survive these unprecedented times. And the first step towards this is to take advantage of the technological advancements mankind has made and go online. Gone are the days when there was a raging debate on the pros and cons of online business versus an offline one. The question now is how to convert an offline brick-and-mortar business into a click-and-mortar one. Setting up an online business is by no means an easy task as cyberspace is a different sphere altogether. It requires careful planning, which is the same for any regular offline business. It needs vision, access to funds, hard work and plain old grit and determination. However, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, the beauty of an online business is its instant reach to a huge target audience, not only locally but across borders. But to set up a successful online business, you need to carve out a niche. For example, Amazon created a niche for itself by offering the largest collection of book titles (over one million), which was more than 10 times the range of books in the largest physical bookstores around the world. So, the first step is to develop a clear understanding of the niche you want to address as a business. Next, try and identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Your business idea may not be totally unique but a support environment can make it exclusive. A great website, a good sales pitch, innovative marketing strategies, smooth supply chains and a responsive customer care can do wonders for a business and help a start-up carve a niche to take on well-established, deeppocketed competitors. However, don’t become disheartened if you are unable to put a finger on your USPs, they will become obvious at the planning stage. Entrepreneurs have the habit of trying to do all things on their own. Don’t succumb to this habit. Delegation is as important as careful planning. Take the help of experts wherever required in planning, development and deployment of your online business. A successful business person can make a distinction on where and when to use external or expert resources and when to do things on their own. Developing a website, systems administration, database development among others can be such areas where external expertise is required. Employing a third party to manage and maintain your website is a good business decision, which will allow time for focussing on your other USPs. You can surely run a successful online business even if you have no inkling of technology. Outsourcing your technical requirements will cost you but having a good website is like having a great start for your online business.

 

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