According to a report by Statista, 64.4% of the global population is online and 59.4% of the world’s population are social media users. With this many people online, it is only reasonable to think that entrepreneurs will start to look online for business opportunities. But how do you become a digital entrepreneur?
STEP 1: Understand what a digital entrepreneur is
A digital entrepreneur has the same base mindset as an entrepreneur. They are risk-takers. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They are continually learning. They ask for help. They embrace fear and ignore negative self-talk and doubt. The main difference is that their whole business is run online. Most digital entrepreneurs don’t have a physical office. As they can work from anywhere.
The benefits of becoming a digital entrepreneur
- Flexibility with your time: You can work when you are at your optimum and can schedule your time around any family priorities you may have.
- Accessibility: This could be a two-edged sword as you will have access to a bigger target market. This is because you don’t need to only consider your immediate area but can also focus on the national and global market for your offering. The other side of the sword is that your clients may have 24-hour access to you and your business. It is important if you start an online business to be disciplined with the time you spend on your business and let your customer know at what times you will be available to attend to their queries.
- An upsurge of opportunities: Not only will you have your already identified target market, but you may find other markets that may have a use for the service or product you are selling online.
- Reduced costs: The fees to start an online venture are lower than those which are required to have a brick-and-mortar shop.
STEP 2: Define the type of digital entrepreneur you want to be
There are three spaces in which you can work as a digital entrepreneur. The first is social. Here you focus on creating a solution which will help to solve a social issue. It could be focused on sustainability or solving a health, food or education crisis. The second is innovation. This is when a business designs a product or service which improves our daily lives. It could be software, an app or a device. The last one is scalable. For these businesses, the owners are considering the long-term goal of franchising and building an empire with their start-up.
You need to consider your goal with your business and then focus on which type of entrepreneur you want to be. You could also be a combination of all three.
STEP 3: Upskill yourself
Digital entrepreneurs need to have a basic understanding of website design and digital marketing. These skills will help you to design your website and market it online, or be able to speak to specialists with the knowledge you have about web design and digital marketing.
Other general skills to sharpen are your analytical and tactical skills. By looking at the data on your social media accounts and website, you can understand how they are impacting marketing and what tactical strategies to put in place to continue to be on the first page of Google.
STEP 4: Become a leader
You need to work on your leadership skills. When you run a digital business, you may not always have in-person meetings with people. Therefore you need to be able to communicate clearly through text and voice messages as well as lead your team well using different online platforms to get the work done.
STEP 5: Find your network
Lastly, you need to network. By talking to other people and learning about what they do and how they do it, you may find some gems you can use in your business. You may also be able to assist others with a solution to a problem you have experienced and they are having. Networking also allows you to have a group of individuals who you can share your business heartaches and successes with. They may also help to have a soundboard for some of your ideas.
By following these five steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a digital entrepreneur.
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