If you are a newbie entrepreneur, the chances are that you have a task list as long as your arm. While your priority may be to hone your business plan, tweak your vision, secure funding, and generate an initial business plan, there is an array of more technical considerations you need to take into account. Launching a business venture today is very different from launching a venture a decade ago. The world has come on leaps and bounds with technological advancements, the Internet of Things, cloud-based software, and social media. All of these things have made competition between businesses much more based on exposure and technology than core profit and loss.
Businesses need to be more empathetic than they have been in the past and consider the service or product that their customer wants or needs. Beyond this, the customer experience and aftercare service are more crucial than ever before. Reviews are left online and conversations between company and client are conducted in the public domain over social media. A twenty first century business needs to think about their millennial market and function accordingly. Take a look at these twenty first century functions that all businesses, including yours, need to consider in order to thrive.
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated than ever before. Large corporations across the globe have been hit by ransomware and malware that have seen sensitive data and assets compromised like never before. It’s crucial that you are able to keep your data as safe as possible. With the emergence of more cloud based storage systems for documents, data and files, you might assume that handing responsibility to an online storage provider allows you to relinquish your cybersecurity responsibilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any network can be compromised, but you are able to mitigate the risk with excellent planning and remediation.
Consider the role of a cybersecurity engineer, and utilize their services to enhance the security flaws within your systems. Hardware with installed firewalls cannot be your only line of defense. A specialist cybersecurity engineer will analyze the competence of your computer forensics. They will initiate a plan of action to maintain the security of your systems and keep your data safe.
Every business is at risk of a cyberattack, no matter how secure you feel your assets are. Cyber criminals are capable of breaking through a network’s defences. They will utilize their coding and hacking knowledge to steal data and hold it to ransom. While you may have your data backed up regularly and you may be able to continue trading, a cyberattack doesn’t look good from a PR point of view, and can put potential customers off your venture.
You could choose to outsource this business function to an offsite specialist or you might prefer to hire your own cybersecurity engineer. This means that you can keep your data and information fully inhouse. If you employ policies like a ‘use your own device’ scheme, it’s vital that you enhance your levels of security. You need cloud-based storage that uses a personal server rather than one that is shared. This means your data will be less compromised. Cybersecurity engineers are able to back up your systems, enhance your firewall, and encrypt all of your data.
While radio adverts, TV commercials, billboards, and print were once the norm when it came to advertising and marketing, it’s time to think in a more twenty first century way. Millennials use social media and the Internet more than any other medium to communicate, shop, and get their news fixes. If you want to get into the psyche of a millennial, you need to welcome the Internet with open arms. Marketing has morphed from the physical to the digital.
Consider heading online and signing up to a range of social media sites. At the very least, your startup should have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and an Instagram account. These social media accounts will allow you to interact with your potential clients, customers and peers on a more personal level than ever before. You can hone a more informal and chatty tone to converse with individuals. You no longer have to use a corporate or stuffy tone. This isn’t what customers are looking for anymore. They still want to do business with a professional outfit but they don’t like all the pretentiousness that sometimes comes along with this.
If a customer tweets you to ask about a particular product, get back in touch with them immediately. By being present and showing that you are responsive, this generates a great impression to your followers. If a customer isn’t happy with a product and tweets you, it’s not possible for you to ignore it – this is very much in the public domain. When someone searches for your company on Twitter, they will see this unanswered complaint. Instead, get in touch with the customer and set the wheels of your customer experience in motion.
Social media is a vehicle to help you drive traffic to your website. You need to keep your content relevant and readable. Make it engaging and it will be shared, meaning that your brand gains further exponential exposure. The idea of using social media for your business is to make your brand more prominent than your rivals. By being present on social media and updating your posts on a daily basis, your followers won’t get bored with your feeds. If this sounds like too much commitment on your part because you have other functions to consider, take a look at outsourcing this function to a social media manager who will drive traffic to your website, increase your follower numbers, and maintain your business ethos.
Physical stores and offices used to be the venues where you could sell your wares and services. The high street and shopping are still important sources of revenue, but they cannot be solely relied upon. You now have to embrace a more virtual environment. Ensure that you have the capability to sell online, not solely in a physical setting.
Your website could once have been created in the Geocities sort of mode. However, nowadays, websites are much more sophisticated. Customers now want everything within three clicks, and they want to be able to head to your shop page in an instant. Ensure that your menu remains static on the page at all times. You need to have a website that is search engine optimized. Through effective SEO and keywording, your website can appear on the first page of Google results with ease. This means that you can leap ahead of your rivals when gaining exposure online. Your brand will be the one that pops up first, alluring your customer to click on your site before scrolling down to view any others.
The design of your site needs to emulate your business ethos. If you are a company designing custom tee shirts, shorts, and bodysuits for toddlers, you need a chatty style of content and prose to engage the yummy mummies you are seeking to attract. Keep the colors simple with baby pinks, pastel blues and off white logos. The font should be fun and the tone should be light. Everything about your website should be honed towards your target market. This sort of branding would be effective for the kid-friendly business but not so apt for the engineering clientele or the law firm. Consider your niche and aim all of your content, logo design, and graphics towards them.
Working From Home
As a twenty first century employer, the chances are that you have entertained the concept of working from home. Flexible working can be a daunting prospect for those individuals who worry about the productivity of their staff team. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if your business is inclusive, you value your employees and you empower them to work autonomously. Professional individuals seek trust from their employer. Trial a working from home policy and encourage your staff to take two or three days a week working from home. If productivity doesn’t drop, you can consider making a flexible working option more permanent.
This can save your venture money in office lease fees and utility bills. You might want to spend more money on the cybersecurity aspect of your business. With people working from home, a coffee shop or outside on an unsecured network, you need to make assets more secure.
Twenty first century living has seen people place more importance on the little things like spending quality time with their families, getting outdoors more, and having time to spend on their hobbies. You need to facilitate this as an employer, so embrace flexible working and empower your workforce to excel in a more autonomous way.
Becoming an entrepreneur in the twenty first century is vastly different from a decade ago. Follow this guide and ensure that you consider digital marketing, social media, flexible working and your website to help launch your business and empower it to go from strength to strength.