Being an entrepreneur in the digital development business is not easy. You need motivation, planning, and creative abilities to succeed as a digital development business owner. You must be invested in the business you want to create, on top of being motivated to work through the tough situations that are sure to come. If you’re thinking about beginning your online entrepreneurial adventure, make sure to pin down the following key points before you begin.
Develop Your Brand
Many digital development entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to do too much and not honing in on their specific niche. The key is to make it easy for others to describe your business (“they build websites” or “they design posters and signs”). This doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple products or services, but to develop a solid brand you must first be known for your specialty products and services. This is what makes your brand a recognizable name. Customers will have an easier time recognizing and remembering your business if you focus your efforts into one key area. Once you establish your business, then you can move into more complex markets.
Example: Nike sells sporting apparel and items–not clothes, in general, but sporting items. Nike would likely have issues selling a soda, but could succeed in selling a sports drink or nutritional drink. Expansion can happen once a brand is established and working within their market area.
Establish Your Reputation
If you are getting into an already established market, you will have to work twice as hard to develop your reputation. It will take time for your brand to be perceived as a good one. In general, people like brands that are trustworthy, high-quality, and valuable. This means your products and services must match those characteristics. When first starting out, you will likely be competing with the big dogs. To make your mark as a small business, you must provide services and products that can compete with your competitors and exceed your customers’ expectations. The best way to build your reputation is to offer the best possible services and products and exceptional customer service.
Example: Imagine this situation: You are shopping for a candy bar and you find two that catch your eye. One is a Reese’s peanut butter cup for $1.50 and the other is an unknown brand selling a chocolate and peanut butter bar for $0.75. Which do you choose? Most people would choose the more expensive Resse’s because they trust the brand and know its quality.
Find Supporters Outside of Your Close Circle
You must advocate for your ideas, brand, and company more than anyone, but be sure to have other supporters. You should believe in your product or service, but more importantly you should have outside believers. These should be people who support you because they truly believe your business is a good idea; your family and friends may think your business is a good idea, but can they truly be impartial? This is why networking and advocating to the right people is important. When you get the right people behind your business, it opens doors for future success and expansion.
Example: Imagine you sell products for a company like Cutco or Mary Kay. You can only sell so many items to your family and friends before you run out of family members and friends. This is why it is important to invest in products and services that people other than your family and friends can get behind and promote as useful, necessary, and desirable.
The digital development entrepreneurial pathway is not an easy one. Without the proper skill set and motivation it can be difficult to succeed. By following the proper steps to develop your brand, establish your reputation, and find external supporters, the journey gets easier. The entrepreneurial pathway is not always a breeze, but it is worth it when you meet success.
*This blog was formed following ideas from the book Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others by John A. Daily