Jean-Baptiste Say provided a definition for the concept of an entrepreneurs, which stated that they, “shift economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.” Entrepreneurship is the process of running and designing a new business venture with all of the financial risks. In today’s digital economy there is about 46% of businesses who are still waiting to make their first digital footprints. It is hard to imagine being a business that has no online presence, so it is still important to map out what exactly these digital entrepreneurs are doing to be successful.
According to Entrepreneur.com, they surveyed over 350 small businesses, which had 10 employees and less than 1 million in revenue and found that 32% of businesses decided to not have a website is because they claimed it was not pertinent to their industry. The second most popular reason, at 30%, is that the companies did not have the financial ability to take their business online and they didn’t have the technical know-how to maintain the upkeep of the website. Furthermore, and 12% of companies were using social media as an alternative to building their own website to get themselves out digitally.
Who is a Digital Entrepreneur?
The word “entrepreneur” first appeared in the French language in the 17th century and was first was used to denote the meaning of an adventurer (Bhanudas, 2013). Not every entrepreneur is considered a “digital entrepreneur” and that’s because they don’t utilize the digital environment in their business plan or strategy. Digital entrepreneurs focus their work solely in the online space and work on digital commerce, which is the main focus of their businesses.
Examples of individuals who are using the internet as a place of business are people who are selling digital products like eBooks, online education, membership sites, downloadable software, web hosting, software as a service, and of course selling eCommerce products. People in the industry are the purest form of entrepreneurs in today’s economy because the internet environment is still currently in an infancy stage.
Digital entrepreneurs should be focusing on incorporating five main elements into their online digital marketing and services. The first element is email, but it specifically an email system where individuals can subscribe or not opt-in. You never want your emails to go to individuals who don’t want to be receiving your emails so the choice to subscribe is a big element to have.
Secondly, having adaptive content that has responsive design. Responsive design is referring to having a website that will adapt to any device or screen size that the individual is viewing the content from. This no longer is a nice feature to have, but a critical feature that will drive people away from your website if it is not present.
Thirdly, you want to provide the logged-in experience where individuals are wanting to go log-in to reach your content. The content that you provide should be content that could be sold in terms of quality, but you are giving it away for free. You want individuals to want to read your content, because it exudes high quality information, and is well researched and interactive features. From a marketing standpoint of view content that is high quality will be shared and engaged with on higher level.
Fourth, consider having an online course as a way to draw individuals onto your service or product you are selling. Having a webinar or an online course to help promote or educate individuals on your online content, products or services in an educational sense, can be helpful to growing your business. Individuals would learn about your product through your messaging and perspective, which can help lead and create the message you are looking for. Remember that a lot of barriers for people online is having the technical abilities to either use a product or navigate through a website.
Fifth, as a digital entrepreneur it is important to take into consideration some testing for your website and your digital marketing. The most important step a digital entrepreneur can take is testing their content and marketing strategies to see if it resonates with their audiences. Different layouts of advertisements or content works better for one audience and doesn’t work so well with others. Conducting A/B testing can be beneficial for answering those types of questions. Doing the research is so important for the success of a digital entrepreneur’s business ventures. Information and data are the driving factors for being successful in the business age.
Remember, that unless you were born after 1985, you are most likely not a digital native so using technology will not come as easily to you as it does to millennials who basically grew up holding a computer in their sleep. Trying out different things online to see whether or not they would work for your business is key. But the most important thing is understanding how this digital frontier is changing the behavioral, economic and social aspects of the way people are interacting with businesses. Translating key fundamental shifts in business practices are important to improving your company’s performance online. The information age is all about using technology to aid your knowledge and advancement. If you haven’t tried going online with your business, you should reassess your priorities for business.