Start-ups Must Be Cyber-savvy

It might seem counterintuitive but, according to Forbes, the peak of new business applications in the United States occurred in July 2020 with 551,657 submissions. In June 2021, there were still 448,533 new business applications, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These new entrepreneurs are on to something. Despite the crisis, or possibly even because of it, this is a good time to start a business.

There is a precedent in U.S. business history. There are big names in the business that also began during a recession. Hewlett-Packard started in the recession of 1937 to 1938. Hyatt Hotels started in the recession of 1957 to 1958. Microsoft started in the recession of 1973 to 1975. Uber, Airbnb, Slack, and Venmo started in the recession of 2007 to 2009.

There is a difference if you are starting a new small business today, though. No matter the size of your business, it needs to revolve around the latest digital technologies. It is the only way to survive in a marketplace that has become almost wholly digital.

Everything is Digital

Whether you are setting up a small company or a larger firm, expect everyone to be working remotely. This will save you a huge amount from the overhead costs involved in setting up an office. Rent, electricity, furniture, and equipment are only some of those costs.

Also, most employees nowadays prefer remote work arrangements. Several studies have already shown that they would rather resign from their jobs if required to go back to office-based work. This is because they save money from not having to commute. They also save time that they can spend with their loved ones instead. Work-life balance is more doable when working from home.

To make this possible, the most cost-effective means of communication would be to hire a Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP service provider to set up and maintain your system. It is best to hire one that can also provide cybersecurity services.

Cybersecurity is another major investment you will need to protect your data and your clients’ data. Not only will your reputation and your company’s future be ruined by a data breach that will show irresponsibility in security measures, but you can also face hefty fines as a punitive measure.

Instead of setting up a physical office, what you need is a business website. Hire a website building and maintenance service provider that also provides search engine optimization (SEO) services. This means that your website will be optimized to rank high on traditional search engines and voice search and image search from the start. SEO expertise will drive organic traffic to your web page.

To rank high on Google, you now need to measure up to its Core Web Vitals. Your web development service provider will know the technical details for this. Still, on the surface, it simply means giving the visitor an excellent experience on every page of your website. This covers the fast loading of pages, stable visual layouts, and quick interactivity.

Your web page must also perform just as well on smartphones as desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. People use multiple gadgets these days, and you must also be on all of them.

man holding tablet and coffee

Digital Marketing for Any Product or Service

Yes, whatever goods or services you are offering, you need to market these digitally. Even real estate companies now have to offer virtual house tours online. Art galleries do the same. Businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B) also do digital marketing. This is because people now automatically do online searches first whenever they need to purchase something. They gather information and compare products or services online before deciding on what they want to see in person. If the company gets lucky, the consumer even decides online and completes the sale there.

This is also why your website must provide this opportunity. It must offer a wide range of payment options that are easy to use so that whenever a visitor feels the urge to purchase your product or service, they can do so with a few quick clicks.

To multiply the possibilities of a sale, your business must establish a presence on social media and engage actively and sincerely with your target market. Human communication in digital channels is key nowadays, and your digital marketing team must have experts manning your social media assets around the clock, all days of the week. Remember that consumers are online at various times, and their queries must be immediately and properly addressed. Your social media assets must be seamlessly connected with your website and its purchasing process to increase conversions into sales.

The Cyber-savvy Entrepreneur

This is the basic requirement for entrepreneurs nowadays. If you belong to the older generation and are not digitally knowledgeable, make sure to hire a trustworthy lieutenant who is not only digitally literate but has expertise in its most recent advancements. The success of your venture relies on this.

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