Going Digital
part 4 of a four part series

In part 3, we talked of knowing your business and your limits, honing your efforts to maximise your returns, being able to choose how your business fits your life and getting comfortable with your idea as it becomes real.

In part 4 of our series, we look at various business models and what they need, to maximise their potential.

There are a great many businesses, but there are basic components, which are common to almost all.

The primary component is your Company identity/ brand

  • This is your unique name and image which set you apart from your competitors.  
  • It is the collection of characteristics which tell the story of your business to your potential and ongoing customers, while establishing your path and intentions, as a guide to yourself and your employees.
  • It sets the tone for your enterprise and should clearly state who you are.  

    This is the hardest part, but worth the work.

Knowing who you are as a company, your goals and intentions, how you look, talk and what you say to the world and yourselves, is your foundation.

This profile will enable you to create concise components for your web presence:

  • A compelling company name and therefore domain name, preferably based on your business.
  • Say who you are.
  • Explain your capabilities and services.
  • Showcase your skills and talents.
  • Make contact with interested potential clients.
  • Establish a general Terms and Conditions.
  • Advertise to existing clients, providing a monthly Newsletter.
  • Advertise your business on social media and redirect interested parties to your showcase.
  • Stay on the road and still be connected to your virtual office.
  • Invoice and receive payments and review these, as well as your accounts and banking, while on the move and online.

Some business models:

  • Local Service

  • Selling online

  • Blogging

  • Agent for Others

Local Service or Trade

If you provide a new, or existing local service or trade, you would use the digital side of your business to:

  • Establish your identity/ brand online.
  • Create a showcase of your work.
  • Connect with interested parties.
  • Advertise to your market, invoice and receive payment, while continuing your work regardless of location.

This is by far the most streamlined and simple example of digital as a showroom, contact and payment gateway, enabling small mobile businesses to maximise their work while staying constantly connected, without the constraints of salaried office staff or office rental.

Note: A well written site, with good photography, easily navigated and responsive to desktop, tablet or mobile devices will, if advertised, especially through traditional means, let everyone know your website exists and will generate considerable interest and traffic.  Business cards, flyers and classified ads are still dependable!  A Facebook/ Instagram presence and advertising, with your chosen demographic will then boost your marketing and sales online.

PayPal or equivalent online financial services will take care of payments, which are connected to your debit or credit card.  They can also deal with recurrent billing and payments.

To Sum Up

We now sit in a ‘when’ world rather than an ‘if’.

Retrenching, home offices, self discipline, ideas and keeping them fresh, advertising, website management and online invoices, all sound like someone else’s life and world.

But it’s not new.  Entrepreneurs have been doing this and making a healthy living online for years.  

If it’s fair to say that the 1950s onwards were the golden years that gave birth to the advertising and marketing industry, the 80s onwards, systematically gave the power back to the small person, who developed a big voice.

As designers living in the islands of the Caribbean, we lived through finished artwork on zip disks, couriered to printers, to emailing ads to magazines half way round the world.

We stopped paying vast amounts for printer supplies a long time ago, opting for presentation files, pdfs, web reviews and online proofing. 

The pace changes as the technology and culture evolves.

We are glad to say that, in our environment, we contribute to changing the pace every day and by doing so, assure our clients of a strong online presence, able to respond effectively, to that ever present evolution.

If you wish to take the digital step, remember:

  • Better to do the simple things well, than the complex things badly.
  • Never make a promise you cannot deliver.
  • Never forget real world devices like business cards, flyers and newspaper ads.
  • Play in your own ballpark.  Don’t waste time focusing on, or undercutting your competitor.
  • Be yourself unequivocally.  Be decisive, trustworthy and genuinely good at what you do.
  • Never be scared to turn work down.  You don’t need all the work, just the work that is a good fit with your business.
  • Have operating standards.  Respect your industry.  In times of plenty, share.  In times of difficulty, care.  No Standards?  Research, experience and write some.

And above all, be bold but smart and enjoy your new found freedom!

In case you missed it...

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