How to Upscale a Digital Lockdown BusinessKayleigh Alexandra
They say necessity is the mother of invention, so no one should be surprised to discover that 2020 has produced a glut of new businesses. When the biggest COVID-19 lockdown went into effect, many companies operating from brick-and-mortar premises had no choice but to vacate them. Some were able to keep going through remote working, but many couldn’t — and various jobs were lost or furloughed.
This situation had several massive consequences in the world of employment. Firstly, skilled professionals were stuck at home with more free time than they were used to. Secondly, many of them were unable to work or find conventional alternatives, leaving them in a strange limbo state. Thirdly, seeing so many employers toss their workers a way to protect their profitability was a stark reminder that the 9-to-5 business-standard doesn’t typically concentrate on worker protections.
Having the time to think and the drive to get away from the risk inherent to trusting in employers, thousands of professionals decided to take the plunge and go into business for themselves. Some failed quickly, as it is inevitable in the entrepreneurial world — but many were able to establish stable operations, drawing upon their expertise and resources of the online world.
Fast forward to today, and you have many of these digital lockdown business owners in exciting positions. They’ve shown that their business ideas work in practice, but they’re not sure how to turn them into lasting successes. In this post, we’re going to cover how you can upscale a digital lockdown business, making it a long-time pursuit. Let’s begin.
Tips on How to Upscale Your Digital Lockdown Business
Expand the company’s software foundations
In modern times, any given company is only as stable as its technical foundation. Any hardware equipment that it requires to operate (the production facilities upon which a manufacturer might rely) and any software that it uses to handle its regular workload. Accordingly, a promising company with a weak software foundation is going to struggle to achieve meaningful growth.
Consider something important for digital promotion, like graphic design. The better you can make your promotional graphics, the more effective they’ll prove, and the more relevant leads you’ll bring in. So, how do you make your graphics better? You can educate yourself or put in more time, but that will only get you so far if you’re using Microsoft Paint.
An investment in Adobe software might be fully justified. If you can get familiar with a powerful tool such as Photoshop, it can radically transform your graphic design output, allowing you to work significantly faster and achieve markedly superior results. Look for opportunities to expand and improve your software foundation in every area of your business. That will serve you well.
Review and expand the business model
Owing to the limitations of lockdown life, the businesses that sprang up tended to rely on specific low-cost and high-convenience business models (the most common being dropshipping, a system that outsources the practical elements of eCommerce). That made all the sense in the world, but it placed limitations on the potential of those businesses.
Sales approaches, such as dropshipping and on-demand printing, necessarily limit the kind of profitability that can be achieved. In addition to restricting the products that can be sold, they limit the profit margins that can be achieved through them. You can’t haggle with the suppliers, and their wares will be in countless other stores, so the only viable approach is to keep your profit margins narrow (knowing that other stores won’t be able to price any lower).
That isn’t to say that you should abandon such a business model if it’s working for you. There’s a lot to be said for dropshipping. Instead, you should consider adding another prong to your business. Here’s an example: in addition to selling drop-shipped items, you could list some regular stock from a standard supplier. You’d then need to arrange deals with couriers and find warehouse space, but it might be the key to taking your company to the next level.
Focus on earning customer referrals
Trying to build a massive marketing campaign for a budding business is always a headache. In addition, it can quickly come across as trying too hard and end up proving counterproductive. The best way to grow a small business is to adopt a simple strategy of maximizing customer happiness. The happier you make each customer, the more likely they’ll be to stick around.
While customer loyalty is paramount, though, that isn’t the only thing you’re trying to achieve here. You’re also looking to drive direct referrals. By impressing your customers, you can leave them eager to mention your business to their friends and family, and ultimately encourage them to give you a try.
When a loyal customer refers to a prospective customer, it’s enormously valuable. That’s a lead you don’t need to do anything, and there’s a much greater chance that you’ll be able to convert that lead. After all, social proof is a reliable driver of customer action, and a referral from a friend will get results. The potential customer will be more eager to start, more willing to spend heavily, and less about what might go wrong.
You’ll also pick up much more positive mentions on social media through this hands-off promotion style. If you want to engage with people who say positive things on social media, you can. But only do so if you can be delicate about it. Otherwise, you can confidently leave them to it, only stepping in for damage control if the tone ever turns negative.
Invest substantially in SEO tactics
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a long-term concern. There’s no neat way to start ranking well for relevant terms quickly, and that can lead a lot of companies to disregard it or attempt doomed campaigns involving black-hat methods. But when you’re looking to upscale your business, it’s the perfect time to start investing in SEO.
Your main actions will be technical optimization and content marketing. The former will require you to polish your business website, ensuring that it operates well on all device types. It will also feature a robust interface, offer compelling and useful copy, and ticks any box that could prevent it from being rewarded by Google’s search crawlers.
The former will need you to start producing high-quality content to build up your brand image. You can then use that content to grow a company blog that can rank for essential keywords. You can also pass traffic through to your business site and build trustworthy backlinks through outreach efforts.
The sooner you start on this, the sooner your efforts will begin to pay off. If you want to keep your digital lockdown business for years to come, then you have to begin your SEO campaign. The ROI will be worth it.