Leveraging the  power of the internet

Leveraging the power of the internet

In this digital age, in which the internet is dominating in business and personal life, every entrepreneur should find ways of leveraging on the internet.
The Internet is now almost ubiquitous with the prevalent usage of smart phones which enable everyone to browse the web while on the move.
New business owners have an advantage over older businesses because they can actually start harnessing the internet on day one.

Businesses can adopt some of the ideas discussed in this article to leverage on the internet technology.
Everyone with a smartphone is always browsing on the internet either to interact with friends on social media or searching for information on Google. All these web-surfers are potential customers. As an entrepreneur you should exploit this ready market.

Your company should develop a website that is interactive. As soon as someone comes to your website they should immediately be attracted to the website.

Your website should then be able to collect information about the potential customer that you can use in your business.
You should add surveys, auto responders, downloadable documents and a newsletter to your website so that people can interact with your company.
You should also be able to do business online. So add a simple shopping cart feature to your website and take orders online. There are a number of companies offering this facility on the internet and so you can add this as part of your website add-on.

You can generate a lot of business through online sales. A website is one way of informing your customers of new products. Steve Jobs said: “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Every business should strive to cut costs. The internet can offer this benefit. You can start sending invoices by email rather than posting them.
Sending invoices over the internet is fast becoming accepted practice for many small businesses. It’s easy and cheap. You don’t spend money on postage.

These days knowing the needs of your customer is key in succeeding in business. You can use the information that you collect on your website about customers to research on their needs, their buying power and other relevant information about the customer.

The results of such a research can give you great insights into what the customer wants and also something about trends that you need to take note of.
You should always be focussing onto the future keeping your eyes on the business but at the same time having your eyes on the horizon to see if there are any developing trends that you need to know.

You can also use the web to research on your competition. The web offers tremendous potential for researching your markets and competitors. There are a number of resources that are available for free to carry out some general research on markets and the competition. One of these is Business.com for general business research.

Try to utilise effectively the search engines so that you benefit from your presence on the internet. If you can optimise the search engine you can drive visitors to your site and hopefully convince them to buy from your company.

There are certain companies that offer search engine submission tips, searching tips, search engine reviews and resources. Your website developer can also help you on how you can optimise on search engines at no cost or at a minimal cost.

Something that can attract visitors to your website is good content. You should provide content that will help visitors to your website with helpful information. This will attract these visitors back to your website because they benefit something from it.

The internet is becoming a good source to look for suppliers and also for shopping online. You save a lot of time and money by ordering supplies online. You can order your basic stationery items or raw materials online. You can get good prices, quick delivery and excellent service.
Doing business on the web means that you are exposed to a lot of competition. To survive you need to differentiate your business. Harnessing on the new technologies offered by doing business on the net can help your company be different. You need to articulate clearly your value proposition if your customers will stick with you.

You are competing on international markets and so understanding emerging business models can catapult you to greater heights leapfrogging the competition. You need to keep innovating to ensure you stay above the competition.

Today’s consumers are very discerning and are more informed than ever before. You therefore need to constantly communicate clearly with your customers. This is how you will build trust with your customers and you can translate this into more sales.

To maintain a lead in this fast changing world you need to have the right people. Its people that drive innovation and so you need the people with right skills. You therefore need to hire diverse and talented individuals who will likely bring a fresh mind-set to your business that helps your business stand up to the competition.

The internet has become part of every business so you need to leverage on it if you haven’t done so already. There are a lot of opportunities the web can offer to small businesses and to big ones alike.

You should not be left behind. Leverage this global opportunity to drive your company to even greater heights. Your ability to leverage on internet will give your company competitive advantage.

l Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy (ACCA P3), advanced performance management (P5) and entrepreneurship.

He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or WhatsApp +266 62110062.

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