Written by: Owen Andrew
Starting a new business is complicated, difficult, and exhilarating – all at once. It’s a whole gamut of emotions. However, there are plenty of ways that technology can be helpful, valuable, and generally improve your life as an entrepreneur – so make sure you take advantage of it!
Social Media Is Your Best Friend And Your Worst Enemy
Social media can be a wonderful tool for raising awareness and getting the word out about your new business – but it can also be a time suck or even a way for your customers to damage your reputation since negative reviews and other bad publicity can spread quickly. And that could possibly kill your business before you even get started! But it’s ultimately detrimental to focus on the negative aspects of social media since it holds so much potential for your business and can be a valuable tool to raise funds for your business.
It’s actually quite simple to set up a page on Kickstarter, IndieGogo, Chipin, or other social media sites, and use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more to solicit funds. Even small donations of $5-$20 per person can definitely add up – and if you’re running a nonprofit, you have even more options, with platforms like Facebook Causes, Convio, and GiveForward (just to name a few) available for free.
What’s more, you can use social media to validate your ideas and prove to potential investors that there is a market for your concept and/or products, purely based on the buzz around your brand and its potential on social media.Use #SoMe to prove to potential investors there IS a market for your product based on buzz. Click To Tweet
And that could be the most important reason to participate in the digital marketing realm – the sheer social proof of knowing that people are interested in your products or services, and being able to document that via the web has tons of value. Besides, Beyonce did it successfully! You don’t need a huge advertising budget (or any budget at all in fact) to win at social media.
Consider How You’ll Get Paid
Accepting money from customers is an obvious necessity, but many business owners often default to the simplest or standard form of payment – usually credit cards or checks. However, newer forms of online payment such as Bitcoin or even more commonly accepted forms of making payments online like Paypal or Bill.com.
What’s more, Bitcoin is growing more quickly than ever – and it is quickly becoming a mainstream way of making payments. Once the province of hackers and other people doing shady business online, this form of digital currency has become a legitimate way to buy and sell online in the past year, with major eCommerce sites like OverStock.com and Amazon accepting Bitcoin.
Take Advantage Of Free Software
Many apps and web tools exist to help new businesses keep track of important data. For example, tools exist for everything from keeping track of loans, tracking website visitors, to tracking competitors. The first of these tools is free, while the latter costs a small fee. However, making use of both free and paid tools is important for businesses, as the knowledge generated from valuable data provided by these and other tools will ultimately translate not just into revenue, but potentially into growth as well.
Crowdsource Your Start-Up Capital
Crowdfunding has been one of the hottest trends and a common buzzword in the digital space for a while – and for good reason. It’s an easy way to drum up support and also validate your business ideas via social media.
All it really takes is the ability to write a winning page and build up support on social media. And you can get started before you even launch your business. Successful crowdfunding can begin with an idea and a dream – you merely need to inspire your audience to have enough faith in your concept that they will contribute the cost of a lunch out or even just a coffee.
In addition, there are a variety of free services that can help you get started with online marketing. Social media tracking tools, ways to research your competitors, and more are all out there for the taking. So what are you waiting for? Get started today.
About the Author:
Owen is a tech writer and multimedia enthusiast based in Southern California who has spent several years writing for publications both in print and on the web. When he’s not writing or editing the work of his close peers, he enjoys attending EDM concerts, hanging with his children and looks forward to the Comic-Con and E3 conventions every year. You can follow him on Twitter.
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