What starting a business entails today is totally night-and-day versus a decade or so ago. Heck, even new ventures five years ago would be shocked to see how much the landscape has changed present-day.
So for those of us who might be a bit more “old-fashioned,” the idea of getting knee-deep in entrepreneurship may seem like an uphill battle, right?
That said, the barrier to entry to getting started is lower than ever. It may sound cliche, but the key to getting off the ground is having the right set of expectations from the word “go.” Whether you’re mulling over the idea of starting a company or you’re just getting started, here are six pointers to consider in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.
The low barrier to entry for business owners today is both a blessing and a curse. Just as you can begin your business journey on a shoestring budget, so can everyone around you. The good news? The ability to stand out from fellow newcomers doesn’t have to be rocket science. If you can emphasize the following aspects of your business during your early days, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the pack:
• Professional marketing in terms of imagery, design and logos
• A proven track record, resume or portfolio that proves that you’ve been around the block
• An appropriate niche based on your industry versus being a generalist
Growing Data Concerns
Clients and customers are more concerned than ever about the safety of their data, and rightfully so. Whether we’re talking about handling payments or private information for clients, businesses can’t afford to be flimsy when it comes to security, otherwise you run the risk of tarnishing your reputation. As a result, the public wants reassurance from businesses that their data is not only safe, but is also not being used in an underhanded way. This comprehensive breakdown of GDPR by Reciprocity Labs gives of glimpse where the Internet at large might be headed when it comes to data and forthcoming regulations in the States.
Doing Business is Totally Time-Sensitive
Despite popular belief, we don’t live in an era where you can flip the proverbial switch on a business and watch the money roll in. By and large, the days of affiliate sites that sit and earn “passive income” have gone the way of the dinosaur.
On the flip side, today’s clients and customers expected us to be more connected than ever. That means timely responses to emails, questions via social media and entries on our contact forms. Businesses that respond within 24 hours will reap the rewards while others run the risk of lost business.
The takeaway? Don’t expect to be a passive participant in your company if you “make it.”
There Are More Remote Teams Than Ever
This expectation is a two-way street.
If you’re a solo business owner looking to get hired remotely, you’re in luck. Scoring remote clients is
no longer a pipe dream as freelancers are to become the workplace majority within the coming
And on a similar note, bear in mind that businesses owners today are ditching the concept of the physical office en masse. If your entire budget is contingent on having a brick-and-mortar space, you might want to rethink your business plan to see if you can go the remote route.
Opportunities for Automation
The fact that the tech world never slows down spells great news for businesses looking to put some of their day-to-day tasks on autopilot. Looking at some common small business marketing automation tools including email marketing solutions and CRMs, business owners can remove so much manual legwork from getting their jobs done.
Don’t let the term “automation” freak you out, either. You still hold the reigns when it comes to what you want to automate; meanwhile, you’d be surprised at just how much you can leave to algorithms these days.
It’s Totally Okay to Outsource
Many business owners put unnecessary pressure on themselves by trying to do way too much. In the case that your automated solutions can’t pick up the slack, outsourcing tasks may be necessary. Keep in mind that “outsourcing” is no longer a dirty word in the world of business. With so many platforms such as the aforementioned Upwork out there, you can find virtual assistants and other freelancers to lighten your workload at a bargain. In fact, effective outsourcing is why so many businesses are capable of scaling so quickly these days.
Becoming a small business success story these days is possible for entrepreneurs from all walks of life. By fine-tuning your business to meet these modern expectations, you’ll better poise yourself for long-term success.