How To Digitize Your Small Business

Consider the following two scenarios – You have a well-established brick-and-mortar small business. You have some winning products and services and a small local customer base. Or you plan to start a small business with the local community as your target consumer. 

So, the obvious question is why you would digitize your business – what you could possibly gain from spending on opening your business digitally. Before we answer that for you, consider some of these statistics –

  • 71% of consumers believe that you get a better deal online
  • By the year 2040, 95% of the sales are expected to happen via websites
  • 70% of people research a business company, before making a purchase
  • 97% of people go online to find a local business

The numbers convey the message loud and clear. It is imperative for businesses to have an online presence. More so for small businesses. Before we delve into how to digitize your small business, let us understand the benefits of creating an online presence. 

Your window to the online world!

We live in a digital era and to ensure that your business is successful in today’s technological marketplace, a great website is the first step. Creating a website not only opens up sales opportunities but includes various other benefits as well.

A well-designed website helps in building brand visibility. It is a visual resume of your company that the customers cannot ignore. Businesses without websites struggle to build credibility. A website helps the customer know about the company, the core values, the products and services, and the way to reach the people in the company.

An online business is also available 24/7 increasing your sales opportunities so much further. Almost any purchase online starts with a search and with a well-executed SEO strategy, you can use your website as your most powerful sales and marketing channel. Various tools are available for doing business online and you can evaluate and choose what works best for your business.

Now that you appreciate the need for a digital presence, let us explore how to get started on this digital journey.

First things first – generate a good name to get your online business started! 

Every business needs a strong brand presence and the first step in building the brand is to name your business. Your business name is the first impression you create for the customEvery business needs a strong brand presence online and your business name is the first impression you create for the customers. As you start the process of digitizing your business, acquiring a good domain name is of paramount importance – make it as memorable as possible. 

Before you start scouting for a domain name, generate a business name that is a true reflection of your business. If you are an already established physical business and do not yet have a strong brand presence, you may consider rebranding your business to a more relevant and digital-oriented name. 

A good business/domain name not only has good recall value but also conveys the value proposition you bring to the market. It reflects the company’s core values and vision. When selected right, it creates an emotional connection with the customers. 

Consider Uber, the name creates the perception of a superior experience, or Nike, a metaphor that refers to the Greek goddess of Victory – these business names speak for themselves and create a strong connection with the customers. 

Build an easy-to-navigate and effective website

A website is the easiest and the most effective way to reach and influence your customer base. It needs to be professional, well-designed, content-rich, and SEO-friendly. It also needs to be organized and give users all the information about your products and services in an easily consumable manner. 

Studies show that 75% of people form an opinion about the brand based on website design. Another important factor is how your website performs in terms of page load, page response rate, and other technological aspects of the digital business. 

Website development is an involved task and there are many platforms available for the same. While some require deep technical knowledge, many others offer easy editors to create your websites. Choose what works best for you and your business and get ready to do business online.  

Spread the word through digital marketing

Once you have kick-started your online presence, start the process of marketing your brand. This is a comprehensive process that includes understanding your own brand positioning goals, identifying the target clientele, and then implementing your campaigns accordingly.

While defining a marketing and sales strategy never lose track of what your overall brand strategy is. All promotions and advertising campaigns should be a true reflection of your company’s products and services. 

Working out a marketing strategy can be tough, especially when the competition is against big well-established brands. This is where newer techniques like inbound marketing can come in handy. While traditional outbound marketing tends to be more costly and possibly a hit-and-miss kind of conversion, inbound marketing provides more organic growth opportunities for your business. 

Demonstrate your value with content marketing

Perhaps the most important aspect of your online business is content marketing. While traditional marketing strategies involve telling your customer about what you do, content marketing shows them how you do it. Content marketing also spans all the social media platforms, hence giving a better reach to your audience. 

Content comes in various forms – be it articles, blogs, videos, social media posts, etc. Ensure that all these channels are used effectively with a special focus on SEO. Making your content SEO-friendly does wonder for your business. Lead generation, increased traffic, better conversion, and building brand loyalty – are some of the benefits of SEO-friendly content.

With great content, the potential is endless on the various social media platforms. However, it is also a tall order to churn out constant content.  Hiring bloggers for your small business is more important than you think. There are also newer ways of creating content that needs to be explored. Relook at your old content and identify the most viewed and relevant posts. With that, you can then create fresh content and ensure that you have a constant flow of content on all your platforms. 

Measure, Track and Improve

Once you have all the basics set up, ensure that you constantly track what you have created. Measuring what you are executing not only tells you how you are doing, it also forms the basis for what you can improve. 

Identify your KPIs for the various digital platforms like websites, social media, email, etc., and then start measuring them. Understand what channels are working best for you and which ones need improvement, how you are faring on SEO, and what costs are associated with the various efforts you are doing in the digital world. Once you track, you know what to improve and this, in turn, ensures that your business is constantly evolving to meet the customer demands.

You also need to have a deep understanding of your website visitors. Knowing who is visiting your site from where, their purchase intent, on-site behavior, all go a long way in helping you craft a more personalized experience for them.

There are many ways to do this. The most basic way to do this is via IP tracking – here, you simply capture the IP address of the visitor and track their visits and behavior from here. The more sophisticated way to do this is via cookies. However, without comprehensive visitor-level tracking, you may not have a complete picture of your user behavior.


We are in the midst of a digital tidal wave – you can either get swept by it or ride it out successfully. Here is an inspirational success story of an online business. Pursuing her passion relentlessly, Arianna Huffington co-founded Huffington Post as an online business while some of the other leading newspapers will still expand their print media. What started as an online alternative media is now one of the leading media companies and is valued at $1 billion. This demonstrates the power of the online world.

Regardless of what you are selling, do not be afraid to embrace the digital world. When approached right, it opens a world of possibilities to further your small business. While your products and services form the core of your business, the digital aspects like website, social media platforms, content marketing provide the necessary impetus to further grow your business. Go digital and conquer the world!

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