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BW Businessworld

Leveraging The Digital Era For The Growth Of Your Business

Within the purview of the age of screens, the need for small business owners to recognize the importance of having a digital presence online now becomes an unspoken requisite

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In the world view of things, no business, whether big or small, exists alone. No matter how niche or customized a small business is, it still doesn’t function as an island. Within the purview of the age of screens, the need for small business owners to recognize the importance of having a digital presence online now becomes an unspoken requisite.

Look around your very own workplace, and smart phones, tablets, AI devices now abound. The number of internet users in the country is expected to cross 500 mn by June 2018, with a large growth in users coming from the rural markets. Consumers are increasingly relying on digital for shopping, entertainment, information and other activities and their spends on digital are rapidly increasing. In this rapidly changing scenarion, going online is no longer an option, but a necessity for small businesses today.

So how can small businesses leverage digital channels for the growth of their businesses?

An Always Open and Expanding Showroom
A 24/7 accessibility to your business and with your customer base is perhaps the number one reason for getting your business digitally on board. Your online presence provides your business a platform to always showcase your product across geographical borders and time zones, and to your specific target market. Your customers don’t have to wait or travel to your store to access your products and to engage with you, they can browse through your product offerings wherever and whenever they choose. You bring your store to them!

Potential Customers Led Directly to You
Picture this. You’re a small business owner specialising in baked goods. A couple of millennials around your area of business search for a place on their phones, to stop by and get some brownies, on a Sunday, and they chance upon your establishment. One of the many gains of the age of smartphones is that all potential business is always within a click and arm’s reach away.

The Heart of Brand Building
At the very core of it, all marketing efforts are bound towards a primary goal of creating favourable brand equity in the minds of you customers. What better way to do that than being present digitally. Being online lets your customers truly get to know who you are and what your brand stands for. Potential audiences viewing your website get a chance not only to see your product, but also how you interact with other customers and how you conduct your business. They get a peek into the personality of your brand, and you get to display your core values and talk about what is important to you as a business – basically you get to share your passion! This goes a long way in giving potential customers an opportunity to align themselves with local and small businesses they believe in and respect.

Build Great Customer Relationships
An online presence allows your customers to make an informed decision while purchasing your products. Peer reviews, brand comparisons, and detailed product information, all provide your customer a platform where he/she can feel empowered when they choose to buy your offering. A satisfied online customer then becomes your advocate and while many view online reviews with an eye of caution, seeing them as a two sided coin, the advantages of a satisfied online customer can far outweigh any hesitations one might have.

The great news about being online, is that it doesn’t require you to invest heavily, both in terms of time and money, and the outcome usually exceeds the effort put in. Customized and ready to use tools to build websites, baby steps to navigate the digital channels, and a willingness to look at a digitally optimized,  positive future is all it takes to jump on to this winning ride.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Nikhil Arora

Nikhil leads strategy, business growth, operations and customer care for GoDaddy in India as its Vice President & Managing Director. In his role at the world’s leading platform dedicated to small businesses, Nikhil is passionate about helping small businesses and entrepreneurs establish and grow their ventures. Nikhil has over two decades of international and India experience in corporate strategy, marketing, business development, and finance. He brings extensive experience operating in emerging markets, along with deep insights on challenges confronting small and micro businesses as they look for growth and to build compelling businesses. Prior to his current role at GoDaddy India, Nikhil was the Head of Operations for Asia and India General Manager for WeWork, a fast growing global start-up. Prior to joining WeWork, Nikhil was the Managing Director at Intuit India, where he was responsible for implementing Intuit’s India business strategy, strengthening partnerships and capitalizing on social, mobile and global market trends. Previous roles included Vice President and Country Head of Operations at Laureate Education, as well as roles in business development at ADP and in managing M&As and joint ventures at Delphi. Nikhil holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Finance from Hofstra University, New York. Having spent time in Russia and Central Asia managing public education projects, Nikhil also holds a Diploma in Russian language. He is based out of New Delhi, and his other interests include running marathons, biking, obstacle and adventure sports, traveling and exploring new destinations.

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