Why You Need a Digital Business in 2021 and Beyond
“I’m struggling financially and I’m barely making ends meet right now. When the virus hit, I got laid off and I’m struggling now. How do I cope with three kids? What can I do?”
The above quote came from a friend of mine recently, a single mother with three children under the age of ten, when the virus hit, she lost her job and with no knowledge of setting up a business for extra income, she was at the end of her tether. I advised her to look for freelance work as she has experience in admin and transcription. She did that but she is still struggling to make it work.
I surveyed 100 women under the age of 50 in the United States and 95 percent of the women said they regret not setting up a digital business years ago. 73 percent admitted to frantically searching online for new ways to make money from home. 100 percent of the women said that they are in the process of learning how to make money online.
I had private conversations with six of the women and all the women stated that they had signed up for an online course to teach them how to set up a digital business. I decided to write this article because I have been talking about the importance of digital business for the past decade. Now friends and family who dismissed the idea of setting up a digital business are taking steps to build their own online businesses. Here are some of the reasons why you need a digital business in 2021 and beyond.
Safeguard against unexpected events
Remember when the virus hit and businesses scrambled to find new ways to survive? Restaurant owners started posting YouTube videos and transforming their businesses into delivery food services, hair salon owners became online beauty gurus and began selling ebooks and beauty products. The online education industry exploded and many people still sat baffled, dazed and confused with no real idea of what to do.
A normal nine to five job offers a stable income, health insurance and peace of mind however, what happens when everything collapses unexpectedly? This is where digital businesses come in to save the day. My successful digital content creator friends made more money in one week than they usually make in a month because of lockdown. They sold thousands of eBooks, digital courses and some even sold custom-made masks.
When you have an established digital business, you have an extra cushion of safety when something goes wrong. Here, I am not necessarily talking about freelancing because many freelancers lost clients and huge chunks of income as a result of the pandemic. My content writing business lost revenue due to offline clients such as restaurants and event planning companies closing their doors. Luckily we had a few online clients and digital products that kept us afloat.
Take your work with you
If you like to travel, take your work with you. Yes, there are some digital businesses that require the hands-on approach, for example, shipping products to customers etc however, if you set up a well-oiled business machine, you can outsource the labour and travel whenever you want.
Reduce Overhead Costs
If you already have an offline business, digitising some aspects might help you to decrease overhead costs. For example, a physical clothing store, if you calculate the overall costing of having a small town physical clothing store, you might as well transform it into an online boutique instead. Many small-town stores folded as a result of the pandemic because they didn’t have digital business systems in place.
Some managed to create the necessary digital systems however, many struggled with this. For example, a friend and ex-colleague in the UK ran a small fashion accessories store in East London before the pandemic hit, the business was thriving. She is kind of old-fashioned and refused to digitise the business early on, when the virus came along, she remained adamant that her customers would just call her to order what they needed. They didn’t. She was forced to go online, she quickly set up a Shopify store and started promoting her products on social media.
Her frantic move from physical to digital left her feeling anxious and tired. Imagine if she already had her digital business channels set up?
I had a conversation with my friend the other day and she admitted that she wasted time in the past by not digitalising her business soon enough. Her overhead costs have drastically reduced and her revenue has increased by more than 50 percent already. Her garage is her new storage hub and her spare bedroom is her office, no more shop rent, shop premises business rates, no more in-person employees that she has to budget for. She hired two remote assistants and they work from home.
Instead of restricting your business to the small corner of your tiny village, think big! Go global, sell your products and services all over the world.
Learn New Skills
Digitalising your business might mean that you have to learn new skills that you can monetise and make an extra side hustle income from the skills that you gain. For example, I recently learned more about Pinterest marketing and I earn an extra $1000 per month doing Pinterest marketing for small businesses and medium-sized businesses.
Don’t get left behind
We live in an ever-changing world, if you don’t learn to adapt to the new normal, you will certainly get left behind. Remember, Blockbuster Video? They were too slow to switch from physical to digital and Netflix blew them out of the water. They refused to move with the times when Netflix came along, and in the end, they had to bow out gracefully.
A quick story, an old high school friend of mine owns a small local gym in London. I mentioned to him two or three years ago that he should set up a YouTube channel to build his personal brand as a fitness expert and to increase revenue streams and promote the gym online. He saw no value in setting up a channel or a blog. When the pandemic hit, he had no choice but to set up zoom classes, he has a YouTube channel now and he sells fitness apparel online.
We all know that times are changing, the world will never be the same again. Why set up a digital business now? In doing so, you will reduce the chances of your business failure in the event of rapid changes in the world. If you already have a physical business, you will drastically reduce the overhead costs by digitalising all or part of your business.
At the moment, I am learning more about digital business here >>its a free digital business workshop that teaches you how to set up an online business and start making a full-time or part-time income from home.
You might even learn some new skills that you could eventually monetise. Finally, don’t get left behind, large scale companies such as Shopify have sent their employees home to work remotely, this is the new normal and you might as well dive in now and ride the digital wave.