Digital entrepreneurship helps the modern business person work with the growing cascade of digital tools, access a much larger customer base, innovate globally, and provide digital and physical products and services. These ventures usually start relatively small, like an artist with an idea in a small workshop, but they can expand and develop with much larger teams.
While most of these businesses are based entirely on social media and e-commerce applications, others sometimes use a physical office or some other method of internet distribution. Compared to traditional entrepreneurs, digital entrepreneurs enjoy a more comprehensive range of benefits, including flexibility and lower overheads with online business operations. However, it is also essential for these professionals to be a lot more resilient and persistent in their efforts, given the abrupt changes across the digital world.
Whether you leverage social media platforms to advertise or sell on an e-commerce platform, you can be classified as a practitioner of digital entrepreneurship. In the following sections, we will look deeper into digital businesses and the foundational qualities of an excellent digital entrepreneur. We will also be looking at some of the best digital business platforms commonly used by digital entrepreneurs.
What is digital entrepreneurship?
Digital entrepreneurship is the new norm for modern business people, considering how accessible websites and applications are for every person with an electronic device. Regardless of whether you operate a business or shop online, it is clear that most businesses have moved to utilise the power of the internet, and people love to shop from the comfort of their homes. This brings the potential for digital enterprises that can tend to this evolving consumer base with the right solutions.
While most digital entrepreneurs follow the trajectory of traditional entrepreneurs, they are still expected to develop their customer base, start their business, design new products and services, market their brand, generate revenue, increase profits, reduce costs, develop a competitive edge and take risks.
While the digital market is much more uncertain than the traditional market, the basic principle of learning by trial and error remains the same. You can develop one idea and make billions or fail with ten different ideas. It is easier to start afresh and try new things on digital platforms as you save the expense of developing and maintaining a physical business location.
There are different ways to make your mark as a new entrepreneur, and most of the time, you only need three things to get started correctly- a website, a good solution and a persistent mindset.
There is a misconception that having a wide range of technical skills is essential for digital entrepreneurship. The truth is that the opportunity is available to people of nearly every background and varying technical skillset. For example, you can hire professionals to build your site or use a no-code tool like Webflow. However, you need business acumen and a strategic mindset to grow.
It is also essential to be comfortable with social tools for affiliate marketing and any other tools you are utilising for business. To learn more about the future of AI for business, check out our guide on the topic!
What are the main qualities of a digital entrepreneur?
The main qualities that define a successful digital entrepreneur include persistence, innovation, scalability, vision, excellent communication skills, open-mindedness and a flexible approach to growth. Most of these professionals are self-employed or working as part of smaller teams, and virtually all of them need to leverage social media and online ads to market their brands and attract new customers.
Here is a detailed look into some of the defining traits of an excellent digital entrepreneur:
A successful entrepreneur nearly never builds their business empire in one go. Instead, they have an exciting journey filled with ups and downs, rapid changes and several risks. To manage the natural ups and downs, they must be persistent and keep trying until they finish the job.
As a digital entrepreneur, you will need to generate sales and new leads on your own, and more often than not, every lead will not turn into a sale. Commonly, a consumer’s first contact with your site or product range might not persuade them to buy. However, you can convert your leads into sales with a persistent approach and creative marketing strategies.
Accepting that customer bases, preferences and standard tools for virtual business might change unexpectedly is essential. Still, change is natural in business; you must remember to work through any dry periods with your head held high. If you want to improve your digital skill set, check out our comprehensive guide on the topic!
It is also essential to be on your feet and innovate to remain appealing to your customer base. While some businesses do this efficiently, others struggle to find their footing and fail miserably. You are expected to compete with different businesses, some of which might be operating internationally.
Innovation will help you to modify your existing range of digital products and services, and it can also help you to incorporate any changes in the market or customer preferences that will improve your business offerings.
Digital entrepreneurs are expected to disrupt the market (in a good way), and this keeps the flavour alive for customers. The industry demands creativity and flexibility for continued results, and instances like the Blockbuster/Netflix fall and rise and the changing design of Facebook and Metaverse are some excellent examples of disruptive innovation.
Digital devices put the world at your fingertips, and business platforms similarly present the global customer base to entrepreneurs willing to grow. This does not mean you will build an application with a billion daily users on your first business day. Instead, you will start small, likely with a targeted niche, after which you will study your customers’ patterns and preferences. Then, you can scale your digital business to limitless heights with the right strategy, structure, and budget.
It is essential to manage the growing expenses with the ever-increasing profits and strike a balance that shows real growth. It is also crucial to look for opportunities that can help you grow and creatively take advantage of each opportunity when it presents itself.
As a digital entrepreneur in 2023, you must have a strong vision for your company’s main objectives. It is essential to put those thoughts in a clear vision statement so you can communicate the business ideas to concerned stakeholders. Everything from the small milestones and growth strategies to the larger goals is part of the vision.
The vision must be inspiring and robust enough to push you through the drier parts of the journey. Sometimes your entrepreneurial vision might even go through a few changes, but at its core, it will always be the soul of the business.
Lastly, excellent communication skills are essential because you will be handling customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders from different backgrounds. Being comfortable working with digital communication tools like Google Meet, Monday.com, or Slack is also essential.
Since most stakeholders will access your services and time remotely, these digital tools can help you schedule meetings and communicate effectively.
What are the best platforms for digital business in 2023?
Modern digital entrepreneurs commonly use multiple social platforms and e-commerce tools for marketing their brands, products, and services, generating leads, and close sales. The most common ones include Facebook, WhatsApp, WooCommerce, Wix Ecommerce, Shopify, Amazon, WhatsApp and Instagram.
These are meant to provide all the potential of a traditional business model without the cost and risk of a physical office by utilising technology, business acumen and consumer data analysis.
In the following sections, we will look at WhatsApp, Shopify and Amazon and discuss how each of these helps businesses perform better.
Shopify is the perfect answer for an e-commerce startup and digital entrepreneurs from a non-technical background who want to sell products online. You do not need to know how to code or invest much money into your Shopify store. Instead, pick a template from the multiple options on this user-friendly platform and fill in your details- you will quickly become the owner of a new e-commerce store.
Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Shopify is more established and trusted among customers and businesses. Its streamlined payment systems, well-designed dashboard and ease of use make it perfect for small businesses that can list their products here and promote them on multiple social platforms.
While it has a clean interface and a large customer base, Shopify has a few cons, including expensive integrations and a dependency on a multi-product business model.
WhatsApp is the most personalised method of offering customer service for online businesses. With the new variant, WhatsApp Business, entrepreneurs can sell their products and services directly from their app and generate leads with a more personalised and cost-effective approach.
A wide range of features in the WhatsApp Business app makes it the ideal tool for personalised SMS marketing, including the ability to set automated responses to customer queries and connect with them.
Amazon is the largest online market, with over 500 billion dollars in sales in 2022 alone. This makes it a hub for digital entrepreneurs looking to try their luck at e-commerce selling. There are several parts to running an Amazon store, including outsourcing product selection and registering as a seller.
There is no need to get a regular office for your Amazon store and no limits on how big or small you start. Getting your business going from home is possible, and you can hire a small team of virtual assistants to help you on the ride as your business expands!
The best thing about digital enterprise, which makes it turbulent for most traditionalists, is how the spectrum and broad definition of the field are constantly changing and evolving with the changes in the digital economy and various digital technologies.
Suppose you are ready to dive into digital entrepreneurship but could use additional training to understand the data; consider signing up for our Data Science & AI course. Our course is designed for IT and non-IT professionals interested in data science, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, all relevant skills for becoming an apt digital entrepreneur. Schedule a career consultation with one of our local career experts today by clicking this link.