(Why Most Small Businesses Struggle To Get Better Results Online)
Why Most Small Businesses Struggle To Get Better Results Online
As explained in ‘The Small Business Digital Manager‘, this is how most businesses picture their online presence …
(How most businesses picture their digital presence)
Most businesses picture their digital presence as being part of their marketing activities and consisting of a website, a social media presence, and digital marketing to drive more traffic and leads to their business.
With this picture in mind, it makes sense to assume that when you have a business to run, the solution is to get your website developer to look after your web presence and get digital marketers to drive traffic and generate leads so you can look after your business.
Most businesses have the wrong picture.
Let me show you why …
What An Effective Digital Presence Looks Like
Here’s what an effective digital presence really looks like …
(Who’s looking after all these areas in your business?)
An effective digital presence (i.e. one that can sustainably deliver the business consistent results like higher search engine rankings, more traffic, new leads and subscribers, better conversions, more sales, etc.) comprises of many interrelated processes, tasks, and activities.
Let’s group these processes, tasks, and activities under 5 areas:
- Digital Planning: This area involves understanding how the business really works, setting realistic goals and objectives, and developing and implementing effective systems, strategies and plans for growth that take into account the strengths, weaknesses, resources, and limitations of the business.
- Digital Administration: This area involves putting systems and documentation in place to keep all the information and digital processes flowing through the business organized and readily accessible. Without an effective digital administration system, things quickly start falling apart, and important deadlines and opportunities get missed.
- Digital Management: This area involves looking after not just the management and maintenance of your server and website, but all your digital assets (e.g. domain, software, and subscription licenses, registrations, updates, and renewals, backups, security, service agreements, compliance, etc.)
- Digital Content: This area involves all aspects related to content (e.g. planning, producing, and editing content in different media formats, publishing content through different channels for different audiences, and keeping all content up-to-date).
- Digital Marketing: This area involves researching your market and opportunities, promoting your business through different channels using different strategies, different methods, different campaigns, etc. and being able to measure and improve the results of all marketing activities being implemented.
Your Business Needs A Digital Department
In essence, to run an effective digital presence, a small business would require a Digital Department to look after all the processes, tasks, and activities involved in generating consistent results online …
(A digital presence requires a ‘digital department’ to create effective results)
Not only do businesses have to co-ordinate an immense amount of work that would require over 30 different roles to manage it all, but as digital processes now permeate throughout all areas of the business, everyone in the business also needs to be involved, to participate, and to contribute to its ‘digital department’ .
Where Most Small Businesses Go Wrong
(Putting external service providers in charge of your digital presence can turn you into their ‘hostage’)
As explained in the first slide, many small businesses put website developers and digital marketers in charge of their digital presence so they can look after their business. This can result in businesses becoming “hostages” of the service providers they hired to free them up from those responsibilities. The business ends up becoming completely dependent on people who are not part of their business for their business to run and for things to get done.
One of the reasons this happens is because businesses often confuse outsourcing with abdication. Putting people in charge of your digital processes without planning or systems to manage the outsourcing process is not outsourcing. It’s ‘abdication’ and leads to poor results.
Small businesses need results. Consistent results, however, come from strategic planning, not just methods …
(Your business needs an effective digital strategy that puts you in complete control of your digital processes!)
If you build or grow your online presence before educating yourself about your options and without first developing a digital business plan that will support your vision, mission, goals, and objectives along the way, you can end up buying services and methods where you cannot manage, integrate, or control the processes responsible for creating better results.
Adding processes you cannot control to an already disorganized or chaotic business environment will only make your business more chaotic and unmanageable.
To generate consistent results online, your business needs an effective digital strategy that puts you in complete control of your digital processes.
A New Digital Business Paradigm
In order to remain competitive in the global digital economy, implement effective strategies that will grow your business, and get consistently better results online, you will need to have complete control of your digital processess.
This requires you to not only change the picture you currently have of what an effective digital presence looks like, but also change the way you go about building your digital presence and growing your business online.
In other words, if you want to generate consistently better results online for your business, you will need to embrace a new digital business paradigm.
Instead of putting people who are not part of your business in charge of looking after key areas of your digital business, you will need to become, hire, or train a Digital Manager who will work in your business, on your business, with your business, and for your business.
A Small Business Digital Manager is someone who is part of your business and has a vested interest in ensuring its success. The digital age has become far too complex for small businesses to compete effectively without a digital manager who:
- Is part of the business and will act in the best interest of the business at all times
- Can understand all the digital processes involved
- Can interface with technical, digital, and marketing service providers
- Can help plan, organize, build, manage and grow a ‘digital department’ for the business
- Can develop, implement, and document effective digital plans, strategies, systems, processes, and procedures for the business,
- Can provide “hands-on” digital services where required, and
- Can deliver the business “done for you” results.
Effectively, the goal of a Small Business Digital Manager (SBDM) is to help put your business in control of its digital presence. Once your business has control of its processes and information, it can improve results in all areas, from boosting search engine rankings and driving more traffic, to generating new leads and subscribers, improving conversions, increasing sales, etc. …
(Your business needs a digital manager to help you get better results online!)
If you own a small business or are planning to start one, you have two options:
- You can continue to operate with the existing picture of what an effective digital presence looks like and hire someone with website, social media, and email marketing skills or put website developers and digital marketers in charge of looking after your digital processes and hope this gives you better results online, or
- You can educate yourself about the new digital business paradigm and how you can become, train, or hire someone that will get your business in order, put you in control of your digital processes, develop strategic plans, and implement effective systems to manage and grow your business online and generate consistently better results.
If you are interested in learning more about the problems that small businesses face in the global digital economy and how the new digital business paradigm can address these, download a copy of The Small Business Digital Manager.
(The Small Business Digital Manager)