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The mom and pop shops are starting to be a thing of the past. Most people are going digital and it looks like we’re not stopping. We’re at a time now where people can either go to the grocery store or have their grocery list delivered by Amazon. As we’re more digital, it’s a bit easier to put yourselves out there, but it’s a lot harder to get noticed. So how do you keep your business growing in the digital space? In Growing a Startup in the Digital Age, Howard Tullman explains key techniques to help your business grow.
If you don’t know Tullman, he’s the CEO of 1871 and Managing partner of an G2T3V. 1871 is a start-up hub in Chicago cultivating a digital start-up ecosystem. The hub holds over 500 digital start-ups with entrepreneurs craving to make their business grow in the Digital Age. G2T3V is an investment firm focused on financing and developing disruptive innovation. I got the chance to read through Tullman’s book and here are 4 takeaways I came up with.
We Live in a world of instant gratification. ()
The world’s attention span is at an all-time low. I can go into Best-Buy with the intent to buy a tv, compare the price of the same tv on my phone, and buy it on Amazon. If you run a business, you can’t afford to advertise and assume customers will flood your doors (or website). It’s not that easy. Everything you can think of is trying to grab your customers attention. From Snapchat to memes, there is something constantly in their face. If you want your business to survive, you have to figure out how you will grab your customer’s attention (and keep it). The current trend is social media, especially Facebook. Connectivity and mobility is all the rage these days and connecting with your customers on social media is crucial to keeping your business afloat. Also, each social media site behaves in a different way and attracts its own unique audience. One way to attract your audience is to show that you care.
“Make people care so they can share”. ()
“The basic objective is to figure out how to make me care and then how to make me share.” If you have a product or service you want to get out to the masses you have to figure that out. The main objective for my site is getting people to care about building wealth and sharing that with others. () As simple as it sounds, it’s harder than it looks. Our world is interactive and developing a connection with your customer base is no longer an option, but required. “Businesses exist because they have customers and taking care of your customers is ALWAYS Job Number one.” Which brings me to my next point.
Be there when they’re buying
Once a customer is on your site (or in your doors) you want to make sure you’re in the best position to close a sale. Tullman has an excellent term for this called Smart Reach. “Smart Reach is all about the need to deliver engaging, demonstrably relevant, content to your target at exactly the right time(s) and place(s).” Knowing where to engage your target customer, envisioning what they would be doing at the time, and why it’s the appropriate time is crucial in putting yourself in place to be successful. It’s all about being in the know, and not being there could lower your chances of surviving.
If you want to survive, sell services and solutions
There is one attribute a company needs to live by in order to survive, flexibility. For instance, if you sell furniture online, it’s a good idea to follow up with customers to ensure their assembly experience was smooth and painless. I can’t stress this enough connecting with customers anyway you can is imperative. Providing a product and service allows you to grab hold of more customers, and (most importantly) keep them.
Before almost everything became digital, businesses could afford the occasional customer walking in their door. Not anymore. Why? Because everyone is competing for the scarcest resource every customer has, time. If you want to be in the ‘know’ then arm yourself with the knowledge to become successful in the new age.