Forbes Article - 3 Ways Your Business Stands To Benefit From Going All-In On DigitalCurbie News August 06, 2020
Back in the day, the way to achieve a successful business was to open a brick and mortar storefront in an area that got a lot of foot traffic.
While that quaint image may have been the ideal decades ago, it’s hardly the norm today — especially for freelancers and solopreneurs. The COVID-19 pandemic has further showcased that brick and mortar retail is an increasingly risky business, especially if customers aren’t allowed to visit your location in the first place.
Many businesses have transitioned to doing everything online, and for good reason. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, going all-in on digital can lead to both immediate and long-term benefits for your business.
1. Cut The Fluff; There’s Simply No Need For It
While having a brick and mortar location may seem like a nice idea, it can quickly become a money pit. Office overhead adds up a lot faster than you would expect, and it can really drag down your profit margins.
The monthly rent is a big one, especially if you have a large office or are located in a desirable downtown space. Throw in utilities and frequently-required building expenses like security and office cleaning, and it’s easy to see how renting and maintaining an office can become a major headache (even if you plan on keeping the lights and air conditioning turned off at all times).
When you switch to a digital business, your home or apartment becomes your office. You’re (hopefully) already paying your rent/mortgage and home utilities for these places anyway. Working from home isn’t going to make too much of a difference for those monthly expenses.
Even if your home electric bill goes up because you keep the A/C humming all day, it’ll still be cheaper than renting a separate office space. You’ll improve your bottom line and be more likely to turn a profit even before you start landing higher-paying clients.
And if you don’t know your business’ most important numbers, you can use my Price to Freedom Calculator HERE. This free mini course helps you calculate how and what you spend and what you MUST charge to achieve the life & business you want.
2. Round-The-Clock Availability Is A Real Thing
An all-digital business allows customers to handle everything related to working with you digitally. Asking questions, scheduling services or calendaring a meeting — all of it can be done from the comfort of their keyboard.
Best of all, you don’t have to be directly involved to achieve this “any time, anywhere” availability. You don’t need to burn the midnight oil, waiting for any questions that might get sent your way.
Instead, you can use tools like chatbots (or even a robust FAQ page) to streamline the entire process for your clients. These tools work like a charm when paired with persuasive landing pages and detailed service pages that help potential clients know what to expect from working with you. They can go through your entire sales funnel on their own, and you can get new clients while you’re sleeping.
3. Meet Your Customers Where They Feel Most Comfortable
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely altered the way people view brick and mortar stores. Rather than strap on a mask and douse themselves with hand sanitizer, more people are preferring to handle all their transactions online. We’re becoming increasingly used to ideas like curbside pickup and contactless service.
While COVID-19 has put these alternative services in the spotlight, the reality is that more people (especially younger generations) were starting to switch to doing everything digitally even before the pandemic. There’s a reason why brick-and-mortar stores look so abandoned! I recently spoke with Alex Cruder, co-founder and CEO of Curbie Cars, who explained, “Convenience is a valuable commodity. We know how precious everyone’s time is. In our industry, at least, spending an entire weekend driving from dealership to dealership takes people away from the things they care most about. Through providing a simple, fast online experience for buyers, we’re able to leverage technology to give them back the most important asset of all — time.”
By adapting your business so that everything can be handled online, you can better cater to your clients’ preferences. This helps you deliver better service, which will make them happier and turn them into loyal customers.
This doesn’t mean that you have to cut out human contact entirely. Most “all-digital” businesses still have a phone number that clients can use to speak with you directly.
A digital-first mindset puts all potential clients on a level playing field, no matter where in the world they’re located. This ultimately expands your opportunities, giving you the chance to reach higher-value clients on the other side of the country who you’d never meet if you were focused on a traditional brick and mortar setup.
Prepping For A Digital-First Future
We live in unique times, to say the least. Business owners need to adapt to survive, and for many, the best way to do that is by becoming 100 percent committed to being a digital brand. Making this transition doesn’t mean you have to lose your personal touch or the unique things that make your business stand out.
When you do it right, becoming a digital business could be yet another advantage that helps you appeal to high-value clients.