How to win at business online in 2021


2020 was a challenging time for everyone, especially small business owners who were struggling to keep their business operating through the pandemic. However, 2021 gives you an opportunity to review your business model, improve your digital knowledge and redefine your digital strategy to open up more opportunities for growth and increased revenue.

Key elements to creating a strong digital strategy

A customer strategy built around your business’s ideal customer, a service strategy focusing on catering to the needs of your customer, and lastly, positioning your brand to stand apart from competitors. However, before you can do any of these things, you must first determine your financial goals as strategy will be designed to achieve those goals.

Why knowing your ideal customer is critical 

Very rarely is a business “one size fits all”, so it’s critical to understand who your ideal customer is. People are different; we all want and need different things based on personal requirements.

Don’t waste time and resources on the wrong customers. Your ideal customer is always the person you love working with and vice versa because you’re resolving their pain points.

Fine-tune your service to create a unique value proposition

Once you have your ideal customer, look at fine-tuning your services to suit their needs. Then, run a competitor analysis to position your business apart from them. This rarely involves making big changes, and you’ll find that your competitors online have greatly reduced because of the renewed focus on your service offering to a niche market. 

A great example of this is Sterling Fitness Results, a gym in Sydney – instead of competing with larger gyms in the area, Sonia Wray focused on her ideal customer, ladies over the age of 50, and fine-tuned her services to create her unique value proposition “Fit, Fabulous and Over 50”, thereby creating her own niche which stood apart from everyone else. This is what really made a difference for her business.

Create content that resonates with your customers

Knowing your customers and positioning your business as Sonia Wray did, makes it easier to create content that resonates. Create a customer persona, by learning valuable insights about your intended target audience. Talk to at least seven of your customers to identify points like why do you use my service? Where did you go before? What do we do better? The more you know, the more effective your communications will be. When a customer feels like you “get them,” your business becomes more attractive.

Position your business for success

Once you perfect your strategy, making sure you have a digital platform that supports your business growth is crucial. Today’s consumers are time-poor and want to make quick decisions. A customer has to be won over within the first two to four seconds of opening a website! 

Your website should look world-class, and communicate instant trust and credibility. To do this, you need to nail your online branding which should embody your strategy, services and value proposition. 

Get help to avoid fundamental mistakes

Making smart decisions from the start, like getting a professional digital strategist to create a digital strategy, is very important before building a website.

Once you have a strategy, make sure your branding is right so that your business can stand apart from competition and create instant trust and credibility. Only then can you build your website. Marketing it won’t be difficult either because when you know your ideal customer and your digital platform is professional, marketing becomes cheaper and takes less time.

This strategic approach to taking your business online will enable you to pivot during times of uncertainty, and reinvent your business model for success. 

Dinesh De Silva, Founder and CEO, NetStripes