There are neon signs that signal to customers that you’re not ready (yet) for business in 2018. In the mind of the modern customer, these signs situate you among businesses that have no business doing business in times like this.

Perception is everything, and if customers perceive you negatively, you’ll have a hard time convincing them to do business with you. Indeed there are many good business ideas and many good ideas about doing business.

In this article, I’ll be sharing such ideas about key things that hurt your business readiness indices in the eyes of prospective customers, which are major downers for consumer confidence and patronage.

But first,

WHAT IS BUSINESS READINESS?

Business readiness analysis helps entrepreneurs determine objectively if they’re truly ready to start a business. It includes business readiness checklist to help startups or entrepreneurs.

WHAT’S A TYPICAL BUSINESS READINESS CHECKLIST LIKE?

A typical business readiness checklist will help you plan when you want to start a business. It can also help you monitor progress and compliance. It covers some of the following areas:

  • Site/location
  • Equipment, office supplies
  • Merchandise
  • Record keeping
  • Legal records
  • Insurance
  • Advertising
  • Pricing
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment, staffing
  • Employee welfare, etc

Effectively addressing these areas will minimize costly omissions and errors in future. Use them when starting a business.

THE MODERN DAY BUSINESS AND THE MODERN DAY CUSTOMER

21st-century businesses can afford to skip some areas of business readiness checklist highlighted above because the typical modern day customer has a more different and digital customer journey, some of which originate and terminate entirely online.

For such businesses, leaving out the following 5 digital business readiness items from their business readiness checklist can lead to business collapse.

A TYPICAL EXAMPLE

Denis lives in Brooklyn and runs a freelance writing business from his home office, and has clients from all over the world.

Cold pitching is his preferred marketing method; he seeks, finds, interacts with, gets jobs, and gets paid by clients online.
There are many Denis’ out there who go by different dba (doing business as) names, who unlike Denis the freelancer, will fail because they continue to make the following business mistakes.

5 DIGITAL BUSINESS READINESS MISTAKES TO AVOID IN 2018

1. NO WEBSITE

The internet has disrupted traditional business as we know it. Now like Denis you can run a global business entirely from the comfort of your home with a smartphone, tablet or PC and Wi-Fi, thanks to the internet.

And one of the easiest ways customers can connect with you is via your business or company website. Reports indicate there are currently over 1.8 billion registered websites, many of which are inactive. If yours isn’t one of the active ones, modern customers won’t take you seriously.

WordPress websites, for instance, are pretty easy to set up, same as Shopify for e-commerce businesses. There are many other options like Wix, SquareSpace, etc. You can also hire a designer or freelancer to help.

2. WEBSITE NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY

Okay, so you have a website, but it is not mobile friendly! According to 2015 Google official data “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

Another 2015 report from Pew Research also shows what Americans did with their smartphones in 2014 as follows:

Not optimizing your site for mobile means you may be missing out on the growing mobile adoption trend and leaving huge money on the table as a result. To future-proof your business and maximize the benefits of a business website, you need to make your website mobile friendly.

3. NO SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube currently boast a combined total of 5.234b users. Similarly, as of 2017, 71% of internet users were social network users, and these figures are set to grow.

You’re likely missing a lot if you’re missing from social media or if you have a poor or no effective social media strategy in place.

A Shopify report indicates that “nearly two-thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook… which has the highest conversion rate for all social media e-commerce traffic at 1.85%.”

  • A good social media strategy includes
  • Advance post planning
  • Scheduling posts
  • Regular posting
  • Tracking responses
  • Responding to comments
  • Engagement with customers
  • Regular giveaways
  • Games and challenges

4. NO LIVE CHAT

Support via email is stressful for some customers, plus constantly wondering if their emails have been read puts them on edge. According to a 2014 study, 62% of shoppers wanted to chat with brands to ease holiday shopping hassles.

Customers generally love their complaints treated as a top priority and solved in real time. In fact, many customers judge your entire customer service by your live chat support.

Reports suggest that live chat is expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next few months.

While live chatting you can still multitask, it’s cheaper than call, more interactive and engaging. Above all, more brands are adopting it.

5. NO CONTENT STRATEGY

Content Marketing, if done right, has huge SEO benefits. When people perform a Google search, say for dropshipping, hundreds of results show up in search engine results pages (SERP).

These results are mostly written content which could be on your website or as a guest post on authority sites. If searchers find your content helpful they can click through to your website and subscribe to your newsletters, make a purchase, etc.

To do this effectively, you need a good content marketing strategy which includes:

creation of different kinds of content
content distribution
content performance measurement

Reports tell us that blogging businesses record 126% more leads on average, which leads us to

4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Perhaps you’re still debating the need for the above listed, here are a few more pointers to help

Customers

Customers are the life of business; they demand to be served on their terms. Businesses that know how to delight customers are rewarded with loyalty.

Technology

Technology has reduced the hassles of traditional shopping, and increased ease of doing (many) business(es). Ignoring this is inadvertently adding more hurdles for your customers.

Options

And who wants more hurdles when there are thousands or even millions of options all over the place? Not me, not you.

Competition

It gets even tougher when you realize that of all the options available to customers, your biggest competitor, has moved closer, and is now living just one mouse click away.

IN CONCLUSION

These five areas highlighted above will give a good first impression and help enhance your 21st-century business readiness perception. Blending these with excellent customer service will further project your business as truly business minded in an era where competition is just one short click away.

About the Author:

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business/eCommerce B2B/B2C Copywriter. He has been featured in eCommerce Insights, E-commerce Nation, Understanding E-commerce, SmallBizClub, Successful Startup 101, Dumb Little Man, Huffington Post, Floship, Result First, The Next Scoop, SABTrends, BusinessTips.Ph to mention a few.

He is available for hire
Twitter: @amos_onwukwe