5 Entrepreneurship Lessons from Reid Hoffman

Entrepreneurship Lessons from Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman is a regular guy who built LinkedIn. He knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship and how to build companies. An early investor in AirBnb and someone who’s been at the helm of affairs while building the world’s largest professional network community, Reid Hoffman is a widely admired figure. Entrepreneurship lessons from Reid Hoffman are
invaluable nuggets of wisdom from his early days at LinkedIn, AirBnb and several other companies.

Hoffman serves on the board of many public and private companies, devotes his time for several philanthropic initiatives and works as a venture capitalist at Greylock. He is known to be generous among his friends and close associates. Here’s a look at some of the key entrepreneurship lessons from Reid Hoffman:

1. People are Complicated & Flawed, Learn to Deal with it
Entrepreneurship Lessons from Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman understands people better than most. He’s built the networking platform for professionals that connects people across the world. But when it comes to building and maintaining relationships, he’s a master at it.

One of the keys to be a successful entrepreneur is to build strong relationships. People in startups and life tend to have complicated attributes, they cannot be classified as good or bad. Labeling them as great or stupid, doesnt truly justify them as human beings. Reid is known to be forgiving and helpful to people.

He often maintains a good deal of information about a person. Infact, even when you make mistakes or your weakness  gets exposed, it is just another attribute or piece of data about you as a person for him. He cherishes and preserves his relationships, which is a great necessity for an entrepreneur.

A lot of entrepreneurs tend to evaluate people by looking at their weaknesses first and not paying enough attention about their strengths and unique capabilities. A change in perspective on how you evaluate people can help you build relationships with them. By helping people and being generous with them, you have a better chance of being successful in your own endeavors too. Hoffman summarises it apty, “Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful.”

2. Speed & Execution

One of Reid Hoffman’s most famous quotes, “In founding a startup, you throw yourself off a cliff and build an airplane on the way down.” It captures what entrepreneurship is all about. It is about speed, execution and achieving the unthinkable.

The reason speed is so important for entrepreneurs is because the world is changing so fast. What you’re building will be outdated in no time. The value of what you build may no longer be relevant with new inventions coming up so quickly. 

Action bias, executing with nimbleness, assessing & taking decisions quickly are some of the most important attributes for entrepreneurship. When Hoffman was building LinkedIn, he empowered his teams to make decisions. He accepted the tradeoffs that come with speed saying that he’s okay with a fault rate of 10-20%, if it helps the team take decisions and move fast.

The success of startups lies in its ability to ship and build things faster than the incumbents. It helps them seize the opportunities and create greater value for everyone involved. Hoffman says a lot of intelligent people over analyse and suffer from paralysis of analysis, which makes them indecisive. 

3. Outwork & Outlast Competition 

Entrepreneurship Lessons from Reid Hoffman on building a company
Entrepreneurship can be hard, it can really take a toll on people when they’re not really deeply passionate about what they’re doing. Infact, it is the love of the game that inspires the best entrepreneurs to continue in times of difficulties. Passion and love for your job is what separates successful entrepreneurs from others.

The best entrepreneurs are not motivated by the rewards, but by the fun they have while building things. It is this excitement and passion that gives them the energy to outwork and outlast their competitors. In Reid Hoffman’s words, “The person passionate about what he or she is doing will outwork and outlast the guy motivated solely by making money.”

In the long run, what you’re building has to be meaningful for you. It should give you fulfillment and reason to outwork others who’re in it for the short term rewards.

4. Competitive Advantage

Reid Hoffman explains his theory for competitive advantage in his book, “Your competitive advantage is formed by the interplay of three different, ever-changing forces: your assets, your aspirations/values, and the market realities, i.e., the supply and demand for what you offer the marketplace relative to the competition.”

Your competitive advantage is shaped by what you offer to the world and the supply & demand for it. Your values and aspirations are what help you to excel at what you do. It gives you a strong grounding and belief system that propels you to differentiate yourself from others. Your assets are your strong capabilities that help you gain an edge over others. For e.g. an entrepreneur who excels at coding can contribute and develop technology platforms.

Great entrepreneurs are driven by a strong value system that helps them build remarkable things. Many entrepreneurs discover their hidden talents & assets while they’re striving to build their companies.

5. Identify & Address Misaligned Incentives

Entrepreneurship Lessons Reid HoffmanThe key to success in any partnership is right alignment of the expectations, more so in a startup. Navigating through points of misalignment and disagreements can keep the relationships on track. Ben Casnocha co-authored a book titled, ‘The Startup of You’ with Reid Hoffman shares an interesting anecdote.

When the book was about to be published, Reid Hoffman had a meeting with the publishers. The publishing house wanted to sell more copies of the book, whereas Reid Hoffman & Ben were more interested in spreading their ideas around the world. They weren’t necessarily bothered about the formats and considered even lesser pricing and free distribution of the ebooks. The publishers agreed to this. There were initial misalignments, but these were sorted out by articulating and addressing them.

In a start-up, the employees, co-founders and other stakeholders all invest their time and energy. There are often disagreements, misalignments and difficulties that can be handled by identifying and addressing things. When people are invested in the success of the enterprise, they work harder.

Entrepreneurs need to learn the art of negotiating with all stakeholders any misalignments and come to a common goal that benefits everyone. Every day is a great opportunity to build a better tomorrow and shape the things to come. Reid Hoffman nails it aptly, “Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more, grow more in our lives and careers.”

8 Important Life Goals All Successful People Live By

LIfe Goals

Your life goals reveal a lot about the type of person you are. Successful people often keep track of their life goals. These life goals help them develop the right perspective for long-term thinking. Success is never a matter of accident, it happens with consistent efforts and habits over a period of time.

These life goals can have a great impact on the type of person you can become. All great men and women who have walked on this planet have found ways to better themselves to a point, where their presence helped other people become better too. Life goals are one of the best ways to create a meaningful impact & live your highest ideals. One more thing, research has shown that keeping your goals secretive gives you a much better change of achieving them rather than disclosing them.

Do you set life goals? Do you share them with others? Well, setting life goals is a great way to keep your life on track for the things you want to accomplish. But sharing them with others prematurely doesn’t help. Research has shown that sharing goals with others can reduce your chances of achieving them. When you talk about your goals with others, it triggers a false sense of accomplishment. Your brain gets a virtual signal that you’ve achieved your goals and you lose motivation to make it happen.

1. Reading 

Reading is one of the best ways to develop your brain, thinking and reasoning capacity. The most successful people in various fields owe a lot to their ability to read. Whether it is Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Mark Zukerberg, all of them aspire to read a certain number of books every year.

How many books do you read every year? Even if you read 1 book every 2 weeks, it still gives you time to finish 26 books every year. When you spend around 10 years of time reading books, it makes you stand out and accomplish more in your life.

2. Traveling 

life goals traveling
Traveling opens up your mind to a new world altogether. When you travel in different countries or cultures, it helps your brain pick up new habits. A broad worldview and ability to understand can give you an excellent perspective in life.

Many great leaders and successful people consciously travel to learn. So, despite their busy schedules and work, they plan to travel and learn new things about the world. Traveling gives you a chance to come out of your comfort zones and explore new things. It adds to your adventure and way of life. 

3. Friendships & Relationships

Your friendships and relationships reveal a lot about the type of person you are. Successful people develop the skills required to connect with their friends and build meaningful relationships. They build habits to stay in touch, talk and manage their relationships despite the busy schedule.

Managing quality relations with friends and family requires energy and efforts. While it may be possible to connect with many people, building deep and meaningful relationships is possible with a limited number of people.

4. Professional Skills

Life goals for professional skills
Any person who wishes to rise and succeed in the competitive world constantly refines his professional skills. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur, a top executive or starting your career, everyday is a new beginning. You start from scratch and cannot rest on your past.

Successful people narrow their focus areas and develop skills that help them reach to the top in their fields. They learn new skills which help them stay sharp and on top of their game. They have the motivation to improve and better their performance in the past. For e.g. personal skills require you to focus on contributing more value everyday.

5. Self Education & Learning

What is the last time you learned or tried something new? Self education and learning is a great way to make your life adventurous. .Learning to play a new instrument, language or picking up a new craft can activate your brain in compelling ways. It helps you pay attention, concentrate and keep yourself young.

Do you have a list of things you want to learn? Are you ready to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and devote 10 hours every week to learn new stuff?

Self education gives people the ability to comprehend and develop new skills that may be complementary to their professional skills. When the world around changes fast, your ability to learn fast, adapt and face new challenges is a rare and valuable trait.

6. Health & Hobbies 

Life goals for exercise
An investment in health pays one of the best returns for your future. You may have everything else, but without good health, everything is meaningless. Exercising 5-6 days a week for at-least 30 minutes everyday can unlock great energy for you. When exercise is a priority, you can perform much better in your life. Taking care of your physical and mental health is a must in today’s demanding work routines.

Pursuing a hobby gives you mental space for recovering from fatigues. It also helps your mind find new neural ways to strengthen its functioning. Some of the greatest and most successful people have diverse interests and are able to connect the dots when it matters.

7. Time Boxing

Your life is what you do everyday. When you spend time on social media feeds and spend hours scrolling your smartphones, you are wasting your days. Successful people control their day with time boxing. For e.g. they wouldn’t watch their social media for more than 30 minutes everyday. They limit the time for activities that take away attention from their core tasks.

Time boxing is based on Pomodoro technique and is a master strategy at focusing on completing tasks within a given period. It helps people do more in their day, week, & months. All this adds up and compounds over time. Successful people invest their time in activities that add up in the long run.

8. Social Impact
Life goals for social impact
Your life goals will mean a little, if they did not help others around you. It could be starting with your immediate family, friends and then the society around you. Great people always strive towards creating a social impact with their day to day work. They invest time in helping as many people as they can to reach their goals and mentor them.

What do you care about the most in your life? What are your goals for creating a social impact? Working for a social cause that is dear to you and contributing your time, efforts and money to make it happen can help you discover a meaningful life. 

7 Sources of Competitive Advantage for a Business

Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage is the basis of differentiation, growth and prosperity for a business. It makes a business better than its competitors. Without significant competitive advantage a business may flounder. Great companies are built on competitive advantages that makes it hard to replace them. Think of it, Apple, Google, & Amazon are all companies with remarkable competitive advantages compared to their competitors. In many cases, companies like Google, Facebook & DeBeers are able to establish monopolies because no competitor can match them.

While it may not be possible for most companies to establish monopolies, however, strong competitive advantages can help them grab a greater market share and dominance. Here’s a look at specific ways and sources to build competitive advantage for a business.

1. Products & Services

If your business offers better products and services than its competitors, it is a great competitive advantage. The products and services could be better for a specific customer base or location. Great products attract customers, build loyal following and help a business. A lot of companies make the mistake of marketing things without paying enough attention to building products or services.

Great companies are always built on the quality of their products and services. Take for e.g. how Apple was able to dominate the smartphone market by launching the iphones. Zappos created a market around its much touted customer service.

2. People
Competitive Advantage

The top companies in business are built on its people. More so if you’re in modern businesses, which are driven by software and technology. The ways teams work and gel with each other has a significant bearing on its products and services.

“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world. And when you’re in a field where the dynamic range is 25 to 1, boy, does it pay off.”
                                                                                                                                                   Steve Jobs

A business can gain significant advantage when it has a stable talent pool and it can attract the best people to work for it. When the dynamics of a business change, its people can make a big difference. The best companies are built on the strength of its people. The hiring processes, retention strategies and long term growth prospects of a company are all integral to its success.

3. Operations & Processes 

The operations and processes of a company have a significant bearing on its key performance metrics. When the processes are well defined, it makes it easier for employees to excel. They know what is expected of them and what they need to do in order to excel. Companies with well optimised processes can deliver quality products with higher efficiency and quality than their counterparts. They can utilise resources better and deliver better products and services.

Companies with well defined processes and systems can be more effective in reaching their business goals like managing products, quality control, customer service, onboarding employees, and sales targets. Well defined processes and systems provide employees support for performing better. It ultimately leads to a significant competitive advantage.

4. Design Thinking 

Competitive Advantage for a business
Design thinking is the way different facets of a business fit together to provide compelling solutions to the end users. In the world driven by digital technology, design thinking is playing a prominent role in shaping the solutions. It is taking constraints, evaluating the user environment and providing solutions that work for the end users.

Companies like AirBnB have transformed themselves from a failing startup to a centi billion dollar public company riding on design thinking. The AirBnb team used design thinking effectively to solve problems for its users. They understood how key elements related to user experience needed to be solved with careful considerations of design.

5. Digital Tools & Technology

Digital tools and technology are at the forefront today. They are dictating the customer experience, driving business processes & innovations. Companies that are using technologies in their core business processes are reaping rewards for it. They are able to adapt faster and deliver state of the art services for their customers.

Many businesses have turned traditional industries on their heads owing to the use of technology. Companies are leveraging data and integrated systems to deliver them business insights for proactive decision making and management. 

Digital tools and technologies are assisting businesses to:
Improve communication between teams
Analyse business data with relevant action items
Improve Customer interactions and experience
Innovations with technology driven processes and patentable ideas
Flexible work environment
Personalisation for customers

Customers are far likely to do business with companies that use state of the art digital tools today. It helps them connect with them and get instant access to resources, products/services and support they need.

6. Innovations & Intellectual Property
Competitive Advantage Business

The ability of a business to build new innovations contributes to its long term success. A viable business is born, when a company innovates and is able to grab the market effectively. The most successful companies build processes where its teams can experiment and launch new ideas.

Businesses have to evaluate their products and services in line with the changing landscape of the customer’s needs. They need to have a framework and processes for trying out new ideas to gain the competitive advantage. Here’s a list of some questions that can help you understand your position with respect to innovations: 

Is your business built on innovations that make a difference?
What are your key intellectual assets and properties?
Is your business strategically investing in building new capabilities?
Are you able to innovate and build better products or services than your competitors?
Is your business model ready to adapt to sudden changes in the marketplace?
Are you succeeding in winning customers with your innovations?
Are you building tools that are useful for your customers?

7. Leadership

The leadership of a business is its driving force. Businesses assume a personality of its leadership. One can never imagine Apple without Steve Jobs, Virgin without Richard Branson and Microsoft without Bill Gates. The leadership of a company drives its products, people and business.

Visionary leadership helps a company build a good differentiation strategy. It helps the company answer questions like why it exists with utmost honesty. This is what great leadership does. It gives a reason for people to believe in something, it gives them a cause they want to fight for, a wrong they want to right and a mission they’re ready to die for. This is what great leaders do for their companies. When people know what you stand for, they are invariably ready to lend support to you & help you in your mission. The way a company is being led can create an ultimate differentiation for its business in the long run.

How to Master Your Mind: Tips by David Goggins

David Goggins

Mental toughness demands discipline, hard work and constant application. David Goggins is one of the finest American athletes, who has trained himself to run over 100 mile marathons, served the American Airforce and been an ex Navy Seal. He has learnt to harness the power of his mind to achieve, transform and push limits of what one can accomplish in his life. David Goggins believes mastering your mind plays a great role in shaping the success of every person.

Even Olympic athletes and gold medal winners understand that mental focus, training and discipline plays a crucial role in their success. “What separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game,” says Shannon Miller, an Olympic gold medal winning gymnast. She was also the first US gymnast to win 2 world all -around titles. Shannon has won an incredible 59 medals at international events.

Success is achieved by mastering your mind and taking control of your life. Here’s a look at the key lessons from David Goggins to master your mind:

1. Accountability Mirror

David Goggins says, “Pain unlocks a secret doorway in the mind, one that leads to both peak performance, and beautiful silence.”

Goggins took accountability for his own life by persistent efforts. He managed to develop a strong work ethic, laboured through his days and became comfortable in pain. He says, “The confidence I’d managed to develop didn’t come from a perfect family or God-given talent. It came from personal accountability which brought me self respect, and self-respect will always light a way forward.”

He practices a technique called the accountability mirror. Whether it was raining or snowing, when Goggins looks into the mirror, he gets ready to train. The accountability mirror gives Goggins the boost he needs to get on his training shoes, come what may. He’s pushed through pain, discomfort and derives pleasure from his every day battles. This mindset helps one develop resilience and mental toughness.

2. 40% Rule 

David Goggins on how to master your mind
Body and mind are capable of achieving extraordinary feats, when they are driven to their maximum capacity. Goggins says, “Most of us give up when we’ve only given around 40 percent of our maximum effort. Even when we feel like we’ve reached our absolute limit, we still have 60 percent more to give!”

Goggins further elaborates on the 40% rule, “Once you know that to be true, it’s simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self-limiting stories, so you can get to 60 percent, then 80 percent and beyond without giving up. I call this ‘The 40% Rule’, and the reason it’s so powerful is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life.

When the mind is stretched to the absolute limits, it develops a certain sense of silence, stillness and energy that helps it achieve the extraordinary things.You can literally astound yourself by what you can achieve in your life by pushing your boundaries constantly.

3. Being Present

All great achievers are living in the present not the past. The present moment awareness helps you develop a keen perception, awareness and focus. Great professionals, athletes, & entrepreneurs never take things for granted. They don’t feel entitled to anything, because they have achieved something in the past. They go out there and do things every day of the week that gives them the edge over others.

They take care of their mind to develop a detachment from distractions and comforts around them. They zone into their work routines, practice and do what they need to do. David Goggin writes, “Nobody cares what you did yesterday. What have you done today to better yourself”

Mastering your mind needs present moment awareness. The most notable accomplishments of human beings often come from a still mind and stillness of the mind comes from focus. You have to develop a strong work ethic, where your goal is constant improvement and completing every task to the best of your ability without compromising.

4. Earn Your Victories
David Goggins Most people wish for things, but never work hard enough to earn them. Wishing and expecting things doesn’t make them happen for you. Great achievers are driven by their efforts, the train, and that is the reason they achieve.

Your mind plays tricks with you and wants to trap you into comfort zones. By training your mind, you can control it. David Goggins says, “In the military we always say we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training,”

Great athletes, military professionals and all top achievers are driven by small drills. These drills are routines and triggers to help them get into action. In the longer run, the path of least resistance creates more problems than it avoids. Great victories are a result of persistent efforts over a long period of time. You can either get better everyday or get worse, the choice is with you.

5. Mind Game

Nothing has more impact on our lives than our mind. Even in the most gruelling and intensely physical activities like sports, the mind has a tremendous impact. A person who learns to understand his thoughts, thinking patterns and mind eventually triumphs in his field.
A person who has mastered his mind can achieve great accomplishments beyond what most people think is possible.

Goggins says, “Everything in life is a mind game! Whenever we get swept under by life’s dramas, large and small, we are forgetting that no matter how bad the pain gets, no matter how harrowing the torture, all bad things end.”

Goggins broke the Guiness world record for most pull ups by a person in October, 2020. This was after two failed attempts. Goggins managed to do 4,030 pull ups, despite having serious health issues, skin peeling off his hand and Kidney ailments.

When you master your mind, you take charge of your life and improve your performance in whatever you do. Managing your mind will help you prevail over the pains, struggles and hardships. You can transcend all your limitations, overcome your obstacles and achieve whatever you set your mind to. Your mind is the master key to your success in life.

The 6 Most Common Financial Mistakes Made by SMBs

financial mistakes made by SMBs

Financial mistakes made by SMBs have had a tremendous impact on their business. Many companies never reopened after the lockdowns. 2020 was the worst year for businesses around the world in most sectors. The US economy was hit hard, like most other economies and shrank by 3.5% in 2020. The pandemic impacted the economic growth for the US to its lowest since World War II. The financial lessons are an integral part of how businesses need to be managed. Here’s a look at the most common mistakes made by SMBs, which can have serious impact on their business:

1. Value of Money

The value of money is critical to how a business is managed. The financial assumptions for interest rates, borrowing, working capital, inflation, return on investment, financial ratios etc. are the basics of managing a business. Many companies fail to understand the value of money they use and pay a heavy price at the end.

Good companies learn to use the capital wisely for building a business. They learn about the cost of ownership for undertaking projects by uncovering the details of each element. For e.g. the repercussion of a construction project delayed by every month can be calculated tangibly say $110,000 monthly, so for a six month delay, the business will have an impact of $666,000. The best entrepreneurs learn how money generates value for their business.

2. Understanding Inventory & Fixed Assets
Financial Mistakes made by SMBs

Capital costs are the basis on which companies can optimise their operational costs. Many companies pay heavy penalties for high capital costs in fixed assets and inventories. Businesses have to figure out whether they need to invest upfront in fixed assets or lease them. This analysis is crucial for cash flow analysis. Some fixed assets might not have a long term value for a business, it could be rented for more beneficial returns. For e.g. heavy machinery that is not part of core business can be rented.

The effective use of depreciations can be used for offsetting profits in a business. However, using fixed assets that depreciate fast can also erode the networth of a business. Companies need to do their due diligence on how they need to use their capital for fixed assets and inventory. Excessive procurements of either inventory or fixed assets, which don’t yield can have negative consequences for a business. 

3. Maintenance Costs 

A lot of businesses plan for their capital costs, employee expenses and operations, but fail to calculate the maintenance costs correctly. They underestimate the maintenance costs for their business, leading to negative cash flow situations. Maintenance expenses are a major source of monthly outgoing costs. The servicing costs for maintenance of office equipment, infrastructure and facilities need to be carefully evaluated.

The budget allocation and monthly outgoing maintenance costs planning is crucial to smooth
Business operations. Unaccounted for maintenance costs are one of the major reasons for negative cash flow in a business. But when capital purchases, inventory and maintenance expenditures are well planned, things can be controlled a great deal in most situations.

4. Tax Planning & ObligationsFinancial Mistakes by SMBs

The taxes are one of the major sources of outflow for a business. If taxes are not taken care of, they can create a lot of hurdles in a business. Taxes need to be evaluated for all essential elements in a business. For e.g. taxes spent on purchasing fixed assets will be different than regular expenses. Employee taxes will need to be planned as per the location of business. There are also different types of income taxes applicable on company revenue from operations. 

Tax planning and budgeting can have a big impact on spending for a business. The profit and loss is impacted on how well a company structures its operations and optimises its spending on taxes. Many SMBs often pay a heavy price for the lack of proper knowledge in taxation and financial matters. Expert guidance can be soughted to avoid penalties, tax structuring for sales, purchases and payroll taxes as per laws of the land.

5. Maintaining up to date Accounting

Many SMBs fail to maintain upto date accounting for their business. They are playing a catch up game to file their taxes, manage compliance and accounting. But this can cause penalties, present the wrong picture of the business and underestimate the liabilities. When businesses are managed with upto date accounts, it helps to plan spending, see real time cash flow situation, bills, expenses, taxes owed and evaluate the overall picture of the business.

A lot of businesses are surprised when they do their taxes at the end of year. They miss important filing deadlines, statutory deductions and often pay hefty penalties. The best managed businesses are proactive with their bookkeeping and accounting to keep things in check. 

6. Hidden Costs

Financial Mistakes by SMB organisations
The hidden costs of a business are detrimental to its growth. Companies that tend to overlook and don’t account for these costs end up with negative cash flows. 

Take for e.g. an online retailer pays a credit card processing fee of 2.9% and additional $.25 for Visa cards. The business needs to integrate these costs at the time the customer purchases are made, otherwise this will have a net effect of more than 3% on the company cash flow. The company could also be paying hidden costs for many of its operations and employee expenses that are uncovered only after significant cash has been burnt. 

Top companies are proactive in their planning and take into account most of these elements. Businesses need to have an in depth understanding of all the elements in their profit & loss, balance sheet & cash flow reports. Financial metrics and details are important for uncovering growth opportunities for a business. Good companies minimise the hidden costs by methodical analysis, mitigate surprises with proper budgeting and detailing. These companies also use integrated accounting software and business management tools to help them understand their business operations more efficiently.

How to Increase Sales for Your Business Using Digital Channels for Sales

Digital channels for sales

The digital channels for sales are being adopted by various companies today. Businesses are using digital demand generation techniques and online marketing to increase their sales. Almost all types of industries and businesses are positioning themselves to sell their products & services using digital channels.

The growing number of social media and digital avenues can make things complex for a business. How many channels does a company need to be effective? Well, the most successful companies on the web take a strategic approach. They experiment with different types of channels, analyse their ROI and invest more in things that work for them. An iterative, experimental and consistent approach can bring in quality leads and sales for a business.

Here we look at the digital channels that are used by organisations for increasing their online sales.

1. Web Data

How does your business look on the web? It has become an integral part of sales strategy today. Your presence on the web affects your reputation, brings quality leads and increases sales opportunity.

The web presents direct and indirect sales opportunities for your business. Is your business well positioned to generate online sales? Is your landing page generating leads? Are your business services bringing customers? Are you investing in developing quality content for your customers?

Businesses can leverage, optimise and continually modernise their web presence for sales. Strong positioning, branding and careful strategy to choose keywords can generate leads that translate into sales for companies.

2. Social Media

Digital channels for sales in business

Social media is no longer just a place to woo your customers. It can even bring in sales for your business. Businesses, especially those that target consumers are able to sell their stuff using social media. Facebook marketplace, Instagram shop now, etc. can help your business sell directly to customers.

Businesses can use data driven selling options using social media channels. Companies can drill deep into their campaigns and promotional strategy to understand their customer preferences. They can use this data to attract the right customer base for their products and services. Companies are also able to analyse the total revenue generated on various channels for every dollar spent.

3. Youtube Sales

Videos are on top priority for marketers. A study showed 69% of marketers said their video-marketing budget is increasing. Youtube has become the favourite option for marketers and branding teams due to its high engagement. Of all web channels, the average time spent per user on Youtube is the highest. The average mobile user spends 40 minutes on Youtube per session.

You can use Youtube Cards and also display your sales contact details with Youtube videos. It is an effective way to generate quality leads and sales for your business. Many content based companies are monetizing their content, selling premium content as well as increasing sales volumes effectively with Youtube videos.

4. Apps & Subscription Services

Digital Channels for Sales

Many businesses that are using online options for selling their services online. So, whether you are a car manufacturing company or selling retail items, everything is now sold online. Many industries and businesses are reinventing their business models to sell things online.

Customers can now book and use online services from businesses. Your car insurance, health insurance and food options are all available with online subscriptions. By selling subscription based products and services, your business can generate a new model for generating sales.

5. Auction Marketplace

There are auction marketplaces like eBay, which allow vendors to list their products online. Customers can bid for the products and buy them. These online marketplaces can be used for selling your products. The shipment, delivery and payments etc. are handled by marketplace providers.

It is a very easy and convenient way for vendors to list their products for sale. Infact, auction marketplaces are a great way to sell used stuff for businesses. They can have both options for selling new as well as refurbished items through the online marketplaces. The trust of the customers is already established with the marketplace sites. Businesses can find the customers and let marketplace sites handle everything else for them.

Marketplace portals are a convenient way to expand and reach new customers in different locations without spending to build any new physical or digital infrastructure.

6. Custom or Third party Ecommerce Sites

Digital Channels for Sales using ecommerce
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce etc. offer ecommerce portals for businesses to sell their products, manage inventory and all back-end operations seamlessly. Many businesses are leveraging these options to create ecommerce sites for their businesses for selling online.

Savvy customers build their custom ecommerce sites designed & developed specifically as per their business needs. Tesla is a great example of this model. It uses the ecommerce portal to sell its electric cars, solar and clean energy offerings. The platform is tailored for the customers to choose their options, see their monthly subscription options & order things online.

Businesses can either go with traditional ecommerce providers like Amazon and list their products to sell through them or build custom sites tailored for their customers. Ecommerce is no longer an option that can be ignored for generating sales.

7. Chats & Messengers

Of late, the chats and messengers have become very popular with most brands. The chat and messengers offer business support and features for companies to serve their customers. Users can place orders, transfer money and avail the products/services from business providers.

Businesses can use the chat and messenger options like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, & WeChat for increasing their sales effectively. The online wallet options, location based tagging and home delivery options etc are also included by businesses to generate sales for their business.