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Go Online with Your Business!

Strategy Head of CREATIVE INC– a leading digital-first creative agency that makes the right kind of noise in the world of digital esp. social media marketing, Charu Nathan shares her views

In many ways, the digitalization has created a level playing field for small business owners to make their dent. Launching a business online is relatively easy to start, without the kind of up-front costs brick-and-mortar businesses need.

However, this relative ease doesn't mean that you can simply jump in without prep and expect wonders to happen.

Hello, my name is Charu Nathan, the Head of Strategy of a leading creative agency. My job is to interact with businesses day in and day out. Some of these are start-ups trying hard to make their mark in the field they are playing in. Others are established conventional businesses who’ve held a market share but are now feeling the heat owing to new entrants via online. Either way, both wat the same thing - a rockin’ marketing agency that does some magic and starts selling their products (better than whoever the competitor is!) in real time (read hours, minutes, seconds).

To get things done fast is great and honestly, I truly believe that time is money. But to expect an omlette before the egg has even been conceived of is stretching it too far.

Let’s talk about what you should be definitely doing before looking for a digital marketing agency.

Assess the Idea: Just because it's easier to start an online business doesn't mean no costs are involved. Assess your idea's feasibility please.

Business Plan First: More than the marketing plan, please create a business plan first. Factor in both the highs & the lows.

Ready your Shop: Where will you be selling? Shopify? Or a custom platform. Figure out this critical factor.

Get Market Ready: I often explain this to brands who come looking for us. Marketing has two aspects: getting Market ready and Go to Market!

Hire the Right Marketing Agency: Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can do it all by yourself. A good marketing agency will be focussed and bring a much-needed awareness building & brand building approach along with just sales. Most business founders think that all they need to do is make a logo, build a website, launch social media and voila…. Job done.

Trust me on this, a myopic approach might get you started somehow but won’t take you beyond the first 20 customers. We see this daily. If your business has the potential and the market, marketing is an investment not an expenditure.

Of course, your work would have only just begun, but by going through these 5 steps, you will have built a solid foundation for your online business.