The business climate of the twenty-first century is more appealing than it has ever been. However, it is also more competitive than it has ever been. In the last fifteen years or so, the advent of the Web 2.0 era means that potential customers and clients spend a lot of their time on the internet and specifically on social media. While on social media, they are creating content and interacting with their friends, family, and businesses. The most successful businesses have active social media presences that allow them to create social networks and communities with their potential clients and customers. In that way, the business world is more open than ever before because you can interact directly with potential clients. This means that you can circumvent the traditional marketing venues when looking for customers.
The importance of social media is not just how useful it is for connecting with customers. You can also connect with potential clients and investors who can help you fund your business. If you are planning to start a business or expand your business’ influence, you will likely need a lot of money. Unless you are independently wealthy, you probably do not have enough money to fund a business on your own. Because of that, you are going to need investors. In the past, businesses created complex business plans and used connections with other businesspeople to find the right investors who would have the money to fund their businesses. However, much like searching for potential customers, social media has completely changed the way funding can be secured for a small business. A detailed business plan is still necessary most of the time, but the way you reach investors has changed.
Social Media Business Planning
In the hyper-connected twenty-first century world, you have to be vigilant in connecting with potential investors for your small business. In the past, many people would create complex business plans and then try to connect with wealthy investors who would bankroll their business ventures. Oftentimes, these wealthy investors demand shares of the business or significant returns of investment in exchange for their money. This is understandable because they are committing large amounts of money to a project. So, they ask for a lot in return. However, if you ask less of your investors, you do not have to give away as much of your business.
One twenty-first century way to secure investors without losing your business or committing to wealthy donors is to crowdfund your business. Crowdfunding is a process of signing up for a website that allows individuals to donate money to your cause. Typically, you will upload a short video or photo related to your proposed business. You will also upload a description of the business. Something that excites your potential investors while also explaining somewhat your business plan is usually best to secure the most funds. Then, you will typically offer investors rewards for their investments. Many of the crowdfunding networks operate by allowing you to offer different prizes based on different levels of investment.
One of the biggest benefits of crowdfunding your business is reaching more investors than possible ever before. You do not have to rely on a small number of very wealthy donors who will exert control over your business. You can now rely on a very large number of donors who offer relatively small amounts of money in exchange for relatively small prizes. Because they are not donating as much money, they do not feel they have as much control over the business.
Marketing Benefits of Crowdfunding
In addition to creating a large amount of cash that will allow you to get your business off the ground, crowdfunding creates a widespread client base before the business even takes off. In the past with traditional funding sources, you would have to find investors and then launch your business. Once your business was launched, you would have to try to reach customers. However, with the advent of social media, you can reach customers wherever they are with very little difficulty. Also, when you crowdfund your investments, you are reaching the hundreds and possibly thousands of people who donate to your business. In addition to that, they tend to talk to other people who might not invest but who might potentially become customers. Data shows that word of mouth is one of the most reliable forms of recommendations. This makes sense because people tend to trust their friends and their friends’ opinions. So, if every investor from your crowdfunding campaign tells one other person, you can easily reach thousands of customers before you even launch your business.
Where to Gain These Skills
So, utilizing social media for funding and for marketing is obviously one of the best decisions you can make for your twenty-first century business. That much is readily apparent. However, you might have very little experience with crowdfunding or social media. Maybe you know about social media but you do not know about creating a business plan and securing funding. Maybe you know about all of that and you just need a way to prove it to potential clients and investors. Attending a business school and earning a degree in business is a great way to learn the ins and outs of business as well as earning verification for your skill set. If you are working at the moment, you might not have much time for attending school. Luckily, West London College’s short business course runs over summer, which means you can complete the entire course in a matter of weeks.
These different courses offered by business colleges will allow you to learn the skills necessary to launch and run a successful business. Also, earning a degree is sometimes seen as proof that you have a specific set of skills that investors might find desirable. The degree is a way to have third party proof of your skills and abilities. Whatever you can do to set yourself apart from other businesses will ultimately be to your benefit.