The Digital Age with Keron McLeish: 8 reasons to build a digital biz
Keron Mcleish. Photo Cred: Edward Charles (https://edwardkcharles.com/)
By Keron Mcleish
I catch myself saying “What a time to be in the digital age!” multiple times a day whenever I read about the amazing things happening in the world.
There has never been a time in our history where we have had so much power at our fingertips, the power to create multiple streams of income - and the only thing we need is a laptop or a smartphone and an income.
It is time to start building our digital mindset.
This is important because we are on the cusp of the third wave of the internet.This is where the internet will transform from something we interact with to something that interacts with everything around us. We move from the “Internet of Things” to the “Internet of Everything”, where everything we will do will be enabled by an internet connection, almost as essential as everything being powered by electricity.
This will disrupt every single industry and give rise to new innovations. This will allow entrepreneurs to build digital businesses and participate in the global economy or at a bare minimum, expand their consumer base from their immediate vicinity to the entire nation.
So let me break down eight reasons why everybody should be thinking about building a digital business, even if it’s to just add another revenue stream.
1: Easier to Create a Business – This is by far one of the perks of the digital age. There are so many ways to build additional revenue streams from the comfort of your own home. Whether you decide to get into drop shipping, blogging, content creation, social media management, app development, the list goes on with the number of businesses you can build.
2: Not Limited by Geography – There are so many people with interest and skills that may not be valued in their own country. The beauty of digital business is that you can join an online forum and use social media to find your ideal clients, even if they are across the globe. We have all the tools we need to get paid from international clients.
3: Digital Products Can Scale – There is nothing that allows entrepreneurs to scale a business or product the way a digital business/product can. Take cooking for example. Instead of starting a business that would have you making meals for people, start learning about all the ways you can teach people to cook online. Whether it is by self-publishing an eBook, opening a digital school on Teachable or just making videos on YouTube and learning how to monetise it. Digital products can scale.
4: Smaller Companies Can Appear Bigger – When you learn how to build your digital profile, whether it be through your Google presence, website, social media, podcasting, YouTube, an entrepreneur can appear so much bigger than they really are online because of all the tools available to build your brand. This helps by the way of building trust and servicing more customers than a typical Mom & Pops store in a neighbourhood.
5: You can have a local focus, but global reach – In your journey of servicing your clients and focusing on your local market, you will most definitely garner fans from across the globe who are looking at what you do and how you show up in your market, in order to take cues from you and implement what they have learned in their own business in another country. The internet allows you to speak to anybody in the world. Building an amazing company right here in the Caribbean may get you calls from other countries to speak to their markets via a podcast, a live stream or even fly you in for a workshop.
6: Work from anywhere – Every time I step into Starbucks here in Trinidad, I am reminded of how many amazing brands are right here, sipping coffee, and working from their laptops. Having a digital business allows you to work from anywhere in the world that has a power outlet and an internet connection.
7: You can adapt what’s happening globally, locally – They say the Caribbean is usually a few years behind the rest of the world. While it’s frustrating to some, it’s amazing for those who can interpret what is happening and make it work locally. It’s almost as if you are peering into a crystal ball! Look at the people who are creating a variety of different digital businesses and products and figure out how you can adapt it to make it work in your local market.
8: Apps/Websites have never been cheaper to build or outsource – My friends, because of this fact, the barrier to doing e-commerce is very, very low. You can build your own WordPress/Squarespace/etc website yourself and use one of the payment processors available to you to sell your products online. You can even jump on freelance platforms like Upwork to have your apps built at a fraction of the cost it would have cost you years ago. The barriers for entry into building your digital business are getting smaller by the day and it’s about time we begin to understand that.
Building a digital business will allow even the full-time workers to begin investing in their own diversification of their income portfolio without having to quit their full-time jobs. Digital businesses will allow single mothers to create their own wealth while at home without worrying about a baby sitter. People with a criminal record who cannot get a job due to past mistakes can also build a business online and that allows them to build an honourable business.
The opportunities presented by the digital age are endless and we aren't scratching the surface of what’s to come. One thing is certain, our future is going to rise and fall with the dreamers and doers, the builders of new technologies and the breakers of old orthodoxies.