Top 5 SMARTpreneur tips in growing your online business

SMARTpreneur is a program aimed at arming university students with knowledge and skills to boost their passion for business and give them the opportunity to kick start their own enterprise

Beyond revolutionizing the way we connect and socialize, the digital age has also opened up limitless opportunities for e-commerce, which allows just about anyone with an Internet connection to promote, market and sell products and services, and make a living with just a few taps on his or her device.

And to empower young aspiring entrepreneurs to make the most of today’s business tools, Smart set up SMARTpreneur, a program aimed at arming university students with knowledge and skills to boost their passion for business and give them the opportunity to kick start their own enterprise.

For its first SMARTpreneur workshop, Smart brought together students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines for a day of insightful talks led by experienced digital marketers.

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or are looking for ways to expand your existing business by going online, SMARTpreneur speakers offer these helpful tips:

1. Define your brand. Your online presence should reflect what your brand and products stand for so it is very critical that you have a clear brand identity, says fashion blogger and entrepreneur Camille Co.

More than coming up with a catchy name and logo, defining your brand means identifying what makes your product or service special, what specific needs you aim to address with your offers, and what set them apart from the rest of the products out in the market.

2. Understand your consumer. It is easy to get lost in the many possibilities offered by today’s digital tools, but to effectively wield their power, an entrepreneur should know his or her target customers, according to Anthony Villa, Digital Accounts and Strategy Associate at Voyager Digital Agency.

You should know who they are, what they do, what are their digital habits – are they the type you can reach by email or Facebook, or the type you can move with a YouTube video or an informative article? It is only then that you can determine the right tools and strategies to make your product known to them.

3. Determine the right platforms for your products. With tons of brands and products vying for the attention of consumers online, it is important that you identify the proper digital platforms to expand the reach of your business.

“For example, an official website carries all the information about your product and services, while an official Facebook page lets you engage your audience and market your products organically. An Instagram account, on the other hand, serves as an online portfolio and a visual diary of what your brand stands for,” says Co.

4. Engage with consumers. Now, more than ever, it has become a lot easier to get online queries and feedback from netizens so entrepreneurs should be ready to reach out to customers and think of creative ways to excite and engage them, such as through featured products, discounts, promos, and contests.

5. Stand out with your own online store. Consider setting up your online store with a trusted platform such as TackThis!, according to Rebecca Ricalde, AVP for Digital Commerce at Voyager Innovations.

A user-friendly online store creation platform, TackThis! lets you create your online store with customizable themes, complete with helpful features such as instant notifications for purchases and tracking of pending and fulfilled orders. TackThis! also lets you choose your own payment methods and schedule deliveries with partners.