It’s a great time to be an internet-based business in the UK. The digital economy is worth about £1 billion worldwide (and growing quickly), and the EU is one of the most digitally forward regions in the world, with 72% of Europeans using the Internet weekly and 60% of using it daily. There are huge opportunities out there for businesses that work digitally, but despite this…

Only 2% of businesses take full advantage of digital opportunities.

Studies show that in the UK alone, small businesses could have as much as £18.8 billion in incremental revenue if they improved their digital skills — not surprising when you consider that businesses grow 2 – 3 times faster when they use digital technology than when they don’t.

We’re hugely into online business here at Clear Books. We’ve been supporting businesses in going digital from day one, and we’ve seen amazing things happen for those businesses as a result. So if you’re thinking of going digital (or even just a bit more digital than you are now), we’ve got three suggestions for you.

Little changes, big wins

1. Set up one or two social media profiles and actually engage with your customers.

The second part is the most important here. Small businesses have a huge opportunity to differentiate themselves from bigger ones on social media, because almost no big businesses actually use social media to build one on one relationships with their customers. For instance, 54% of the top 100 global brands send less than one @ reply tweet on Twitter a day. (Meaning they directly engage with less than one follower per day.)

2. Use easy digital solutions for things you might otherwise outsource.

Outsourcing can be a great way to get things off your plate so you can focus on your business, but there are a lot of online programmes that you can use for everyday stuff. Just like you’ve got Clear Books for accounting, there are programmes for everything from decluttering your inbox to creating images for your business, so have a look around to see if there are any you might benefit from.

3. If you’re just starting out, start small. It can be overwhelming to try to create a huge digital presence if you’re new to it. The good news is, you don’t have to. As long as you can get a halfway decent website up (and there are lots of free programmes to help with that) and a few social media channels, that’s already a good start. The important thing is to start, because the online business isn’t going away — and even a basic digital presence can do wonders for your business.

Your turn: how has going digital helped your business? Or if you’re not there yet, how do you want your business to change after going digital? Tell us below in the comments!

Posted by Rachel Allen