What Is Digital Entrepreneurship?

Published on
January 31, 2021
Digital Entrepreneurship

Demystifying Digital Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur is a word that invokes a feeling of dignity in one who practices it as a professional way of life, and inspiration in those who view one as a changemaker or aspire to become one themselves. While the definition of entrepreneurship has remained somewhat constant over the years, its unfathomable evolution has made it more accessible and achievable to those who wouldn't have dared dream of it. It has become so much more than the process of identifying a problem and building a scalable solution for it. The act of creating and growing a business no longer relies on the invention of something novel or unheard of. Neither does it mean that you need to be flushed with funds to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams. Today, entrepreneurship means bringing about change, solving a problem that makes the world better. It means innovating. If there's one thing that has catalysed this progression and broadened the meaning of entrepreneurship, it has to be the Internet. We can count on our fingers, the spheres whose growth has remained untouched by technology and digitisation. It's virtually impossible! This realisation brings us to the concept of digital entrepreneurship and how it is the transactional world's future. If you're looking to pursue digital entrepreneurship or wish to understand this term better, do read on!

Digital entrepreneurship is a winning combination of any entrepreneurial pursuit like a full-fledged business or even specific products or services, and a digital platform that enables it. What makes a business venture digital is the nature of its service or the chief purpose behind its existence, as in the case of companies selling downloadable software or online learning modules. But it could also be the reliance on technology and digital media that classifies an otherwise non-digital business as digital. It becomes a digital entrepreneurship if its underlying components, assets, or fundamental elements have been digitised; for instance, Amazon.

The main advantage is that you can manage your business from anywhere in the world! Digital entrepreneurship is cost-effective, scalable, accessible, and flexible. Technology's boundless possibilities are what collectively kindled the startup fire. It becoming indispensable has resulted in entrepreneurs coming together to conceive novel business ideas, build them from the ground up and serve them to a large audience across the globe. 

As for digital entrepreneurs, they are a growing community of businesspersons who earn a living mainly through e-commerce or its subset digital commerce which focuses exclusively on digital products or services. At the heart of it, they are innovators.

But who qualifies as a digital entrepreneur? In simple terms, anyone who runs their business online is digital entrepreneur. Someone providing value in the form of virtual educational video lessons would be regarded as a digital entrepreneur. Simultaneously, a bakery owner whose products are listed, viewed, and ordered online also becomes a digital entrepreneur.  

In essence, digital entrepreneurship puts a spin on entrepreneurship's conventional meaning by including technology as a key participant, a continually evolving one at that. A digital entrepreneur understands this and employs technology to transform or power their solutions, if not market technology as the solution itself. 

Before deep-diving into your business's actual functioning, spend sufficient time understanding its potential and what needs to come before you can launch your initiative.

  • Sketch out a feasible financial plan to estimate the costs involved. Online businesses are more budget-friendly, but it is necessary to put down some figures for your fixed expenses for a minimum of one year.
  • Perform a thorough SWOT analysis for your product/service to assess their strengths and weaknesses and analyze the competition.
  • Identify your target audience, and segment them based on parameters like geographical location, age, professional, habits, preferences, challenges, etc. This will allow you to market your brand the right way and help you gain maximum traction at all stages of the consumer journey.
  • Understand the market and evaluate the potential demand for your products/services. Supply without demand wouldn't be wise, and this is where a lot of entrepreneurs err.

Now, let's make sense of the business process flow and understand the core aspects that lay the foundation of digital entrepreneurship. In simple terms, what do you need to get started on a successful digital entrepreneurship endeavour? 

While there are plenty of nuances to the whole system of running digital entrepreneurship, the five aspects mentioned below are crucial to your project's success and can make all the difference!

  1. Automated business process to simplify or reduce day-to-day manual tasks, and increase accuracy and quality. A common issue among local vendors in India, especially in less urbanized areas, is the lack of a systemized record to maintain daily transactions. Another intrinsic quality of small scale businesses in India, is the concept of udhaar which means credit limit. Regional shop owners often extend these benefits to loyal customers, and maintain the corresponding accounts on traditional ledgers. That’s where Indian online store builder apps like Bech come handy. The all in one business management app understands these distinct aspects of the Indian market and helps sellers conduct business digitally even if they don’t have a centralized database to keep track of their operations.
  2. Robust online store or platform to catalogue your products or showcase your services, and enable customers to browse and shop with ease. Bech as a free online store app makes it easier and efficient for the shop-owner to list their products in the ready-to-use catalogue while also providing an option to customise the catalogues as per their needs.
  3. Integrated payment options for all modes of payments like cash, wallets, credit, and debit cards. Besides, the payment must be safe, secure, and cater to local currencies and payment gateways. For example, Bech online store builder along with integrated POS system provides the facility to have a single UPI ID to receive and make payments, thereby eliminating the hassle of multiple QR codes.
  4. Easy management of customer data for better relationships with new and loyal clients.
  5. Reliable operations and logistics partners for manufacturing, transporting and effortlessly managing delivery-related processes.

What you can take away from this is the fact that anybody from a nukkad shop owner to a professional baker, can be a digital entrepreneur! All you require is a strong understanding of the building blocks and an intuitive platform or app like Bech that allows you to create a free online store in India and can cater to your unique needs. 

Now that you understand how to equip yourself better to be a digital business owner, let's look closer to home.

As a country, India has been making efforts to encourage, appreciate, and facilitate digital entrepreneurship. Even when the COVID pandemic posed a new set of problems apart from the obvious medical ones, India's delivery services and apps came to the fore to bring in digital transformation in the retail sector. Last-mile logistics companies and community-driven business management apps have supported local stores and small businesses, making them more visible to consumers. Initiatives like Make in India, Vocal for Local and Google India's Make Small Strong gave local manufacturers and kirana stores a boost, highlighting the need to support all kinds of homebred small and medium enterprises.

As a concluding remark, we would like to leave you with this: If you have a vision, and a viable business plan to back it, give it your all and leave it to technology to communicate that vision to the world! Remember to stay true to the cause of your business, stay ahead of the curve, and prepare to watch your entrepreneurial dreams come to fruition!

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