Marketing support for entrepreneurs

3 Critical Skills for Business Success in a Digital World

By Andrea Jacques
In October 21, 2014

Did you think school was over?

In the today’s business world information is currency, so it pays to constantly be filling up your bank account to create a profitable future. Adam Toren from Entrepreneur Magazine touches on 3 areas worth studying to grow – and guarantee – business success:


You must have noticed that 5 years ago everything looked and operated differently. Even though this is the case, some businesses still use the same approaches they have used for years. Information can get lost in translation if your strategies haven’t been “redecorated” for some time. Revamp your plans of attack by researching trends and success stories from current companies. You can keep the core of your offering the same, but re-designing how it is presented to the market can actually add value by making it more appealing and user-friendly.  The running joke in our office a few years ago was that I didn’t get excited about using our project management system until they changed the color of our online interface. The new green color just felt more fun and friendly to me than the old corporate blue, so subconsciously project management now felt like fun rather than work.

Web Development

According to Statistics Canada, only 46% of small businesses in Canada has a website in 2014. Why?  The most common reasons cited are that they can’t afford it, that they don’t need or want to sell products online, or that most of their business comes from word-of-mouth referrals.  In 2012, the global Digital Influence Index reported that for the first time on the survey in Canada, the internet is now more influential overall in purchasing decisions than family and friends. So while you might still be getting those word-of-mouth referrals, one of the first things they will do either before or after calling you is go online to check out your website. If you don’t have one, they are going to find your competition. The bottom line? Unless you have all the business you can handle, see this continuing indefinitely and/or don’t want to grow your business beyond where it is now, you need a website.

With a rapidly expanding variety of free website tools like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, the financial outlay for creating a website can be minimal, and if you have some technical and design skills, you can do it yourself. A website does require some time investment, so if your small business doesn’t have a website, set aside a weekend and get one up. To fulfill the potential of your website, you may want to hire a professional to build it (let us humbly recommend our marketing arm, Kyosei Creative) to ensure that your design works to capture leads, the copy targets your ideal customer, that you are maximizing opportunities to capture customer information and get permission to keep in touch with them, and that you are prepared for the third key area of ongoing learning – SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google is a giant, you want to be standing on the shoulders of that giant. The team at Google works hard to constantly improve the way their search engine ranks websites, so staying on top of the latest methods to get and stay at the top of organic searches takes constant effort. In our experience, the majority of businesses are not using their websites effectively to generate the right kind of traffic to their site and to convert it. Part of this involves learning about SEO, but an even more important foundation for small business links back to the above point about ensuring not only that you have a website, but that your website is designed to effectively target and convert the kinds of customers you want once you get them there.

A recent client, for example, was investing thousands of dollars per month in having a full time social media person to increase their search engine rank and draw customers to their website. While they were getting loads of traffic to their site, their conversion rate was almost non-existent because the offering on the website was targeting two different audiences, confusing them both, and, as a result, selling nothing to either of them. Don’t put the cart before the horse – get a professional assessment of your website to ensure you have a strong foundation for converting existing traffic to your website before you go full speed ahead trying to increase it.

If  you aren’t setting aside time to keep on top of these three areas for your business (or hiring someone who will), your business is bound to stumble. But don’t despair, it’s never too late to hit the books – or the ipad – and the internet makes it easier than ever to stay on top of the latest developments in your field.


The post 3 Critical Skills for Business Success appeared first in 2013. It was updated in October 2015.

Want more on getting the skills to for business success? Visit us at Kyosei Coaching.