This past year has seen a rise in the number of people using digital nomads to grow their businesses. With more and more people choosing to work remotely, companies are now able to serve clients across the country. But instead of just serving one area, many online marketplaces allow businesses to serve customers in multiple cities, potentially opening up a whole new market for your product or service.
Though it’s beneficial to have a national presence in a world full of zooming digital nomads, serving multiple cities can be tricky. After all, you don’t want to lose sight of the local market and favor one city over another. But with careful planning and strategizing, you can ensure that each region of your business serves as a pillar supporting the other two.
Set Up Shop In Each City
Setting up shop in each city doesn’t mean that you need to physically have a store in each location. Some companies choose to have a virtual storefront where customers can purchase products online. But even in these instances, you can use the platform to send out emails, host webinars, and take part in virtual trade shows—meaning that even when people aren’t physically visiting your store, you can still reach out to them and encourage them to purchase your goods or take part in your programs.
Choose The Right Online Marketplace
When deciding where to establish your business, you have multiple options. You can operate a business on a shoestring budget and choose a free platform like Shopify or GoEazy, or you can invest in a premium service like WooCommerce or BigCommerce and gain additional features.
With so much competition in today’s digital world, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. Many businesses choose to go the extra mile and establish an online marketplace for their products. The advantage of having your own online marketplace is that you can tailor it to fit your specific business goals and needs. You can choose the design and functionality that works best for your website.
For example, if you sell health and wellness products, you may want to use a particular platform that provides integrated stores for different brands. If you’re looking for a more traditional ecommerce store with no other brands, you can opt for a simpler design that’s better suited for desktop browsing. Or if you want to focus on a certain segment of the population (e.g., younger generations), you can use demographic targeting tools to display the products and offers most relevant to your target audience.
Plan Your Regional Marketing
Once you’ve decided which city you’ll operate out of, you can start planning your regional marketing strategy. Each city is unique in its’ own right, with its’ own set of demographics, audiences, and cultural quirks that you need to consider when marketing your products and services. From deciding on the right mix of content to develop, to identifying potential spokespeople and distributing your press releases to regional newspapers and magazines, you can craft a comprehensive strategy that will allow you to connect with your target audience. Remember: your regional marketing campaign will consist of a mix of digital and traditional campaigns, so you may want to develop an overall strategy that combines online and off-line marketing.
The city you’ve chosen for your headquarters will also dictate the region’s climate and location — making it more or less suitable for your product- and service-related activities. If you plan to grow your business locally, you’ll also need to decide which type of business entity to form (e.g., sole trader, limited company, or registered trademark). Depending on your answers to these questions, you may want to consider applying for business licenses and other permits required by local government (e.g., payroll tax, VAT registration, etc.).
A good city official should be able to provide you with all the business licenses and permits you need to start up and operate your digital marketing company. However, if you choose to operate without a physical presence in the city (e.g., through an online marketplace), you may not need to file any paperwork with the government. But you will need to make sure that your city knows what company you are (e.g., register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), and maintain a physical address there, in case customers or suppliers want to contact you.
Build A Local Community
Alongside your city-based marketing efforts, you can also reach out to the local community to establish a base of support for your business. Though it can be beneficial to have a national audience, having strong local connections can bolster your business’s outreach and establish you as a go-to source for products and information in your region.
If you’re looking to establish your digital marketing company in South Africa, but don’t know how to go about it, this section of the guide is for you. We’ll cover everything from how to find the perfect location, to what you’ll need to secure after you’ve launched.
Find The Perfect Location
The first step to establishing your South African digital marketing company is to find the perfect location. Just like with any other business idea, the location you choose can have a dramatic impact on your success—so be sure to select a spot that’s both legal and accessible to your target audience. Though you may have a specific vision in mind for your business’ aesthetic, the location itself should complement your design choices and the products and services you offer. This is where your brand’s image and the products you promote will come together to form a memorable experience for customers –and, hopefully, inspire future sales.
Secure The Right Equipment
Once you’ve found a suitable location for your business, you can move on to securing the right equipment. This includes things like computer hardware and software, as well as office items like desks, chairs, and filing cabinets. Depending on the size of your team and how extensively you plan to operate from your new offices, you may want to invest in additional equipment like a printer, scanner, or fax machine. These are just a few of the essential items that you’ll need to have in order to get started – so be sure to purchase them before you make any other significant investments.
Prepare For The Legal Side
Setting up a business is a lot of work, but it’s also a necessary step in order to become an officially recognized entity. Just like with any other business, you’ll need to register your trademark, register your business with the local government, and ensure that you’re paying taxes and social security contributions on time. Though this process may seem tedious and bureaucratic, it’s an important step in order to operate legally in your new home city. Plus, you can always use a freelancer to help you navigate this process – ensuring that you don’t make any errors and that everything is filed on time.
Choose A Name
If you’re following the trends, you may want to consider using a business name that’s already trademarked by another company. This may require some legal maneuvering on your part, but it can be worth it in the long run. Finding a brand that’s both memorable and, more importantly, fits your target audience can be difficult. Once you’ve found that perfect fit, make sure that you secure it before you start using it in any way. If you use the name in an unauthorized manner or without the owner’s consent, they may be able to pursue legal action against you (e.g., trademark infringement).
Create A Business Plan
In any other business, a business plan serves as a road map for the company— outlining its’ objectives, the services it will offer, and how it will achieve its’ goals. In the case of a digital marketing company, your business plan should consist of the following: