What is digital entrepreneurship and why is it beneficial?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you have an interest in starting an online business or working in the digital sector, it's important to be familiar with the idea of a digital entrepreneur. You can better understand how digital businesses work by understanding digital entrepreneurship. Showing online entrepreneurship characteristics can also help you develop and build a successful business or career online. In this article, we define digital entrepreneurship and outline some of its characteristics.

What is digital entrepreneurship?

Digital entrepreneurship involves harnessing the potential of the Internet for business use. It may be possible to start new digital ventures or transform existing businesses by using technology to sell digital products and services for profit. A digital entrepreneur creates opportunities and pursues them using technological platforms and various communication platforms.

Related: What is an entrepreneur and what are the 9 types?

What are the characteristics of a digital entrepreneur?

If you're hoping to increase your entrepreneurship in a digital space, there are some skills and characteristics you may wish to practice. It's not necessary for a digital businessperson to have all of the following characteristics to be successful. Some of the characteristics of online entrepreneurship include:

Communication

Digital entrepreneurs use digital platforms such as social media channels and blogs to connect with their desired audience base. Therefore, it's beneficial for aspiring entrepreneurs to ensure they have strong digital communication skills and can use multiple online platforms with confidence. The following are ways to improve online communication skills:

  • Use clear and concise language.

  • Embrace and follow online etiquette, for example, don't send emails after 5 pm on a Friday.

  • Utilise visual tools, such as videos and images rather than relying on large portions of text.

  • Match the tone of an individual. For example, most businesses expect a formal tone but this may not be necessary if messaging a person on social media.

  • Communicate with your target audience on the platforms they use the most.

Adaptable

Digital industries are growing at an unprecedented rate. While working in an unpredictable industry may sound challenging, it can be rewarding for entrepreneurs who are able to react swiftly to industry updates and changes. Aspiring professionals can benefit from keeping up-to-date with industry developments and pursuing innovative ideas they may have in reaction to disruptions in their industry. A businessperson may wish to subscribe to industry newsletters or blogs and spend the first hour of their working day reading about industry news. This can help to ensure they're ready to adapt to industry changes as and when they arise.

Creative

As entrepreneurship may involve an individual pursuing a risky venture or introducing a product or service that's an industry innovation, creative thinking is important. Individuals can practise creativity by challenging themselves to look outside of the norm when brainstorming a solution to a problem. An individual may also wish to practise a creative hobby, such as drawing, reading or painting in their free time.

Inquisitive

An inquisitive mind is constantly curious and keen to learn about how things work. It's beneficial for an entrepreneur to be inquisitive as it encourages analytical thinking. Being inquisitive is useful in digital environments where it can be challenging and time-consuming to learn how some processes work, making curiosity a good motivator.

To encourage inquisitive thinking, it's important for an aspiring entrepreneur to question how things work wherever possible. From learning the specific tasks a fellow employee performs on a daily basis to asking a family member about their day, getting into the habit of asking people questions helps to encourage inquisitive thinking.

Vision

A key element of entrepreneurship in the digital world is having a strong vision. An entrepreneur, for example, may wish to target a niche market that's untapped digitally and then scale their services to broaden their business horizons. Being able to see the potential of a business idea and turn this vision into reality may help businesspeople to be successful. To ensure they have a strong vision, a digital employee or business owner wants to create a timeline of any business ideas they have. The timeline can indicate how they plan to grow and scale their idea.

Determined

It's important for an entrepreneur in any sector to have determination. Due to the unstable nature of industries such as the digital industry, even plans based on extensive research and expertise may not succeed at times. It's essential that entrepreneurs see all failures as an opportunity to grow and develop.

Related: How to become an entrepreneur

What are the advantages of digital entrepreneurship?

Practising online entrepreneurship characteristics is beneficial for businesses and professionals who want to grow their presence and success online. This is because as technology advances, businesses can benefit from faster and more streamlined digital processes. The advantages of being a digital entrepreneur include:

Ease of scaling the business

Depending on their business model, a digital entrepreneur can increase production and sales without increasing investment and fixed costs. For example, digital businesses can increase their employee base by hiring remote employees, eliminating the cost of renting a large office space. eCommerce stores can also serve customers without requiring a large number of in-house cashiers.

Minimising costs on infrastructure

In comparison to the offline market, online entrepreneurship requires minimal capital as initial infrastructure is not always necessary. Starting a business on a digital platform requires access to the Internet and a digital device. This allows an entrepreneur to save on rent and other utility bills. In the process of developing digital products, an entrepreneur may not require physical equipment and thus no need for storage. Distribution of the products across the globe is quick with most countries embracing same day or next day delivery.

Large customer base

There are many active Internet users across the globe. This means an increased customer base as a business can reach more people without geographical limitations. Entrepreneurs need not travel internationally to expand their business. Globally, more than half of the population has access to the Internet and the number continues to grow every day. Digital products and online transactions are acceptable worldwide. For example, many individuals prefer having e-books rather than physical books.

Flexibility

Digital knowledge gives a businessperson the advantage of working from home and the ability to select their working hours. Entrepreneurs can adjust schedules to suit their needs. For example, they may choose to spend more time with family and friends as business activities can coexist with personal obligations. Business activities can also go parallel with external work or studies.

Related: What are the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?

What careers can online entrepreneurship benefit?

Practising digital or online entrepreneurship skills and characteristics is beneficial for any individual who works in a role that utilises digital technology. Some careers which may benefit from online entrepreneurship include:

1. Digital analyst

National average salary: £42,740 per year

Primary duties: Digital analysts monitor and improve the digital activity of a business. For example, they may analyse how successful a website is by studying its conversion rates. These professionals analyse data, plan projects, create digital marketing campaigns and advise marketing teams. Career advancement may be more likely for analysts who are creative, inquisitive and adaptable.

2. Digital marketer

National average salary: £26,203 per year

Primary duties: Unlike a traditional marketing role, a digital marketer operates mostly in the digital world and produces online marketing materials such as video campaigns and social media posts. Some of their responsibilities include copywriting, developing and integrating content marketing strategies, working on marketing campaigns and designing web visuals. It can be beneficial for digital marketers to become digital entrepreneurs to ensure they stay ahead of the latest digital marketing trends.

3. Digital project manager

National average salary: £40,678 per year

Primary duties: Digital project managers can show a flair for entrepreneurship as part of their role may involve managing and overseeing digital transformations. For example, a digital project manager may oversee a business convert its operations from a brick and mortar store to exclusively eCommerce services. Some of their responsibilities include end-to-end project management, collaborating with internal teams to implement digital projects and developing support documentation.

4. Digital designer

National average salary: £33,928 per year

Primary duties: A career that utilises online entrepreneurship skills, a role as a digital designer may be suitable. Digital designers rely on creativity and industry knowledge to design unique products and images for their clients. They use design tools and software to produce digital content, collaborate with marketing and content teams, advise on marketing campaigns and ensure consistency in designs.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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