Creating a successful business is always a challenge. There are many different factors that can impact your company, for better and for worse, and there are a variety of different industries and business models, each with different rules. The world of small business is especially unforgiving, because fledgling companies lack the resources to do damage control in the event of a misstep. This guide will help you make the most of your company by investing in the right tools. Creative Monetization Strategies The digital age has thrown many surprises at today’s businesses, and one of the strangest is the need for more creative monetization methods. In many ways, digital goods present a logistical problem. When supply and demand underpins all of commerce, how does an infinite supply change things? This is what is referred to as a post-scarcity economy, and the proposed solutions are fascinating and helpful. For example, SAASs provide businesses with a way to finance operational costs by charging a subscription fee for online services. You might be asking, “What is SAAS?” It stands for Software as a Service, and one popular example is streaming services like Hulu. Simply put, the “product” is infinite, but maintaining access to it isn’t, so one easy solution to the problem is to continue to charge customers for access, allowing you to pay the operational costs needed to provide it. Subscription services are getting a sort of renaissance as of late, from SAAS to subscription boxes, and you’d be a fool not to implement a service like this into your business model, provided that it makes sense to do so. E-Commerce Functionality Another way to expand your business is to add an e-commerce component. Online retail in particular almost universally benefits from the inclusion of e-commerce services, because it effectively increases their reach at minimal additional cost. However, e-commerce technology is surprisingly versatile, and it can be used for things like shopping, as well as scheduling appointments, customer support, and more. By giving your customer increased access to your company’s products and services, you’ll inevitably do more business, so finding a way to implement e-commerce is an essential part of the digital age business. The first thing you’ll need is a company website to serve as the primary destination for PC users, while you’ll also need to accommodate mobile users via an e-commerce app. Building a website has never been easier thanks to various services that provide templates and tools to expedite the process. Likewise, APIs make developing e-commerce software much more quick and affordable than it would be otherwise. Marketing No business model is complete with marketing. This is because marketing in its various forms will be your primary means of spreading awareness of your business. Furthermore, marketing is largely responsible for the development of brand loyalty, something that makes the difference between a casual, one-time shopper and a lifelong supporter of your company. Brand loyalty is even more important than attracting new customers, because establishing a baseline of reliable sales is important to maintaining predictable income and needs that can be managed effectively. Because of the importance of marketing, not to mention how deep the marketing rabbit hole goes, your best bet is to outsource your needs to a marketing agency. Another option is to hire a professional marketer to work for your company full time. Alternative, ads in your local paper are a start, but it’s important to understand that cheap marketing is rarely effective, and investing in expertise will always give you better results. Your marketing budget, as a small business, should be about 8% of your total income. Starting your own business can be a blessing or a curse. It all depends on how you tackle each challenge that comes your way. Small businesses may have it hard, but there are plenty of ways to ensure success. These tips can make everything that much more manageable, allowing your small business to grow into a successful company.