Many businesses didn’t survive the pandemic. They need to rejigger their strategies.
Adapt To The Digital World Or Die, Says The Hispanic Chamber Of Ecommerce
New entrepreneurs have only two options in a pandemic: either launch their business or let their business die. This is the dilemma in which countless small entrepreneurs found themselves just a few weeks after the lockdown began.
Many could not adapt to the abrupt change and closed doors, while others struggle to carve a clientele in the digital world.
However, some have seen in COVID-19 a unique opportunity to make their companies flourish. That’s the case of the young businesswoman Mila Johnson Pérez, founder of El Nopalito Delivery, an app-based delivery service company.
For Tayde Aburto, a founder of the Hispanic Chamber of Ecommerce (HISCEC), now is the ideal moment to build “a strong digital economy” in the United States. The pandemic has forced small businesses to enter into the digital age, says Aburto.
“Immersing ourselves in the digital age is something that we [HISCEC] have wanted since before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Investing in technology saves time, resources and helps generate more income,” said the Mexican-born economist and founder of HISCEC.
Aburto stated that small businesses had to adopt new ways to sell off their products and services during the last 10 months, when the economy was paralyzed.
“Even though many businesses ignored or even feared the use of the Internet as a business tool, they were left with no other option. Little by little, they began to use social media for advertising their products and communicating with potential clients. They had to find a way to sell through Facebook and Instagram and to receive payments through platforms such as PayPal and Zelle,” said Aburto.
During those months of the crisis, many entrepreneurs “struggled with the changes, which is how they began to seek help,” he said.
“The HISCEC has been supporting small businesses to use newer technologies and Internet to be more market-competitive. We have communicated this message since 2008 and had a massive uplift in our scope since April 2020,” said Aburto, who is from the city of Morelia, in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Nowadays, there is a strong interest in online selling, says Aburto, which “is the reason more companies are seeking our advice. Entrepreneurs want to gain more bang from their digital buck. Therefore, this is the best time to create a strong digital economy in America.”
“Businesses have realized they have the potential to be able to sell both nationwide and globally. What seemed impossible or complicated at the beginning of the pandemic has become a growth opportunity for business owners.
The importance of the hybrid model
According to the economist, a business must maintain a hybrid model. That means “have a strategy for the local market through their establishments, and one for the digital market that allows them to sell beyond their local customer base.”
He added: “It even opens up the opportunity to increase their local visibility by helping them open up new doors in the area they serve. Consumers will continue to search for products and services on the Internet. Businesses must have that additional venue to grow their brand and customer base.”
The Mexican economist, who obtained a master’s degree in marketing from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, explained the HISCEC created an app that allows small businesses to quickly sell their products and services without paying sale commissions.
“We understand that every dollar counts, and our responsibility is to offer tools that help strengthen businesses without affecting their net income. Apart from ecommerce tools, the HISCEC supports promoting the products and services in the market, becoming a marketing ally for the businesses that are part of the online ecosystem we have created,” he said.
He added they had invested more resources in training their affiliates “to help them understand the tools that the Internet offers to grow their businesses.”
Herramientas para Comenzar a Vender por Internet https://t.co/rrWA16Jl8f
— Hispanic eChamber (@HISCEC) May 7, 2021
Recommendations for entrepreneurs
Aburto urged business owners who do not have a digital presence or a hybrid model to “take action immediately.”
“They cannot afford to wait any longer. The market has evolved in recent months, and it is time for businesses to do the same. The digital transformation of a business is a top priority for entrepreneurs who want to stay competitive in the market and generate significant income,” he said.
“We invite everyone to join the digital businesses ecosystem that we have created so that you have a greater presence in the digital economy,” Aburto said.
(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez; edited by Fern Siegel)