Dear Business Partners,

LET'S GO DIGITAL !  We are in a Digital Age living in the midst of a health and economic crisis with COVID-19.  It can no longer be business as usual. Below I lay out an evolutionary process for small businesses to adapt and move up the evolutionary ladder of Going Digital, and you can get more details at our GO DIGITAL webpage.
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Level 1 – E-Presence – To BE KNOWN
To help customers find you in the digital world, I suggest the following steps. First, get your business listed with as many on-line directory services such as Google and Bing. Second, establish a simple Facebook Page using these instructions. Third, create your own website using Wix, Weebly, or another platform.  You can gradually grow your E-Presence FREE and in a short amount of time.

Level 2 – E-Commerce – To BE ENGAGED
I like to follow the Duct Tape Marketing approach which gives insight on the customer’s buying process in the Digital Age which includes: a) Finding, b) Liking, c) Trusting, d) Trying, e) Buying, f) Repeating, and g) Referring you and your business. By using this framework, you can probe into ways of improving each stage of the customer’s journey and streamline your process until you are able to sell on-line 24/7.  Imagine customers buying from you even when you’re not at your store or office.

Level 3 – E- Integration – To BE OPTIMAL
Small businesses can explore ways to optimize their business by integrating third party providers and/or software platforms in a variety of areas such as inventory, point-of-sale, delivery, marketing, finance, and other functions. A great example are restaurants that have adapted to COVID by integrating third party delivery service such as Order2EatDelivery, GrubHub, and using their platforms. There are many solutions available and it’s best to seek out best practices through your business network and associations.

Level 4 – E-Business – To BE AN ONLINE-BUSINESS
This level is reserved for businesses whose entire sales are generated on-line such as Amazon, Uber, Airbnb to name a few. Someday you may even startup a business like Bumpboxes here in Peoria, which provides safe products on a subscription basis to expecting moms.

Going Digital is an adaptive strategy to help business survive and recover through this COVID crisis. Determine what level you’re at on the Digital Ladder and map out a course to prepare your businesses for the challenges and opportunities ahead.  LET'S GO DIGITAL!

Please contact us at 309-494-8640 or economic.development@peoriagov.org for any assistance or to share your Digital success . We look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully,

Cesar Suarez
Cesar J. Suarez
Senior Development Specialist
309-494-8645