Getting Digital: The Basics of Moving Your Sports Business Online

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With new regulations, reduced walk-in traffic and countrywide lockdowns, it’s clear the pandemic has only accelerated a widespread digitization of business. For small companies, including sports-oriented companies, this is generally good news: 51 percent of executives now report a high level of risk to their organization over the next five years from technology-driven disruption by startups. In other words, the vast array of online tools, accessible for free or at low cost, are helping to level the playing field.

If you own a small sports business, it may be time to seize the moment and take full advantage of what the digital space has to offer. FF-Winners presents a few tips to make that transition a little smoother.

Registering Your Business

If you haven’t done so already, make sure that your business is registered with the state. This will ensure that you are legally allowed to do business there, as well as provide you with some liability protection and tax advantages you may not have access to otherwise. Also, if you intend to do business under a different name for whatever reason, make sure you register your “doing business as” name, or DBA name, allowing you flexibility in branding your sports business. That might sound complicated; luckily, getting an affordable online DBA name is as easy as visiting ZenBusiness.

Marketing

In 2019, it was found that the global marketing technology (or, Martech) industry value surpassed $121 billion worldwide. In fact, the power of this field grew so substantially and with such effectiveness that there has been governmental intervention in a number of countries to ensure companies don’t get out of control (i.e., the EU’s 2016 GDPR laws). If you’re able to develop leads, understand paid advertising and you can stomach social media management, there’s huge profit to be made by marketing online.

Gaining access to the wealth of online consumers requires an understanding of the various softwares now in circulation. These programs will help you to generate leads, analyze your performance and manage customer relations (amongst other things). If you’re completely new to these ideas, it’s worth checking out Google’s fundamental course on digital marketing. It’s free, covers most of the basics, and can be used on your resumé if needed in the future.

HR

These days, HR doesn’t just refer to hiring and firing — the tech revolution has evolved the role of human resources to include the analysis of employee data, assessment of productivity and management of internal communications. Savvy business owners are now using the latest HR tech to aid in the running of their business and to maximize the output of their employees. One way that software can immediately impact business is through how payroll is run. Labor laws are more convoluted than elsewhere, and a reliable, organized system can help to manage things smoothly.

Sales

In the digital space, sales and marketing work hand in hand. The function of sales software is to keep everything organized, maximize time efficiency and help you close deals. This is where CRM platforms come in. Using software such as Salesforce or Pipedrive, you can access all of your information in a centralized database, build customized workflows and manage things on the move with mobile apps.

Remember that good client relationships are key to success in business. Managing your interactions is easy, to begin with, but as you begin to scale, you’ll need a way to keep track of things and oversee relationships as they’re passed on to your employees. Picking the right CRM now is crucial for the smooth continuation of business later. Your criteria should include deal management, alerts and automation, reporting and contact functions. You’ll also want to find one that accommodates all sales methods — whether you’re calling, emailing or even working in person.

Taking your sports business online isn’t just a profitable thing to do — as the pandemic drags on, it may be the only thing to do. However, if you can keep an open mind and you’re willing to learn, doing so could pay off limitlessly.

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