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As a digital entrepreneur, your tech skills and finance-savvy must be kept sharp.

Luckily as more of the “real world” moves online, digital entrepreneurs today can make employing the Internet and emerging technology for day-to-day business operations more profitable than ever.

Here are five tips that can help you save money on costs, enhance productivity and ultimately boost your online business’ bottom line.

1. Savvy Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

As an entrepreneur it’s certainly important to understand your customer base. And making an effort to connect with your audience in fresh, creative ways doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

Collecting and organizing data is easier than ever, and better analytics will increase your ability to know and understand your audience, to note emerging trends and incorporate them into your business model quickly. This data will help you develop vibrant, shareable content for social media, so that when you start a hashtag or post a status it’s more likely to pick up momentum and engage future customers. There are even tools which can help you manage your social media presence more effectively such as Hootsuite, which allows you to schedule your posts throughout the day.

2. Improve Communication and Collaboration With Online Tools

The free tools available to you online that will help you organize your time, your money and yourself are aplenty. These programs are designed to be intuitive and to interface with one another. Take Google Suite which contains Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar and Google+ for simplified and improved communication.  It also contains Google Drive – that is, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites, tools designed to enhance collaboration.

Syncing your business together with these kinds of tools will improve communication, coordination, planning, and the execution of daily tasks. And the best part is that they are easily used remotely, and so are perfect for online businesses.

3. Stay Flexible

Advances in technology aren’t going to stop anytime soon. In this kind of highly dynamic environment, adopting a flexible entrepreneurial mindset will help you traverse the rapidly changing conditions of the online business world.

This could mean that you employ both online and traditional methods to conduct market research, exploring all avenues available to you to get to know your customers better. Or that you offer customizable products and services to customers, or free Internet services to reluctant customers – people like to negotiate. It could also mean that you make sure your product or service is available through a broad range of devices – flexibility in this arena makes your product available to a broader range of people.

4. Don’t Debate It – Automate It

Business Process Automation (BPA) will help you streamline your business flow and reduce wasteful spending. This is especially true areas that involve rote and repetitive tasks. Voice-controlled virtual assistants, contained in devices like the Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker, are simple to command, they minimize the risk of manual errors (which can result in expensive errors like late payments or slow sales approvals), increase accountability, and free up the valuable time of human employees.

Other areas of business which can be improved by BPA include certain kinds of difficult decision-making that could be machine addressable (think TurboTax, which runs the analysis for you), and sensor-based tracking (packages are equipped with sensors that are easily tracked and can even provide data related to damages and spills during shipping).

5. Stay hungry

It’s especially important as an entrepreneur that you remain excited by the kinds of opportunities present in emerging technology and constantly seek new and innovative ways that these tools can enhance your business.

Knowledge is power, and in today’s digital era, much of that knowledge can be obtained for free.

TechCrunch is an excellent blog for news in the startup world and up-and-coming businesses, and Both Sides of the Table is useful because it’s written from an entrepreneur-turned-venture-capitalist – you get insight from both sides of the table.

Learning more about what’s being developed and appreciating how its creative implementation can assist your business will go a long way towards ensuring that your business is a successful and forward-moving.

About the Author:
Beth Kotz is a freelance finance and tech writer with a strong interest in connect technology and its vast potential for society. A graduate of DePaul University, she is currently based out of Chicago, Ill.

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