How do you start a digital business as a non-technical person?
To help you start a digital business as a non-technical person, we asked tech experts and digital business leaders for their best advice. From surrounding yourself with tech experts to finding expert content, there are several things you can do that may help your digital business run smoothly.
Here are nine tips to help you start a digital business as a non-technical person:
- Surround Yourself With Tech Experts
- Start With Passion and Drive
- Use Tech That Works for You
- Develop a Business Partnership
- Research and Seek Guidance
- Join a Facebook Group for Tech Support
- Master Online Safety
- Utilize Free Resources
- Explore Expert Content
Surround Yourself With Tech Experts
Hire the right people! You don’t have to be a coding genius to run an e-commerce business or create a website; you just need to be connected to talented people who can bring your vision to life. Most people who sit at the top of large technician companies are not superstar engineers. They are superstar visionaries. You just have to be self-aware and know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Start With Passion and Drive
Technical skills are a great asset, but they certainly aren’t must-haves to start a digital business. Platforms like YouTube are great for non-technical people. To become a YouTuber, you don’t need technical skills; all you need, in many cases, is a passion and drive to be yourself and produce consistent content that your audience enjoys. You can always outsource all other technical aspects of the business.
- Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors
Use Tech That Works for You
When everything went remote during the pandemic, our company considered incorporating new apps and services into our daily lives to facilitate virtual communications, but we ultimately decided to keep our tech as normal as possible. So we’re using the same project management platform and maintaining communication through email and iMessage.
Many companies enjoy using communication platforms, and we get that, but most of our team grew up in the AIM/iChat generation, so iMessage just felt more natural. If you’re creating a digital business, like e-commerce, and you’re a non-technical person, just do what feels natural to you—and don’t be afraid to outsource technical aspects of your site like SEO to experts who can help your company thrive.
- Rachel Geicke, Snow Monkey
Develop a Business Partnership
Find a business partner that complements your strengths. Your skills as a businessperson and an entrepreneur have value across all sectors. All you need to do to create a digital business—whether that’s simply a business focused on e-commerce or a business rooted in tech like launching a SaaS product—is find a co-founder who's strengths in tech enrich your skills in business and vice versa. If you can communicate effectively, your partnership will be one of the founding tenets of your business’s success.
- Vincent Bradley, Proper Wild
Research and Seek Guidance
It sounds like the obvious thing to do, but do in-depth research about creating a digital business and the many facets. Read books, listen to podcasts, and learn how other digital businesses started. As part of your research, you can also reach out to people who have started digital businesses and ask them questions, possibly even find a mentor to help guide you on how to get your business started. The more you know, the easier it will be to know what you need to do to get started.
- Derin Oyekan, Reel Paper
Join a Facebook Group for Tech Support
In my experience as a relatively non-technical person running an online business, most technical issues I come across have a "cheater" option. For example, instead of coding your own website from scratch or spending thousands of dollars in development fees, you can install a drag-and-drop website theme and add any necessary features in a couple of clicks by installing a WordPress plugin. If you come across a technical problem where the solution isn't immediately obvious, you can usually find a Facebook group with support resources. Many people—in blogging-related groups, for instance—are willing to volunteer their expert advice or at least refer you to someone who can help.
- Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services
Master Online Safety
Most non-technical people are afraid to develop their IT skills out of fear of being embarrassed. When it comes to business, that often means being hacked, tricked into downloading malware, or losing passwords. Learning the basics of cybersecurity can dismantle that fear and remove the mental barriers to starting a digital business.
- Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.Digital
Utilize Free Resources
It is so easy to make simple yet functional websites these days. All it takes is watching YouTube videos and downloading WordPress templates with a page builder such as WP Bakery or Elementor. You may not be making enterprise websites that can handle complex e-commerce, but you will be able to make nice looking sites for local companies.
- Eric Rutin, Marketing Mentor
Explore Expert Content
I’d consider myself fairly untechnical, and while I had worked for an internet company before starting a digital business, I’d never operated a website of my own. I had no idea how to create one or run it. The best thing I did was look for expert content in my niche to get started. For example, when I started to learn about SEO, I studied the Ahrefs blog, which outlined how best to use their application when learning SEO. I decided to buy an SEO course as well. I ended up much further ahead in my journey and sped past others who hadn't taken the same steps.
- Ahmed Mir, Sip Coffee House