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Expanding your business to a digital landscape can create new ways to engage with customers and scale your operations. — Getty Images/SeventyFour

CO— partners with Entrepreneur.com to bring you a roundup of the best Entrepreneur articles each week. Below are this week's favorites.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes learned the importance of connecting with their customer base online. By expanding their business and practices to a digital landscape, companies found new ways to engage with customers and scale their operations.

Going digital with your business isn't as easy as flipping a switch, though. Businesses must learn to use new tools and follow current trends to successfully operate online. To help small business owners adapt to the digital-first world, we've rounded up some of the best content from Entrepreneur.com contributors published this week.

Hire a virtual assistant

Adapting your business online means that some companies will decentralize their team and no longer have a specific location. With your business having a greater reach, consider hiring a virtual assistant to take on some of your increased workload.

A virtual assistant is typically a contract or freelance worker who works remotely and focuses on administrative tasks for business. Lewis Schenk, director of Boost Media Agency, was struggling to find the time to do everything for his business until he hired a virtual assistant. In his article, “4 Steps to Prepare to Grow Your Business With Virtual Assistants,” Schenk discusses how hiring one can help you scale your business, too.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read more: Virtual Assistants: What They Do, and How to Decide if You Need One]

Focus on long-term results

While adapting your business online means having access to a greater audience, it also means having greater competition. According to entrepreneur, author and engineer Andrew Ryder, you can consistently stand out from your competitors — even without a large team — by focusing on long-term results. In his article, “This Is How Underdogs Can Consistently Win Without Superior Talent,” Ryder stresses that a business's consistency won't change overnight. Entrepreneurs need to focus on providing high quality products and services and customer support over time to win through consistency.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

In many ways, taking a formerly “analog” business online can feel like starting all over again.

Build brand awareness

With so much competition in the digital space, your small business will have to build a brand that your consumers love. In “3 Strategies Entrepreneurs Can Incorporate to Build Brand Awareness,” Kimberly Zhang, Chief Editor of Under30CEO, highlights the importance of online marketing for small businesses to succeed. Zhang recommends that entrepreneurs use three different media strategies to help build brand awareness: audio content marketing, influencers and SEO strategies. Businesses can use one, two or all of these methods to engage with their customers and build stronger brand awareness.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read more: Tips and Tools to Help You Build Your Brand From Scratch]

Be prepared to pivot

A common misconception among new entrepreneurs is that after the first few years of starting out, you’ll grow into the right business model then never change. As Christine Hansen, business coach and consultant, explains in “Here's How to Know When It's Time to Pivot Your Online Business,” small business owners should throw out this notion. Hansen says business owners will know when it's time to pivot their online business, noting that it's a normal and important step for growth.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Get ready to face ‘new’ entrepreneur challenges

In many ways, taking a formerly “analog” business online can feel like starting all over again. Deepak Kanakaraju, CEO of LearnToday.com, experienced many struggles firsthand as a new entrepreneur and learned a lot from his failures. In his article, “The Top 5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship is Difficult,” he discusses tackling self-doubt, managing the complexities of a new business and the importance of maintaining close relationships outside of the business. Kanakaraju encourages new (or in this case, new-to-digital) entrepreneurs to prepare for these challenges and take care of themselves along the way.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published September 07, 2021