The small business in India enjoys a special place due to its major contribution towards the socio-economic development of the country.There are more than 2 million active small businesses pages on Facebook in India. In the last five years (between 2012 and 2016), the number of new women-owned SMB Pages on Facebook in India has increased seven-fold, growing 85 percent year on year from 2015 to 2016. The hard work of small businesses can sometimes be overshadowed by those of other big companies that are running in this country.
In conversation with Entrepreneur, Ritesh Mehta, Head of Economic Growth Initiatives, India & South Asia at Facebook at the Facebook`s She Means Business Event, explained why small businesses are the next big thing for tech companies.
"I think small businesses have always been the big thing. Something that doesn’t get talked about often is that small businesses contribute to 40% of all jobs in India and 40% of all manufacturing outputs as well. So they have always been big.There are a variety of reasons why small businesses are focused because they are important to our community, society and our economy. So we want to make sure we are helping them," he said.
The right technology medium can help small businesses reach more audiences. Ritesh feels what’s happening nowadays is the gap is increasing between small businesses operating well and their access to technology.
"What technology companies are focusing on is how to bridge that gap. So, essentially what our goal is to talk to as many small businesses possible through various channels and ensure that they have the know- how. They need to leverage technology that we make available. Also, ensure they are able to grow because in India many jobs come from the small business," he added.
Ritesh further also shared six tips on starting a small business online:
Build a Good Social Media Presence: You can do it very easily by building a Facebook page. It’s free of cost way and saves time.
Create Engaging Content: Creating engaging content doesn’t mean posting regular photos but making sure that your photos do appeal to your audience.
Use people you know as your influencer network: It means people you think that will associate with the idea and passion of the product, invite them to like your page. That’s how the word of mouth advertising works.
Make sure you are leveraging different platforms differently: Images have a different appeal than videos and text. Instagram is great when it comes to telling a visual story whereas Facebook is great for the longer form of videos or text. So, making sure using what the platforms are good at.
Make sure you are responsive in your communication: People have the expectation of immediate, expressive and immersive communication. Making sure you are using tools like Messenger, Whatsapp, Messages on Facebook pages to communicate people in real time.
Invest in Education: There is great material available online that you can use to learn how you can different tools. For example, on how to get started on Facebook there’s a program.