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We live in a digital world. There’s no getting around that, especially if you are a small business owner. Whether you operate a small bodega on a street corner or a clothing shop on the Main Street of an American small town, taking your business digital not only brings enormous benefits –- it may mean the difference between thriving and not surviving.

How do you get it done? For the technically uninitiated, it can seem daunting. But you can do this. Here are some top tips to get you going in the right direction:

Hire a Consultant

More specifically, you can hire a virtual assistant. This is a person who works remotely on any kind of task or functions your business needs. In this case, you want a specialist in retooling a traditional business model to command the power of digital-age marketing and selling tools. Such a professional can do everything from providing you with an inventory list of any computer or technical equipment you’ll need to providing training for you and your staff to master digital commerce techniques.

It’s a Long-Term Process

Keep in mind that “going digital” is never an overnight endeavor. It behooves anyone undertaking a digital transformation of their business to adopt at least a one-year time frame for achieving key goals and baselines. Great entrepreneurs provide high-quality customer service, support, and products consistently over time while working diligently to establish a firm cyber footprint.

An Online Brand Awareness Plan

A traditional business has an established brand for its traditional non-digital customer base. Building a brand online is a new ballgame. Experts recommend a number of methodologies. These include such methodologies as long-form video marketing, SEO to increase traffic website traffic, audio content marketing, employing influencers, such as those operating on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

Again, getting these measures established takes time, effort and involves a learning curve.

Stay Nimble, Be Adaptable

A common misconception is that, once a digital strategy is laid out and embarked upon, it then becomes a “straight thru-road” to success. That’s just not the nature of the digital marketplace. Owners must be ready to pivot and react to what the operational feedback is telling them.

Keep in mind that “going digital” is very much like starting over again from scratch. You may know your business now – but the digital version of your company is, as they say, “a whole different animal.”