Understanding the social cultural environment in which you operate your online home business makes it possible to position yourself well in business. Not many small business owners, especially newbies, think about this important aspect. But if you have any business, it’s important to think about discovering the social cultural aspects that affect your business. If you have an online home business, I would recommend that you begin to track the people who visit your website and analyze the information to improve your marketing campaigns as one way of finding out about the social cultural environment in which you run your business.
The social cultural environment affects your home business operations because it controls the demand for the product or services you offer. You should therefore keep a keen eye on finding out those specific issues that impact on your business operations and I would like to share with you the following issues.
- General internet population.
All online marketers have their country of origin. When you start an online home business, you need to first of all think about the people in your country before you consider people in other countries. I am saying this because you will have to market your business offline to the people in your country and with whom you physically interface as you do your business.
It’s important to study your country’s population because it creates the demand for your products and services. For instance, what’s the percentage of your population that is able to buy your products or services online in your own country? I believe in most developing countries, the percentages are very small but the future is so promising because there are a growing number of people becoming computer literate.
You should also focus on other countries because with online businesses, we target customers worldwide. But since you do not want to market blindly, you need to promote your online business in countries where you will best benefit and have a good return on investment.
- Age structure and distribution
Analyzing the social cultural environment basing on the age structure and distribution of the population is very important for your online home business because you get to know where to focus your energy and time. This means that you need to know the fraction of the people that has the purchasing power for your products or services. For instance, in developing countries, a big proportion of the population is below the age of 20 and a very small percentage of those with the ability to buy do not buy products or services online due limitations like limited knowledge and skills in computer usage and inability to make payment online to mention but a few. This simply means that few people have the purchasing power of products online.
- Geographic distribution
You need to consider the geographic distribution of the population that does business with you. This also helps you to direct your effort where you will best benefit. For instance, in developing countries, people who buy products or services online are found mainly in towns because that’s where you find high levels of computer literacy. Additionally, people who live in developed countries have higher computer literacy levels than those in developing countries.
Exploring the social cultural environment with particular reference to people’s backgrounds helps you to know the behaviors and how they impact on your business operations. People of different backgrounds prefer to buy different products and services partially due to their cultural exposure. For instance, in online business I have noticed that I receive so many signups for one of the products I market online coming from a specific country every month but who do not become serious customers. They just sign up and leave everything to God. Yet, there are also countries where you receive one signup in a month but who ends up becoming a very serious customer.
Men and women have different buying roles in many societies. For example, men usually pay school fees while women buy food for their families. For your home business, it’s necessary to identify who buys what so that you can speak to them directly to make a sale.
The importance we attach to ownership of goods, use of services and accumulation of wealth is determined by the learning process we acquire through our cultural and social education. For instance, we learn to consume by socializing with others and watching their reactions. Religion is a strong cultural element that influences human behavior. For example, because of religion, the role of women varies from one culture to another. Women may be restricted do certain things and this is not something you should pass your eyes when investigating about the social cultural environment in which you operate.
As I conclude, starting a business and succeed in it requires you to understand the business environment in which you operate and exploring about the social cultural environment is one of the important steps you should make if you want to succeed in your home business. The points raised above are applicable in any kind of business, whether online business or conventional business. The onus is on you to use them appropriately to meet your goals.