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4 Takeaways From F-commerce Summit 2019

F-commerce Summit 2019, a day-long summit focusing on social commerce in Bangladesh, held yesterday, December 28, 2019, at KID Auditorium in Dhaka. Organized by GEEKY Social Ltd and sponsored by SMEVai, Aadi, BRAC Bank and IPDC, a large number of F-commerce entrepreneurs, ecosystem stakeholders, marketers, experts, policymakers, and enthusiasts attended the summit.  

The ambition of the summit was to empower F-commerce entrepreneurs, demystify social commerce, share insights and inspiration, understand the nuances of Facebook communication, explore concepts of social commerce in-depth in the context of Bangladesh by bringing together subject matter experts, digital entrepreneurs, and practitioners from a diverse background. 

After a day of brilliant talks and thought-provoking panels, a few common themes emerged. F-commerce is not what you think it is.

1. Starting a Facebook-based business is easy but sustaining and growing it takes hard work 

Speakers, panelists, and experts attended the summit agree that while starting a Facebook page and then having some initial growth is relatively easy, building a sustainable operation and growing business takes hard work. 

Social commerce entrepreneurs should spend time building systems to establish lasting relationships with customers through excellent products and services. 

2. There is more to social media than what meets the eye

Effectively running operations on Facebook, Youtube, and other social platforms take time and effort. These platforms are complex in nature. There are nuances that we often miss when looking at these platforms from a simplistic point of view. 

Facebook is not merely for posting your updates and boosting your ads. Most Facebook communication suffers from suboptimal results due to limited understanding of the platform. 

There are tricks and strategies that could markedly improve your results and help you find users that you would otherwise miss. For example, while the organic reach of Facebook pages continues to decline, Facebook groups continue to offer better results. Entrepreneurs trying to build a business on Facebook should focus on building engaging groups instead of merely pushing their page. 

3. If you want to raise investment, be serious about documentation 

Financing is a challenge digital entrepreneurs in general and F-commerce entrepreneurs in particular face in Bangladesh. There are not many options available when it comes to finding loans or investment. 

This trend, however, is changing. A growing number of financial institutions such as BRAC Bank, IPDC now offer financial products for digital entrepreneurs. 

One problem that many small entrepreneurs face when it comes to availing financing is a lack of proper documentation. Most of the f-commerce businesses operate on a small scale, mostly a few people. They sell. Buy. Make profit or loss. But they seldom keep their accounts properly. And without proper accounts, nobody would finance you. 

Entrepreneurs should take documentation with enough seriousness. You don’t need to hire an accountant if you can’t afford one. But invest some time every day to straighten your book. Simply tally your revenue and expenses. That should do for now. 

4. Digital platforms are ever-changing mediums, be ready to change yourself 

The tricks and tactics that worked on Facebook a year ago, does not work anymore. Today, there are new features and new tricks that work. This is the inherent nature of these digital platforms. The pace of change is fast. Things that work today might not work tomorrow. 

Entrepreneurs and content creators should be mindful of this changing nature of today’s digital platforms. You should be willing to embrace change and take the benefits of the change by going along with the change instead of resisting it. 

F-commerce Summit, a day-long conference, is an annual event organized by GEEKY Social. This year was the third episode of the event. Khaas Food, Stygen, and Xtra were among the partners of this year’s summit. The Daily Star was the media partner. Future Startup was the Knowledge Partner.

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