Potential TikTok Ban Concerns Digital Entrepreneurs

The proposed ban on TikTok has many business owners worried.

The idea of a ban comes from concerns about user privacy and national security. But it may also have serious implications for many small businesses that use the platform for marketing and/or revenue generation.

For example, Atlanta-based entrepreneurs Lynda and Paul Truong, who own skincare company Love & Pebble, said at a recent event “I mean, 90% of our sales are on TikTok Shop… It would be catastrophic.”

Brian Firebaugh is another entrepreneur who relies heavily on Tiktok. The Texas rancher uses TikTok to sell cattle and beef. He recently said, “TikTok truly has been the platform for us in order to not only start our business as a first-generation rancher, but also to grow and sustain us.”

For now, the proposal is still in a state of flux. The current bill, which may be voted on by the Senate shortly but still has yet to be signed, would ban the platform unless the parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, sells TikTok. Under the current terms, ByteDance has a year to sell before the ban would take effect. So currently, entrepreneurs are still free to use the platform. And many parties are still arguing against the bill proposal due to free speech issues.

However, the possibility of a full ban remains. And aside from contacting representatives and speaking out, there isn’t much that these business owners can do to prevent it.

What business owners do have control over is their ability to diversify their sales and marketing channels. Of course, this isn’t likely to be easy for those who have already found success on TikTok. But the importance of diversification is important for businesses regardless of the platform or specific situation. If you rely on one third party platform for all of your marketing or sales, then a simple outage or algorithm change can have huge implications for your business. Since you don’t control these platforms, these changes can make you feel powerless.

However, if you spread out your efforts and dedicate time to resources that you actually own, like a website and email list, then changes to one outlet may not be so painful. They may still make an impact, but you’ll gain some power back to weather these storms in the future.

Image: Depositphotos

1 Comment ▼

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.

One Reaction
  1. Worst case scenario would be a ban of TikTok in 9 months. That gives entrepreneurs time to migrate their activity/followers to other platforms like Instagram or Youtube Shorts.

    Honestly, with the way our government works it will get tied up in the courts for 6-12 months. And if it really gets serious I’m sure ByteDance will find a shell company to sell to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *