How Small Businesses Should Approach Digital Transformation
Change is the only constant in this world, and even businesses need it. Organizations, companies, and enterprises must change their culture, operations, and business model to become competitive and relevant to a world that is becoming increasingly digital. So either a business goesdigital transformation or goes bust.
An organization may not know much about automating processes if the management is not technologically inclined, however organizational, cultural, and operational change of any company by integrating the latest digital technologies is digital transformationor DT, is imperative and must be implemented strategically. This is not a one-shot effort as there are many stages to implementing it efficiently. But the payoff is worth it! A digitally transformed business opens new avenues of professional and financial success.
Why Digital Transformation Works
Businesses facilitate their customers with improved digitalized services resulting in a strong relationship and loyalty being developed. DT lets you integrate the latest technology into all segments of your company processes and constructively alters how it operates: making it updated, efficient, and thriving in a fiercely competitive world.
Digitally transforming a business is a complete process, requiring the investment of time and money. Of course, it can be intimidating for small businesses and enterprises, but no one can deny that it is worth investing in. A survey conducted by World Bank, OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and Facebook, found that 25% of SMBs (Small and Mid-Sized Businesses) shut down operations between January to May in 2020. Yet, many other businesses still strive to continue and are actually investing more resources despite the terrible economic condition caused by the pandemic of 2020.
A small business may not know how to transform digitally; so here’s a complete guide on how to approach it and implement digital practices successfully.
Digital transformation approaches for small businesses
If large enterprises and businesses have the resources to transform themselves, a small business lacks the same. But, there are many strategies that small businesses can apply to become digitally competitive, and we are providing you some of them below:
Evaluate the time and budget:
A large corporation needs a larger budget and more time to transform digitally because the problems they need to address are complex. Hence they need complex solutions to get it right. In the case of small businesses, the scenario is the opposite: with budget constraints and less time, they must integrate digital technology only for crucial areas of operation, or create a tailored solution.
Before taking any steps towards DT, smaller businesses should evaluate their budget and determine the approximate time it would take to complete the process. Then focus only on the solutions they need urgently, this helps them prioritize and allocate funds correctly.
Big businesses, companies, and enterprises have the liberty to involve professional consultancy firms to transform them and through support from experts, they get a clear vision of what they should and shouldn't do. With limited budgets, startups and small businesses cannot afford that luxury. Due to this critical challenge, some SMBs cannot progress further, though the provision of improved digital and modern services is necessary to retain customers.
Smaller businesses should then opt for DT successfully through a simple strategy that is made keeping in mind priorities. By partnering with a professional consultancy that can help them execute accurate strategies compatible with their current IT infrastructure, the said firm can also help employees understand the use of technology and improve productivity.
If you are an SMB and want to transform yourself digitally, contact Appedology, we are an app development company that provides bespoke digital solutions for your organization at cost-effective rates. And you have the option of getting a free quote before making any decision.
Encourage stakeholders to collaborate in DT
Small business stakeholders must be willing to invest in DT not just money-wise but in support of any changes required, if they want their business to be digitally efficient. The main purpose of DT is to ensure operational processing improvements and to focus on customer facilitation. Hence the key to success is to involve all stakeholders in this process: with their contribution, this process won't just propagate teamwork but also helps reduce the time taken getting everyone onboard.
Remember! DT is not solely an IT initiative, but a transformation of the whole business structure across all levels. Involve your whole team in this process, and know that every single feedback on any issue leads to better solutions.
Let's take an example of an e-commerce store whose web app isn't user friendly and is actually negatively impacting sales: involving the marketing and sales department for advice and feedback or researching customer feedback, you may come up with n unconventional idea that works. Getting these departments to collaborate with the IT department may help to develop a website with better UI/UX.
Train your employees
Your business DT is not only about the application of digital technology but may involve an entire change of corporate culture. Therefore it requires a strong and clear vision to implement digital change that is compatible with your existing employees and processes.
It’s pertinent to address all the issues and insecurities of your employees prior to deployment so that you can understand their concerns about adopting any new technology. According to a Business Wire survey in 2017, employees commonly have concerns about job loss due to automation, and this can be a reason for their resistance to adopting a digital culture.
So, SMBs must first educate and train their employees about all the benefits of DT. Give them a demonstration of how they can improve their productivity using digital means. Just training one IT personnel or one application developer is not enough! You shouldprovide basic training to increase all your employees' work efficiency. This is an excellent way to empower them and use technologies effectively to achieve business goals.
Don’t head for every new technology you come across
Yes, it can be pretty exciting for you to dive into digital transformation and acquire results as soon as possible, but this may make you susceptible to the temptation to implement every technological advancement you come across. Conversely, it may also cause mismanagement and eventually a failure of your automation efforts. The choice of your technology for DT should be carefully made, as one wrong step can devour your entire budget.
Research well before taking any initiative and plan a layout to get clarity on your goals and objectives. Choose the area to transform that promises you the highest ROIs so that you can be satisfied with the efforts you put in and the desired results.
A small business can gain more profit by investing in comparatively simple and basic technologies. This also helps them streamline their priorities and decide the extent of their DT efforts. An e-commerce startup should not invest in developing costly native mobile apps that require extensive amounts of development time. Instead, they should hire an application developer to create progressive web apps (PWAs) that will generate more leads by providing existing customers with better user experiences.
Pay attention to data analytics
Small businesses must focus on extracting maximum value out of the data they receive from their DT implementation. This will be the key to effective digital success and will benefit your business in the long run. You can then make better business decisions based on stats and analytics from the data you have, so do ensure you integrate technologies in your DT to let you extract useful information from specific datasets. Then: use them productively!
Cafés or restaurants that share their Wi-Fi for free can extract information about what you browsed through while you sit there going through your smartphone. This data can be analyzed to point out errors an organization may be unconsciouslymaking or provide customers with a better experience.
It is crucial to pay attention to data analysis and understand what your customers need. You can ask an app developer to develop APIs so you can use data insights to improve your strategies, products, or services accordingly.
Flawless synchronization of business systems
The basic reason for transforming your business digitally,are:
restructuring your operations,
workflow automation and efficiency, and
improved customer support.
To achieve these targets, you have to integrate digitalization into your business systems flawlessly and make an accurate flow of communication.
All of your business platforms should be synchronous and complementary to each other for smooth operations. DT itself will let you improve collaboration from departments, and make your business customer-centric. Through efficient DT, you can sync data between all of your departments without employing any time-consuming manual process, and best of all, you minimize the chances of errors and low productivity.
If you are afraid to take risks, you cannot grow as a business. While transforming your business digitally, be experimental with your choices and see what technology is working for your organization, and also be ready to discard what doesn't work. Be vigilant enough to observe the ongoing technological trends and do not confine yourself to technology alone! Incorporate digital practices on all levels and be confident that these steps will be successful. If you have only a vague idea of what you need, contact Appedology anytime. We are one of the fastest-growing app development companies in the USA, working consistently to provide you the best digital solutions to elevate your business to the next level.
What small businesses must know about digital transformation
There are many misconceptions regarding the process of DT. People perceive it as difficult as rocket science and believe in so many myths that make them hesitant to adopt digitalization. Here are some important facts small businesses need to know about DT.
Tools for digital transformation
There are various tools used to transform small businesses digitally. The three most important of them are:
What Digital Transformation Cannot Do
It is not meant to improve your IT systems
Small businesses should know that DT is not only concerned with the improvisation of IT systems. It is the way to keep thinking advanced at best, or at least up-to-date. The basic purpose of DT is to make businesses competitive in the rapidly growing digital age. Upgrading IT systems, and hiring an app developer, or increasing digital marketing tactics are secondary things. Your initial step should be to know how to use the latest technologies to improve your progress.
It is not about improving a company’s operations
DT indeed makes your company’s operations smooth, but that should not be the reason to employ it. You can improve operations even without the use of technology.
It is not digital marketing
Digital marketing is indeed an essential part of DT, but DT's scope is larger than that. DT is a combination of communications, technologies, and a business leader who wants to integrate them. So your business automation must not focus only on digital marketing, since there are so many other elements involved.
Small businesses have a great opportunity to generate revenue by transforming them digitally. Technology is not a choice anymore, and with growing competition in a rapidly evolving world, adopting it as soon as possible is a must. That is why if your business is in need of digital transformation services, reach out to us at Appedology: based in Corona, California, we are a complete one-stop digital solutions provider and would love to find solutions for your business to get on its digital track, in the time frames you expect. So call us now, we can help you focus on your best ideas and work on business automation that works.