Is your small business ready for the digital future? Digital readiness for small businesses is just as essential as it is for their larger counterparts. Though the pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformations across the board, small businesses, in particular, were forced to adopt digital technologies sooner than they had anticipated. Lockdowns, remote work, and transitions to online business models have made it necessary to use solutions to reach customers and clients by email, mobile apps, websites, and more.
In this ever-changing world, the ability to adapt is a vital element of staying competitive and thriving today and tomorrow.
Digital Readiness for Small Businesses
What does digital readiness for small businesses look like? In many ways, it’s no different from what larger organizations are doing:
- Getting found online
- Reaching more customers
- Remote work
Affecting virtually every business operation, digital readiness is not demonstrated by any one thing at any one time. It’s a fluid process that’s never “finished,” but it does have similar beginnings, no matter what products or services you provide.
Roughly two-thirds of small to medium businesses say technology is a primary factor in pursuing their business objectives. Employees always need tools that allow them to innovate freely and complete their tasks efficiently. Businesses need technologies that protect them against security breaches and cyber threats. Customers demand to be met at every touchpoint by experiences that are frictionless, memorable, and secure, time and again.
From evaluating which tasks you can automate to aligning resources and setting digital goals, by getting your business digitally ready you can reap big rewards in areas like customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and revenue.
How To Get Your Business Digitally Ready
The first step in achieving digital readiness is taking a holistic view of where your business stands in its digital journey. A good understanding of how new digital tools will enable employees to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently can help smooth your digital transformation and achieve your strategic goals.
- Digital structure. Where does your business currently stand digitally? What tools are already in use, and which ones have been identified as critical to supporting your digital efforts?
- People. How do you plan to educate and train employees in new digital solutions? What internal and external resources can you tap into to achieve your digital goals?
- Processes. Do you stick with today’s way of working, or do you adjust to new methods and the revised culture that comes with them? Should you gradually phase in digitalization or take a “big-bang” approach? Are current business processes set up in a way that they’re ready to meet digital requirements?
Some steps that can help your small business start its digital transformation include:
- Getting employees on board from the start. Early employee buy-in ensures a smooth transformation and gives staff the time they need to accept operational change.
- Asking for employee feedback. Employees often act as internal customers. Their insights can often signal whether your digital transformation will be accepted by the people who buy your products and services.
- Recruiting experts. Working with technology experts can make your digital transformation more impactful over time. It also helps employees get up to speed more quickly and prepares them for the changes and challenges sure to come.
While digital readiness takes time, effort, and energy to execute, the payoff of a successful digital transformation makes it all worthwhile.
Thriving in a Digital World
No matter the size of your business, a comprehensive digital strategy can enable it to adapt quickly to changing employee and customer needs. And with advanced digital technologies becoming more accessible, affordable, and valuable to end-users, even smaller businesses can now leverage digital solutions to achieve more profitable outcomes.
As a small business embarking on digital transformation, partnering with a managed IT services provider can support your efforts and save you from making costly investments in new software, hardware, and human resources. There’s no better way to level the playing field and get yourself digitally ready. Download our “Business Guide to Digital Readiness in a Post Pandemic World” to learn more.