Is Your Business Ready for Digital Transformation?
In an increasingly digital world, adapting and growing digitally is critical to success. Going digital can improve the experience for everyone involved with a business. So why aren’t more businesses doing it?
Several things could prevent you from embracing a digital transformation, such as costs, perceived lack of access to technology, or fear of the time investment involved. Small businesses that don’t embrace the digital transformation risk being left behind, though, as competitors take advantage of the benefits of operating in a digital world.
It’s time for small businesses to embrace change and use it to their advantage. Read on to find out why your business should go digital and determine when you’re ready.
The Benefits of Going Digital
The benefits of going digital are tremendous and can impact nearly every aspect of a business, from payroll and scheduling to customer service to employee productivity and collaboration.
Employees can take advantage of smart technology that helps them stay more organized. Examples include project management tools like Trello and Asana, communication tools such as Slack, and digital calendars like those offered by Google and Microsoft. These tools can help employees collaborate and plan much more effectively than traditional paper tools.
Embracing a digital, forward-looking mindset across your business has another less obvious—but equally important—benefit. Adopting new technologies and embracing change provides an enormous competitive advantage. For example, small businesses can be much more adaptable with business changes than large corporations if they go digital and can respond immediately to any shifts.
How a Digital Business Can Make Customers’ Lives Easier
Your customers and clients can also benefit from your business going digital. The improved efficiency and productivity within your organization trickles down to the customer experience. Things get done faster, fewer tasks fall through the cracks, and communication can be easier and more pleasant in a digital world—directly improving the customer experience.
Going digital doesn’t just mean transforming internal processes, though. Customer-focused processes can also be improved through digital transformation. Take scheduling, for example. An old-school business might require customers to call and speak to someone during business hours to schedule an appointment or make changes to an existing one.
A digital solution, on the other hand, might be a web portal for customers to schedule these appointments themselves anytime, with an option to chat with a staff member only if necessary. This feature removes a point of potential friction for both the customer and your staff while allowing the customer to schedule appointments when it’s most convenient for them.
What to Consider Before Going Digital
Before taking your business digital, keep a few things in mind:
Your business objectives. The time spent transitioning to a new system is a major expense for any business. You’ll want to ensure the expense aligns with your business goals and budget before committing.
Your customers’ demands. You’ll want to carefully examine the ways a digital transformation will impact customers. Will it help you meet their demands? Will there be impacts to customer service during the transition period?
Which technologies will be most beneficial. Digital transformation isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. It can mean different things to different businesses. Additionally, most companies need to stage the transformation and prioritize areas to tackle first.
Tips for a Smooth Transition
Undertaking a digital transformation for your business can be an involved and intimidating process, but a few key things can significantly improve your results and make the process smoother:
Create a digital roadmap. This is a fancy way of saying “have a plan.” Don’t just jump in blind—prioritize the changes you want to make, set milestones, and establish a timeline to meet them.
Establish goals. Have goals in mind for your transformation. They could be as simple as “85% of employees using new digital calendar system by the end of the second quarter.” Then identify key performance indicators for the goals and track them. Adjust as necessary.
Ensure your IT infrastructure can support your desired change. Have your IT department check for and improve things like internet speed and reliability, Wi-Fi coverage for the whole office, and information security. Plan these things in advance and upgrade before you implement your digital transformation plan.
Support your employees. Remember that major changes can be stressful and difficult for employees. Your staff will be getting used to new systems and workflows while working to ensure a consistent level of customer service. Support them during the transition.
A digital transformation can be a difficult and costly undertaking for any organization—especially for a small business. But the results can be more than worth the effort. The digital change is coming—is your business ready? We help to get your business ready for the digital transformation if you aren’t yet prepared.