Starting a business is made more manageable today. Sure, you’d still need capital to spend on what you need; but thanks to technology, the length and the difficulty of the process seem to have now been cut in half.
For small and medium enterprises, technology is heaven-sent. It used to be that SMEs were at a disadvantage because they don’t have enough financial resources to install the essential hardware. But now that there are cost-efficient business solutions like cloud computing and open source applications, SMEs are the ones embracing advancements before big businesses do.
The reason large companies are at a disadvantage today is that they have invested too much in legacy systems that may now be outdated, and modernizing it can incur additional costs that they may not be able to handle.
In fact, some SMEs prefer to start digital and eventually transition into a physical office. The good thing is that the tech-savvy market they have tapped into is more than willing to support them even outside the digital world, all while attracting those who may not be aware of their online beginnings.
Consider these digitizing tips for your SME or start-up to create a better digital presence.
- Welcome change
Whether you like it or not, change is bound to happen to your organization, so the best way to deal with it is to embrace it, much like how you are accepting the transition to digital. Organizational change may be daunting, but SMEs are better equipped for digital transformation than their large counterparts because they are more dynamic.
- Know your targets to determine your tasks
Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and it would probably take you years to be 100% digitized. You can start by answering three questions to know how you’re going to get where you want your business to head.
- Where are we currently?
- Where do we want to get to?
- How are we going to get there?
- Strike a balance between good governance and innovation
Without good leadership, there may not be an effective transition of core business processes to digital. Rigid hierarchies may repress innovation, which often comes from ideas from the lower part of the chart.
Make sure that all of the employees’ voices are heard throughout the process—from executives down to the newcomers.
- Bring every department into the process
Digital transformation will affect every element of the business, including Human Resources, so all departments need to be included in the process. Fundamental workplace changes will no doubt have a lasting effect on the staff that has to adapt to it. HR can help strengthen change management that will ultimately avoid the feeling of alienation and distress among employees.
- Learn and seek advice
Everyone in the company should do his or her part and learn how the transition will help with the business. Aside from the leader, employees should also be proactive, keep abreast of emerging trends, and understand both from the technical and business standpoint.
Aside from seeking advice from people who may have knowledge in this kind of change, enrolling in short courses about digital know-how, perhaps those focusing on ways that emerging technologies affect SMEs, can make a difference.
- Leaders should lead
Leaders should not only be the one pushing the change forward, but should also be balancing the requirements of employees, departments, and shareholders. However, this may be easier said than done.
In this case, they must acknowledge their skills gap and ask for help. Strong, innovative people are crucial to the success of your company’s digital transition
Digital transformation is a much-needed change to ensure your business’ growth. But remember that it won’t go smoothly without the willingness to embrace it and the right strategy.
Small businesses are here to stay, but the ones that will thrive are those that will use digitization to not only run the company more efficiently, but also to connect with their customers.
Johanna drives the product and data strategies at PureB2B. She’s a two-decade veteran of the online publishing, B2B demand generation, and technology media markets. When not in the office, Johanna enjoys her family, fitness routines and reading self-help books.