With almost the entire world facing a lockdown, small and medium-sized businesses have definitely taken a larger hit than larger businesses. One of the main reasons being the digital world of larger businesses playing a major role in revenue generation and customer engagement. The current uncertain times have proven to be challenging to keep the businesses up and running and it is crucial for SMEs to become more agile and embrace digitization and automation for better productivity. Digital transformation is applicable to various aspects of SME to the extent of business automation and making data-driven decisions. With a range of options available, companies can choose their objectives and paths of digitization based on their size, industry, feasibility, etc. For SMEs, the question of “when” kept haunting when it came to digital transformation. Well, the answer is now because of the global handicap of businesses due to COVID–19. The only companion for everyone seems to be digital screens with which a worldwide network is built. This makes it easier for businesses to reach their customers at home and expand their businesses further without geographical restrictions.
There are almost 1.1 million SMEs in Canada, but sadly, only 51% of them cross their fifth year of operation.
Here are some of the reasons why SME should go digital in the current situation:
1. That seems to be the primary way
A customer need not empathize or be considerate towards small businesses. The ultimate expectation out of any business is comfort, accessibility and personalization. If that is offered coupled with the quality of product and service, any customer would be loyal to the brand and company. Social media could be used for marketing and advertisements, websites could be revamped and updated for the best usage, and these can be done at modest budget levels when compared to traditional ways of print. The web data collected by customer usage will be valuable to understand the customers, their preferences and liking.
2. Empowering employees
With no one able to go out for work physically, this is the best chance for SME to equip its employees for a digitised process. What usually takes up more time and effort now becomes the norm because of digital being the only way to work and connect with the company’s process. A comforting environment of home is an advantage to ease the nerves of new learners. This also means that the businesses need not fire employees as they would continue functioning and dealing with customers. This is a win-win for the company and the employees.
3. Customers without borders
Digitization means reaching anyone anywhere in the world. The key to achieve this is, however, in innovation and scaling the business well enough to reach any customer in the world. For instance, chatbots can be made available for any query and any discussion that a customer wishes to put forth. Major hike in transactions and traffic should be managed well to maintain the standard and quality of service. This costs almost nothing and yet opens up a wide range of audience for the business to experiment with different combinations of customer requirements and have an adaptive business model accordingly.
4. Optimising the process
As a continuation of greater customer engagement, the immediate step is to optimize the processes. There are innumerable cloud services that assist businesses to manage workflow, access data and manage their key applications. Without cloud, it was possible only for companies with high budgets to do this without hassle. The boon of cloud should be made use of to study the data, understand the market better, take customer feedback directly, open eyes to wider scope and adjust the business model based on that. For instance, adding an app or improving the e-commerce service could come in handy without even relying on older methods of working.
Follow the link to know how SMEs are winning the market using Location-based applications.
A major reason for people to have this conversation in today’s situation is the fact that several businesses are pushed to work within four walls and most of the SME had been hesitant to make full use of the digital world before this. This comes as a blessing in disguise to innovate, adapt and upgrade. Reaching a customer and gaining their trust becomes easier with digital connect. If a company uses Digitization in the right sense and thinks on its feet, it could be a winner in a tightly competitive world. Any firm is as good as their competitors. What gives them an edge will be their quality, speed, innovation and customer satisfaction, not only to retain their customers but also invite new ones. With the above-mentioned reasons, we hope SMEs hop on the wagon and ride along.