How Small Businesses Can Manage Digital Transformation for the Best Results

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The rise of electronic devices and the digital world in general has empowered customers more than ever before. In turn, this is constantly raising customers’ expectations. The competition among small businesses now revolves around constantly meeting these ever-rising expectations, and you cannot do this without managing digital transformation effectively.

Large companies are investing millions to achieve advanced digital transformation and exceptional Customer Experience (CX). COVID-19 has taught the world that digital transformation is no longer an option, but rather a necessity. Furthermore, this applies not only to large companies, but to small businesses as well.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2017 SMB study in the United States showed that 75% of small and medium businesses believed that digital transformation had an significant impact on how businesses operate. However, they thought that large companies had an edge thanks to their budget and resources. Small businesses with restricted budgets and resources found it extremely difficult to deploy digital transformation strategies.

Optimising Digital Transformation for the Best Results

Successfully implementating digital transformation is important, but it’s not the end of the story. You’ll also need to manage you strategy properly in the long run. Here are a few things you can do to optimise digital transformation for the best results.

Avoid complexity

Large companies have huge budgets and a lot of time and money transforming their processes. However, small businesses typically have a limited budget. Additionally, they must often transform quickly to get the early advantage, or at least stay up with the competition.

Start by focusing on integrating the most important digital tools for the most important business processes instead of trying to transform everything at once. Keep things simple, focus on better customer experience and try to meet your clients’ expectations. Your strategy should be tailored to your business.

Credible Vendors

You cannot afford to shift from one vendor to another while your customers  expect the best digital experience. Make sure to rely on the most reliable suppliers, and preferably local vendors. Working with one or two vendors that offer the most compatible tools will make things go more smoothly.

For example, if one tool is not effectively integrated with another, your business will suffer from the combined inefficiency of both tools, as both tools are supposed to work together for optimal productivity. Your vendors should have prior experience working with similar businesses and they must be able to customise solutions to your requirements.

Reliable and Secure Payment Options

Customers hate complex payment procedures. The vast majority of online customers abandon their shopping cart just before confirming their payment. Complex payment procedures is one of the main reasons for this – this may prompt customers never to return to their cart.

You should shortlist the most popular, reliable, and rapid payment methods in your customers’ markets. On top of that, make sure to offer contactless payment options in your bricks-and-mortar store to address continuing health and safety concerns.

Make Data-Driven Decisions

Data monitoring and analysis allow you to track your customers’ preferences. The focus for small businesses should mainly be on optimising your customer experience. Data analysis and reports help you to make the right decisions and change your processes as required.

Sometimes, a lack of an experienced team causes small businesses to make the wrong decisions. However, a realistic analysis of facts and trends will help you to maintain the balance between the heart and the head. Remember, your head should prevail most of the time, otherwise you might end up making reckless decisions.

Data-driven reports should help you make the right choices. Digital transformation is expensive and you shouldn’t experiment too much, since too many bad decisions can keep customers away. Always prioritise mustover can. Spend your company’s money wisely on necessities instead wasting too much of it without a significant return.

Get Your Team Onboard

The introduction of digital resources and their integration between different processes can challenging, especially in the early stages. Employees may be resistant, even if they do not disclose their concerns. This is usually not such a big issue in the close-knit team of a small business, but it still requires your attention.

On the other hand, just one uncomfortable upgrade could discourage your entire team, especially if you just make that decision in isolation without getting your team onboard. They will ultimately get used to the new technology, but that tricky transition period before they get comfortable with the changes could be enough to discourage your customers.

Final Thoughts

Implementing digital transformation is a challenge, but in our modern world it is pretty much a necessity. However, managing it for the best results, in the long run, is an even greater challenge for most small businesses.

Simplicity is the key here. Make sure to take small and gradual steps, stay within your budget, and focus on meeting your customers’ expectations.

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