3 Ways Your SME Business Can Keep Up With Digitalization
As the economic pressure continues to prey on enterprises and ordinary citizens, there’s no doubt that the competition has gotten tougher, and belts are becoming tighter. Because of this, we’re now seeing a shift in consumer priorities due to the increasing prices of basic goods and services, and many businesses weakening over compounding losses in the past two years.
As per McKinsey, small and medium enterprises contribute significantly to economies around the world. And in high-income countries like the US, SME businesses contribute more than 50% of the country’s GDP. That’s how vital these businesses are to this economy and frankly, to the world, so don’t give up just yet. Unfortunately, the current circumstances present notable challenges and opportunities for this segment, more than it does for bigger companies.
One of the key challenges that the SME industry’s still struggling with is the ability to keep up with digitalization. Since the pandemic started, most of the world is working to digitalize to make way for new ways of doing business. This is a trend that accelerated over the course of the pandemic and is still considered a business imperative today. So to stay relevant and competitive in this new economic landscape, these two segments are urged to rethink current practices and adopt new ones.
So ask yourself, ”What efforts have we done to keep up with digitalization?”
Did you just say you have a website? Ah, yes. A website is a great tool to keep your brand within reach in the online world. Don’t forget to throw social media into the mix as well. But in this day and age, it’s time to rethink if these are enough to boost SME business efficiency.
3 Ways Your Biz Can Keep Up with Digitalization
Mobile Application Development
One way for SMEs to further their way with digitalization is to take advantage of mobile application development. Custom-built applications can streamline your processes, provide valuable services to your customers, and help your business maintain a healthy bottom line.
Frankly, not all businesses need one. Many can still do decent business from a well-optimized mobile-friendly website or by riding on other apps. But a chock load of entrepreneurs across all scales and industries are benefiting widely from their own set of digital products. Whether as an extension of their business online, an internal tool or as a key element in their respective marketing strategies, mobile apps continue to rise up the ranks of software development because of their ability to scale businesses further and higher.
If you are not sure if this is the right move for you, here are a few signs that your business needs a mobile app – stat!
- Your main competitor has one - this is not about the FOMO feeling, but having one for your business is a strategic move. Keeping up with the competition can keep your customers from looking the other way.
- You feel like you’ve hit a dead end - you’ve already saturated your market at this point. You must be struggling to expand within your current market or area of distribution if you feel this way about your business. Apps are an effective tool to widen your reach and increase brand awareness globally.
- You’re still selling goods with just a website - online marketplaces can be made more competitive by providing customers with an easy-to-use platform to shop and bag the best deals through offers that you can push via mobile app notifications.
- You have a product that can be enhanced by technology - if you’re updating new versions of your physical products, consider connecting them to the internet and watch your sales fly. Everything is connected to the internet nowadays, and if yours aren’t, you’re falling behind.
- You have no idea about your customers - data is king and mobile apps can give you information on what your customers like and don’t like. Apps tell you about their purchasing behaviors and trends so you can strategize on your next move.
Explore Digital Collaboration Tools
The main objective of digital transformation is to boost efficiency and inspire a customer-focused culture across all touchpoints. In order to do so, teams should be able to communicate and collaborate with each other and their customers seamlessly. More than communication, digital collaboration tools can also improve workflow with software integrations. Here are some of the best collaboration tools you can get started with:
- Google Workspace
In choosing the best tools for your team, consider opting for cloud-based tools that are easy to use and that suit your needs. Cloud-based tools ensure that real-time updates and everyone gets to work with transparency. But more importantly, pay attention to a tool’s privacy and security features to ensure that all your confidential data and conversations are secured.
Automate, Automate, Au-to-mate
We’re putting a clap to every syllable on this one.
Many facets of the business can benefit from Automation. From administrative tasks such as appointment setting to online marketing campaigns and customer booking processes, automation tools are available to help you save a ton of time and money. Aside from resource-saving benefits, it also ensures accuracy in the work and reduces the risk of human error which can sometimes cost businesses a fortune.
Using automation tools is like having another team member execute such tasks, but in a way that is more efficient and more autonomous. Here are some automation tools that you can explore:
- IFTTT for task and data automation
- Calendly for Appointment setting
- MailChimp for Email Marketing
- ActiveCampaign for Email Marketing
- Hootsuite for Social Media management
Big or small, we’re all in this for the long haul
Digital transformation is here to stay. No matter the size of your business, digitizing is key to achieving goals in the most efficient way possible. Many of these tools can be used for free but if you’re in to win it, investing in these innovations through premium subscriptions or venturing out to develop your own platform may be well worth it.