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Why Are Some Small & Medium Enterprises Averse to The Idea of Digitization?

The impact of the internet on businesses needs no explanation. It has opened up new horizons for businesses thus, enabling them to reach out to countless prospective online customers across the globe. However, many small businesses shy away from digitization due to various misapprehensions.

Here are few myths that are preventing some small and midsize businesses from going digital:

1. Digitization is a fad that will soon fade out.

2. Digitization is a costly affair that suits big brands.

3. Small companies do not require undergoing digitization.

4. Digitization is quite convoluted; we need a simplified process.

5. We are short of resources.

6. We do not cater to young tech-savvy customers.

These are some of the myths that are standing as obstacles in the path of digital transformation, thus, preventing few enterprises from realizing the potential of digitization in creating long-lasting business value.

Facts about Digitization:

1. Digitization is certainly not a fad and holds all the aces in the present time.

2. Digitization is not as expensive as you think; in fact, it is cost-effective.

3. Digitization is not meant to be implemented only by the big brands; small and midsize companies are equally reaping the benefits of going global by means of digitization.

4. Small companies need to digitize themselves as much as the giant industry players. The internet is rampant with stories of how small businesses have been transforming themselves via digitization.

5. Digitization is a simple and innovative way to streamline any business– big or small. It saves your time as well as money.

6. Digitization is not meant for catering only to the younger generation of customers. The bug of digitization has bitten the young and the old alike.

The ever-increasing popularity of smartphones in every nook and corner of the world is motivating more and more businesses to go digital. Cloud-based technology, real-time mobility, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and social media platforms are helping small and midsize enterprises significantly to digitize their businesses. Thus, considering the current global scenario, it is not sensible to pay no heed to the power of digital transformation as it has kindled many positive developments by bringing incredible business opportunities to countless small and midsize businesses.

How Digitization Helps Small/ Midsize Companies?

1. It increases the opportunities of boosting the number of potential customers in digital space.

2. Offers flawless user experience to prospective customers worldwide.

3. Helps businesses sustain a long-lasting relationship with global customers by developing an emotional connection.

4. Helps businesses cater to customers’ needs by providing a comprehensive picture of the target market with the help of data analytics.

Way Forward: Don’t get left behind

The 21st-century consumers expect every small and big business to provide them with a seamless digital experience, and failure to meet the expectations of the consumers can spell disaster for businesses. Digitization offers multiple benefits to businesses– from new marketing opportunities to greater productivity and efficiency, besides enabling you to eliminate the unwanted and cumbersome business processes. Thus, it is imperative for small and medium businesses to break out of their comfort zone by leaping into the digital era.

Why It’s Important To Digitally Transform Your Business

“Digital Transformation” isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a core concept of my business model, and I hope by the time you’re done reading this you’ll know why it should be a core concept of your own business.

In essence, digital transformation is the process of transitioning your entire business from an old stale platform to a new digitally efficient and exciting model. There are so many different things that go into this but let’s look at how it works for sales and marketing.

Digital Transformation many times can bring your sales and marketing from the physical world of phone calls, fliers, and mailings to the Internet. These older “analog” techniques are still valid, but they are becoming much less effective over time. Why is that? E-commerce technologies have reached a point that they’re blowing physical advertising out of the water.

People are still buying things more than ever though, but where are they doing it? They’re buying on the web instead of walking into a store. Have you heard of “showrooming”? This is a term that retailers use for people who go to a store to get an experience with a physical product then search for the best price online. Best Buy in particular had this happen so much that they’ve made this part of their business model, hoping to push people to buy the product in the store through the Best Buy website. (Smart thinking Best Buy, way to digitally transform instead of continuing to fight it!)

What if you have a service business instead of a retail business? You’re still in trouble. Customers aren’t letting their fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages anymore. Instead they’re turning to Yelp and Angie’s List. Yelp and sites like it have a big advantage over older methods of service advertising. They not only can display more information, but they provide the social proof of customer reviews.

Customer reviews are the major force in demonstrating reputation in the online world. We used to call this word-of-mouth advertising, but now sites like Yelp allow a single person’s voice to reach your entire market (at least the ones who check Yelp, 132 million monthly visitors in Q1 2014 according to the site) and color other people’s perception of you for good or for ill. We like to call this “digital-mouth” advertising.

Basic Online Presence Is Not Enough

Perhaps you think you’re ahead of the curve. You have a website and some social media presence. Isn’t that enough? Sadly to say it isn’t. Many business websites don’t have much more information than a standard Yelp page. Social media is treated more like a billboard than a customer interaction platform. Worst of all, if a visitor wants to convert they have to go back to things like the telephone or basic email to get in touch with you. They violate one of my four pillars of digital transformation, the digital hook.

The mobile web has made it so easy to convert visitors that websites shouldn’t be called web sites anymore. Instead, I call them “customer acquisition engines.”

The key shift is that your online presence needs to move from a purely marketing standpoint toward both sales and marketing. Not only that, but customer data should be tracked over time to generate an ongoing relationship with an individual visitor, urging them to convert again and again until they become loyal customers.

Impossible you say? I assure you that with today’s technology it is quite possible. You may have seen some of the tactics yourself. If you use Facebook and don’t have an ad blocker on, try visiting a few business sites or talk about a topic a few times. Notice what ads you get on the side bar. Most of the time, you’re going to start seeing ads that relate to what you saw or talked about.

In fact, by merely visiting a site, companies can now start to get marketing data on you immediately. Technologies like tracking pixels can trace an individual visitor as they come and go from a site. This allows you to push ads about your business to them on other sites. When they come back, that information can be read and let the visitor pick up where they left off in the sales cycle.

Digital Transformation is Vital Now

With decreasing retail sales, more people buying online, and new sales and marketing tactics smashing competition through the digital space, the old business models can’t compete for much longer. If this article has sounded a chord of panic in you though, don’t worry because knowledge is power. Get started today and start the transformation now before you get out-transformed by your competitors!

Digital or Business Transformation

Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. Digital transformation may be thought as the third stage of embracing digital technologies: digital competence → digital literacy → digital transformation. The latter stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.

– Wikipedia

It has been more than 30 years since computers had been introduced into business world. With the help of, powerful mobile devices and high connectivity, now we are living in a momentary world that is evolving so fast towards digital that now digital transformation is inevitable.

Most of the C-Levels in corporations started to pay more and more attention to Digital Transformation. They believe, without this transformation, even a long-established company may extinct. It is the Kodak example they are afraid of. To be honest, the risk is there, however is ‘Digital Transformation’ just enough?

Marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance processes should all be digitised in order to fulfil the transformation. It includes working anywhere anytime, broader and faster communication, enterprise integration that would enable performance & efficiency improvements.

That is all well planned and should be executed step by step. Yet can you imagine any change to be internalised without a holistic approach? Without embarking every team member, adjusting / improving their competencies, engaging them all around the same evolving mindset…

That’s why, we believe this topic should be handled with a broader scope and it is the reason behind we like to call it a “Business Transformation’ rather than a Digital Transformation.

In other words Business Transformation shall handles the topic more broadly including mindset and organisations, leadership and entrepreneurial mindset, education and pragmatic planning.

Your Business Transformation journey is unique

Every company has its own inner dynamics and every category has its own realities hence your journey should be tailor made to your business. When there is so much at stake, it is not an easy task to move the rocks around, without rigor planning, sufficient on-boarding, kicking off the new mindset with an adjusted organisational structure.

The internal impact – Mindset & Organisation

Any change in a company first impacts its own resources, starting from human. Top-down transformation approaches tend to stay at the top level with Digital Transformation Teams, causing manager level (or further) to think it is not their business. The only way to beat the resistance to change is to embark the resistors ASAP.

Corporate and entrepreneurial mindsets are two far ends thus moving from one to other is not given. However, with the power of a corporate company, an entrepreneur mindset can achieve higher goals sooner. That’s why, we should keep on increasing skills of the individuals in our organisation, empowering them to move forward within the team.

The Impact on Consumer Experience

Digital transformation for the consumer end includes an architecture of your digital ecosystem to be able to do better listening, segmentation and tracking, enabling you to increase your digital media investments efficiency, letting you to fish where the fishes are. All these changes will definitely have a positive impact on your consumer engagement and thanks to the new tools, we will be able to measure the ROI of your campaigns / activities.

Step by Step Approach

As said, digital transformation is a key stage throughout this journey. All your existing processes should be analysed with expert analysts according to the dynamics of your company and industry. Only after then, a solution can be determined and tailored to your needs. The gains here are not necessarily immediate, therefore long term investments should be planned with an entrepreneur mindset.

All in all, Digital Transformation is inevitable in this era, we just need think it as broad as it requires to land it well in your organisation. As Portera we are committed to understand, analyse together and help you build the right organisation to reach this new mindset fully.