In the business world, there is always a lot of talk about digital transformation. But what does that term mean? And more importantly, how can it help your small business? In this blog post, we will explore those questions and provide some tips on how to future-proof your small business with digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new or improved business processes, products, and services. This can be anything from the automation of manual tasks to redesigning your customer experience. By digitizing your operations, you can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and even open up new revenue streams.
Of course, embarking on your digital transformation journey can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses. But there are some steps you can take to make the process easier and ensure that your business is future-proofed against the ever-changing landscape of digital technology.
Digital transformation is about customer behavior.
Many fall into the trap of thinking digital transformation is about new technology or fancy new software. But it’s much more than that.
Digital has transformed the dynamics of business and placed the power directly in the hands of the consumer.
Convenience has made us extremely demanding and dismissive – customer expectations have grown out of proportion, no longer limited by local suppliers of goods and services, and with a simple Google search we have access to a near-limitless number of options.
Of course, this is both a good thing and a bad thing for businesses. On the one hand, it’s never been easier to reach new customers and connect with them on a global scale. But on the other hand, it’s also never been easier for them to leave you for someone else who can offer a better experience.
This is the true emerging power of digital business, and understanding this helps us define what digital transformation is and how it relates to your small business.
It changes the way we look at digital transformation, shifting our perception away from technology, and instead looking toward consumer psychology and behavior.
This is exactly why your small business can no longer afford to ignore digital, and ups-the-ante when it comes to the future of your business.
What’s so urgent?
If we now understand that digital transformation is less about digital technologies and more about customer experience and behavior, we can better understand why it’s important for your small business.
Since we know customer behavior has changed, we must now adapt much faster if we’re to survive.
No longer can you rely on the same marketing tactics that worked five, or even two years ago.
Luckily, as a small business, you have the advantage of agility. You can be much more responsive to change and adapt to new customer demands quickly and efficiently. This is your secret weapon in the digital age – use it to your advantage!
But my customers haven't changed...
You might be thinking that your customers haven’t changed, so why should you?
The fact of the matter is that your customers aren’t just your customers… They’re the same customers ordering DoorDash from the comfort of their homes, they’re streaming movies with Netflix, and they’re buying everything with Amazon… all from their mobile devices.
These companies revolutionized their industries, developed innovative new business models, took their customer relationships to the next level, and delivered exceptional business value. They changed the landscape of the market with digital disruption, and are forcing us as business owners to adapt to new consumer challenges.
All of these experiences are shaping customer expectations of you. They’re not just comparing you to your competition anymore – they’re comparing you to the last best customer experience they had.
What does this have to do with my website?
Your website is often the first touch-point a customer has with your business – it’s your digital storefront, and your chance to make the very best first impression possible.
This means that if your website isn’t up to scratch, you’re already at a disadvantage. Any red flag might cause that prospective customer to bounce.
What’s more, in the digital age, your website is no longer just a source of information – it’s now an interactive platform that can be used to engage and connect with your customers on a whole new level, from initial contact through to purchase, and beyond.
We need to stop thinking about our websites as simple marketing tools and instead think of them as our base of operations, our platforms in which to engage and interact with our customers.
Your website is a launching point for digital transformation
Of course, your website is just one part of the digital transformation puzzle. There are lots of other moving parts to consider too.
To future-proof your small business, you need to be thinking about things like:
- Your customer experience and how to optimize it at every touch-point
- Your digital marketing strategy and how to make it more customer-centric
- Your sales process and how to use digital technologies to close more deals
- Your operations and how to use digital tools to drive efficiency
- Your people and how to empower them with the right skills for the digital age
- Your business goals and how they align with possible digital transformation initiatives
Digital transformation can be a lot to think about, but it’s essential if you want your small business to thrive in the years to come. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once – start with one or two areas that you know need improvement and go from there.
The most important thing is to get started today. The sooner you begin, the more prepared you’ll be for whatever the future holds.
So, what are you waiting for?
The time for digital transformation is now. If you’re not sure where to begin, give us a shout and we’ll help you get started on your journey.