In business, as the saying goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.
You’ve probably been told numerous times that digital technologies and tools for your business will save you time, streamline your whole operation, and can enhance your business growth. Not to mention potentially reducing your stress levels.
So what’s holding you back?
According to an analysis by Deloitte Access Economics into the Benefits of Small Business Digital Engagement, 31% of small businesses said they were put off by what they perceived as the high cost of digital. A surprising 20% said they just hadn’t thought about it. And 13% said they were not sure how to use digital tools.
So let’s tackle these three inhibitors.
Of course there will be initial set-up and training costs. Yet failing to adopt technology will be far more expensive in the long run.
Essentially, the more digitally sophisticated a company is, the more likely it is to have higher revenues, better profits and increased staff potential.
Deloitte found that for every step they take up the digital ladder, businesses earn more revenue per employee. Businesses who had an advanced level of digital engagement, earned an average of 60% more revenue per employee, than those who had only a basic level of digital engagement.
- Hadn’t thought about it
What are your business priorities? Ask yourself how you can enable those priorities with digital technology.
Whatever you feel you’re spending too much time doing, there will almost certainly be a digital solution for it. Would you rather focus on growing your business and sales, instead of working to produce reporting or doing admin?
A cloud based accounting platform will enable you to do just that. As long as you have an internet connection, cloud tools can be accessed from just about anywhere. You only pay for the tools that you use, and you can scale them up to meet your requirements as you grow.
A major benefit of cloud accounting platforms is being able to work collaboratively on them. Using an accounting platform that your accountant can access to review is much more efficient. It will give better, quicker reporting that’s more likely to be accurate. So when talking to potential lenders or strategic partners, everything you need is at your fingertips.
- Don’t know how to use digital tools
Maybe you’re still using time-consuming, manual processes, for example for inventory management.
Yes, technology can be initially daunting, but there are literally hundreds of experts out there. You may well have one among your family, friends or business advisers who’d be willing to walk you through a particular digital platform that could help you. The platform companies themselves can provide someone to give you a demo and answer all your questions. There are plenty of training programs to help you and your staff get on board.
Finally, the holy grail is software integration. Digital tools can of course be run separately, but integrating them - connecting them together – means even greater efficiency. You’ll have better oversight and be able to use analytics reports to help you monitor your business.
Here’s an example of software integration from business.gov.au:
- Process a sale through your point of sale system
- The point of sale system updates the stock levels in your inventory management system
- Your accounts system records the sale
- Your customer relationship management system updates your customer’s sale history.
Think of the huge time savings, and the ability to prevent you or your staff from updating wrong information.
No matter how small your business, digital technologies can help you build and be better at what you’re doing. Digital is no longer a “nice-to-have” for your business, it’s essential.