Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face a variety of challenges when it comes to making the most of industry disruption through digital transformation. These include lack of scale, limited resource availability, legacy systems that can’t be replaced or updated, and staff wary to adopt new working practices.
However, digital transformation is not just a feature of larger organisations. While businesses of all sizes are experiencing the impact of internet technology and mobile services, small businesses, in particular, can benefit from being agile in embracing digital technologies and making strategic decisions as to how they can be used. The following list explores some of the main areas SMEs will want to consider when planning their digital transformation strategies.
1. Customer engagement and communication
SMEs today are competing with the biggest brands in the world, and need to work hard to secure their place in the market. They can use technology to build an online presence, increase their exposure and interact directly with those who matter most – customers.
Technology can be used to create engaging digital content that attracts potential customers’ attention, as well as provide services that help them get more value from your business. Singapore SME digital transformation experts have helped their clients to use webinars and other interactive tools to grow their businesses. Another way SMEs can create a relationship with customers is through social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter give small businesses a platform to reach out to potential customers and show them how much they are appreciated.
2. Efficiency in operations
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from using technology to improve efficiency in the workplace: improving internal communications, automating processes, and streamlining workflows. SMEs are particularly well placed to benefit from technology because they often have limited resources available. However, this can also be a challenge as it means that SMEs may have outdated systems and are unlikely to be able to invest in new technology.
Using project management software allows businesses to manage large or small projects, speed up communications between team members, and coordinate tasks across organisational silos. This in turn can increase efficiency in the workplace and save time and money.
3. Business transformation
The use of technology can be used to optimise the business’s bottom line, as well as its operations. Technology can be used to improve workflow by automating processes and streamlining workflows. This saves time and improves communications between team members. Technology can also be used to help businesses innovate for growth. The use of technology can improve brand growth, enhance sales and results of the business, as well as help businesses, develop new product or service ideas.
4. Business expansion
Technology can be used to expand businesses through new channels such as online sell-through and online marketplace platforms. These platforms provide an opportunity to reach a wider audience, increase the value of the content being sold through products and services on offer, and allow customers to buy directly from the source – driving more revenue.
Businesses can utilise Technology to expand businesses beyond the boundaries of their own country. Businesses can become viable marketplaces for other businesses, or provide a platform for existing businesses to expand their market reach and grow their business. For example, SMEs can sell products and services made in other countries, while expanding the reach of these buyers to increase the value of their products and boost sales.
SMEs are likely to have a strong online presence and should take advantage of that by utilising a combination of marketing techniques. This can provide them with an opportunity to explore additional revenue streams and boost their brand awareness.
Technology is constantly evolving, with innovations on the horizon that can maximise the potential of businesses of all sizes. SMEs are as well placed as any other business to capitalise on these trends – they just need to know how to harness the power of technology to transform their businesses for future success.