Every entrepreneur knows that the digital transformation of SMEs is essential to remain competitive, so they strive to change their business and adapt to new markets. However, implementing the transformation process is not that easy. In this post, we give you some keys to making it a success.
The crisis caused by COVID-19 has forced SMEs to accelerate their digitisation process overnight because otherwise, they would be invisible in a market that has become paralysed and where online selling and remote working have been (and are) essential.
SMEs have handicaps that can become advantages in digital transformation like their small size or limited resources (human and material). But they also have strong doubts about what digital transformation means or how to implement it.
What is the digital transformation of SMEs?
The digital transformation of SMEs is, broadly speaking, to take advantage of new technologies to increase the efficiency and productivity of SMEs and find new business opportunities. The process uses, among others, the following elements: Social networking, data analysis, process automation, cloud computing.
Keys to SME digital transformation
For the digital transformation of SMEs, it is not enough to create a web page or social media profiles; it is necessary to think that this is a time-consuming process and a change in the way they work.
Some of the keys to consider for the digital transformation of SMEs are:
Perform previous research. If you don’t know where to go, you can hardly succeed. So the first thing you’ll need to do is analyse each area of your business, the processes that are done, and see the strengths and those that can be improved.
Make a digitisation plan. The next step is to set a goal for digital transformation and determine the actions to take to reach it. Here are some of the actions you can set:
Create an online store. Online shopping is growing evermore. To create the online store, you should see if your company is ready for the logistics it entails if your ERP connects to the store to automate stock etc.
Automate process. Process automation is another action that makes daily work and tedious tasks much easier. Some of the processes that can be automated are:
- Invoice processing and management.
- Employees’ registration and deregistration of employment.
- Document signing processes, and depending on their complexity, different types of electronic signatures can be selected
- Bank reconciliation.
- File and management of documents and emails.
Train your employees. If you are digital transforming your business, but your employees are not ready or have no knowledge of new technologies, the process may not be successful. This requires you to provide training to your workers on new technologies, what they are, how they work, what benefits they bring. This will remove resistance to change and make the transformation easier.
Digitally manage your projects collaboratively. One of the needs that arise with remote working is to manage projects when they are performed remotely correctly. Using cloud technology, online communications (email, instant messaging), or project management tools can be essential.
Use new communication channels. The communication channels between businesses and users have long been phone and email. However, the digital transformation of SMEs requires new channels such as social media and chatbots, which provide customisation and immediacy.
It boosts new forms of advertising. Advertising is one of the most advanced areas, and campaigns can now be carried out on Google or other search engines, social networks and other websites, so advertising channels are diversified, and campaigns can be segmented to reach your ideal customer.
Choose the leaders of the process. In your company, there have to be several people who lead the digital transformation of your SME by driving innovation and the use of new technologies.
Analyse all results. The significant advantage of new technologies and business digitisation is that everything can be measured, so it’s easy to make decisions or modify processes to make them more effective. Analysing your results will help you see whether you are achieving the goals you have set yourself.
At Click&Sign, we know that the digital transformation of SMEs involves a significant effort and will change the way your company has worked so far.