One of the biggest challenges that came with the digital age was the one that business owners faced. Before the technological revolution, businesses worked very differently to how they do now. Before technology was accessible, most things in a business were done on paper and by hand. Many managers of businesses had a really difficult time making changes as many CEO’s were reluctant to move past their old methods. Since the year 200, over half of the fortune 500 companies have gone into administration or been acquired to avoid going out of business, one of the things all these businesses had in common are that they were slow or reluctant to implement change. These businesses didn’t adapt to the changes in society and that’s one of the most important things when running a business. If all your competitors have begun to use the newest technology, this would help their business run much more smoothly. This allows your competitors to gain a competitive advantage over you and can ultimately lead to the failure of your business. Now that you know the importance of bringing your business into the digital age, we’ve found some great ways to help you figure out how to do it.
Every year better technology is being developed and released, there is a lot of essential tech items that you’ll need to make sure that your small business fits right in in the digital age. You’ll need a high-quality laptop that runs at a fast speed, if your laptop lags this will decrease productivity throughout the day as it won’t be able to keep up with your demands. If you’re an onsite business, then you’ll need a good quality till as you don’t want to keep customers waiting if they’re wanting to purchase something as if they have to wait too long it will deter them from returning to purchase more stuff from you. In addition to the till, if your small business currently only accepts cash then you need to invest in a card machine, when I bought mine with the Sumup Gutschein I saved 30% on my card terminal so keep an eye out for any deals like this. Buying the more expensive equipment is worth it as you’ll benefit from it, but there are plenty of deals out there at all times of the year that could help you to save a substantial amount of money.
Customer service is one of the most important factors in how successful your business will be, if you don’t have excellent service then elsewhere will and potential customers will definitely choose somewhere with better service. Customer service now is very different to how it used to be, before the digital age if a customer has a question or an issue, they would have to discuss it in person. Now, consumers are used to making any queries online and having a response usually within 48 hours. The changing habits of consumers and the increased expectations means that you need to digitalize your customer service. You should consider making social media pages for your business on sites like Instagram and Facebook, if you have these then consumers will be able to directly message you and you can provide them with the customer service they require. If you’re too busy to take on these additional responsibilities then it’s a great idea to hire social media staff as not only will they provide great customer service, but they will also run your social media pages and help to reach new customers, this is one of the great advantages of the digital age.
Unlike back in the day there doesn’t tend to be important team meetings to tell all of your employees’ important information and give them their hours for the following week, instead this is all done online. By making some changes you can bring this aspect of your business into the digital age and it will benefit both you and your employees. Your employees need to be able to communicate with each other as they need to work as a team, your business will be much more successful if all your staff are connected rather than working alone. To digitalize your small business, you can provide your employees with shared online workspaces, this will allow them to work on projects together without having to be together in real life.
You can also improve the efficiency of your business and the experience of your employees by using automated workflows, as more of the younger generation are coming into jobs, the range of technology that you can use increases as they will be more tech savvy than the majority of your older workers. Everything should be managed online, from managing schedules to requesting time off and managing employee benefits. Once you start to digitalize your functions, you need to make sure that when you have new staff coming in, as part of their training you must ensure that they have and understand all the applications that they need so that they’ll be ready on their first day of work.
One final thing that will benefit your business, is to install a software that allows you to monitor what your employees are doing. This will help to keep employees on track and motivated and help to increase the overall productivity of the business.