We are in the midst of a technical surge. With so much development happening so quickly, it is up to us to compete with it to survive. Yes, it is about survival. Small businesses need to gear up and embrace what technology has to offer for a stronger foundation and long-term growth. The idea of a ‘transformation’ may feel daunting, but ignoring it won’t help. Digital transformation has become a necessity to persevere.

The meaning of digital transformation can vary for different people. Most companies have traditionally viewed it just as a support for already existing processes, with the aim of doing it faster. But a complete digital transformation is where you question whether it is the right thing to do, or if the changes will actually help in better decision making and personalized customer experience.

The world is evolving at a rapid pace. So working with the same processes for more than a decade will not get you the same results. We have to embrace the changes and adjust ourselves accordingly.

What does ‘Digital Transformation’ mean?

The term can include many goals. It is broadly defined as how businesses can use digital technologies to fabricate or modify their existing work processes to meet the rapidly evolving industry dynamics. Businesses going through with this are actually embracing the digital future and making sure they survive the competition.

A survey conducted by the SMB group concluded that around 48 percent of businesses are planning to move towards a digital future, and around three-fourths of the surveyed companies agree that digital technologies are transforming their business approach. Remember, digital transformation is for everyone, whether you sell computer software or groceries.

For those who are skeptical, you do not need to go all-or-nothing. Organizations can go through the process one step at a time, which can be a journey of multiple years. One can create a road map, beginning with the crucial issues and then moving to everything else keeping in mind the budget that works for your business.

How do you know your business needs Digital Transformation?

There are a number of signs. Your past techniques for promotion are not getting you strong leads. You do not get enough referrals like before. You might not be getting repeat business from your clients. You may realize that you have lost touch with your customers and what they need. All of these and more mean that you need to modify how things work.

Using just a few applications that work separately for different purposes will not be of help. You need a centralized collaboration that brings together all business data and tools that can modify that data into meaningful charts and numbers that push you towards better decision making for future growth.

Are you ready for the Digital Transformation of your business?

Before diving into the transformation process, every business must complete an internal assessment that provides crucial insight into the company. Identify the gaps, problems, and threats that may cause an issue. Working with experts who have worked with similar businesses can help you move in the right direction effectively without any major mistakes.

It is not expensive to get expert help, there are free and affordable resources available in the market who can be your technology partner. They will recommend easy solutions that fit into your budget and are compatible with your business infrastructure. They can create a blueprint for you according to your preferences and help with the transformation process.

Recommended Read: The Information Age: Unlocking The Power Of Big Data

Do not forget to collaborate with your employees as they all will be affected by the changes. Take their input, make your suggestions. In a small business, it is important to take everyone forward together as they are the people who make your brand. Resolve their concerns and talk to them about the upcoming changes. Share your plans for the future and how they fit in the scenario.

The digital transformation of small businesses are steps towards modifications that will enable amazing cost savings and improve customer relationships.  All of these and more mean that you need to modify how things work. It is an ongoing process as there is always something more to do, a next step to take. The only method to get through it is to be adaptive and alert.

This blog is the first of three in a blog series on Digital Transformation of Small Businesses. Watch this space for the next part in the series and for more accounting and tax-related blogs.