A growing number of small businesses are beginning to recognize the importance of adopting a more digital approach to doing business.
Whether it is increasing the use of social media to promote the business or making greater use of digital technology to support operations and increase efficiency, there is a recognition among many small business owners that there are considerable benefits to be gained by embracing digital working.
Even if your business does not see the benefit of embracing social media or doing business electronically, your customers will. A new generation of consumers is growing up where use of social media and digital technologies is second nature. Digital technology is at the heart of how they communicate, how they buy and how they learn. This generation expect to interact with your business electronically. For example they complain on Twitter and build networks on Facebook and Linkedin, and shop online. But adopting a more digital approach means making key changes in your organisation. It requires a change of culture, increased collaboration across the business and faster decision making. Organisations and business leaders need to be agile and ready to respond quickly and confidently when external communications opportunities arise. Messages need to be clear and in line with strategy and company values, in order to protect the reputation and integrity of your brand.
To really realise the true potential of working digitally, it must be embedded across everyday business activities, systems and processes and underpin your strategic business objectives. It’s not enough to simply tack digital systems and activity onto your current business model.
Employing or engaging employees with digital skills and confidence is key to helping organisations succeed and is key to supporting the less digitally savvy to understand the benefits of embracing a digital way of working and break down any perceived barriers. Whether those barriers are confidence, cost, lack of resources or skills, a digital ambassador within the company can help to drive the adoption of digital, communicate the benefits and foster a culture of collaboration and agility at all levels of the organisation.