The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has wreaked havoc on every industry and sector, globally. Although most large enterprises, which had surplus monetary and other resources to cushion the impact of the pandemic, have survived the jolt to some extent, small and medium businesses did not, resulting in massive devastation and a loss of liquidity in the SME industry.
But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining – the SME industry is no exception. In such difficult times, digital innovation or digitalisation can be a lifeline for small and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and help them recover from this once-in-a-lifetime catastrophe.
What is Digitalisation?
As the name implies, Digitalisation is the process of moving to digital space. This practice involves the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities. Moreover, digital adoption has indeed skyrocketed at both the Organisational and industry levels during the pandemic, and consumers have shifted dramatically toward online channels. However, many small and medium-sized businesses are still unsure about the advantages of going digital. Keeping such perplexed business owners in mind, we’ve outlined five reasons why digital innovation will help SMBs survive in the post-pandemic landscape:
1. Digitalisation will streamline and optimise processes
The first and most significant benefit that digitalisation or digital innovation brings to SMEs is that it will streamline and optimise the overall process in the company – from manufacturing to packaging to shipping to monitoring. Besides that, digital innovation will benefit businesses in almost every department. For example, digitalisation will allow you and your team to manage your IT assets and systems, track the status and location of every element in the supply chain automatically, create simple compliance documentation, and manage and track the progress of internal projects and share it with all stakeholders.
2. Digitalisation will enhance overall Efficiency
Small and medium-sized businesses can also improve their efficiency with the help of digitalisation. By eliminating all manual work and streamlining the workflow, you can close the system’s loopholes and significantly improve performance and productivity. Moreover, digitalisation will enable you to transfer files and documents that would have been impossible or time-consuming to transfer manually. Also, you will have real-time data about every process taking place in the company, allowing you to make immediate decisions or make necessary changes on time.
3. Digitalisation will help establish Global presence
The third major advantage of embracing digital innovation is that it will make it simple for small and medium businesses to establish a global footprint, which is otherwise difficult. You can establish a global presence, and thus expand your business on a global platform by just using the internet, VoIP, and other communication and digital technologies.
This will give your company a competitive advantage, facilitate global trade, and ensure business growth. Besides, having a global presence will assist you in expanding your reach, gaining access to more customers, making your products or services available to a global audience, and increasing profits and revenue.
4. Digitalisation will improve Customer Experience
Along with these three advantages, digital innovation will assist small- and medium-sized businesses in improving their customer experience. Businesses can better understand their customers’ concerns and provide better solutions by analysing large sets of data.
Digitalisation will also make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to analyse customer needs and design new products accordingly. As a result, better products and a better customer experience will lead to increased revenue and business growth.
5. Digitalisation will provide better Business Insights
The fifth major advantage of digitalisation for small and medium businesses is that it will provide better analytics and business insights. As one might expect, using digital technologies to generate various reports and analyse data is far easier and more effective than doing so manually.
You can create custom reports, analyse them, and see where you excel and where you fall short of your competitors. This data will aid in the redesign or modification of your current business strategy.