Old school methods of running a business have always been the de-facto approach for small businesses in India & most developing countries. This includes the age-old practice of manually entering every transaction into a book & storing large files of paper trail in cupboards. This approach is followed mostly by family owned businesses and they believe these are the practices that help them thrive in the industry. But, will these practices help businesses actually grow and not merely sustain? Maybe digitisation is the answer. What can digitisation really do to help SMB CEOs?
Managing a host of activities like Book-keeping, Accounting, E-mail Management, Vendor Management, Data Entry, Employee Relations, Sales & Marketing and administration eats away a huge amount of time. In an era where ‘time’ translates to money, freeing up some time with digitisation would increase the CEO’s bandwidth. To achieve this, business owners can use management dashboards to help them monitor the performance of the organisation, and make informed & relevant business decisions. When information is available at the right moment, in the right format it helps the CEO to devote and focus on key functions like customer satisfaction and organisational process improvement. This renewed attention on these key areas would reflect in their balance sheets, and help them train and scale their teams and stay ahead in the race.
Digitisation tools like Tableau, SAP, Oracle and Qlik helps improve business intelligence as the data can be used as a solid metric. The data focuses on facts rather than subjective experiences. It helps predict trends, future growth, pitfalls, and take appropriate action and stay agile.
Enhances business operations
Business productivity tools such as Slack, Trello, GSuite, Upwork, Basecamp, Zendesk & many more help SMB owners keep track of the changes in day-to-day business processes. It provides the business with transparent and relevant information, backed by data to deliver outstanding service & results. Automation can be deployed in areas like hiring, process, payroll, performance, compensation management, etc. These platforms are available on the cloud which can be accessed from multiple locations and devices; this gives them the freedom from being staying tied to their workplaces. Clearly, automation brings with it an ease of usability that helps owners to work remotely manage multiple locations and functions, without moving an inch.
Improves business throughout
The booming e-commerce industry and the myriad of options available for individuals to source their raw materials at the click of a button, explains why Business Productivity Tools such as Zendesk and Zoho CRM are key to SMBs. Even if the organisation is not willing to sell online, making an online presence that targets your consumers would improve sales, quicker turnaround time and improved customer experience. Digitisation gives SMBs a competitive edge, and they are able to outperform their competitors in areas such as increased leads, lower operational costs, better products / services, more satisfied customers and a considerably shorter time to market. The lack of digital presence indirectly translates to a diminishing consumer base. When businesses are digitised and function as per the current trends they are able to improvise on core areas – right from innovation to e-commerce to a happy customer experience, seamlessly. According to one of Harvard’s empirical studies, digitally transformed organisations, so-called ‘digital leaders’ quantifiably outperform their counterpart ‘digital laggards’. Digitisation is therefore important to prepare for a connected future, and also safe guard what matters to you the most – Your Business Bottom Line!