When we think of entrepreneurism in 2018 our thoughts are drawn almost inevitably to bright, hungry and digitally savvy youngsters, ready to take on the world armed only with their iPad Pro. While the digital startup is a phenomenon that continues to boom (especially as we rely increasingly on digital applications for everything from our home entertainment to ordering pizza), let’s spare a thought for the old guard. There are a great many owners of SMEs out there who don’t much care for all this digital nonsense. They’ve been in business for many years now and after years of tweaking have worked out a system of practices and processes that works for them. They either have no desire to join the digital revolution out of a stubborn Luddite dedication to their tried and true methods or they simply so no way in which digitization could benefit their business. Or perhaps they just don’t want to endure the disruption and upfront costs that come with a digital overhaul of their operations (even though every entrepreneur worth their salt knows that spending less now may cost you more in the long term).
For those that need to be convinced, here are some ways in which a failure to embrace digital technologies may be holding your business back…
You’re wasting a lot of time on your AP processes
Your AP (or Accounts payable) are an essential part of the day to day running of your business. Staying agile and efficient in managing your creditors and debtors effectively is a huge part of maintaining the healthy cash flow that will ease your operations and hopefully allow you to facilitate growth when the right opportunities come along like the opportunity to invest in a piece of equipment that will make your business more productive or a better premises that gets more foot traffic.
If you’re failing to digitize your AP process and store files in the cloud you’re not only wasting a lot of space with all those filing cabinets, you’re likely wasting a lot of time on procedures that you undertake regularly. Visit Datamation for info on how you could make your AP processes more efficient.
Your reach is limited
You’ve likely gotten as far as you have off the back of your existing customers’ loyalty but you mustn’t count on customer loyalty to keep you where you are. Customers are fickle creatures, especially in times of economic uncertainty. To insulate your business from risk, you need to expand your reach to alert new customers to your presence while ensuring that you reward the loyalty of your existing customers. Without digital marketing, social media or digital CRM solutions, your ability to do this is extremely limited.
Your business could be rendered obsolete
There was a time when if we wanted to be entertained on a Saturday night we went to Blockbuster video to rent a movie. The Netflix model of digital distribution and subscription made Blockbuster’s business model obsolete and they went from a thriving giant of commerce to a cautionary tale. If you’re afraid to adapt to new practices as technology changes consumer trends, your business may get left in the dust.