Businesses and companies are among those who have suffered the most. Unless you are one of the owners of some multi-million dollar company that has been able to cope with (and even profit from) this situation, you have had to adapt. And adapting is not always possible, nor always for the better.
It is exactly this adaptation that has made many companies and businesses turn to the digital market. Internet is a market open 24 hours a day, without the need to be on the street, and today it is full of facilities.
According to the latest European data, Spain is above the average in terms of digitization. The numbers are not bad in general, but if we go to the individual, we see that the level of digital knowledge of a large part of the population is still very low.
For this reason, we want to give a hand to those businesses that are still hesitating whether to go digital or not. We warn you that it is not an easy or short task, but in the long run it will be worth it.
What is digitization?
It is also called “digital transformation” and it consists of exactly that: going from analog to digital. In a company it can be applied in different ways, depending on the type of business, market, product, etc.
- Infrastructure digitalization : It does not necessarily imply buying machinery. It is simply about automating or digitizing production processes
- Business digitization : This is not applicable to everyone, but it is applicable to many more businesses than is believed. It is about, for example, moving from a physical store to an online one.
Why is it important to digitize your business?
It is not mandatory, far from it, but it is crucial for any current business. You can still have a traditional business. And it is that if we do not have an internet presence or do not transform our company to digital, we may be losing time, customers and, above all, money.
Benefits of digitizing traditional businesses
- An unimaginable reach : You can have a lot of fame locally with your business, but nothing remotely close to the reach of the internet. People from all over the world can order from you and receive it in a few days. Imagine the possibilities.
- Expand your niche market : If your product has a niche market, or is not for mass consumption, going digital can be a solution. Make yourself known in specialized forums, make an accurate online presence, and your store will become a success.
- Convenience for the customer : Imagine that instead of having to go to the center of the city to your store (with all that that implies), you can place an order from the comfort of your sofa or lying on the beach . And not only that, but also see the available products and ask questions. All in less than 5 minutes. Who can say no to that?
- Lots of tools and lots of information : Before you, millions and millions of people have gone online. And many of them have created or improved tools that make the problem easier. Along with pages and pages of tutorials and manuals, you just have to have the desire and a little time. The rest is done by itself.
How to digitize your business?
Ok, you know what it is and the possibilities it has. You already have the desire, time and predisposition to leave the comfort zone. Now it’s time to get to work and start doing it. Here are a series of steps that can help or guide you when starting to digitize your business.
analyze your business
We think we know everything about our companies, but we always have to think about it one more time. In this case, you should focus your vision on whether there are processes that would be improved by being digital, or if your business would have an online future.
It’s not just the desire, you have to take into account the numbers. You must analyze how much you are willing to invest in digitizing and if it is really profitable for you.
From an infrastructure point of view, see what tools exist that can solve problems and save costs. Not only in money, but also in time, which, in the long run, is also money.
Keep in mind that the objectives of your company and the way you operate will change. You will need to change your business plan and perhaps also your structure to accommodate this. It is not something that can be done overnight.
invest in help
It would be great if we could do this without investing. But, as we already know, in business if you don’t invest, you don’t earn. There are several ways to invest to digitize your business:
- On the one hand, you can hire specialists and consultants. There are people who are specifically dedicated to helping companies and businesses to update. They can help you make an analysis of what you need and how you can get it. They can advise you on your goals, tell you if they are realistic and in what time frame you could achieve them. There are many people who are reluctant to hire advisers, they have the conception that they only charge for talking and do nothing. The key is to find the right one for your situation.
- On the other hand, but not necessarily separately, you can invest in software and tools that make your day to day more bearable. We say that it does not go separately, since many times it is the specialists themselves who can advise us which tool is best suited to our situation.
know the tools
The good thing that digitization has been in place for years is that there are endless tools that can give you a big hand.
- Sales and accounting: Every day they are more and better prepared. You can avoid having an accountant or someone to keep your accounts. Far from being a problem, with little knowledge and good accounting software, you can have all the numbers up your sleeve. There are several websites that can list the best accounting software for you . You just have to choose the one that best suits your situation.
- Social networks: They are perhaps the most important things if you want to go digital. It is a letter of introduction, a way to build loyalty, to make yourself known and to advertise completely free of charge. Give it the importance it deserves and you will see how, in a short time, you will see the fruits.
- CRM: They are among the first digital tools that broke into companies, but there are still those who do not know them. If used well, CRMs can be a great tool. They help improve customer service, improve the company’s image and build customer loyalty.
- Process improvements: Depending on your business or company, there may be specific tools to help you go digital. There are some that you may not have known you needed until you met them. A program to convert audio to text can be a gold mine. It helps to save time (and, therefore, money), to be able to concentrate on other tasks and facilitates multi-tasking
The key is balance
As we have already said, digitizing your business is a process. It has its times and must be done calmly. But it does not mean that you should abandon the face-to-face business altogether. After all, it’s what got you to where you are.
You can start small and, as you go, you can afford more to climb. Or, on the contrary, you can bet everything on one card. It is risky and perhaps not the most advisable, but you are the one who has to make the decisions based on your situation.
The two types of businesses are compatible and complementary. In fact, if you can afford both, go for it. Don’t limit yourself. The more ways they have to get to and consume your product, the better.
There are very few real reasons not to digitize your business. Except in very exceptional cases, it is a way to give your business more outlets and popularity. To expand borders and increase reach.
It is not a magical solution, nor a synonym of benefits. Nor is it for sales. You have to dedicate time, effort and, to a greater or lesser extent, money. For this reason, it is important to invest correctly, to think about each step we take. If you do it, and you do it well, in a short time you will see how your investment pays off.