At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies - John Chambers, Cisco
Like me, many small business owners have been thinking about the death of their company recently. The global pandemic and factors like Brexit have pushed many small businesses to the edge. For many, it's been the final straw and that poor camel can't carry on.
We're having to do more with less. There's only one way to do that realistically - become a digital business.
What is a digital business?
What a "digital business" is actually depends on who you talk to. Accenture, Gartner, McKinsey (and many more) have their opinions. Here's my current explanation: a digital business is an organisation that’s making the most of digital technology to enhance what it does and how it does it. This normally involves connecting your main business technologies (e.g. website, customer database, sales & marketing tools, etc) and making the most of automation.
Benefits of becoming a digital business
There are many benefits of becoming a digital business, including:
- cutting costs
- saving time on admin so you can spend more time on billable activities
- gathering useful data you can act on
- improving the customer experience (e.g. making it easier for people to interact with your company, turning you into one they prefer to do business with)
- speeding up and automating many customer interactions
- being able to drive sales automatically
- allowing the team access to the information they need, painlessly
- being able to work from anywhere
- and more…
Opportunity for small businesses
The wider industry calls this "digital transformation" but, let's be honest, the larger the company, the harder it is for them to make much progress. There's a real opportunity here for small businesses. It can take large companies years to see any results, but a small business can start seeing results in days or weeks. It can help you to leapfrog your larger competitors by doing more with less.
How to become a digital business
How do you become a digital business? There's no definitive threshold of "digitalness" a company needs to achieve to officially be a digital business. So I created a free checklist of specific things you can do that move you in the right direction, eventually helping you to do more with less.
You can grab the checklist here on Google Drive. Use "File > Make a copy" to save it to your account or download an Excel version.
Here are some things you might find interesting…
Create your own AI for documents, images, or text that takes daily, repetitive tasks off your shoulders. For example, auto-tag images based on the contents, predict ad performance prior to testing, instantly categorise and route customer service requests…
Bardeen Chrome Extension
If you've heard of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) this is like a personal version of that in your browser (Chrome only). The app allows you to mix and embed various commands and combine them into playbooks like 'Capture this web page as PDF and use Slack to share the file with the participants of my next meeting' or 'Add the information from the page I am browsing to my research sheet'.
Hand-written notes and cards at scale. Send your typed text to the app and custom-handwriting robots will turn the copy into hand-written cards/notes and send them to your recipients in the post.