The digitalization of businesses is advancing across different sectors. Today we are going to show you the most important aspects you should take into account when digitalising your business in order to directly prevent mistakes and make sure that the digital transition is a great success. Have you ever asked yourself, why is it failing? How do I overcome this?
Whether you are a doctor, an automobile entrepreneur or from a company not as related to IT, for example a manufacturer or a service provider in the cosmetics industry, you have to find the perfect way to reach your target groups in the future and digitally manage the working processes within your business.
First, collect enough information
The most common mistakes when digitalising business processes are caused by insufficient expertise. A restaurant owner, for example, who just randomly makes an advertisement will not increase the restaurants revenue and/or profit. Just as little as a hairdresser sending messages on Facebook to an undefined target group once in a while.
Preserve traditions at any cost?!
Many companies do not think it is necessary to adapt their business. After all, the business has been running well for years, why should this be changed? Just to keep up with the latest trend? Wrong! digitalization is far more than that and will influence your business in the long run, whether you are prepared or not.
Let’s show you an example
Price search engines for technical services have already existed for many years. More and more clients will discover these tools and sooner or later go to your competitors if they cannot find your business on the Internet. The lacking urgency to switch to the digital era is holding back the digital transformation of businesses. So look at it from a different angle. Especially now, while you are so successful, you should take the time and money to accelerate the digitalization of your business processes. There is no better time to do this.
It requires a lot of courage to switch to the digitalised operation of certain recurring working processes. Let’s take the building industry as an example. It could be difficult for the employees to change to a digitalised way of administering the customer files.
They have to familiarise themselves with new programmes, the routine workflow is interrupted and the:
‘Oh right, so that is the way to do it now’ feeling often emerges.
Not all employees agree with these changes. Decrease this fear by talking about the digitalization of the business processes in detail with them, as well as coordinating and providing for all contingencies. The digitalization of businesses should not go hand in hand with complexity. The digital transformation should always lead to easier working processes for the employees.
So you can see – it is not the question whether your business processes should be adapted, but rather when. Your customers are already there, but you can still be one step ahead of your competitors.
Wait! This is the best bit!
Six common mistakes when digitalising a business
1. No clearly defined goals
Which goals do you want to reach by digitalising your business processes? Do you want to make your boutique for bridal fashion more popular on Facebook? Are you twittering new, exciting hair styles for your hair salon? Are you using social media marketing on different social networks in order to reach the right target group for your cleaning company?
You require a clear, consistent goal. It is necessary to send a strong signal to your employees, so they – and you as well – recognise how technology will play an important role in your business in the future.
2. Employees cannot cope
The digital transformation of businesses is a relatively new process. People who do not belong to the generation Y and did not grow up with a smartphone are often reluctant to make drastic steps towards the digitalization of their business processes.
However, you should not overestimate these doubts as a business owner. Show the older employees, how the digitalization of your business can be helpful especially in their area. The more obvious the advantages are, the faster these employees will accept the transformation and therewith the whole business will be more likely to profit. Do not make the mistake of treating the older generation of your employees like children. Maybe they are older, but they are certainly not dumb.
The sooner you discuss the advantages of digitalization with all (!) employees, the sooner your employees and your customers will be on board.
But wait - there's more:
3. Expectations are too high within a too short time
When there is a new project, business leaders are as committed as the everyday employee. However, if the results are long in coming, the curve quickly declines. Important sub-processes are put off and the digitalization of the business only advances slowly and without a clear vision.
So keep in mind: The digitalization of your business is not a universal remedy, but rather a simple necessity.
You must not expect explosive increases in revenue and profit. Has the communication improved and can you reach your customers better through the application of your own business smartphones? That is excellent, yet it does not guarantee sustainable prosperity. Keep a cool head and make long-term investments in your success, instead of counting on short-term hypes.
4. Fear of high investments without a guarantee
Imagine sitting in your favourite restaurant, you want to pay and the waiter is not using a pen and paper as usual, but has an automatic cash system.
You can directly pay with your debit or credit card using this automatic cash system. The costs of your consumed meals and drinks are wirelessly transferred from the main system to the waiter’s small device. That’s fast, effective and easy – however, it also entails costs.
The hardware and software for the digitalization of business processes is not for free. However, businesses underestimate the long-term success that can be achieved through simplified working processes just like the one described above. Many businesses stick to old methods until it is too late or the competitors are faster.
While it is laudable (and especially if you are a small entrepreneur it is necessary) to keep costs low, you should also see the bigger picture in order to keep up to date and proactively take the chance, instead of missing out.
5. Insufficient analyses methods
It is difficult to advertise digital transformation if you do not support it with facts and figures. The investments in the digitalization of business processes have to be made visible and feasible for everyone in your business – from the smallest employee to the managers. This way you can increase the willingness of the employees and managers likewise to take part and support the transition.
6. Lack of expertise
Especially business persons who are used to taking matters into their own hands will face problems when digitalising business processes. If the necessary know-how for the transition is missing, this phase will seem like an insurmountable problem.
Therefore, you should not try to cope on your own out of false pride, but ask for help from external service providers. If you do not know how to digitalise your business in an affordable and especially profitable (with reference to the core goals) way, then advisers are always the right contact point. Going without an adviser would mean making the process more complicated than necessary – and in the end it will probably lead to the process being implemented too late and/or ineffectively.
In a nutshell: preparation is everything
As you can see, the digitalization of businesses is not really much different from other historic problems. Searching for information, communicating, willing to invest and having the courage to change – all of these characteristics apply in the digital age just like they applied in the decades before.
What are you still waiting for? It is particularly important to make the numerous advantages of the transformation visible immediately. Once you have convinced your customers as well as your employees of the new direction, you have already overcome the greatest obstacle.
Do not understand the digitalization of your business as a necessary evil, but rather as a unique chance to pave the way for the future.
You do not have to walk this path on your own. Many technologies and tools that can simplify the digitalization of your business already exist. Let us show you how we can support you with our software.
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