Digitalization is the buzzword of our time. Everyone talks about its importance, but no one specifically explains to SMEs and startups – especially in the commercial sector – how best to proceed. Because one thing is clear: Anyone who wants to digitalize their company in the long term needs a clear plan and must be prepared to rethink the current business model and invest in the future. Especially in the commercial sector.
We will show you how you can gain your first experience in the field of digitalization with little effort and approach the topic in a fun way with low pressure.
1. Digitalize your ancillary processes first and gain experience
The easiest way to digitalize your business is to begin with your ancillary processes. These are all areas that are not part of your core business. Accounting, for example, is an ideal place to start in your company.
Why? Because these are recurring tasks that are mostly repetitive and take up a lot of time. If you take the first step towards digitalization with the accounting function in your SME, you will get used to a new digital way of thinking in a simple way. From there, you can also gain inputs and tips for the subsequent digitalization of your core business. Besides, with ancillary processes, it is not as bad if you are still a little uncertain at the beginning or it does not work out as desired.
Our tip: Take small steps along a rising learning curve. In ancillary processes and small areas of your business, you can try things out, learn, fail, and gain experience. These are the key requirements for successfully managing digitalization.
2. Start early
People often raise objections in connection with digitalization: “My customers prefer to do things differently” or “My target group is not digital”. Since last year, we should all be aware of how quickly external influences can affect consumer behavior in our society. Many companies had to switch to digital offerings overnight – as quickly as possible, under pressure and with high costs – to ensure their existence. An example? Netflix was once a DVD mail order company.
That is why it is important to address this issue early on and start digitalizing individual areas of your business today. Before you have to adapt under pressure.
3. Start with the area that can save you the most time
Which ancillary activities take up the most of your time? For many SMEs and startups, these are administration and accounting. If you want to begin digitalization in this area, the only question that remains is: How much time do you want to invest in accounting in the future? Today you have an opportunity to automate your accounting almost completely. This will save you free time for either your core business or any other necessary processes.
4. Take your first steps quickly
Never before has technological progress been as fast as it is today. Development cycles are getting shorter and there are more and more suppliers, more products, and more variety.
So our advice is: Don’t do too much planning, just act right away. Taking a long time to think things over will not help you make progress.
Especially if you decide to use software as a support, you basically only need to be able to answer five questions:
- Does the new software meet my requirements? Does it fit my business?
- Can the new software save me time in the long term?
- Can I test the software myself in advance so that I can get a better impression of it?
- How flexible are the contract terms? For example, can I cancel within 30 days?
- Will I receive support from the provider? Is there any personal advice and support that goes beyond the chatbot?
We really encourage you to consider this last question. Because you will only feel secure about your choice if you can be sure to receive personal advice and individual support at any time.
Would you like to go from being a skeptic to a doer too? We would be pleased to help you and support you in taking this important step. Click here for the free needs analysis.