No doubt that 2020 has caused a seismic shift in how businesses operate. Working remotely, restricted travel, lock downs impacting output both locally and internationally are some of the more obvious impacts of COVID-19 on the workplace.
The economic future suggests there is more to contend with in the coming months/years – high unemployment, potential recessions and adjusting to this “new norm”.
Digital transformation is “the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.” Wikipedia
Whilst technology is at the core of the digital transformation process, it’s easy in small business to put off implementation due to the perceived high costs. That or it can be completely overwhelming trying to understand all the jargon and choose from the many options available.
Digital transformation should always be centred around people. That is your staff and your customers. No one knows your business better than your staff. So utilise their expertise. Systems should be designed on the best possible customer experience and not to fit in with internal processes.
I’d like to share ten of my favourite tools that won’t break the bank but will have a big impact on your business.
1. Plan Your Digital Ecosystem
Before you do anything, sit down with your team and get a clear picture of what would make the biggest difference to your business. If from this process you discover you know what is needed but not exactly how to do it, engage the services of a professional. You will save time and money by getting it right the first time.
Remember – at the core of this design must be the human element. What makes life easier for your staff? What would improve your customer experience? If it doesn’t address either of these then save your money!
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software – Hubspot
I have used so many different CRM programs in my time. Most are complex, expensive and do not integrate with marketing platforms very well (it at all). What I love most about Hubspot is that it increases efficiencies by fully integrating with my email platform. No more retyping info into two different systems.
Hubspot allows you to start for FREE! No ads, exceptional product and covers more than what most people will need to begin with. You can upgrade your subscription as you grow but this is more than enough to get you started.
If you currently manage all of your contacts, opportunities, service issues in your personal email than I strongly suggest you look at implementing Hubspot. Having data in a centralised location that the whole business can access will lead to further opportunities by integrating with some of the marketing features.
3. Cloud Storage – Google Cloud, OneDrive
Working remotely has been the most significant change we have seen due to COVID-19. Having access to files on the go is one of the key challenges. Both of these products do it simply and include mobile apps. With peace of mind that files are backed up automatically, cloud storage is a must have.
Starting AUD $6.90/mth for OneDrive for business.
4. Accounting Software – Xero
Xero is great for those that want a simple to use, mobile friendly accounting software. At AUD $25-65/month it is a great investment to keep a track of cash flow, quotes, payroll and handy inbuilt reporting. Having visibility on the go certainly lets you make informed decisions quickly.
5. Inventory Software – Unleashed
I personally find this platform simple to use for purchases, inventory, production and sales. For those in manufacturing it even has the ability to manage components and bill of materials.
One of the most underrated parts of this system is the customer portal that allows your customer to log in online and place orders with full view of products and customised pricing. Why re-invent the wheel and pay someone to create something that already exists?
With the simple integration with Xero, the two become extremely powerful. Unleashed Software starts at AUD$219/month for three users.
6. Freelance Designers – Fiverr
Finding a designer to work with can be difficult. I find Fiverr great as I get to read reviews from other users. Clear timelines is another feature that I really like.
Services cover from graphics and design, digital marketing, writing/translation, video/animation and much more.
7. Free Images – Pixabay, StyledStock, Stock Vault, Kaboom Pics, Free Nature Stock
If you aren’t working in design full time chances are you don’t have annual subscriptions to websites such as Shutterstock. Paying for images can add up very quickly.
The selection of the above are a good place to start and can be easily used in your Canva designs.
8. Graphic Design Templates – Canva, Adobe Spark
Having a full time marketing person can often be seen as a luxury. If you don’t have this luxury it’s still important that you present high quality design for your brand. A good step in the right direction is to use one of these programs which have templates that can really simplify the process.
Both have FREE options and even some images you can use for free also.
9. Build Your Professional Brand – LinkedIn
Free networking, free advertising, free learning from your community. Where else in the B2B community do you get this much value? With only 1% of the LinkedIn community ever posting it’s so easy to stand out and have the attention of your audience.
Did you know that Youtube is the worlds section largest search engine behind Google? Video content is here to stay. In terms of daily usage the current global average of videoconsumption per day stands at 84 minutes.
Video content doesn’t have to have a high cost of production given most phones these days produce output that is of such a high quality. Producing a “How To” video is a great way to show case your products.
Keep an eye on TikTok for business. There are currently more users consuming content on the platform than those producing it, so watch this space grow quickly.
Good Trading Co is here to help!
At Good Trading Co we help our clients navigate their way through digital transformation in their business. We partner to work together and review what will make the biggest impact to the business staying sharply focused on the human element.
Often we hear “I know I should BUT…. The “but” normally is followed by no time, no money, no resources. By working together we are able to show the cost of actually not taking action far outweighs the cost of implementation.
As you can see we focus on cost effective solutions and offer project based services so you don’t have to commit to the cost of full time employees. We find that given our expertise and ability to focus in these areas, we are able to do projects efficiently in a fraction of the time it would take internally.
If this article has raised some questions and you would like a no-obligation discussion, please feel free contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org