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Why Digital Transformation Is Essential for Small Businesses in Today’s Economic Environment

2 Mins read

As we navigate the post-pandemic world, it’s becoming increasingly clear that digital transformation can help small businesses stay competitive. Historically, many small businesses have been resistant to joining the digital revolution, relying on more traditional methods to manage their businesses. But the pandemic has tested SMBs in unprecedented ways, and many business owners were forced to move elements of their operations online. 

Now, in today’s economic environment, businesses cannot afford to halt their growth or efficiency. Time is of the essence for small businesses to take steps to begin embracing digital transformation and evaluating how they can add digital tools to their current processes.

In tough times, digital transformation can be a lifeline for small business 

Throughout the pandemic, small businesses have had to grapple with the need to maintain revenue while keeping employees and customers safe. In 2022, as the pandemic began to subside, the hangover effect of broken supply chains and hard-to-find labor added equally challenging headwinds for the average small business owner. 

Digital transformation can help businesses weather these challenges by enabling them to serve customers in new ways and streamline their operations, creating sustainable efficiencies. Small businesses that adopt digital tools will be better equipped to survive and thrive in today’s economy, and in a rapidly evolving and unpredictable future.

Unlocking operational efficiency for small businesses

How many small businesses fail simply because the dream of owning a business suddenly became a nightmare? Most entrepreneurs aren’t prepared for the burnout of 100-hour work weeks, every week, with no end in sight — and they shouldn’t have to be prepared for this. This burnout shouldn’t have to happen. 

Digital tools can help small businesses solve this dilemma and streamline their operations. For example, they can use cloud-based software to manage their accounting, inventory, and customer data. This can help businesses save time and reduce errors while also providing better visibility into their operations. With real-time data at their fingertips, businesses can make more informed decisions and respond more quickly to changing market conditions.

Empowering small businesses to meet customer expectations

For small businesses, technological adoption is usually driven by either the need to save money and time internally, or to better meet customers’ needs and preferences. The motivations and inspiration can be internally motivated, externally motivated or both. Today, customers expect businesses to be available 24/7, and companies with 24/7 customer service availability have the perceived advantage over many small businesses, which are typically offline more than they’re online. 

Digital tools can help level the playing field, allowing small businesses to keep their loyal customer base satisfied — and even convert new ones with their ability to use technology to present a more competitive customer experience, which can make them appear almost as large as a national competitor.

To achieve the most success with digital tools, smart business owners should build their processes and business around a platform that they can grow into. So when they are ready, adding a little help comes naturally. More than just a platform, small business owners deserve a partner who will work with them to identify processes or workflows in their business that could use some updating, as part of adopting the platform. 

Final thoughts

By constantly evaluating current processes and identifying areas for digital transformation, small businesses can optimize their operations and better serve their customers. Guidance on choosing the right technology and implementation, along with ongoing support and training, can help small businesses feel confident in using digital tools. 

Ultimately, adapting to digital transformation is essential for small businesses to remain competitive, and we must stay committed to helping small businesses succeed every step of the way. 

Ryan Cantor is the Chief Product Officer at Thryv.

Digital transformation stock image by metamorworks/Shutterstock

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