The digital revolution is a fact. As entrepreneurs in an ever-changing digital environment, it’s natural to look for ways to grow your business to meet the demands of this new age better.
Digitalization hides many opportunities companies must take advantage of to optimize their business processes. But not all businesses are ready to make the digital transition.
European businesses look slower in technological integration than their counterparts worldwide. At this rate, European companies risk being left out of the market due to the growing international competition further intensified by digitization.
Learn how you can grow your business in the digital age in 5 steps to:
- Maximize your profits
- better manage your corporate resources
- make better decisions
- be flexible
- increase your productivity
By knowing the changes brought about by the digital transition in entrepreneurship, you will be better prepared to develop your business according to your organisation’s needs.
What is digital transformation and what do businesses need to know?
Digital transformation is all the changes a company adopts to leverage the benefits of digitalization. By digitalization, we mean the internet, the various digital media and a multitude of new dominating technologies changing the world.
By digitalization, we mean the internet, the various digital media and a multitude of new dominating technologies changing the world.
- Social media
- mobile technology services
- cloud computing
- data analytics
- Internet of things – IoT
- robotics and automation
- 3D printing
- artificial intelligence – AI
Digitalization has brought rapid changes in all sectors, and these new technologies significantly affect business operations. Any business that wishes to remain competitive and sustainable in the modern digital environment must be flexible and show adaptability. Flexibility allows companies to follow the trends of the time and change how they operate in response to new needs.
In particular, the pandemic accelerated the digital revolution as the need to work from home became the norm. Many businesses found themselves unprepared to face the new challenges and unable to leverage the much-needed digital technologies.
5 ways to grow your business in a nutshell
- Adopt new technologies;
- Invest in your human resources;
- Leverage digital marketing;
- Create an online store;
- Know the digital tools that are available;
Step #1: Adopt new technologies
The ongoing digital transformation has made many changes in the business world. Due to digitization, new technologies have emerged, dominating businesses. These technologies increase employee productivity and make your processes more flexible.
However, introducing new technology into a business is not easy. To maximise the value of such technology must first understand three things:
- The needs of your business;
- Your employees’ wants;
- How technology can contribute to all the above.
Of course, of all the available technologies, you must find the ones that best fit your industry or business. Many technologies can help you grow your business if you discover them.
For example, it is absurd that in 2022 there are not enough cyber security systems in businesses leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks.In the event of a hit, apart from losing a significant portion of your files and not being able to recover them, you may also find yourself in trouble with the law. If your customers’ data leaks, for which you are primarily responsible for their safekeeping, you will be asked to pay severe damages.
Step #2: Invest in your people
Investing in your people is essential to realise the digital transition. After all, your employees are the ones who will have to use these new technologies daily. That’s why you have to make sure, first of all, that they are comfortable using it. For this, training by qualified people can immensely help. Thus, they can learn how to use these technologies fully.
Finally, if there is no CIO in your business, growing the business amid digital transformation becomes even more difficult. Companies need fully trained people who will be responsible for completing the transition to the digital age.
Step #3: Leverage Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is now an essential tool for all businesses. At a time when more and more people have access to the internet worldwide, digital marketing allows you to reach them and sell your products or services worldwide.
In the digital age, when almost everything is done electronically, businesses must be digitally present by having a website or social media account.
Finally, not only your digital presence is enough, but you must also improve the SEO of your website to stand out from the competition, and to be found easier by your customers.
Step #4: Create an online store
You have to remember that during the pandemic, there was a lot of talk about online stores (eshops). With the “e-λιανικό” program in 2021, grants of up to 5,000 euros were given to Greek businesses to create their online store. This grant aimed to combat the adverse effects of the pandemic on brick-and-mortar SMEs that were closed for months.
Eshops are not only necessary in emergency situations like the above. An online store is perhaps one of the best ways to grow your business in the digital age. Making your products available online creates additional sales channels, making your ads more effective.
At the same time, more and more consumers are now choosing to buy products online. Even if they don’t buy something online, consumers start their market research on the Internet. At the same time, you can register your business to price comparison sites like skroutz, which millions of users use every year, to increase the visibility of your products and business.
Step #5: Look for available digital tools that exist
Digital transformation has changed our work through innovative digital tools. Just think that up until about 2 years ago the concept of working from home was almost non-existent. That is why many businesses found it hard at the beginning.
However, faced with the dilemma of teleworking or suspension and, therefore, a reduction in turnover, many companies have sought solutions that would allow them to support such a venture. This was only made possible using digital tools that made remote work possible.
In the digital age and an ever-changing environment, businesses must have a range of new digital solutions that open up new avenues for growth.
For example, some digital tools that almost all businesses have implemented so far are digital collaboration and communication solutions. Characteristic examples of these are office 365 and applications such as sSlackor Microsoft Teams.
Other digital tools you can consider growing your business are:
- Intranet platforms;
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Cloud storage
- Project management tools
- Digital accounting tools
- Payroll management tools
Be patient and analyze
Following the above steps or whichever of the above steps suits your business, you will have to be patient.
The entire process, from the first moment of looking for your business or employees’ needs to completing your transition to the digital age, is time-consuming. But even when implementing the right changes that can help your business grow to meet the demands of the digital age era, the results are not immediate.
For example, your online presence takes time to pay off, especially if your business is new to the internet. You may constantly publish new content, but your website’s SEO and social followers will take time to improve.
However, whatever your changes, you need first to analyze the data at your disposal. It should cover the period before introducing the new changes to your organizations, but also after it.
For more valid results, you should collect these data after a few months to determine the real impact of the digital transformation on your company.
Now you know how to grow your business in the digital age
To digitally transform your business may seem like a mountainous affair to you, and rightfully so. Even large, established companies have had problems in their digitalization efforts.
But to bring your company into the digital world, you don’t have to do it alone. You can hire an expert who knows the new technologies very well and can understand your needs and the best way to integrate them into your processes.
Finally, you can also get in touch with organizations such as the JOIST Innovation Park that promote digital innovations and recognize digital transformation as a necessary condition for business growth in the 21st century. At JOIST Innovation Park, you will find a pioneering ecosystem for collaboration that promotes technology and innovative thinking. In such a collaborative space, innovation is open and accessible to all, and the right conditions are created for knowledge sharing and growth.