2020/1 (thus far) has been a tough year for small businesses and their leaders must find a method to secure a successful recovery. The new normal of working from home and a lower amount of staff has been adopted but also comes with challenges for some businesses.
Technology is the main support structure in making sure business operations continue as normally as possible. The adoption or increase in usage of technology has become vital as the government restrictions reduce. Now, businesses need to move their focus from the immediate term solutions and start looking towards medium and long term priorities.
Investing For The Future
Investing in technology can be costly and even more so during a pandemic, where businesses are trying to reduce their expenses and are hesitant to spend on new technologies. On the other hand, the right technology can assist in rebuilding businesses during this time. For businesses that operate traditionally, without any digital processes, are now being forced to realise the great benefits that tech can provide. For example, greater scalability and efficiency can be achieved now and in the long term.
The cost of new technology is more than just the price tag, consideration needs to be put in to the long term costs too. Will the new technology pay for itself over time? For example, technology that automates tasks will save a lot of time and reduce the number of mistakes that are made by human error. It will also streamline processes and ultimately cut business costs in the long run. Cloud computing also usually works out cheaper in the long term than running computing locally. SaaS typically uses monthly payments instead of lump sums upfront which makes trial runs easier.
“Half (53%) of small business owners surveyed before COVID hit found that adopting technology resulted in ‘somewhat big’ or ‘big’ increases to their profitability”
There are a vast amount of choices to be made and making the right choice is not a simple task. You need to think of where to start. A deeper look into what is required for your business and specify requirements that will narrow down the options.
The Team Journey
An annual survey on small businesses shows an increase of approximately 50% in cloud accounting adoption since 2017.
“Despite this, half of the small businesses said they could do more with their current IT set-up. Adopting new technology is the first step, teams need to embrace it too. New technology isn’t something that business leaders can implement unilaterally; the reasoning should be explained to employees. Make sure the whole team knows what success looks like from the start”
The introduction of new systems can be quite a tedious process. So for things to run smoothly, ensure you are using layman terms and that you are providing training and support personnel. Then, create champions to train and onboard other employees to use the new system. With any change in an organization the change it will create some disruption during the transitioning process. This is a small price compared to the savings and efficiency that will be gained in the long run. A way to help overcome some resistance and disruptions, involve the employees in some decision making and allow them to give recommendations.
The world of technology is and will forever be a mechanism to assist the recovery of a business in times like the current pandemic. Some SMEs are only adopting technology now in 2020 for the very first time in their organization and the others built on their existing technology. For most organizations, the COVID-19 environment has led to organizations implementing innovative solutions which goes to show that whatever the situation, we can always adapt.