According to a recent survey by TechRepublic, 31% of respondents plan to maintain their investments in digital transformation in 2022, and 38% plan to spend even more.
This is because even with unforeseen crises and the unexpected shift in the workplace environment, flexible networks and technology have helped businesses to adapt quickly.
Suppose you are a business owner and leader looking to champion digital transformation at your organization; this blog is for you. Here, we cover all the basics you must know before you hop onto the bandwagon of digital change. We also provide you with a quick list of software to consider that covers key business challenges like expense management, project management, employee engagement, payroll management, and more. So let’s get right to it!
Why should businesses consider digital transformation?
Digital transformation can help small business owners to reimagine the way they do business and move away from paper and spreadsheets. It is the process of using modern digital technology to either create new or modify existing business processes, workflow, systems, and operations to meet your business requirements. Additionally, it can also help keep track of data and bring all business-related information together in one place.
For small businesses, by investing in digital transformation and taking advantage of workflow automation, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, they can future-proof their organization from the beginning and set themselves up for smoother business growth.
What are the benefits of digital transformation?
The key driver for small businesses to shift to digital transformation are mainly due to its cost-effectiveness. It can help them complete tasks at a shorter duration and they can easily migrate sensitive data from one system to another with lower operational costs. In addition to this, here are some of the top benefits of digital transformation:
It helps centralize data to drive insights from it
Running a business requires you to keep track of multiple data – this can be information related to your business expenses, employee payroll management, cashflows, inventory, etc.
By relying on modern digital tools, business owners can create a system to gather all their data, access them when needed, store them securely, and use them for business intelligence and decision-making. They can also turn raw data into valuable insights to help with their business operations, production, finance, and business opportunities.
It can encourage digital collaboration
Creating a digital culture is crucial for businesses to remain sustainable and scalable during such testing times. Through digital transformation, business owners can provide employees with the right tools to help meet their needs and enable them to work from anywhere and still deliver.
The right automation tools can provide more seamless collaborations and communication required to take your business forward. It can also encourage your employees to upskill and take advantage of the tools out there.
Increase in productivity and profits
According to a report, businesses that shift to digital transformation improve their efficiency and profitability.
- 80% of organizations that completed digital transformation reports increased profits.
- 85% say that they have increased their market share.
- And on average, leaders expect 23% higher revenue growth than competitors.
Having the right tools at hand, such as webinar software, video communication tool, etc to communicate with your remote team, can help streamline workflows and improve productivity within your organization. It also plays a crucial role in automating mundane, repetitive, and error-prone tasks. This cuts down the time to complete tasks and boosts overall employee and financial productivity.
Top tech tools for small businesses to consider
Online accounting software is designed to help business owners with accounting and bookkeeping-related work. Most businesses use them for invoicing, cash flow management, maximizing tax deductions, and tracking sales and sales tax.
Popular choice: QuickBooks Online
- Create invoices instantly
- Accept payments online from both credit and debit cards
- Automatically sort all your business expenses into the right tax categories
- Share important books and documents with your accountants
Project management tools
Project management software allows you to virtually track your activities, meetings, and deadlines with little to no manual work. The tool can automatically create reminders for your upcoming tasks and events, send reminders to team members, and set up customized workflows.
Popular choice: Trello
- Multiple board views to view data from different angles
- Assign tasks and hand off work
- Automate tedious tasks on your project board
- Integrate with other apps like Slack, Google Drive, and Evernote
Expense management software
Expense management software are built to streamline your entire expense management process from expense reporting to employee reimbursement. The software enables you to track and manage expense reports along with receipts under one platform, automatically reconcile credit card transactions, integrate with your favorite accounting software, and stay audit-ready, always.
Popular choice: Fyle
- Receipt scanning tool for faster expense reporting
- Expense report audit in real-time
- Set up a customized approval workflow
- Reimburse employees in bulk
- Faster payments with next day ACH feature
Business Texting Software
Business texting software is an excellent way for any smaller business or organization to reach their contacts, customers, or clients. Consumers prefer texting because it’s fast, easy, and more convenient. Plus, texts often get better engagement and response rates than email and voice calls. People don’t open emails and they don’t answer phone calls – but they respond to texts.
Popular choice: MessageDesk
- Text with any kind of phone number including existing numbers and business landlines
- Shared team text messaging inbox for routing and assigning conversations
- Text message broadcasts for reaching your entire audience
- Fully managed opt-in and opt-out compliance plus carrier vetting for 100% text delivery rates
With e-signature tools, business owners can sign contracts and agreements even if they work in geographically dispersed and remote workplace environments. You can simply upload your documents and add in the email addresses of those who need to sign through the software. The recipients will then receive the documents in their inboxes. It can also send auto-reminders to recipients who haven’t added their signature before the due date.
Popular choice: DocuSign
- Send and sign documents from anywhere
- Create and add custom fields to your agreement
- Route documents according to your internal business processes
- Get a detailed and robust audit trail for every agreement
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management software is a tool for businesses to track and manage their relationship and interactions with customers or potential customers. The software can help with contact management, sales management, agent productivity, and customer relationships during their entire customer lifecycle.
- Keep all your lead records under one place
- Add deals, assign tasks, and keep a tab of the progress
- Get details and insights into a company
- Track emails and know when a prospect performs an activity
Help desk software
A helpdesk software allows you to streamline customer queries and conversations across multiple channels. You can delegate customer queries to specific agents and keep track of them till the point of resolution. With a helpdesk, you always stay on top of queries and get to provide efficient customer support.
Popular choice: Hiver
- Manage customer queries within Gmail
- Track key support metrics to analyze team performance
- Collaborate with team members on queries using internal notes (without sending more emails)
- Automate repetitive tasks to optimize workflows in your customer support team
Lead generation tools
A good lead generation software can help small businesses do A/B testing, create personalization to generate and convert more leads, and much more. The more information you gather by asking the right questions to your prospects, the better results you’ll have.
Popular choice: LeadQuizzes
- Create highly engaging quizzes that increase leads up to 500%
- Generate more leads and learn about your audience with engaging questions
- Capture leads that are about to exit your website
- Use the collected data for measuring customer satisfaction, doing email outreach, social media ads, etc.
Time tracking tools
Using time tracker software is crucial to the success of any project. It allows project managers to keep track of every hour their teams worked, plan schedules, estimate costs, and gain valuable insights to improve performance. As well as providing complete awareness of their team’s work, it helps them stay on top of everything and meet all deadlines. They can also use the information about how their team spends its time to generate business reports and bill clients.
Popular choice: TrackingTime
- Multi-device timekeeping in real-time
- Online timesheet creation
- Project management and integrations
- Business reporting
Digital transformation can open the way for small businesses to achieve growth and incredible success – provided they invest in the right digital tools. These tools free up time for your employees and take care of all the mundane manual tasks, allowing them to focus on the bigger picture.
As we step into another year, it looks like remote work is here to stay. Thus, business owners need to push for digitization sooner than later. Hopefully, this article helps you make that start.
Author bio: Akhono is a Marketing Associate from Fyle; an AI expense management software company designed to put an end to your expense reporting and management woes.