In my last Blog –A Guide to Small Business Digital Transformation– I explained the why, what and how of Digital Transformation (DT).
Essentially, DT happens when a small business makes the changes required to meet the latest, ‘digital expectations’ of consumers, for example, providing an online shopping option.
Making the Change
The transformation part of DT is more important than the digital part because successful DT in a small business can only happen if leadership does a good job of gaining support from employees for the significant changes that digital technology creates in operations, and the way work gets done.
After effective leadership, the next most important ingredient required to evolve successfully into a digitally savvy company is a good strategy; strategy being, how you choose to create value for stakeholders and differentiate your company from the competition.
If the leaders in your business haven’t talked during the past two years about the vision for the company and the strategy for achieving it – now is the time! Here’s why, digital technology is radically changing the environment your business operates in – how people buy, how people collaborate at work, how people get to know about your products, etc. – and no company can thrive, or even survive if it is out of sync with its environment.
To cut a long story short, strategy now has to take into account the impact that digital technology is having or it will fail.
In my previous blog, I suggested that if your fiercest competitor has answered and taken action on this question: ‘Where will the most interesting digital opportunities and threats open up in our market?’, you will need to get ready to compete with a rival that will be operating in new markets, offering new products or services, and marketing mostly through digital means.
Digital Transformation Questions
- How quickly and on what scale is digital disruption likely to occur in our sector? And
- What are the best responses to embrace these opportunities proactively and to reallocate resources away from the biggest threats?
Can you see how answering and taking action on these questions will accelerate your rival’s Digital Transformation?
Of course, you could beat them to the punch and get going ASAP on these critical questions yourself!
Take a minute right now to answer them for your own small business… did the questions stimulate some useful thinking or unlock a good idea, or two? I hope so because that is their purpose.
To quote Don Cherry, “this isn’t rocket surgery folks”, if you want to avoid getting left behind in this digital age, start with your strategy and then focus on providing the kind of leadership that people love to follow – get them excited about the vision for the company, lead by example by consistently using the new technology, and explain to everyone how the changes are going to make things better for them, the company and its customers.