How can your small business can adapt to more digital future

We’re getting back to work, but times are still challenging.

Over the last few months everything has gotten a lot more digital, how can your business thrive?
At Tradebot we believe in Backing Small Business and helping them to make the most of this increasingly digital world.

If you’re a tradesman, massage therapist, dog walker or bookkeeper you’ve seen digital becoming a more and more important part of how your business operates. We all the last few months have changed how we interact with our business partners, loyal clients and new business leads.

We are increasingly staying together, and doing business by digital.

It’s a path we were all on, some enthusiastically, some reluctantly but the last few months have seen us jump years ahead. When we all go back to work, we will be going back to the future.

We have asked our customers about how they are managing the changes digital is bringing to their small business.

Just Start Laptop

The most common theme is don’t be afraid. It’s only scary if you think it is – get excited and take small steps! Making small changes to becoming a more digital business can save you money, save you time, make your customers happier and really pay off for you personally and professionally in the short and long term.

So, here are some top tips from small business owners, sole traders and self-employed business people…

Be upfront with your team

    • Some employees might worry that new digital initiatives will eventually cost them their jobs. Surprisingly, Business Wire reports that 35% of millennials share that concern, so it’s not surprising if older employees are even more worried. Just be honest with your team and share your plans about the company, what digital can help achieve and impacts this will have on your team.

Show them the tech

    • So much of digital technology is seen as the preserve of the youngest person on the team or a line on an invoice from an agency. If you’ve ever bought an elderly relative their first tablet or smartphone as a gift, you have probably seen them going from reluctance to heavy use (thanks for the memes Gran!), simply by using the tech. Don’t keep your digital tools away from staff on the operational front line. They may not use it on a day-to-day basis but show them around the tool and offer to give them more training if they want to find out more.

Start small

    • One of the first things you will see when you begin to look at digital technologies for your business, is the sheer number of tools, plans and jargon out there. It is very easy to waste hours researching and comparing tools. So, start small and start simple. Start with considering how increased use of digital technology could make your existing business processes cheaper and easier.

Find a mentor

    • If you’re running a small business, you have likely given or received advice from your peers. It might have been about which services to offer, or what pricing or best practice on quoting for new business. A really simple way to find the right person to talk to is to look at other businesses websites. What are they doing right, what on there do you think is a ‘Wow’ or ‘A-ha’ moment. If that business has invested time and energy in building a user-friendly website, automating new business enquiries, making sure it’s easy for mobile users to get in touch, then it’s likely they have been on the same journey you’re on. Give them a call – we all love talking about our successes, and sharing our failures over a few beers.
The last few months have been a massive challenge for a lot of small businesses. However, it has also shown how adaptable they are, and the great things they can do.