Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses that had little intention of digitization have been forced to prioritize a digital presence. Whether it’s an online storefront or a remote workforce, doing business digitally is the new standard.
Transitioning to a digital business environment comes with many challenges. However, many businesses are thriving in their new digital world. If you’re making a digital transition, here are some strategies that will help you thrive, too.
If you want to thrive in the digital world, you must embrace automation. Automation cuts down on the time required to perform routine tasks and improves outcomes. With all the complexities of business in the modern world, automation has become a standard requirement.
Automate as much as possible
Automating simple tasks is highly beneficial. Simple, yet repetitive tasks are often where the most time is wasted. For example, you can use automation to create scheduled tasks based on other actions in your project management suite. You can also automate repetitive processes based on specified conditions. You can even use automation to detect, isolate, and monitor cybersecurity threats.
Automation streamlines operations by making it easy for anyone to perform certain tasks, including incident responses, without relying on a single expert. Automation allows critical tasks to be reassigned when someone is absent or busy.
Other ways to use automation include:
· Using an email marketing application like MailChimp or Infusionsoft to deliver email sequences to your subscribers.
· Using CRM software to automate sales processes, set up appointments, and tag new email subscribers as they’re collected.
Business in the digital world relies on automation. It’s become impossible to stay competitive while managing every task manually. Automating business processes and workflows is the ultimate key to success.
Adopt a remote work policy
Do your employees come into the office every day to perform their duties? If they don’t actually need to show up at the office, consider allowing them to work from home at least part of the week. Create a remote work policy that allows staff to work remotely when appropriate. Working from home is actually better for most employees and makes them happier and more productive. Statistics published by flexjobs.com show that 81% of employees would be more loyal to their employer if they were allowed to work from home at least sometimes.
Hire remote workers in the future
Moving forward, consider hiring remote workers rather than local workers. While remote employees are still considered employees under the law, there are benefits to hiring non-local talent. The main benefit is access to a wide range of talent. When you’re not limited by location, you can essentially pick from an endless pool of talent. Your only challenge will be providing the right pay, benefits, and perks to get the talent you want.
Having a team of remote workers will save you money. You’ll save the most money if you can move to an all remote team. However, even downsizing your office to a smaller space can save thousands of dollars per year on rent.
Another benefit is a lower turnover rate. Research shows that U.S. companies that encourage remote work have a 25% lower turnover rate than companies that require all employees to report to an office.
Research all potential tools thoroughly
When making the transition to digital, it’s critical to choose the right tools. Don’t just settle for the first application you find in a Google search. Find out what industry professionals use and why. Take a test run of every application before committing. Sign up for a free account, initiate free trials, or schedule demos for more high-end applications.
Some of the tools you’ll need include:
· CRM software
· Invoicing software
· Payroll software
· Time tracking software
· Email marketing software
· Website analytics software
· Project management and task management suite
Sometimes free or cheap software is fine, like using free time tracking software. However, don’t skimp on your CRM, email marketing, or project management software. These are core applications you and your team will use continuously throughout the day.
Always choose the most user-friendly and functional options for your most critical applications. Employees do better when equipped with the right tools that work well and are easy to use. When employees are forced to use bad software, they get frustrated and often get behind on their work. Bad software makes it hard for employees to meet deadlines, and it can drive down morale and increase turnover.
Transitioning to a digital business environment is a process
Your business won’t become fully digital overnight; digital transformation is a process. However, it’s a process worth pursuing to ensure your business maintains a competitive advantage in your industry.