Procurement 25 June 2018

Demystifying digital at your micro business

digital transformation
Digital transformation captures every part of your business from marketing to supply chain
Does having a website make you digital? Or fast broadband? The day-to-day running of your business probably depends on digital technology. However, it’s equally likely that your digital transformation is incomplete.

But what does it mean to transform digitally? Digital isnt just about using social media platforms to grow your audience it captures every aspect of your business. From tax returns to stock control, technology can optimise your daily operations and put you ahead of the competition.

According to Lloyds? Bank Business Digital Index in 2017, almost one in four small UK business owners (1.6m) remain in the digital slow lane? failing to use technology to manage information, generate sales, engage with their community or use digital tools to solve problems.

But digital transformation is improving. Since the same index in 2014, twice as many small business owners have developed high digital capabilities to some degree.

Sectoral differences are important in understanding the knowledge gaps and delivering the right support to business owners. While a tech startup or IT services firm may have good understanding of GDPR and cyber security, for example, more traditional sectors are likely to be less digital. We are a nation of shopkeepers, after all.

Weve taken a look at some of the areas micro business owners are yet to fully capitalise on digital opportunities, and how bigger companies are supporting the digital transformation.

Going online

Having an online presence is essential for every business, regardless of its sector, and even an outdated website could turn-off potential customers. Ensure your content is tailored to your audience and that your contact details can be easily found.

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Almost half of all micro business still don’t have a website, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have suggested, while the Digital Index found that some 118, 000 UK firms do not use the internet whatsoever.

Tax and accounts

“The typical signs that were spending too long on business admin is when numbers from one document to another do not add up or are different, ” Nayna McIntosh, CEO and founder of women’s fashion brand Hope, told us.

this often happens when systems are not automated and means there is still an element of hand cranking? the numbers.

With Making Tax Digital set to require all VAT-registered businesses to submit VAT returns electronically by 2019, now is a good time to switch to digital accounting software.

Supply chain

New research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggested that by adopting tried and tested technologies such as cloud computing, mobile technology and e-purchasing business owners could optimise their supply chain operations and generate an additional 100bn to the economy.

Exporting

Greater adoption of technology is also linked to a company’s international success. According to Lloyd’s? study, digitally-savvy small companies are 11 times more likely to trade overseas than those falling behind.

Workforce

Hiring is another area ready to undergo a digital transformation.One report recently found that a majority of UK employers believe a shortage of digital talent within their company has seen them forfeit a competitive advantage.

Further data from LinkedIn revealed which digital roles are set to become the most important over the next two years.

  1. Information security/Privacy consultant
  2. Chief digital officer/Chief digital information officer
  3. Data architect
  4. Digital project manager
  5. Data engineer

Big helping small


 
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