‘Right from the start’ sounds obvious and logical, but what exactly do we mean by ‘right from the start’ and why is this so important for SMEs?
No room to experiment
In large organisations it is customary to experiment as much as possible and making mistakes is even part of conducting these experiments. But within SMEs there is a need for a different approach. Digital transformation within SMEs is all about making the right choices the first time, so that the transformation runs smoothly from the start. To achieve this, it is advisable to look for a partner who has experience within SMEs. You need a partner who understands the specific challenges of this industry.
Risk of falling behind in the market
In general, SMEs are well aware that well-digitised companies are more successful than companies who are not. So they recognise the need for the digital transformation of their business model. What is often not taken into account is that this transformation has an impact on the entire business operation.
A good example is the taxi industry. This market has experienced like no other how you can easily be pushed out of the market by a party that combines a very strong digital proposition with a customer-driven approach. Had this industry previously mapped out the needs of the users and digitised the business model, the damage might have been much less. However, this transformation goes much further than simply putting an app on the market; the drivers have to be connected to this app, the payment processing will be different and there will be a different way of communicating with customer service… These are just a few things you should take into account before you start digitising your business model.
In addition, as an organisation, you want to have a clear picture of the impact digitisation will have on finances. For example, what is the business model? Digitisation costs money, but what will it bring in profitability in the coming years?
Digitisation is not easy and in many cases those responsible within SME organisations have little experience with the subject. Unlike corporates, for example, there is not an entire innovation department with a Chief Information Officer, which conducts experiments like a kind of start-up. We understand this, because it is also a complicated and, above all, personalised process. But digitisation is necessary to remain relevant. We talked about this before in the blog about our ‘why’. Here we describe the run-up to the digital transformation and we list the five characteristics of the digital transformation.
Again, well-digitised companies are more successful than companies that are not. But as an SME you often cannot afford to make mistakes in such a complicated process, because you might build up a backlog (that cannot be cleared up anymore). That is why it is important to make sure that the digitisation is done right from the start!
But what steps should you take?
Hopefully, the reason why you have to digitise and why it has to be done correctly from the start is a bit clearer, but how do you go about this? Elastique works with a clear step-by-step plan. This plan gives you insight into which things you definitely need to do to make the digitisation of your SME successful before you start. The exact details of the steps depend very much on the stage of maturity in which you find yourself as an SME. Some companies already know exactly what they want, while other companies only know that they need to digitise but have no idea how.
Despite the fact that it depends quite a bit on the type of company and especially the maturity of the company, we managed to formulate a step-by-step plan. A step-by-step plan in which we provide the entrepreneur with an honest and clear picture of the digital transformation. We will share these with you in the next blog. Be the first to know? Sign up for the newsletter below and you will receive it directly in your mailbox.