The past year has brought many challenges and, with those, many lessons, particularly in the business sense.
For businesses that either hadn’t started their migration towards a digitized existence (to coincide with or surpass their real-world business), or for those who hadn’t kept up with digital changes to ensure that their platforms were able to support business growth despite Covid-19, the reality is that they will have missed a golden opportunity.
Pivoting a business is never easy, particularly for those that have relied for years or even decades on a full real-world interaction with their clients, or for businesses that until 12 months ago considered digital avenues a necessary but not critical part of their planning.
But pivots were necessary, and even for businesses which had relied on face-to-face interaction to operate, solutions were found that helped them not only survive, but explore new avenues of revenue and growth – avenues that had not even been considered but are now a core part of revenue and growth.
Just a few examples include personal trainers who started online classes, restaurants that opened digital kitchens for full-meal food ordering and engaged with online delivery platforms to sort out delivering the meals to customers, retail outlets that created online shops, wine sellers who created online tasting sessions and sales, art auctions that moved from warehouse sites to online auction rooms, and a range of online learning platforms born out of real-world schools… all businesses that needed to pivot fast, and did so successfully using a range of digital technologies.
In fact, despite the sharp losses felt by some 40% of SMEs in Britain last year, around 22% reported growth in revenues, and 20% of SMEs taking on new staff.
The common denominator? According to research by Aston University, amongst the main reasons behind these positive statistics is 65% of SMEs adopting digital technologies. Just some of the technologies highlighted by SMEs include:
- Video conferencing (95%)
- Internet of Things (64%)
- Augmented or Virtual Reality (51%)
- Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning (48%)
Based on the adoption of these and similar digital technologies, 34% of firms said they’d experienced growth in sales and 38% said it had boosted innovation in their strategy.
So what does this mean for you?
Quite simply put, it means you should seriously be thinking – if you haven’t already started – of ways that you can grow the digital division of your business, or your digital capability to support your growth strategies.
It may take some serious thought, and exploring ideas no matter how bizarre they sound, so that you can look for solutions and opportunities where you may believe they don’t exist. You’ll also then have to trust that there is a digital technology that can help you achieve this innovation – technology is abundant, flexible, adaptable and intelligent, and it can be created or repurposed to support your ideas.
At Realnet, we believe that digital technology is the most exciting and greatest opportunity to transform business.
From bespoke software and app development to fresh, goal-orientated e-commerce websites, we’re able to work with you and your team to understand what you want to achieve and deliver a digital solution to help you achieve your goals.