Five ways to empower SMBs through digital transformation

“Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?” You’ve probably been asked many times in your life. Research shows that most people prefer to hear the bad news first and the good news last.

Recently, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been hit by a severe business downturn, struggling to make ends meet. In the first year of the pandemic alone, nearly 200,000 people had to close their doors. But others not only survived, but thrived. In fact, according to the latest Verizon Small Business State of Business Survey, many SMBs are optimistic, with more than 60 percent of respondents believing their business will be better this holiday season than in 2021, and 46 percent saying yes. What will happen in 2023.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy; they create two-thirds of net new jobs, drive U.S. innovation, and account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity,” said the SBA Office of Advocacy. Think of business owners, their employees, the consumers who support them, and the entire supply chain affected.

Finding new ways for SMBs to thrive requires them to be resilient, tailor products to meet new market demands, and improve digital strategies by updating tools and technology infrastructure. Savvy SMEs are better able to compete and thrive post-pandemic. I’d call it good news, wouldn’t I?

New survey finds challenges facing SMEs…good news ahead

The latest Verizon survey identifies key trends affecting small businesses across the country. concerns about maintaining adequate staffing; supply chain disruptions affecting purchased materials; cyber threats and viruses, especially as cyber risks are nearly doubling year-over-year; and the impact that upcoming holidays and inflation will have on their business influences.

Fortunately, SMBs are finding that integrating technology can help address these challenges. In fact, more than 77 percent of SMBs have completed digital transformation efforts based on recent lessons learned and the implementation of digital tools and technologies.

5 Ways Digital Transformation Can Enhance Your Business

Businesses of all sizes adopt new digital technologies to help enhance business operations and increase sales and profitability. While the average business may lack the budget and resources of its Wall Street counterparts, there are easy-to-implement trade technology tools and strategies SMBs can implement—without the need for an IT department or a big budget:

  1. Upgrade to broadband. When doing business in today’s hyper-competitive environment, businesses running 5G — an ultra-fast, low-latency cellular standard that boosts data transfer speeds — can empower new customers with instant credit checks and precise tracking of shipment accuracy.
  2. Invest in enabling mobile and digital payments. Make it easy for customers to pay the way they want, and ensure it happens securely with a proper point-of-sale system in place.
  3. Automate orders and reservations. Make it easier for your customers to interact with your business, such as installing a booking app or creating a chat for questions and feedback.
  4. Utilize technology to update online company information. Consider a service that updates all of your business websites (eg, Yelp, Google, etc.) with information about your store, including hours of operation, address, and contact information.
  5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Whatever your business, to cater for both in-store and online needs, make sure your website is ready. 23% have considered and addressed this issue knowing that mobile is the preferred tool for one-third of consumers to shop.

Technology implementation is proven to be a winning strategy for SMBs, with more than 78% of SMB owners adopting new tools and technologies to streamline operations and costs, deliver new customer services and experiences, and drive sales.

As small businesses innovate, drive jobs, and thrive, these businesses are keeping the American Dream alive.

Verizon also brought back Small Business Day now through November 23offering special offers to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as free technology assessments by Verizon Business experts to identify technology solutions that can help grow your business.

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