Running a business is no feat, and keeping it afloat and thriving in the midst of a pandemic is even harder.
However, many business owners have found that digitization is the way to go to ensure that their businesses continue to thrive in times of uncertainty.
By now, most business leaders have led their companies to digitize at least part of their business to protect employees and serve customers who face mobility restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
In fact, recent data from McKinsey Digital shows that digital adoption by consumers and businesses worldwide has advanced five years in a span of about eight weeks.
This is also evident in Singapore; from supermarkets to convenience stores to medical services, companies have been constantly moving their operations online.
Acting quickly to respond to change is an important trait that business leaders should have, and digitizing business practices during a pandemic is one way to adapt to change.
Stuart Thornton, CEO and co-founder of Buy Now, pays for the later solution hoolah told Vulcan Post that when the pandemic hit, the company “quickly moved to a virtual computer environment to protect it [their] people. “
He added that the use of technology can greatly help a company’s quest for efficiency and agility, especially during the pandemic.
However, digitizing a business is not an easy task, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and startups may need some assistance to speed up the process.
They may be overwhelmed with the huge range of market-backed solutions in government grants and may not know how to begin their journey of digital transformation.
As such, here are some first steps small businesses can take to begin their digitization process:
Build an e-commerce platform
Most small businesses and SMEs add value to their customers in the form of products or services.
Due to the pandemic, it is more difficult to reach its customers by physical means. Therefore, it is important to establish an online presence and a point of contact for customers to purchase goods and services online.
Starting an e-commerce business is not easy, and some companies even have dedicated e-commerce teams.
Much needs to be done when setting up an e-commerce site (from the development of an online store to inventory management and marketing), so that many SMEs could see that the Moving online is a daunting task.
However, there are many companies that offer solutions to help other companies establish their ecommerce sites.
An example is the solutions it provides Good Technologies.
Good Technologies is a pre-approved Go Digital provider specializing in e-commerce websites and point-of-sale software equipped with enterprise resource planning modules.
It has a capability ranging from e-commerce customization, web development, delivery management and payment gateways. It also helps customers with online marketing, inventory management, customer relationship management, order processing and more.
In the same way, Corsiva Lab is a website and mobile app development agency dedicated to providing strong digital solutions that maintain each company’s unique brand, while helping to generate more revenue from sales.
Software solutions company Equotix it also provides companies with the ability to integrate their online stores with markets such as Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10.
Monitoring of retail analyzes
Companies with an online presence would know that data analytics is extremely important to grow their business.
Data, such as which products were bought most at a given time, provide information that companies need to understand customers ’buying behavior. This allows them to anticipate and plan for future demand.
Even if a company has an online presence, it can have difficulty making data-centric decisions if they do not have the right tools to collect, leverage, and analyze information.
Data capture is also essential for companies when it comes to tracking cash flow, business planning, and other important corporate decisions.
Anewtech Systems is a leading provider of industrial computing specializing in the supply of innovative computing integrations for versatile industrial applications and customization services.
It also allows marketers to analyze the demographics of their customers using their hardware solutions.
Data collection tools can also be integrated into in-store retail services. For example, Nspire Group is a software solution provider that offers smart productivity solutions.
RavenPOS, a subsidiary brand under the arm of Nspire, provides companies with a set of solutions to not only facilitate sales, but also to make after-sales decisions.
Its software solutions allow you to get complete reports for forecasting and business planning, while your hardware team is easy to use and navigate by sales staff. Other POS service providers include LevelFive solutions i WeeBo.
Remote personnel management
Everyone can agree that communication is the key to success. Whether you have a meeting or an idea, communication is at the forefront of the workplace.
However, the pandemic has made large face-to-face meetings unviable.
While most employees prefer to work remotely, interaction and communication with co-workers is still vital.
Working from home (at least a few days) is here to stay and companies need to be able to find a way to interact effectively with their employees remotely.
This could mean improving internal communication strategies to prioritize employee relationships or foster ongoing engagement.
This is where HR programs come in handy. An example is Adaptive payment, an Adaptive Cloud Systems cloud-based HR solution with full-fledged HR capabilities, such as payroll management, leave management, claims management, and assessment management.
In the meantime, PayBoy manages all of a company’s human resource needs, from payroll processing to dropout management and claims management, as well as shift scheduling and more.
F&B owners who use PayBoy’s human resource management system can create offers and discounts for PayBoy’s 60,000 corporate employees in their ecosystem to exchange them as part of the company’s foray into corporate profits. Other human resource management solutions include Just log in i People Central.
Beginning of the digital transformation
M1 Digital Transformation Alliance (DTA) aims to bring together IT-related partners who want to help Singapore’s SMEs on their journey of digital transformation.
It aims to prepare SMEs with the latest digital applications and equipment to offer a differentiation in their business.
On August 27, 2021, M1 will host a virtual event to share how SMEs can accelerate their digital adoption to overcome the challenges facing this pandemic.
SMEs can also learn about how the government can support them in this area. Eligible companies can enjoy up to 98% of grants from government agencies under the SME Go Digital Campaign.
Named Level Up: Digital First for Business Recovery and Breakthrough, the virtual event will showcase a number of pre-approved IMDA vendors within the Go Digital SME program. M1 partners with these vendors to improve and offer a superior offering.
Through this virtual event, business leaders will be able to learn about the various financial options available to support their digital transformation journey, as well as meet industry leaders on the latest market trends and solutions.
More than 1,000 SMEs from different industries such as retail, F&B, logistics, service providers and more, are welcome to participate. To participate and embark on your business’ s digital transformation journey, click here.
This article was written in collaboration with M1.
Featured Image Credit: Holidify