The past two years have shown that small business owners are falling on the wrong side of the digital divide, and this is set to become a significant issue for many large Australian businesses. Research conducted by Xero showed that 70% of companies surveyed admitted that they would prioritize other issues over upgrading technology, and 60% acknowledged that they had been using the same digital solutions since becoming had started their business.
Many of our larger businesses rely heavily on small businesses as a significant portion of their customer base. What effect would it have on your bottom line if only 10% of Australian small businesses failed due to their lack of digital literacy? As Andrew Hunter, CEO of CPA Australia, put it: “Other markets have made major inroads into digital transformation during the pandemic; It’s clear that Australian small businesses need more help than they’re getting to emerge from the digital dark age.
Fortunately, there are three easy ways Australian businesses can help small businesses embrace technology.
1. Encourage small steps, not giant leaps
Working with small business owners, I see a common misconception that embracing technology means they have to overhaul everything in their business at once. You can solve this problem by showing your small business customers how to implement the single technology that will bring them the biggest payoff.
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This helps them avoid being overwhelmed by limiting the size of the project and allows them to see the success that technology can bring to their business.
In his research, Xero reported that encouraging small steps overcomes perceived apprehension or difficulty in adopting something new. Helping your small business customers reframe their first technology adoption project will build trust and create more brand loyalty.
2. Embrace “old school” training
To help small businesses overcome their fears about technology, you have to go a little “old school”.
Many small business owners are so worried about making mistakes with technology that they don’t want to try anything new.
My experience is that face-to-face training programs get better development results and are quicker to create comfort with technology.
In-person training helps reassure technophobic people about the proper implementation of their digital solutions.
Digital literacy and technological skills are muscles that need to be developed. Once your small business customers are confident in their abilities, it’s much easier to transition them to e-learning solutions. According to Xero research, customers using digital solutions see a 120% increase in revenue compared to small businesses that don’t invest in digital adoption.
3. Celebrate their victories
Small business owners really appreciate being seen and recognized by their larger cousins. That’s why I recommend a program to recognize and share the gains your small business customers have with their digital implementation. When you help people in your small business with their technology development, you increase their sense of loyalty, make your relationship last, and encourage other business owners to use your products and services.
Consider creating a community where your small business customers can learn, grow, implement and celebrate together. Research I conducted in my own small business tech club showed a greater sense of responsibility for learning and implementation, and a shared sense of accomplishment when a member has a significant digital win. in his business.
Over the next 12-24 months, large companies that actively help small businesses adopt technology will be rewarded with increased loyalty and revenue. Fortunately, the small business community is looking for trustworthy people to help them access high-quality, timely information. It’s a real win-win for you and the small businesses you rely on.