If you read the book Good To Great then you know the difference between running a “good” business and a “great” one. Common sense tells us that to run a business well includes making customers want to do business with you and keeping your costs down so profits stay healthy. Of course you also need a team that performs at a high level because they enjoy being part of your team. And suppliers that you trust to deliver high quality products and service. Technology plays into this, but you need to apply the technology that has both proven itself and that is what is necessary to accelerate your business. The overused and abused term many refer to is as necessary is “digital transformation”. Let’s discuss just what that means.
Digital Transformation has too many definitions, and yet is sorely misunderstood. Let’s demystify it in my words as a way to serve your customers better and run a more efficient business. To be cliché it is a journey not a destination. That means leave aside the fear this is a huge, high cost and high-risk program you need to drag your business through. And that everything you have must be thrown aside to make way for the new way of doing things. Yes, there are ways of doing things that need to be replaced, but as they say let’s not throw the baby away with the bath water!
To start with “digital” on a technical level means using zeros (0s) and ones (1s); but in a practical sense means you can do business online, or at least without using paper and pencil. Or to note an oxymoron you do not need communicate using the Pony Express.
The pandemic has both raised business leaders awareness of the need and value of technology and made business leaders more discerning of the options they have to “be digital”. Since there is no “Silver Bullet” when it comes to these things, what are the appropriate next steps to get your business to operate digitally, or at least more digitally? Let me suggest some practical steps.
- Resist adopting new technology for the sake of it, or because your being pressured to do it.
- Use process mapping techniques to clearly understand gaps in how to best run your business most efficiently and to provide your customers a great experience.
- Think through and map out a plan to execute the changes identified from process mapping that make the most sense and deliver the best “bang for the buck” for your business and for your customers.
- Assemble a team of internal and outside experts to execute the plan as is appropriate for your business.
- Agree on the metrics and measures that will enable you to track your progress in terms of business and customer KPIs that link back to addressing the gaps you identified in your process mapping.
- Execute the plan, using your metrics and measures to keep you on track and that can help you pivot where required.
OK, so the list is common sense. Great! That was my point. Digital Transformation is not rocket science and does not have to be transformative in the sense your current business goes “bye-bye”. It is about keeping your business relevant in terms of generating a decent profit while making your customers happy to do business with you.
Good luck on your journey; and if you need any help schedule a call with us to discuss your specific business situation – https://calendly.com/tim_montgomery/30-minute-free-business-application-consultation