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With the digital realm now dominating consumer and corporate affairs, more SMEs are ditching traditional business plans in favour of tech savvy flexible strategies that account for rapid technological change.

According Reload Consulting Director Craig Somerville, it’s important businesses employ a planning company that understands the web and digital realm.

“Most marketing plans incorporate a large web percentage and many ‘dusty’ business advisors don’t understand why the web and social media is important, what to do about employees on Facebook, or any of the ‘modern’ issues facing business,” Somerville said.

Whilst he concedes that traditional facets of business development and planning remain crucial, knowledge of the growing digital realm is just as important.

He suggests the following five tips for SMEs to keep up to date and informed on digital elements:

1.     Get a business consultant who actually understands the web, has worked with it extensively and has a proven track record of results online.

2.     Don’t frantically get into everything digital just because “it’s popular right now.” Be selective about what is right for your business.

3.     Plan for change. The web moves so fast that designing web strategies for 3-5 years ahead is pointless. Everything you do online needs to be actionable very quickly.

4.     Make sure what you do online is consistent with what you do offline. Companies with inconsistent approaches create brand confusion.

5.     Don’t expect it to be easy. A lot of people think starting web-based businesses is easy because of the low barriers to entry. It won’t be.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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