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Strong business confidence despite digital disruption

SMBs are preparing for a digital 2014 as many roll out new business models especially designed for the global marketplace.

John Boniciolli, Telstra Executive Director Small Business, attests that it continues to be a period of complete transition, as many industries face an ‘adapt or die’ dilemma.

“We’ve seen the internet and multimedia technologies advance at a rapid pace. E-business has been the buzz word, pushing businesses to take a close look at how they operate and what they must do to remain relevant to customers,” Boniciolli said.

Industries dealing in traditional media distribution, like CDs, books, music, movies, and news, have been hardest hit. Others such as retail have also had to evolve, with the pace firmly set by the mobile-connected customer.

While it’s self-evident some industries have harder hit than others, there is no space in the new digital landscape to become complacent.

“In 2014 even the smallest of businesses will face both the challenges and opportunities the new digital world brings, whether that means embracing social media for marketing, an online retail function or the digitisation of business data in the cloud to improve efficiency and reduce administration,” Boniciolli said.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s latest business expectations survey, two out of three Australian businesses (68 per cent) are more optimistic about growth now than 12 months ago, with the positive mood lifting first quarter expectations for sales, profits, selling prices, investment and employment to their highest levels in 12 months.

“With companies looking ahead with optimism, and as business begins to pick up, it is important to look closely at how to embrace a digital strategy to gain a competitive edge,” Boniciolli added.

As small businesses prepare to make the most of the opportunities that higher business confidence will bring in 2014, they should set clear, achievable goals.

“As we head into the new the year it is a great time to reflect on the year that was in order to understand how it impacts your business, to set new goals and a clear plan on how to reach them,” he said.

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