Small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Australia are largely unprepared for the digital world and are not using digital tools to keep pace with ever changing and demanding consumer needs, according to research conducted by Optus.
There is a significant gap that exists between how technology savvy consumers are in comparison to SMBs. While consumers are embracing technology and its benefits, a large number of SMBs are falling behind by not keeping pace with technology.
However, SMB owners who are using technology to make their business more efficient and competitive are reaping the benefits. There is a huge opportunity for SMBs to evaluate how technology can help them better manage costs, grow their business and respond to changing consumer behaviours and expectations.
There’s a range of digital tools that enable SMBs to be more responsive to their customers, be more productive and also compete with larger businesses on a more even playing field. Most SMBs start with creating a website, so the business has an online presence meaning current and potential customers can find them.
An SMB can also expand into mobility and use mobile and tablet devices to run its business on the go. Using services such as email, collaboration, data back-up and storage, which can all be accessed via the cloud, can give a business more flexibility.
Benefits of an SMB engaging digital tools:
- Keeping up with customers’ demands
- More competitive
- Mobile working for staff
- Safe, secure data stored offsite or in the cloud
- More productive and run more efficiently
- Ongoing IT support
—Optus Business (for details of this research, see The Optus ‘Digital Ready’ report)