Your 5-step guide to digitising your business

Discover five steps that can help your digital transformation. Learn about the basics of a good business website, where to start with cyber security, and more.
· 06 April 2022 · 5 minute read

Why you should consider digitising your business processes

The business landscape has changed radically in the past few years, with shifts in consumer behaviour prompting many small and medium brands to develop digital strategies. Indeed, according to KPMG’s Australian Retail Outlook 2022 survey, 68.15% of businesses invested more in their digital business due to the pandemic. If you’re keen to plan your own digital transformation, we’ve got five steps you can take to make a start.

1. Create and maintain your website

One in five consumers won’t consider a business they haven’t used before if it doesn’t have a website, according to the Telstra Business Intelligence Digital Marketing report.

You can create your own website or engage business website services to build one on your behalf, just make sure it’s easy to navigate with clearly labelled pages. In the Telstra Business Intelligence Digital Marketing report, Paul Liascos from Spotzer says it’s important to get the basics right.

“Tell your visitors who you are, what you do and what you don’t do in a really clear and concise way,” Liascos says. Customers want to see your business information up front, so they know how to reach you and when you’re open.

If there’s a business case for you to sell your products or services online, it could also be worth creating an eCommerce store. If you do decide to sell products online, be mindful that customers now have higher expectations when it comes to delivery. So you’ll need to stay on top of any supply chain issues and consider how to manage expectations if problems occur.

When they shop online, customers also look for product information, including stock availability, and returns policies, so make sure these details are easy to find when you design your web store.

2. Invest in digital marketing

Digital marketing tools like search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media advertising can help you reach new customers. Search engines are the number one digital tool consumers use to help them find businesses online. But according to the Telstra Business Intelligence Digital Marketing report, two-thirds of small businesses say they do not use strategies such as SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) to help customers find them more easily online.

Your social media content can also be used to show your authenticity and to keep customers up to date with changing business information. And if you invest in social media advertising, it can be an effective way to target specific groups of customers.

3. Enhance your online customer experience

In today’s business landscape, it’s important to deliver positive customer experiences both in person and online. This will help you meet and exceed customer expectations.

So how can you serve customers well in the digital landscape? There are many factors that will impact how your business may perform online, including:

  • how quickly you respond to online queries via social media platforms or your website
  • the tools and flexibility you offer customers online, such as booking systems and trusted payment methods
  • whether you personalise the customer experiences you offer across digital platforms
  • your use of video and creative content to enhance customer journeys online.

4.  Consider cyber security and safety

Although digitising your business brings plenty of opportunities, it can also increase the risk of a cyber incident – and if a breach does occur, it can impact your reputation and profits.

Cyber threats have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre Annual Cyber Threat Report (July 2020 to June 2021), “ransomware has grown in profile and impact, and… recorded a 15 per cent increase in ransomware cybercrime reports in the 2020–21 financial year”.

In the Telstra Business Intelligence Managing Risks Online report,  Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, suggests building cyber security into your digital business as you increase its capabilities to help you with risk management.

“Small businesses should consider security-by-design, privacy-by-design and user safety considerations which are balanced when securing the ongoing confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data and information,” she says. Cyber security is a growing concern for customers, so it’s important you show them that you’re helping to keep their data secure.

5. Digitise your ways of working

Technology can help improve many areas of your business operations, from the way your team works to supply chain management and customer-facing purposes. So, it’s worth considering how your digital processes can best support you, your team and your suppliers. 

Cloud-based document storage is one great solution, as are cloud-based phone systems so that staff can have a call transferred to them seamlessly if they’re working remotely. Consider, too, how you can continue to operate if your workforce needs to work from home in future and what digital tools may help. 

Automating repetitive processes can help to iron out inefficiencies and potentially save you hours each day– and if you adopt tech that is scalable, you may thank yourself in the long run as your business grows. Even essential processes like payments and invoicing can be made easier with cloud-based solutions or apps.

There are tech solutions for just about any business, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider consulting an expert to help you determine which digital tools would suit your business needs.

The digital landscape is always changing, and the ways customers interact with businesses online continue to evolve. But by making the most of tech, you can help your business to meet customer expectations, mitigate online threats and potentially increase efficiencies in the way your team works in person and online.

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