Last week, Jason, Greg and Victoria from WLKR Digital flew to Sydney for the Small Business Digital Champions Project Conference.
The Small Business Digital Champions project is an Australian Government initiative that provides 100 small businesses with the tools they need to digitally transform their business.
These tools include a Digital Transformation Plan and a Digital Transformation Leader who is a member of the Deloitte digital team. 15 businesses also receive a mentor to help hone their digital skills in a range of areas and make implementations to their business that will help them to achieve the goals set out in their plan.
RBK are corporate partners of the project and Jason is a mentor for the program, specialising in helping small businesses with their digital processes and software. Jason also featured on the ‘Plugging your business in for success’ panel discussion at Facebook HQ on day 1 of the conference, talking business lessons, how RBK have embraced digital and engaging the right referral partners.
The opening address for the conference came from John O’Mahony, partner at Deloitte Access Economics who had the room feverishly jotting down notes during his ‘What’s the prize for digital leadership’ keynote. John specialises in the digital economy and how it is changing business, government and everyday life.
There were many key takeaways from John’s presentation, however one of the most striking was that 51% of Australian small businesses don’t know the value of digital and don’t understand why they should engage with it. Interestingly, when surveyed, this same group achieved the top response for not knowing what their organisational goals were.
John broke the Australian small business landscape into four sections:
- Basic – no interaction with digital at all
- Intermediate – businesses who have a website and maybe use social media
- Highly active – these businesses have a digital and SEO strategy, strong social media presence and a great website
- Advanced – Businesses that use all of the above, plus things like data analytics, digital advertising, video etc.
The highly active and advanced categories make up over half of Australian small businesses, with 11% at the basic level. John says that small businesses that are digitally active are 14x more like to be innovating and creating new services and 8x more like to be bringing in more revenue.
So with these statistics in front of us, the real question is why would any business owner NOT be prioritising digital as part of their overall strategy? According to the research, John says it’s the perception that:
- It’s too expensive and
- Believing that tech is irrelevant to their business.
Now to debunk these myths… Yes, engaging in digital was once an expensive task, however it’s now easier and cheaper than ever, in-part because you can do so much of it yourself.
One of the biggest takeaways from the event as a whole was that embracing tech and digital for your business doesn’t just mean being on Facebook and Instagram (although that’s important too, Jase discusses why these are still important too on the Facebook Live steam – watch it here) Having a digital focus can mean anything from having a website to using accounting software like Xero or a task management tool like Trello. There is no doubt that every business can benefit from digital in one form or another.
To summarise, here are John’s top benefits of embracing the digital age
- It meets customers demands
- Increases sales and revenue
- Allows access to new customers across Australia
- Improves the diversity of customer base
- Improves business efficiency
- Decreases your chance of falling into the 66% of businesses that fail within the first three to four years.
Has this convinced you to jump on the digital bandwagon? Get in touch with our team to find out how digital can help your business!