3 Questions to Help Prepare Your Small Business for the New World of Work

Are you looking for ways to grow your business despite uncertain times? Leaders are focusing on staying ahead of the impact of a list of obstacles, like the COVID-19 Delta variant and global labor shortages. We recently sat down with experts like Jeanne DeWitt Grosser, head of revenue and growth at Stripe, and Dave Simon, VP of small business commercial sales at Docusign, to discuss the strategies they've seen work.

During the conversation, these experts addressed the top questions businesses have about digital transformation and the best ways to leverage technology to survive and thrive in today's environment. Check out some of the key takeaways from the conversation and view the full on-demand webinar Is Your Small Business Ready for the New World of Work?

What are the top ways technology can help small businesses?

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses are increasingly investing in technology to keep business running. They’re prioritizing efficiency, safety and ease of doing business. The understanding that people are working from anywhere they choose is helping companies keep business moving even in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

Before the pandemic, many businesses relied on face-to-face meetings with customers in retail locations or delivering service in the field. Since in-person interactions weren’t possible during lockdowns, using virtual meeting tools enabled them to pivot those engagements online. 

While many organizations worried that this would negatively impact their business, the opposite was true for most. In retail, for example, allowing customers to order online, pay online and pick up in-store is something their customers appreciate and have now come to expect.

“In many ways, moving these interactions online can actually help you develop a recurring relationship with your customers. Utilizing technology is at the core of being able to pivot rapidly because you don't have to build these systems yourself, which would be a huge undertaking,” said Grosser.

How are businesses evolving with digital innovations?

SMBs are evolving rapidly and reducing manual, inefficient tasks along the way. Whether they're automating payment processes or offering customers a convenient way to shop, businesses benefit from the technology platforms geared toward SMBs.

Some SMBs reversed course rapidly and accomplished impressive evolutions during the pandemic. As we move forward globally, businesses are choosing to continue improving customer experiences. This dedication to developing an excellent customer experience is a prevailing trend among successful businesses.

The panel agreed that the best way to decide which parts of your business need technology solutions is to look at which areas consume the most of your valuable time they could spend on interactions with customers and staff. 

What are some examples of small businesses using digital solutions? 

Restaurants are a shining example of successful SMB pivots. By embracing new technologies like curbside pickup, contactless dine-in and digital-first delivery, they provide a seamless experience for customers, which is crucial to staying afloat. Restaurants have also reduced their manual operational efforts by leveraging new technology, giving them more time and space to provide better customer experiences. 

“It’s critical for restaurants to understand that customers are finding new ordering channels like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Open Table, Instagram and that business owners can use these channels to create a seamless online ordering experience. It gives those restaurants an opportunity to be successful in a time that’s pretty difficult otherwise,” said Simon.

Many B2B companies have also found success with technology for receiving payment. For example, Grosser and Simon pointed to smaller software companies automating their quote-to-cash processes and empowering their customers to get up and running sooner.

“Many businesses are moving their transactions online for the first time right now, which requires an eCommerce site. SMBs can implement pre-integrated solutions from Shopify or SquareSpace to help with the transition. This is much different than building a website from scratch, which is time-consuming, expensive, and complicated,” said Grosser.

To learn more about how technology platforms can help your business shift to the new world of work, download our on-demand webinar.

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