How to modernise your small to medium business

How to modernise your small to medium business

How to modernise your small to medium business

A modern workplace can ensure a bright future for small to medium enterprise businesses (SMEs), and digital transformation is vital for those who want to remain competitive. Development in digitisation, cloud technology, and collaboration tools can all help to increase agility and productivity. 

In a Gartner survey of small to midsize businesses in 2019, 25% of respondents said that driving increased productivity was a top business goal and triggered a drive to invest in technology. How should you modernise your business in 2023, and which technology can help?

1. Use Digital Collaboration Tools

Remote work has continued to grow. Gartner’s survey revealed that 82% of company leaders expect to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time going forward, and 47% said they would allow employees to work remotely full-time. Recent Gartner research also showed that employees who are allowed to decide when they work are 2.3 times more likely to achieve higher performance than employees without autonomy. The challenge of helping people collaborate and engage when they are not in an office is here to stay. Luckily, in addition to video conferencing, many collaboration tools allow team members to keep in touch and work together even when not in the office.  SMEs need to adopt collaboration tools to help increase productivity. The best digital collaboration tools for small businesses include the likes of Slack, an instant messaging tool with voice and video calls and dedicated, searchable channels for messaging individuals, project teams, or topics. Google Workspace is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products. Remote project management tools like Jira and Trello and even collaborative whiteboards like Miro are good digital tools to help modernise small businesses.

2. Go Paperless

According to the UK Government statistics on waste, nearly 5.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard were wasted in the UK. Aside from the negative environmental impact, printing paper can increase costs, and your team members may waste time printing, scanning and posting documents. According to the Forrester State of Systems of Agreement Research 2021, commissioned by Docusign, 56% of respondents said that contracts were delayed due to errors and missing information in paper-based agreements. Completing contracts is vital for all SMEs, and using technology like an eSignature solution and cloud-based technology can reduce the need to print or post documents. There are also other steps you can take to start going paperless. 

3. Switch to Cloud-Based Technology

Storing documents in the cloud has many benefits for SMBs. Working in a cloud-first environment enables teams to connect and collaborate remotely and gain access to their work. Cloud technology provides a scalable way to increase online storage space and makes it easier to share and store files securely without any need to print or email documents. Unauthorised access to sensitive files can lead to a financial loss or potential brand damage due to a lack of trust, but cloud services have in-built data security. Suppliers like Google Drive, Salesforce, DropBox, OneDrive and more are all options for storing your documents using cloud technology. According to Gartner, organisations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in 2023. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 75% of organisations will adopt a digital transformation model predicated on the cloud as the fundamental underlying platform, and it’s important for SMBs not to be left behind.  

4. Deliver Mobile-Friendly Experiences for Customers and Employees

Allowing business to take place on mobile is a crucial part of the future landscape for SMBs. According to Google, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load, and 90% of B2B buyers say that they would buy again from a business that offers a superior mobile experience versus 50% of those who report a poor mobile experience. You can test the speed of your website with Google.  Small to medium-sized businesses can modernise by ensuring their website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Creating your website according to known design principles will provide a more intuitive user experience. 

5. Make it Easier for Your Sales Team to Negotiate Contracts with Customers

The sales team are often the primary source of growth for small businesses. Reducing contract management pain points provides a better customer experience and enables sales teams to close deals quickly. Outdated and disconnected systems can delay the onboarding of new customers and the signing of contracts. In the future, SMBs need a solution built to make agreement negotiation tasks easier. Using an eSignature tool like Docusign eSignature makes it simpler for employees to send and for customers to sign agreements from almost anywhere. Docusign for Salesforce helps your team generate, negotiate and approve sales agreements automatically. Using this type of technology can accelerate the agreement process and make internal approvals and external reviews much more straightforward. The sales team can easily keep track of changes in the agreement throughout the process. Discover more about the Docusign Agreement Cloud or download a free trial of Docusign eSignature to get started.

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Elsa Kesler
Demand and Content Marketing Manager